Women and words mixed media experiments

Words, hand lettering and script. 

On my Pinterest page I have pinned a number of pieces of art that I find inspiring or have elements that I would love to experiment with. (Come on… admit it! We all have scads of pins that we’ve never tried to make). There are many with words, hand lettering, script, fonts and typography. I love the visual impact of large scale hand lettering and the mystery of incomplete words or faces.

Such as the works of Florian Nicolle aka Neo.

A few weeks ago I decided to make a couple of Secret Santa gifts, rather than purchase them. What better than to knock off some pinterest inspiration! 

Kayleigh. Mixed media portrait, charcoal, chalk, ink and paper. 8″ x 10″.

The text on Kayleigh’s face is an ink jet print of some vintage handwriting I found online. 

Daniela. Mixed media portrait, charcoal, chalk, ink and paper. 8″ x 10″.

For Daniela, I used a letter written by Shakespeare. 

After gaining confidence and hearing positive feedback on the first 2 smaller pieces, I drove into a larger canvas with some acrylics. 

Hannah. Mixed media portrait, acrylic and tissue on canvas. 25″ x 54″.

With this canvas being so much larger than my first 2 pieces, I wrote freehand, with watery black paint the lyrics of Blackbird by the Beatles.

The lovely faces for these portraits are from Julia Kay’s Portrait Party on flickr.

Profile Picture Challenge

I had a discussion with my friend Adam recently about the Inktober challenge I had done & also a challenge that he had posted on Facebook referring to the game of Being Seen. Part of what he was wanting to make people aware of with this challenge was that many people have the same (smiling/happy) profile picture for years or some people may be hesitant to post an unflattering/unedited picture. This essentially is an incomplete representation of the multifaceted & complex people we truly are. (For that matter, how many of your friends are paying attention? Or take the time to comment? What do they have to say about your expression that day?)

THE PROBLEM: Adam is a Life Coach

Now this is of a very positive pickle to find myself in. A constructive conundrum! I know when speaking with him that he is always encouraging people to go for it & aim higher! I want to be able to say “I did it!” when I see him next. 

http://www.evergrowthcoaching.com/blog/
Adam, always aiming higher!

This caused me to realize

“I’m going to have to try this challenge too, aren’t I?”

He then one-upped me by specifying that I would need to DRAW myself every day for a week! 😲… 

“Okay”, I thought, “I can do this, challenge accepted!”

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The last couple was a bit of a squeeze to fit into my vacation, but it gave me the opportunity for different scenery too 😉

So which profile picture is my favorite? I think it might be the first. Which is yours?

I am posting this to the following blog hubs:

bluechairdiary
Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary
http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday
http://creativeeveryday.com/creativeeveryday/2016/10/art-every-day-month-sign-up.html
Blog sharing hub

Inktober part 4

Inktober part 4, the final round for 2016.

Well I’m glad I made it to the end of Inktober, my latest online artistic challenge. But also glad that I restricted myself to 3 inch square drawings so as to not overwhelm myself. In reflection I think that I would do it & other similar challenges again.

(If you missed my previous Inktober posts you can click for part 1, part 2 & part 3.)

Inktober slow
Inktober slow
Inktober tired
Inktober tired
Inktober surprise
Inktober surprise
Inktober wreck
Inktober wreck
Inktober creepy
Inktober creepy
Inktober one dozen
Inktober one dozen
Inktober box
Inktober box
Inktober burn
Inktober burn
http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday
http://creativeeveryday.com/creativeeveryday/2016/10/art-every-day-month-sign-up.html
Blog sharing hub
Blue Chair Diary blog
Blue Chair Diary blog

Inktober Part 3

On with the sketches from part 3 of my Inktober Challenge!

inktober tree
inktober tree

Those of you who are just  joining in here is a link to a video created by Jake Parker, the artist who began Inktober in 2009.

Inktober relax
Inktober relax

I have been keeping with the theme of small Post-It note sized drawings this week so that I can relax sand not stress over the challenge.

Inktober wet
Inktober wet

In retrospect this wet & dismal time of year is perfect to spend time indoors on a creative pursuit such as this.

Inktober battle
Inktober battle
Inktober escape
Inktober escape

I still manage to find time during a weekday escape to do a couple of this week’s sketches.

Inktober flight
Inktober flight

My first inclination for flight was a plane but I stretched myself too think a little outside the box.

Inktober squeeze
Inktober squeeze

I’ll just squeeze in one more sketch before the credits roll 🙂

bluechairdiary
Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary

As usual I am participating in the Sunday sketches blog roll with many other artists from around the world.

http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday

And the Paint Party Friday blog check in as well.

Inktober part 2

Inktober part 2! The journey continues.

My second installment of Inktober 2016!

You can click for part 1part 3 & part 4.

Inktober lost
Inktober lost

If you’re feeling a little lost about what I’m talking about, this challenge was begun by Jake Parker.

Inktober hidden
Inktober hidden

Or you can also refer to my previous post.

Inktober rock
Inktober rock

After the first week I realized that if I was going to try to do 31 ink sketches, I would need to limit myself in size & detail. So I chose a 3″ square post it note as my template.

Inktober broken
Inktober broken

So far this challenge had not broken me! I’ve done 15 out of 31, with a couple bonus sketches that I have done while out with the Victoria Urban Sketchers.

Inktober jump
Inktober jump

Off I get to the end successfully I think I may try to take on some other sketch challenges such as Every Day in May. There are of course many more such challenges with varied themes or prompt lists.

 

Inktober transport
Inktober transport
Inktober worried
Inktober worried
Bay Centre sketch
Bay Centre sketch
bluechairdiary
Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary
http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday

Inktober part 1

It’s Inktober!

Inktober hungry
Inktober hungry

And one thing that I like to do when I have the luxury of time is to participate in online art challenges that I discovered through friends or online connections.

You can click for part 2part 3 & part 4..

Inktober
Inktober

One of these initiatives is Inktober which was begun by Jake Parker in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills. The idea being that you draw one picture every day for the entire month of October, resulting in 31 ink pictures by the end of the month.

Inktober noisy man
Inktober noisy man

He guides us as follows :

Inktober rules:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).

2) Post it online

3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2016

4) Repeat

Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.

Inktober fast
Inktober fast

He even provides a list of prompts for each year if you are lacking in inspiration.

Inktober 2016 prompt list
Inktober 2016 prompt list

This has also been reminding me of Danny Gregory‘s book Every Day Matters, in that it reminds us to look around and see the beauty and art potential in the objects that surround us. Like pocket change, if you look closely at the details there are history lessons, iconic animals and a little pocket lint 😉

Inktober coin collection
Inktober coin collection

As I have mentioned before, I am one of the  co-coordinators the Victoria Urban Sketchers group. We meet bi-weekly around town to sketch together from what we see in our surroundings, not from photographs. Here a couple samples:

Café sketch
Café sketch
School house wall
School house wall
Café sketch by Rick Thomas
Café sketch of me by Rick Thomas
bluechairdiary
Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary
http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday

From Urban Sketch to Note Cards & Mugs

A tribute in cards.

I am honoured that some of my art was selected for a set of note cards and mugs.

A fellow artist spotted my urban sketch of of the Cridge Centre as she browsing through my sketch book one day.

My original watercolour and ink sketch of the Cridge Centre.
My original watercolour and ink sketch of the Cridge Centre.

She remarked on it because she is on the Board of Director’s of The Cridge Centre for the Family.

Months passed by and forgot about it when she came back to me and requested a scan of the image so that she may have it made into note cards. Today she brought by the finished results and I’m thrilled!

My sketch of the Cridge Centre for the Family made into note cards & mugs.
My sketch of the Cridge Centre for the Family made into note cards & mugs.

I am one of the organizers of the Victoria Urban Sketchers, our local chapter of the international Urban Sketchers organization. We meet every second Saturday morning in different areas around Greater Victoria to sketch as a group.

This is one way I have been able to regularly channel my creative energy. We all have busy lives, but even when I’ve been overwhelmed with everything the universe decides to throw at me I’ve managed to maintain this art habit.

 

The Cridge Centre is a great exterior to sketch. The grounds surrounding this turn-of-the-century brick building are filled with old oak trees, flowing shrubs and rock outcroppings.

Cridge Centre photo
Cridge Centre photo from 2015.

The British Columbia Protestant Orphans’ Home had humble, unpretentious beginnings. As the need arose for more beds, funds were raised from the community to build the Taylor building high on a hill in 1893. It now houses Seniors and provides many other valuable services to families in our community.

Historic Photo of Cridge Centre
Historic Photo of Cridge Centre
bluechairdiary
Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary
http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.ca/
Paint Party Friday

Self Portraits aka Selfies

This coming week in participating in a group art show at the Martin Bachelor Gallery which is themed Selfie.  Or  what they used to refer to back in the days of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Kahlo  etc as self portraits.

Selfie painting, acrylic, 12" square
Selfie painting, acrylic, 12″ square

No, I’m not a Millenial narcissist as Psychology Today and this selfie article help explain the point of view.

Selfie painting, chalk and charcoal, coloured pencil, toned tan, 9" x 12"
Selfie painting, chalk and charcoal, coloured pencil, toned tan, 9″ x 12″

It should be a fun show with dozens of faces of different styles and interpretations staring down at the viewers.

UPDATE: One of the curators Efren Quiroz made this video interviewing many of the artists. Sadly is unable to attend the opening and meet some of  these talented people.

Here is a review of the show has recently been published in the Times-Colonist, written by a well known local arts writer/critic Robert Amos.

This post is being shared on

Blue Chair Diary blog
Blue Chair Diary blog
Paint Party Friday
Paint Party Friday

The Orange Light of Dawn

I’m This week’s blog post is brought to you by the color, Orange.

This morning everyone in our little part of the world woke up to strange orange light glowing from the sky. It felt like I was wearing aviators sunglasses or was somehow trapped in a sepia photograph.

Here is a beautiful example captured by my friend and local photographer Alan Klughammer.

The unfiltered orange colour of sunlight through wildfire smoke. Photo credit: Alan Klughammer
The unfiltered orange colour of sunlight through wildfire smoke. Photo credit: Alan Klughammer

 

“In my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green and cats are orange.”
Jim Davis, In Dog Years I’d be Dead: Garfield at 25

 

I live on Vancouver Island in Beautiful BC just off the coast of the mainland & a little north of Seattle. Smog is (thankfully) something which we never need to contend with here. Unfortunately, there have been numerous wildfires on the West Coast of North America and the smoke blown our direction has changed the colour of the sunlight.

Satellite photo of smoke covering lower Vancouver Island from a forest fire.
Satellite photo of smoke covering lower Vancouver Island from a forest fire.

After a few hours of this phenomena I decided I had to try to capture some of it.

Making beauty of of tragedy! I applied a watercolor wash of pinky yellow aka orange 🙂 and let it dry. I then pulled out one of my new toys: a dip pen with a flexible nib and sepia India ink.

The orange light coming from behind the trees in our backyard. Watercolour and india ink done with a dip pen.
The orange light coming from behind the trees in our backyard. Watercolour and india ink done with a dip pen.

Then I grabbed my bag with art supplies and went for a walk up a nearby hill hoping to get a view. But everything just looked dirty viewing it from that altitude. 😥 So I sat down on a rocky knoll next to a small Garry oak tree amongst the dry grass for sketch.

Garry oak in dry grass. Ink and watercolour.
Garry oak in dry grass. Ink and watercolour.

Speaking of sepia:

These sepia colors remind me of a painting I did a while back. I had a favorite colorized photograph of my grandpa Jim, he was a real cowboy during the Depression. One night he got all gussied up in his best chaps and gear to go to a local dance. Our family had a farm in Fort St. John not far from where many of the current forest fires are.

Cowboy Jim, acrylic on canvas
Cowboy Jim, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20 “.

I’m linking this post to Sunday Sketches , Paint Party Friday,  Try It On Tuesday

Sketches of women in pink and orange.

I sketched these lovely ladies for the Summer of Color blog party, week 2. The color prompts for this week are Pink + Pink + Orange.

In my search for a subject that would reasonably translate to these colors I saw many works of girls and women with pink and orange peach skin, pink clothing and auburn hair. Bingo!
I have always admired the classic sketches of women by artists such as Leonardo DaVinci (indisputably a genius!) but I have yet to master his subtlety. I have made attempts to learn from copying his work before but decided to look a little farther afield when I came across a red chalk sketch by Edward Burne-Jones. Red, pink, orange. They’re all the same family, right?

Most of the models used by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had a very distinctly stylized look to their lips, nose and jaw line. I got close with the lips but I still have more practice ahead of me.

Sketch of a woman based of work of Edward Burne-Jones. Pink & orange pencil on orange paper.
Sketch of a woman based of work of Edward Burne-Jones. Pink & orange pencil on orange paper.

While I still had the inspiration and not ready for bed yet I did another quick sketch but switched the colours around. In the hundreds of ladies I flipped past in the search results I found an older artist previously unknown to me: Phillppe Mercier. He was most well known for his portrait work.

Sketch of a woman reading a book. Based on the work of Phillppe Mercier.
Sketch of a woman reading a book. Based on the work of Phillppe Mercier.
Sketch of a women in contemplation
Sketch of a women in contemplation, work in progress. Based on DaVinci.
Venus sketch
Venus sketch, inspired by Botticelli.
The Red Head was illustrated with the Magic pencil in Fire (yellow, orange & magenta) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth
The Red Head was illustrated with the Magic pencil in Fire (yellow, orange & magenta) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth

I’m linking this post to Sunday Sketches where you can go for more “artspiration”

Blue Chair Diary blog
Blue Chair Diary blog