What can be learned by doing things really fast? Or really slow? Or in a series?
Many artists painted have the same subject over and over, from different angles (Monet’s Waterlilies) and others have painted the subject repeatedly looking the same (Warhol’s Marilyn silkscreens) in an effort to show that even with endless amounts of reproduction where on the surface they appear the same, the small smears and clogs give an individuality to each piece. Even in my attempts to manually reproduce the same familiar image from memory, each time there would be variations to the theme. Some I liked and of course others not so much.
What I found is that each time I repeat a subject (such as a bird) I become more aware of :
*the textures & highlights
*the shape & proportion
*the body language & movement
*seemingly subtle things such as the highlights of an eye can draw your attention
*the addition of a tiny prop like a cigarette can change the attitude
I hadn’t tried to give myself a time limit until I applied to compete in Art Battle, along with a few friends (Buddy System!).
My first reaction to the challenge was trepidation but the more I thought about it the old saying of “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” was lingering in the back of my mind. That’s when I made the dive and sent in an application, only then to panic with my acceptance!
I needed a plan of action so our group, which we soon dubbed “the A-Team” (an attempt to take on the strength & ingenuity of these iconic characters) put into motion several practice sessions, complete with timers, distractions and loud music (we had to learn to block these things out). We tried new images and old familiar ones to the point where it began to feel that our hands began to form a memory of their own for the twists and turns required, endeavoring to become more efficient in the movements each time. The results did surprise me at times and really made me consider whether some of the long drawn out hours necessarily paid off?
The day of the competition was loaded with adrenalin, unfamiliar materials and faces but I’m certainly glad I did it. Will I compete again? Only the future will tell but in the meantime I have a collection of birds in various sizes and shapes to contemplate and learn from 🙂
I was recently asked to write a short article for Seaside Magazine, a local publication. It could be any topic relating to design and paint, but it needed to be short.
With such a long leash where to begin? I found myself staring out the window at the increasingly dim weather as I pondered this. “Bingo! That’s my topic.” (Otherwise known as the evils of beige & grey)
On Design: It’s Just A Coat Of Paint, Not A Life Partner
– by Terri Heal, Pacific Paints –
Now that winter is here and we’re indoors most of the day, we start to look at our walls and realize that without the warm dappled light of the summer sun, they can look as dull as dishwater. We next think that painting would be a good idea – but don’t get a step ahead of yourself by thinking “I should paint the whole house!” Inundating ourselves with the thousands of choices in colours and products available can be emotionally paralysing and cause us to retreat to our safety net. You know the culprits: beige, grey, taupe or white. These colours are necessary and have their place, but allow yourself to try something to add a bit more variety.
We hear frequently that we need to paint a neutral palette to appeal to home buyers, but realistically will you be moving before you renew your mortgage? I know they are also like comfort food but you wouldn’t want to eat the same grub at every meal for the next 5 years would you? No one expects your wall colour to last for generations and be treated as an heirloom. The colour of paint on the wall can simply be the spices and condiments that can let us reinterpret or harmonize our staple furnishings.
Begin by creating a ‘mood board’ of images that appeal, and include the permanent pieces in the room. You will notice a theme start to form or the opposite, a gap where the right colour can provide the connection between old and new. Then take a baby step first. Start with a project that is smaller such as one room or even a single wall (not the window wall – that’s cheating!). It will be much less daunting. Once you feel a bit of satisfaction with your new splash of colour you will have more confidence to proceed to the next space. When working on a small scale such as a feature wall it can allow you to add a little bit more life and sparkle by using a colour that is a little more vibrant without dominating the entire space.
Colours can also manipulate your perception of the proportions of a room ever so slightly by using a warmer or cooler tone, eg: a cooler choice like Grey Wisp can give the feeling of the surface being further away and a warm Sandy Brown would be a closer, more intimate feeling. You can then opt for the colour to be in your soft furnishings such as draperies and linens for small punches.
If you change your mind there are no nasty legal battles, just another little tin of colour.
For more information visit Pacific Paint Centre, 2065 Keating Cross Rd, Saanichton.
It has been both a busy and lazy summer so far. Here’s a sampling of some of the sketch experiments I’ve been doing:
Shortly after my last post regarding the sale of my painting at the Red Art Gallery in Mystery Art Show in June I took my proceeds down to Artworld, a locally owned & operated store to reinvest in a few basic supplies but also to indulge in some new toys such as several kinds of non-traditional paper, watercolour paper & some Magic Color pencils by Koh-i-noor!
I have been making great efforts to use a sketchbook to do a sketch experiment in daily as it doesn’t have the same sort of pressure associated with it as a pricey canvas or large sheet of paper. In my book that I have with me constantly I have been having great fun with the Magic pencils. Here’s a few examples:
Part of what I have been enjoying the most about these pencils is the randomness of the colour placement which can allow me to think outside the box when it comes to color associations and their traditional uses. While you are in control of establishing a general color gamut you just never know which is going to land on the line or how is will morph see during a long stroke where the angle of the pencil changes and the top wears down.
There are always a myriad of colour choices that will work in any situation, as long as the tonal value is appropriate. (Gaye Adams)