Sunday, January 31, 2010

Illustration Friday - Focused

I purchased the coolest little digital camera this week. It is a Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Lumix.  It has 10.1 megapixal resolution, a 12X optical zoom, 25 mm wide angle, 3 preset aspect ratios to choose from, and approximately a gazillion preprogramed settings to make your picture taking experience a confusing but joyous event.  My absolute favorite thing about it at the moment is the pinhole camera setting.  It knocks down the color a notch and gives that beautiful softened and darkened edge created by a real pinhole camera.  You can even get glorious closeups of flowers, bugs, still life setups, whatever, without using the macro setting.  The photo above was one of my favorites so I paired it with a quote for this week's theme but I am including several more images below.  I took all of these yesterday in Lowe's garden department.  Click on any picture to enlarge.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Illustration Friday - Clumsy

Non-Dominant Hand Drawing
Gel Pen and Pitt pen
in my left handed moleskine

I have always been a klutz, but this weeks topic had me remembering much of the last year in which I was recuperating from a broken wrist.  I call my left hand the stupid step sister of the right,  but I was forced to function left-handed almost exclusively for several months while my right hand was healing.  Of course my biggest fear was that it would not heal completely and that it would hamper my ability to make and teach art.  I still had about three months of the school year to get through at the time which was challenge enough.  However, my students were very understanding and patient, and we completed the semester without much hindrance.

One of the things I did to perk myself up and feel better about the whole disaster was to start a left-handed sketchbook.  All the drawings and writing are done entirely with my left hand.  It is far from full, but I still occasionally add entries into it and really enjoy the challenge of working with a clumsy, less than obedient hand.  I admit to being much more sympathetic to my students when they break limbs now.  Every year there is at least one or two who do.  Now I pull out my left-handed sketchbook to give them a little extra encouragement that they can continue to make art and make it through the year.

I am including several of the earliest sketches below, chronicling the healing process.  Click on any of the pictures to view them larger.  Have a happy and SAFE week everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Illustration Friday - Wilderness

Paper Collage
9 x 12 inches
(click image to enlarge)

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

In the spirit of the theme and being "green", this weeks submission is made entirely out of discarded wallpaper samples with just a speck of mulberry paper and pen for the white parts if the eagle.  I also lightly tweeked the scan in Picasa to bump up the saturation and add a bit of evening glow to the sky.  I had considered cheating and using an ATC card that I had made about a week ago before I knew this week's theme, but I am trying to be good and produce something new and specific for the topic each week.  I am posting the card below just because.... I liked it, and it also fits. 

I hope you all enjoy the MLK holiday!  It gives me a little extra time for art making, so I love it!

Snow Spirit
ATC 2.5 x 3.5 inches
mixed media

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Illustration Friday - Confined

Hell hath no fury like a confined fairy.
watercolor and pen
click illustration to enlarge

A pretty straightforward interpretation this week.  This little guy is as mad as a hornet.  I hate to think of the curses and plots for revenge that he is cooking up for his captor.  I have never viewed fairies as sweet delightful little creatures.  They have always been more mischievous and tricksy in my imagination.  Perhaps we should offer him some honey as a gesture of friendship and set him free in the clover patch before he explodes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Illustration Friday - Renewal

Is It Spring Yet?
watercolor and colored pencil
4" x 6"

A last minute submission this week.  Honestly, I wasn't feeling very inspired by this week's word even though it fits the time of year well.  But with the country currently in the grip of an Arctic chill, visions of spring have been dancing around in my daydreams.  We don't have crocuses here in Texas, but I lived in Wisconsin for about a year and a half, and these brave little flowers amazed me with their determination to bloom right through the snow pack.  Spring was nowhere else in sight, but these bright purple and yellow flowers were right there anyway in the little flower bed in front of my house.  They were truly the first sign that the thaw was beginning and the return of sun and green were around the corner.  A fitting symbol for renewal, I think.