Thursday, March 29, 2012

clear coat and silver thread

I got lots done yesterday. I am really getting very excited about this project! I was actually quite proud of how much I'd accomplished. I cut down the dowels. This was mostly impressive because I found a hand saw, and I wasn't sure I'd even be able to locate a hand saw. I was ahead of the game before I started! Yay, me!

So dowels were cut and resanded and given a couple of coats of clear coat. And, yes, I did it outside. Although it was breezy and I did inhale some of it and it was a weird feeling to feel like the inside of my mouth and lungs were clear coated. Plus, it made my coffee taste sorta gross afterwards. A couple of coats, more sanding, a couple more coats. On the last coat a huge wind blew all sorts of tree pollen into the wet sticky clear coat. *sigh* So instead of being done with that part, I am now going to need to resand the dowels to sand the pollen out of it. And then more clear coats are in store.

I also put another wash layer down on the drawings because I wanted them to be darker. I really am glad I went with black ink instead of a color. I didn't want to have any kind of gender perception built into the piece because I used a particular color. And after writing I am beautiful a zillion times over, I'm extra happy with the black and white choice because it reminds me of writing lessons on chalkboards. And after writing that last bit, I've gotten started on my artist statement!

I did some practice sewing to see how I liked the look of it. Decided that black thread was maybe too dark, after all, and then went out to JoAnn where I spent a good 10 minutes debating which grey was best. Turns out silver is what I was looking for.

And in between waiting for things to dry, I got started on the landscape based in part on the 4x6 Exchange painting, which is based on the ink drawing, which is based on a friend's photo. Just a little bit. It's 16"x20".

Monday, March 26, 2012

it's pretty much a wash

Still working on the ink pieces for the You Are Beautiful installation.  I decided my wash was too light and gave them a second coat. No pics because, really, it looks the same. Scroll down to the last post, and you've pretty much got it. The second layer of writing went on far quicker than I expected it to, considering the tiny little nib I was using. (Note: tiny little nibs are really sharp. I dropped a pen yesterday and it went right through my sneaker and stabbed me in the toe.) Usually the second layer is ink writing but I was only planning two layers for these and so I used mask. Almost done with those. I just gave the second layer a second wash, because, again, it's still really light. At some point yesterday I decided there would be more than two layers to these. I'm up to four, I usually do about 8. We'll see.

After the 4th layer's wash.
It's still going to need more layers to darken it up, overall.

In between drying time, I got to work on a little piece for the 4x6 Exchange for the Brooklyn Art Library. The Brooklyn Art Library does lots of cool projects and I've worked on several before: The Fiction Project, The Things I Dream About, and Mail Me Something... For the 4x6 Exchange, each participant is creating a 2-D piece of work that is, not surprisingly, 4"x6". Everybody mails them to Brooklyn, and then they are getting swapped. So someone somewhere will have my painting and I will get something by someone else. The postmark is due at the end of the month, so I need to get on this. This piece is based on a sketch I did of a photo a friend took and it's acrylic on watercolor paper. I'm looking to do a larger piece, 16"x20", so this is kind of the sketch for that later piece. I already had the canvas drawn out when I saw the photo and it's quite similar, so I will eventually be combining them.

Friday, March 23, 2012

an inkling of an inking

I finally got started on the You Are Beautiful piece for next month's installation at Flourish Studios in Chicago. Dowels were sanded, but not yet cut down. I am going to give them a couple of coats of clear coat but it's been rainy here all day so that will wait. Paper is torn down and  the first wash is on them. I have enough pieces started to sew into the frame to make the I. I'm still debating about the two sides, which are essentially negative space. I have a few plans but I think I need to get a little further along with the ink first. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

best laid plans

All these works in progress photos I was going to regularly, yeah. You know the saying about best laid plans...

Here's one! Wood dowels! They've been purchased! Still need to cut two of them down, sand them all and put them together. They will be the frame for some small ink drawings and possibly a few small paintings which I will sew and/or wire together to make the letter I for the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL installation at Flourish Studios. There may or may not be some trace or Mylar involved. It's still a little bit almost entirely in the idea stage. I bought the wood dowels. That was quite a commitment, really. I've got three weeks to get this together.

I have completed a little painting for the Home Sweet Home Earth Day show next month at HAC. I forgot to photograph it in progress. oops. It's little, just 10"x10", so it went fast. This is a real deal landscape, not one of my imaginary figurative pieces. And not plein aire, which I am still wanting to do and should do before it gets actually hot, but a landscape based on the road trip I took to Wisconsin last month. It was just warm enough that the snow was melted on the south side of the road, but still covering the ground to the north. On the way home, there was a great evening haze. There was a distinct crispness in the front fields and an entirely different color in the background. Sort of like a bad blue screen effect, only real. Tentatively titled wisconsin road trip.

And, this brings us to today. When I was out over the weekend the willow trees were a lovely spring green. Most of the trees were still in bud stage, but they've practically all unfurled tiny little leaves now. Even the oaks, which were holding onto a fair share of fall leaves a few days ago. And today it is spring, even though it's been in the 80s for the last week. This is another small one, also 10"x10". I'm not sure if it's done yet, I need to sleep on it. I think it might need some more tension. If it's not done, then this totally qualifies as a work in progress pic. This is another, sort-of-real landscape, based on all the running around I did this weekend. Tentatively titled new spring. I had some bad news yesterday and I could really use a fresh start, soon.

you know, best laid plans.

Monday, March 12, 2012

artist statements: why bother?

I fully admit that artist statements are not my favorite thing to do. I get  it. I want to make art, why do I need to talk about it, too? This weekend two artist statement related things (ASRT)happened.

I had a deadline to submit an artist statement for an upcoming show in Chicago. This is different for me because I am making a piece that will be included in an installation with 14 other area artists. I am making the letter I in the statement YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

That's right, I'm putting the I in beautiful.

The tricky part of writing the artist statement for this piece is...uh, I haven't actually started making it. yet. I will soon. really. soon. really. I have a whole month before I have to deliver it, so I actually have plenty of time. I've thought a lot about it, and that's a good start. More on that in a future post. In the meantime, I sent a generic artist statement.

The second ASRT is I am now curating pop up galleries for my home town. (yay! I'm very excited about this. The more opportunities for artist to show their work and for the public to view art, the better.) To this end, I've been contacting artists that have previously expressed interest. I have asked for artists to send me a resume, artist statement and 6 jpgs. This is standard stuff.

So far three artists said they don't have resumes. One artist, a digital photographer, doesn't know what jpgs are or how to get his photos into his computer. And one artist sent me this:
I do not have a “style” or a “series” of paintings… I have no interest in constant repetition or doing variations of the same concept... for me that does not promote creativity and fresh ideas… I am here to create not to try and see how large my cash value will reach… that will take care of itself.
sigh. The point of an artist statement is to inform the viewer, to give a little bit of extra information. What drives you? Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? What media do you use, and why?

Unless your work is about money, images of money, the mortgage meltdown, the financial crisis, or the recession, you don't need to mention cash. Your artist statement isn't a bill of goods and services. This artist statement says: "I might be a painter. I don't care."  If you don't care, why should anyone else? Why bother?

Friday, March 2, 2012

I thought it was DNA

One of the reasons I thought a blog would be a good idea, was so I could document my work. I started in the last year, taking in-progress pics, just for myself. It was interesting to me how each painting evolved and took on a life of its own. I often ask other artists about their own process, yet, I'm always surprised when someone asks me about mine. So here are some catch up shots of the current painting.

 On Day 1 I thought it was DNA. I mean, that was the working title of this piece. I reclaimed this canvas from an older painting, so the morning was gessoing and more gessoing. I just started to block in some of the composition.

 Day 2, added in some darks and tightened up the composition. At this point I was a little bit lost.

Day 3, decided I needed some angles and began reworking the composition. It was no longer DNA. I was tempted to take it off the easel and start something else, but I decided to just keep working at it. I was wondering where I was going with this. It was starting to feel like it was trying to be an america painting instead of a safety painting.

I have learned to let things go where they need to go. It is a mistake to force something that happens organically.

And here we are, caught up to Day 4. I'm about 75% done. It's now understory.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


A blog. yay?

I decided I finally need to get my social media ducks in a row. Really I've been putting this off for...well, it's time to just give in or give up or jump in or something. I've succumbed.

You can now follow me on twitter @DawnDraws, and on facebook. Will it be too much of a good thing? Who knows! I'm already feeling the pressure to be extra witty.