Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life Drawing Session - Lace

I find myself with a decent amount of time on my hands and a couple of drawing sessions a week easily available, but I have to admit, it really feels like one of those things you do because it's good for you, and not because you actually enjoy it. And this comes from a girl who runs to work with a 10lb backpack each morning. Generally, especially with the longer poses, I've pretty much lost interest by the hour and a half mark. But a little complicated clothing seems to help. With this one I concentrated on the bra, especially the strap, because getting it to curve just enough to suggest form underneath, without too much exaggeration, was really difficult. Ahhh subtlety. Once again, something I do because it makes me a better artist, and not out of the love for the process. Still, it turned out well eventually.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moleskine Covers

Today the Moleskine cover I made last year was featured on Notebook Stories, and that finally motivated me to figure out how to take some photos to put the other ones I've had hanging around on Etsy. I still don't have most of my stuff, or at any rate, any big white sheets of paper, so I improvised a background with the new shelf and brick wall of my condo. I hope it's neutral enough for some good shots. At any rate, they're good enough for now and I can always redo them when I get a good setup.

I have two covers for the large notebooks:

This one is marbled paper and recycled leather. Available in my shop.

This is linen and recycled leather. I really like the contrast on this one. Available in the shop.

And one small notebook cover:

I think this one is really lovely, and a neat way of using little bits of paper I'd normally throw away. Justification for hoarding? See it in the shop.

I've actually written blog posts about all of these, if you want to check them out, but this is the first time I've had them in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Title Page and Jack's Letter

I've finally started working on my contribution to The Sketchbook Project. Well, actually I did a page last month, but with no real plan of any sort other than to doodle whatever came into my head when I thought about the theme I'd picked, 'The Grey Side of Life.' It went very badly, so I tore out that page, came up with an idea, and started back to work. I decided to do more text based art, thinking about this old sketch I still really like:

Here's the title page. It's just pencil, with a tiny bit of watercolour. I'm trying to retain the sketchy look, so I haven't erased any of my guidelines or the like. I just drew and shaded the letters, wrote a bunch of words that describe my grey life at the moment (good thing the photo's a little fuzzy!) in the background, and added some colour. Well, navy blue in a really light wash, for a bit of interest.

From here I had thought to start documenting 'grey things', like my many grey dresses and shoes (I love grey) or something along those lines. However, on Monday Jack Layton died, and I decided it would be a good subject. For those of you reading this who aren't Canadian, Jack Layton was the leader of the NDP, the official opposition party. He was a very well respected and inspirational leader to many people, and not just his own party, and as such was given a state funeral and motivated spontaneous memorials in major cities across the country. Take a look at the photos of Nathan Phillip's Square in Toronto, the chalk messages are beautiful, and in part a reason for sticking to the same style as the title page, a little in order to mimic the memorial.

The words are from the letter Jack wrote to Canadians before he died. I used the memorable last words for the large text, and the background is the paragraphs addressed to Young Canadians and All Canadians. I ran out of room just before the really political statement about the NDP at the end, which is kind of perfect for my purpose, keeping it a memorial rather than a political statement.

I made the letters just a little too big, so I don't have enough of a margin between the 'My Friends' and the rest of the text, but other than that it turned out very well. I'm really pleased with the layered texture, and pleasantly surprised by how much depth can come with just a grey pencil.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Studio

I'm finally moved into my new, tiny condo. I really like how it's turned, including my postcard collection: 

The print on the top right that says 'People Are Allowed Not to Like It' is one of my favourite pieces. I'm going to get it framed whenever I move somewhere with a bit more wall space. I love it after going to art school, where we had to very snobbily condemn such mundane vocabulary. We only used 'succesful' or 'unsuccesful', never 'good' or 'bad', and 'like' was reserved for the uncultured and uneducated, how dare they.  Though, one should note that this does not apply to the food, as I also have a postcard that says 'Make Your Own Damn Dinner'.

My studio now consists of the eat-in nook (ledge, to be more accurate) in the kitchen, and the cupboard underneath it:

That's the cleaned up and organized version. You don't even want to know what's in my storage room. There will be no painting while I live here, only nice, flat, easily stored drawings and prints. I've got a big roll of newsprint, and I'm going to spend a lot of time simply working on some drafting skills. Here's my first little drawing. It has actually turned out very well, despite the fact that I can't find a pencil sharpner. I'm a little disappointed it isn't on better paper, in fact. Why can't I ever find a pencil sharpner? I do have about 30 pencils, however, so I'll simply go through them instead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Old Stuff

I've been going through all sorts of old stuff in order to get ready for the big move, and came across an CD with photos of some old projects. Most of them were fairly cringe inducing, but there where a few that I still liked. Here they are:

Monday, August 8, 2011

I can See How This Will Quickly Become an Obsession

Has anyone tried Pintrest? It's like Google Images, but filtered so it's only good stuff and I can save whatever I like. I've been on there almost non-stop for a couple of days now. I've got a board for my dream house, and one for book arts ideas.

Speaking of dream houses, and to explain why I haven't posted much recently, I bought a little condo! I'm in the middle of packing everything up and having a massive anti-hoarding session because it's much smaller than my house. I take possession at the end of the week, and am looking forward to setting up some kind of studio (or at least a work station) in my new place. It's very cozy (read: tiny) so we'll see what I can come up with.

 I've been thinking that to celebrate, and because I'll soon be on my 200th post (even at this slow rate), that I should do another giveaway. I have no idea what yet, but if anyone has a feasible idea? I was thinking a print or something.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I love dresses

I have something amounting to an obsession with dresses, especially grey ones for some reason. I don't even get to wear them very often, but I love them dearly. I made a treasurey on Etsy of some of the ones I'd love most. Go take a peek.