Painting sideways

Something novel to try.   The next time you are drawing or painting from a photograph, try turning your image upside down, or sideways.  It forces you to look at the image completely differently.  I had a interesting photo of a pond, that I thought would make a nice basis for an abstract, so I turned it sideways, and then proceeded to paint, using pastels, the colours and lines that I saw, without any regard for making it 'real'.  To my complete surprise, when I turned it back the 'right' way - I discovered this...   and I really love the luminosity pastel gives the water.

This was an interesting experiment, and one that I will probably repeat.  I wonder if it will also work with faces too?

Although I am on holidays, it has been so cold and miserable weather I havn't ventured much into the studio.    However we are getting quotes to replace the two garage doors with glass windows and a glass sliding door - which face north / north west - which means a lot more natural light coming in - they will really make a difference in here.   During holidays we are always up late, sleeping in, doing other things, that I havn't been able to find a good routine for being creative. 

Just for fun

Just for fun - I finally got around to finishing this one!  It's for a birthday present - so shhh don't tell anyone!


Pastel Portrait Fun

Tonight:  Pastel Portrait. Sting & George Michael. Real Loud. Fun. And lots of capitals.  

Why is it now that my kids are teens they are telling me to turn down my music? 


Portrait one liners

 Picasso of course excelled at one liners - deceptively simple drawings using one continuous line.  I've done a few of these in recent weeks, and thought I'd share the latest editions to the family

Trying to capture the essence of the person and their emotion in one single line is challenging.  It requires a distillation process of choosing the most important line and angle to reflect that which is crucial to that point in time.  Simplifying to a single black line on white... maybe that's why I like doing these so much.


She Sees possibilities

“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern.” ~ Abraham Heschel

One of my favourite all time quotes. 

Modern Woman?

I went to the Queensland Art Gallery on the weekend, specifically to see the exhibition of Modern Woman - Drawings from the Musee D'Orsay, Paris.  It featured drawings and pastels of famous artists like Degas, Renoir, La'Trec, and  Mary Cassett plus many more.  It was a feast for the eyes.  What made this time period, 1850- 1918 so interesting is because this was the first time drawing came into it's own as a serious art, and not just a precursor for a painting or sculpture.   Of course I loved the Degas, and all the pastel works!
Interesting also is the change in how women were depicted - and there is a distinct move from women being objects and possessions, to now being depicted in their everyday states, and all class of women.  Peasants feeding the chickens in the village street, laundry women, and ballet dancers stretching are also often depicted from unusual vantage points.

After walking through the exhibition of course we had to go to the gallery shop and buy the book.   But I also found Fruits, the book of Japanese street fashion.  I saw a regional exhibition of these photos last year - and it was so entertaining, refreshing, engaging that when I saw the book marked down 50% - well I had to get that also!  Japanese street fashion is worth googling, to see what happens when an area of young people - teens through to twentys, decide to go against the flow and dress very, very, differently.  

There is perhaps a whole metaphor here about progression from being an object depicted on canvas, and of women being and dressing as they like, where their choices of dress became the artform.  Where art is seen, and viewed, in the everyday, rather than the everyday captured and then framed behind glass. 


Decision time following survey

So, I had to make a decision.  Firstly thanks to everyone who is visiting here.  I can see lots of people dropping by!

For the two who posted a comment regarding my class survey - also a huge thankyou!  I put 2 numbers in a hat and drew one out - 1 being for the 1st comment posted, and yep a 2 for the second comment posted - highly technical I know!  The winner was Treena and family - I will contact you via email to arrange to send you a small altered page as promised!

So back to the decision - to do an art class or not?  I've decided not at this point.    Although creating an art class is so very rewarding, I think I'm ready for a little solitude and reflection -  a bigger commitment to working on my own art for the next term is where my heart is.    I don't plan too far ahead though, and so I totally leave my options open for after that!    I will get around to updating the links and info for the Art Basics class ( open for self guided study) real soon anyways!

A place not just a space

A night spent sorting my art supplies (an on going project), and drawing and playing with mixed media... I found an old box of compressed charcoal and later did this sketch with it and some pastel.

I have a goal of sorting and organising my art supplies and finding a home for everything.    The studio currently has about half the space wasted with 'stuff' still to be sorted, given away or sold... things of our life that don't have a home in our new house, things we've outgrown, or stopped needing, or don't use.    Beyond getting rid of the excess, and putting things away however, I don't want this room to be just a 'space' that has 'stuff' - creative or otherwise.  I want it to be a place.   A space just is.  It occurs, but has no further meaning beyond just existing.  I want this room (O.K. read garage - but it has great potential!), to have meaning and purpose, and to be a place. A creative place.
A place to share.
A place to be.
A place to breathe.
A place to create.

So that gets me thinking - what makes a space into a place?
What would make your creative 'space' a 'place'?


work in progress - secret code

Untitled. Charcoal & pastel on tinted paper. 2012
A work in progress, and number four in a series of works from same inspiration.

I was sooooo scared of working on a tinted background support.  But now I find I really, really like it. Really.
And don't you love how artists can get away with saying, 'work in progress' - almost like its code for 'well, I'm not sure yet if this is finished or not!' - well it is my code anyways!  I almost want to take the intense orange right to the head, and I just as equally don't... so it will have to sit there for a week while I see what develops!


endings, beginnings and a survey!

There are 2 1/2 weeks until I am officially unemployed.  Teaching reading intervention for a short couple of hours a day has been very, very rewarding, and I will be very sad to finish.  But the contract is finishing.   The downside is of course the reduced income.  The upside is I will be able to devote more time to the things I love to do: more sourdough breads, planning the new vege garden, finally being able to finish unpacking after the move, and of course seriously focusing on being creative.  I have heard it said, 'well you just have to fit art in around your work', and I guess many do just that - but it is hard work trying to do it all!

So I guess that is what sparked the idea of thinking about, possibly, offering a new art course.  Oh and course I was asked!  But, seriously, I have to ask myself is it worth it?  I know I enjoy doing that sort of thing.   But it does require many, many hours of editing, and creating the video, and uploading, and setting up the web pages... yawn, yawn... but you get the idea.

so - here's an idea for you all - lets do a survey.   Yes this is a cheats way.  I want to test the waters before committing - is that O.K?  Everyone who leaves a answer to the question below in the comments section of this post goes into the draw for an original altered book page with one of my drawings on it :-)

The question to answer is:

Would you pay $75 for a 6 month long, online Miss Linnylou's Art + Journalling course - like what I've described?

Love to hear your feedback!  The bottom line is - if I get an amazing response then this is a goer and I devote 100% of my time in the studio- with a camera running!  If I get 10 yeah, maybe's - then I'm free to devote 100% of my time in the studio - a win-win for me!

Survey closes Friday 8th June - just leave your answer & feedback in the comments below to go into the draw!

Hope everyone's having a art filled week!

*** update:  Draw will take place today (Sun) - and update on results to follow tomorrow!! ***

Answers to questions...

Hi all! I can see there has been a lot of interest in my 'putting it out there' contemplation of an art class...visitors from all over the world - amazing and welcome to all!

I've had two great questions on the yahoo group...

 "Loved the video of the Go with the Flow pages.. Would the class be like that use of different materials, along with the prompts etc.?" by Janine and,

"Would this be a class for a beginner,beginner? The only thing I know about art is that I like it and want to use it in my journal." by Barbara.

The class, as I think about it, will have 1 short video a week of me demonstrating the creation of a art journal page - as my own response to the weekly prompt. I use a wide variety of styles, techniques, tools etc. It probably won't have voice over - just a fast motion of the creation of the page set to music. It's easier for me that way - and hoenstly when I watch videos I'd rather just watch the flow of the creativity and skip the 'now i'm going to add some...' part - buts that's just me. The 'go with the flow' video was a little shakey because the table was wonky! I have fixed that - it was annoying to have it shake!

The second video will be more specific instruction on a particular skill, idea, or concept. I keep them short an' sweet!

For beginner beginners - yay! We were all beginner beginners once! All you need to bring is your paper, pencil and desire to be a part! Because most of the ideas and skills behind art journalling are not about technical skill, anyone from beginner up is welcome! We will explore and have fun with line, colour, paint, drawing, writing, collage, faces... and anything else that comes along!

 The more technical skills of getting proportion right, drawing faces - are approached in a straightforward matter. So much of the msytery about art can really be broken down to simple steps... but it is where we take it from there - within our own practice, context, desire, emotion, and interpretation that makes it uniquely ours!

 Does that explain things further? Stay tuned as I have a list of ideas that I'll add here this afternoon...

A general list of ideas for content for the skills videos... this is a brainstormed list that is not in any particular order, and is not set in concrete, and which is open for suggestions for content to be added!

1. why art journal? why art?
2. contour drawing. what is gesso and do I need it?
3. adding colour ( pen and pencil, watercolour, acryllic, pen and watercolour, backgrounds etc)
4. gesture drawing
5. faces!
6. faces 2 - adding shading
7. faces 3. details - easy eyes & noses
8. adding collage
9. stream of consciousness - creating from nothing
10. What do I feel?
11. getting proportions right
12. distortion & mess
13. abstraction - line
14. abstraction - colour
15. using gesture and contour
16. cutsey faces 1
17. altered books - using art journal skills to alter a small book to create a momento / memory book
18. cont.
19. using repetition for affect
20. shading and texture
21. taking photos for inspiration & manipulating
22. sketching with line and pen
23. using the library - a fab free resource
24. Child like
25. Cutsey faces 2.
26. Celebrations

.... any other ideas you like to see added to the list?


Creative Encouragment Art Class Anyone?

Thought I would put this idea out there and see what happens...

I am contemplating doing another online art course - and there are lots of options!
But having done lots of online art courses myself, and knowing what I liked and disliked :-) here's what I am thinking of...for Miss Linnylou's Creative Art + Journalling Class...

A no nonsense, no fuss online art class ( there won't be 20 mins of me rambling away merrily!)
low/ no cost suggestions for adding spark and interest to your art journal + join me in simplicity and a "no art supply envy allowed" zone
a weekly art demonstration via video
weekly art journal prompt - with tips for those new to art journalling
a place to share your art within the community
how to capture your creative spark
how to bounce your ideas from art journal to a artwork
skills to develop your drawing and hand-eye co-ordination
learn to draw cutsey, girly faces
learn easy techniques to draw accurate faces
abstraction - draw like Picasso, Modigliani, Kandinsky & Klee!
Put in your art lesson request ideas - I'll do my best!
Altered books - how to create an altered book as a special momento as a gift

I have 26 weeks of art skills and art journal prompt ideas... and that's without any requests!  I will only pre-record a few weeks to allow for flexibility and creativity... in otherwords - I'll go with the flow and help you along your journey!  (Warning - I've never attempted oils, but I have a new set just waiting for an excuse to crack open the tube!)

Anyone interested in joining me for a journey of fun, art, creativity, community, journalling, faces, reflection, simplicity?

New pages added

So, I finally go my act together tonight, and added the extra web pages I've been meaning to!  

There is now a gallery of my art, a page for art classes, and a page about moi!  You'll see the tabs along the top... enjoy :-)


Revisiting contour drawing

Art Journal - contour drawing, with colour added for fun!

I have rediscovered an old favourite - contour drawing.  I love this technique.  Anyone can do it.  It improves your hand eye co-ordination.  It forces you to focus.  It is easy, cheap, productive, expressive, individual. You can use anything that will make a mark. 

Essentially all that is required is paper and a drawing tool of some description.  Without looking at your paper you draw the contour or edges of what you are looking at, carefully following with your eye and imagining you are drawing along the edge.   You keep drawing, without lifting your pencil.  If you need to re-position your pencil can you back trace over a line, or reposition your pencil if absolutely needed, with a quick glance to your page.  Blind contour drawing is where you position yourself where you cannot see your page ( maybe by taping a sheet of paper over your hand, or standing to one side of your easel).   It is often used in art classes as a warm up to drawing, followed by a gesture drawing.

I actually did it in reverse order here... I did the charcoal portrait first, then analysed the photo, then the contour drawing - doesn't really matter!    However, what I have noticed is that the more familiar I become with a subject the more I see... the certain slant of the eye, curve of the chin. 

I don't know why I stopped doing contour drawings.  Maybe just due to the rushes of daily living.   I used to do a lot in my art journal - of the things around the house, or of unsuspecting family members.   Done with a black pen they make for fabulous little vignettes with a colour wash added, and it is back on my artistic list of things to do more of.

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