Friday, October 13, 2017

Triptych times

So there was this incredibly LOOONG spell, between my creative muses. I put it down to being uncomfortable with my mediums. I've tried painting, charcoal, pastel, watercolour, different kinds of crayons, pencils, and even collage. No matter what I tried though, my muse always felt stifled. So I had to force it onto the page.

Naturally, that kind of creativity isn't enjoyable - so I've been avoiding the studio, ever since. But then something dawned on me recently. I was listening to music with my headphones, and the main lyric in the chorus was, "write your story on my heart." Don't ask me why, but that repeated chorus ignited an old story, in my heart.

Me, a piece of paper and a pencil - that's how it all began. From as early as I can remember, this is how I taught myself to draw. Three muses, like a trio of musicians, working together to find the right note. Was this, what I was missing? Then my subject matter, suddenly fell into my lap...


Violinist #1


Using an image online as a rough guide, I started to play with lines, in ways I haven't felt confident doing before. I played with the long diagonal of the bow, contrasting with the neck of the violin. Then, completely out of the blue, she was wearing a curved hat, with extra lines to match the bow. Was it even meant to be a hat? I was just playing with what lines could express.


Violinist #2


Another violinist, but this time, her stance was more subdued. The bow was almost vertical, as if she was willing the perfect note into being. I played with her hair, to make the curves, mirror the shape of the violin. But after I finished the sketch, it felt out of balance somehow. So I added a large spherical object - most likely a moon, in the background. It embraced her and the violin.


Cellist


To finish the triptych, I needed a cello player. To my surprise, it was the cello that wasn't going to play second-fiddle, here. As I continued to sketch, it filled up more of the page and hid the cellist. I liked this contrast, against the other two musicians. I wasn't sure how to treat the face, so cast shadows across her eyes. Which looked more like a blindfold. I decided it was acceptable. Because it was like the cello could play itself, without seeing the eyes or expression of the musician.

I knew when my muse hit me, what I was missing in the studio. Illustration. It was how I became an artist, in the first place. It's the one thing I don't have to force. I've decided to dance with illustration once more, and see where it leads me.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tranquility piece

It's been ten months since I worked in my studio. Nesting priorities, come first at this stage in my life. But what was working against me getting back in there, was having my studio overtaken with remnants of a quilt project, and anything else we cared to dump, when visitors were expected

I did a massive clean recently, and reclaimed my creative space. To mark this special occasion, I selected a subjected matter, I hoped would create a sense of tranquility and reflection, in my new space.




I found a picture online, of a young girl, playing with water from a jetty. But she had a frilly skirt on, and I wanted to create a lady. So I sketched with charcoal, something more from my mind - using the online image for cues.

I started with hot pick and green acrylic paint, for a more abstract use of colours. But the more I added, the more I found the pink burning into my retina. I wanted something more tranquil.




Using white gesso, helped me tone back the pink, with just a hint remaining. I could probably play with this piece some more, but figured it went against the tranquility I was aiming for. Too many details would have forced me to concentrate, more than I actually planned to.

So I leave it on my wall as a reminder, not to force creativity. Just accept it, how it flows sometimes.

Materials used: watercolour paper, charcoal, gesso, acrylic paint and water soluble, artbar.