Thursday, June 6, 2013

An Apple a Day Keeps the Stars in Line

This month I planned an Illustration and Drawing show at Carrollwood Cultural Center. I thought it would be wildly popular. So much for my ideas! It was not wildly anything, and I was scraping and scrounging for work. I had to frame work for several friends, as well as myself, to get a few more entries, and when I realized that I might have a real bomb on my hands I brought home a drawing I started in my Drawing class to finish at home in order to have one more entry. Two of my students wanted to try ink drawings and I set this up to show them how to do it. Yes, there is a light pencil sketch under that ink!
An Apple a Day Keeps The Stars in Line         Sepia Ink on Bristol Plate

The show is hung and judged and it actually came off fairly well, in spite of my jitters and extra work. I don't do ink drawings very often, as I like to "color" with my graphite pencils. Ink has its problems, the main one, obviously, is about erasing and making mistakes. There is just so much you can do with whiteout. The main problem with making ink drawings is how to do graduated tones when you only have the one tone of the ink itself. You must indicate values by various hatchings, stipples, stripes, and other devices to make it appear lighter and darker where you want shadows and highlights to be. I never liked most of my previous ink drawings, although seeing some of them again, years later, they didn't seem so bad as I had remembered. Perhaps I'm mellowing, because I started to like this drawing early on, and used tracing paper overlays to "test" the wavy lines to see if I liked them, before making a commitment that could not have been changed.
Matted and framed, this drawing may be one of my favorites. As an aside, the photograph above seems to imply it is on grey paper, but it is actually on a white paper, and I need to reshoot the photograph to get it to appear on white paper, and not a grey. 

Miss Puss Thinks She Is a Gift

Graphite on Grey Rives BFK paper 22 x 30
This was a  fun drawing that we did. "We" means, me and Miss Puss, as she tromped merrily across the paper many times, rubbing her back on my chin, tip-toeing across my drawing the way cats do when they seem pleased. I had to erase a few faint cat footprints, but I didn't care, as I thought they might add to the ambiance of my artwork. They looked like stray smudges from a distance.

I took the photo of Miss Puss as she played in a tangle of transparent ribbons I had bought for my painting called "Fugue" which featured many vertical ribbons fixed to the top of the stretcher bar. I had these ribbons on my work table and of course this kind of thing is irresistible to most felines. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots of her messing around in this tangle. Unfortunately my photos were not very good and I had to fiddle around with various means in my photo editing software to see those ribbons. Some of them were almost invisible as they were yellow and pale blue against the white of the table top. I bought some software that I was not sure I would ever use, Topaz Labs Filters, which messes with images in various ways, and I got an image that gave me a reasonable idea of how those ribbons flowed.