Happy to report the Punkin finally got his spring haircut. He is a fraction of his usual self, very neat and splendid. I fretted over this little thing while he was out in the van in the driveway. He got an excellent in deportment, my little guy, and Dierdre is happy to add him to her long list of happy little canines. And there is a raft of them. I told her that must bee because she is good at what she does. It is such a blessing to be good at what one does. Happiness is a fluffy duck, and a sweetly shorn puppy.
Back to the drawing board, so to speak. THIS is my style, lots of marks that show, on dark paper (some of it even showing through the finished work), expressive and bright. This is "The Elder". He is my fourth lion in my current wild animal opus. He has a fierceness and a sweetness at the same time. I did him fast, as I usually do, but as a concession to my recent teacher, I went back into the painting for some fine tuning. Not a lot, just a little. Now satisfied. That could change. Art is so very subjective. My goal has been to find what works for me, and so far, this is it. That could change, too. A wise woman whose art is terrific, and highly personal, once told me to just keep playing. I am happy to follow that advice. For the rest of my little life.
I took some pastel lessons from a really fine, acclaimed artist, who doesn't know anything but his own style. Now I know more than he does, because I know mine AND his. Here is a glammed up self-portrait done in his way, very saturated and smoothed out. Well, it makes me look really young, not a bad thing. He even wanted me to smooth out the hair. Didn't do that. Now, I think this style is admirable, and useful for when I am doing a picky piece, like a floral still life, maybe. He uses sanded paper, which is hard for me because I am so heavy-handed, I make oodles of dust. I am debating putting my glasses on, which would make it much more like me. Oh, well, live and learn. I just keep trying new things, thinking I will stumble upon that which would make me revered and desired and immortal, that would be nice, too.
I signed up for a pastel class. My thought process said, well, I taught myself this medium, and since I knew nothing about it when I started, maybe I still know nothing and there is much to learn. (Actually, I had a book, and tried a lot of stuff before settling on the style I now employ.) The baby artist in me said there is much to learn, little one. And this very French guy is a renowned artist. Surely he knows more than I? So I bought the sanded paper, which I had tried before and was pretty unimpressed, made lots of dust under my heavy hand. And, yes, I made mounds of dust. I chose to do a self portrait, since I was the only subject at hand. No, this isn't it, it is still unfinished. What, you say? More than one session on a painting? Yes, French guy is pretty picky picky. And, yes, it looks like a painting. A kind of very smooth version of cowwoman. Nuts. I like my toothy paper. I like the fact that you can tell it is not a painting. I like the challenge of layering the pigments for dimension. And I did this as my computer geek guy was hooking up my new CPU. No more games of Freecell waiting for the Internet to graciously appear on my monitor. Patience is not my virtue, guys. And I love this guy. The buck, I mean. Also love the geek, and if anyone needs one of those, I know where to find him.
This is me trying to be a) neat and b) superlative with my drawing homework. Neither goal was met, but aiming for it never hurts. Punkin took off with my kneaded eraser, so I grabbed another from the pencil box, and it was dirty, so now I have a couple of blotches on my pristine page. I like working with transparent objects, they are so much more expressive on the page, when one can discern after they are rendered that they are, indeed, transparent. Sigh. I followed the instructions of doing the shading as recommended by the teacher, but cheated in that I used my tortillons and eraser shield, not currently on the supply list. Showing off, that's the cowwoman. See what I know. Yay me. More coming, and that cannot be a bad thing. The more I practice, the better I will become, yes? Must get a supply of erasers or I will be searching for them on the back psuedo-lawn. over and over again. Happiness is an HB pencil and a sketchbook. And knowing where your eraser is.
The cowwoman felt that her work was too static, which means I had become my own teacher, and that is a way to get really stuck with the art. So I signed up for some drawing lessons from a local artist. He believes in learning to draw from the mind rather than rendering objects you can actually see. This has never been my forte, but, hell, I am willing to try anything. Here is my first lesson, drawing a can from the right perspective. I actually embellished my can with other lessons I had learned, like weighting the line so that it is heavier when in shadow and lighter on the side of the ambient light. I got a big nono when I left raccoon prints on my nice clean drawing, and was admonished to always rest my hand on a stationary paper towel. That alone was worth the $40 I spent (for 4 two hour classes, being a senior doesn't ALWAYS suck, you know), and I was so impressed with this guy I signed up for his pastel classes, too, which means I need to dig in the muck that is my studio to find all the goodies I need. Or buy new ones. Gee that sounds like fun, actually. New pastels are just like a new jumbo box of Crayola crayons, and remember how exciting that was? Jumping up and down here like a little kid. Figuratively speaking, of course.
A funny thing happened while I was changing my password at ATT.com, after, once again, forgetting my old one. Big warning came up - password too weak. Gee, does that mean someone could hack into my account and pay my bill for me? One less thing to worry about. Many other things to take its place, of course. Like, when will spring really arrive? Will the laundry ever get done? Why does the vet need my birthdate for Punkin's meds? Will I be able to find my way through the Oakland maze of freeways to get to my daughter's house? Who do I call to enroll in Christian Quinlin's drawing class since the one I did enroll in is cancelled? Will they give me back my $100 without a hassle? And then there is this painting. A friend brought me the reference photo. Easy-peasy, I thought. I guess there is no way to make a mature bear cute. And would I really want to do that? Contrary to my usual method of painting, which is slap, slap, slap, done, this one took an extraordinary amount of time, and a couple of sessions, too. I am not displeased, and the longer I look, the better it seems. Stephen King says to throw your work on the floor and walk on it for a while to keep it from becoming too precious. Maybe the table would be a better place for the bear.