This was my second week of drawing class at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Last week we did a one-hour drawing of a cardboard box, and I didn't post that because I thought it was dull...but the drawing process was good and challenged us on perspective and texture. I posted my first gesture drawing of some flowers instead, and.I was happy with that.
This week's one-hour drawings were of yarn or cord. I chose a ball of yarn, but was thinking---another boring project! Why did I sign on for this? I mean, I can do it--but why? I made a little loop on the front to at least add some interest and then set to work because that is what I was there for.
Well, by the end of the class I have a whole new attitude about drawing yarn. I am not completely satisfied with this drawing, and would have needed a few more hours to finish it. I may have overworked it. As it was, I chose to give the loop emphasis and to briefly sketch the rest. With more time, I may have built more of a diagonal leading to the loop. I am very happy with the appearance I was able to get of the softness of the yarn itself....so, with more time, I may have instead softened the specific threads around the loop. Lots to think about. Drawing yarn is not boring, and I am happy to get back into drawing! By the way, size is 18" x 24," so it is pretty big for a drawing of a ball of yarn.
I didn't get it until this year. The cherry blossoms in Washington DC are amazing---really, they are---but part of the experience is understanding that it will only be a few days that thwy cam be appreciated. You literally have to make your plans around the blooming cycle. So this year I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Tidal Basin, site of the amazing cherry trees that were a donation on the city of Tokyo to Washington DC, and experience the beauty. It was so crowded, and you hear speech in many languages, but it is unbelievably beautiful. I had tears a lot of the time because of the beauty. I am so grateful that I was able to walk around the Tidal Basin and appreciate these blooms and what they mean. I recently had the revelation that the message of the cherry blossoms is that events in our lives are fleeting and we must pay attention or they are gone. The bloom on these cherry trees are visible for a very few days. You must pay attention or you will miss them.
Remember that. It has a lot to do with your whole life.. I have read haiku almost my whole adult life and wondered why the cherry blooms are such a compelling subject. Now I know.
I did this sketch on a bench looking out to the Jefferson Memorial from one of many vantage points. This one happened to have an empty bench, which was rare because there were many fans of the blooms present. It's not my greatest work...but it will always have meaning to me.
I began a new drawing class tonight, and I am inspired to return to the blog. Informally, it will now be known as Plum Gallery East, because I am in Washington DC. This drawing is certainly not the best of my work (and my photo doesn't help) but I am proud of getting back into drawing from life. I just haven't been doing it, and this was my first attempt tonight. Recently, I took a few classes in Alexandria where we painted from photos. The teacher was very good, and I loved the whole setting, but I need to get back into the sketching/drawing routine....and also to plein air, now that the weather is warming up. This sketch was fun. It is a one-minute effort....so it is very "sketchy." I enjoyed that a lot.
The class is about a block from my house! Some people would say less, but I say it is two half-blocks, meaning one block. The teacher is great. We actually did quite a bit of practice on perspective by drawing a cardboard box. That was fun, too. Plus, we could enjoy wine while drawing. It may not get any better than this....though my plan is for my drawing to get better.
I posted this work as an abstract a couple of days ago. It was an underpainting for a collage related a Feng Shui exercise. I really liked it, but decided to do what I had set out to do. So, I went ahead and glued my images on the board. Thank you again, Joyce, for the inspiration. Artistically, I liked the abstract underpainting, but the collage has a lot more meaning. Vision boards are not usually shared publicly, so I won't go into the details of what it means...or what it means to me. Suffice it to say there are a lot of good things in my future, including "Arteriors," reading and travel. I love the quote that ended up pretty much in the center of the composition. It is "One should always be a little bit improbable" -Oscar Wilde. I also love the cast on the arm that has an impressionist painting on it. I have been having trouble with my right arm and have learned that it is a torn rotator cuff. I am improving now that I have a diagnosis and physical therapy. I was thinking of making some beauty out of my pain. I think this board will evolve. My plan is to add other things that are meaningful as I come acroos them. It is about 36" x 36" in size, so has room for a lot of addition ideas. I'm glad I used the tissue background because some of the areas need more input. The lower right had has the door to the world. That is how I am feeling right now.
Today, I went to a workshop conducted by my friend Joyce Gotsch. The idea was to create a vision board of our intentions, goals, desired achievements, etc for the coming year in nine Feng Shui areas. Joyce did such a great job and gave us boards divided into the nine areas. We leafed through magazines to find images that would help us remember our intentions for those nine areas. I got a lot of images, but didn't get to the point of collaging them just yet.
I had an idea to block out the nine areas with a tissue paper "underpainting." This was for two reasons.....one was to kind of define the areas and another was so I wouldn't have so much white space on the foam core board. I got some tissue paper in colors and assembled the underpainting, which is above. I am actually pretty happy with it as an abstract painting right now, and don't feel like I want to start gluing stuff on it just yet. I'll think about it overnight and then decide what to do.
My labyrinths look great at the Lane Gallery as Gila Lane and her staff have done a good display job. "Being There" is the current show, and I sure identify with labyrinths as being a place to be!
I'll pick up the paintings on Monday, and they will be in storage until ??? My decision now is to focus on travel. I'll be going to California/Arizona/New Mexico in mid-Febuary and March and Paris in April...including some time in DC enroute and returning. What a blessed life!
If you go, you'll also enjoy the work of Celeste Bergin, Elizabeth See and the other artists there. Hope you can make it. I had to use the poster twice because it is so good.
Here's the very creative card for the January show at the Lane Gallery. I love the whole feel of it!!! I won't be able to be at the reception because I am still on the East Coast, but will be returning soon. Hope my Portland friends can make the show. If not, hope we can coordinate a time to visit together.
I am seeing lots of art, of course! Spent some time today with "beloved friends" at the National Gallery of Art. My "beloved friends" are paintings I try to see every time I come to DC. I love how the people of the United States own so much really good work!