Handses.

No, I didn’t get any further on the swan.  I started reading and the will to do anything else just seeped out of my pores.

A while ago I discovered one of the glaring omissions in my art skills was the ability to draw hands, along with feet and faces.  I’ve spent a year studying faces.  Now I’m onto hands.  I carry around a Hand Book (hur hur) in my bag with me when I go out, in case I have to wait around a while, or have to sit in the clinics where I work or studied waiting for clients.  I also realised a while ago that while I’m pretty good at colour I’m not confident with line, which added a double motivation for keeping the Hand Book.

These were all done with biro.

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Motivation, or is it Public Shaming?

I’ll get on with “motivating” myself in preparation for tomorrow’s precious day off.  Really it’s bullying, and I believe Lady Gaga has several things to say about that.  (I trust they’ll follow her usual format of two verses and a chorus repeated about seventeen times.  Oh, I quake in terror.)

You see, I’ve had this thing that’s been laying around for quite some time.  The bugger with being a pastel artist is that you can’t just fling them around willy-nilly as you’re working on them, so if you get busy or it stops talking to you, your pieces tend to linger on the easel, preventing you from going on to the next thing until you get your act together.  At the moment there’s a lot of Next Things in the queue and I really need to get cracking

So.  I’ve got this swan.

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It’s been sitting on my easel for a couple of months while I got through the last third of a very intense college course, Christmas, being busy at w*rk, and generally being wiped out by our hot and sticky sub-tropical summer.

Tomorrow it’s time.  I’ve set aside today for doing the jobs.  I’ve washed things, I’ve given the fish a bath (they weren’t amused), I’ve scrubbed the bathroom, I’ve gotten my hair did and I’m about to get cracking on a marketing task that’s been hanging over my head for ages.

Tomorrow is Art Day.

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Or else.

Really those reasons above are just excuses.  I’ve really been dawdling because the swan as is was started for therapeutic reasons when stressed and miserable and I’m worried that now that I’ve mellowed out again I won’t be able to carry the same mood through to the other wing.

What I want is a smug sense of serenity to project forward to the viewer.  If a swan can’t be self-satisfied nothing can.  I’ve noticed quite often that art meant to promote a mellow feeling to the viewer is very one-dimensional as to meaning and interpretation.  Isn’t smugness a nice relaxing feeling sometimes?

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Anyway.  Tomorrow.  Or else.

And I’ll fix it’s neck while I’m at it.

Greatest Hits

Why not start off with putting up some of my old stuff that I like so that all three of you have got an idea of what my starting point is.

(Spoilers: There’s a lot of soft pastel.)

For a start there’s my lovely magnolias:

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From a photo I’d taken while on a trip to the Blue Mountains.  I’ve yet to get this one framed.  Silly of me.

While I was there I also took the photo on which this is based at the Leura Cascades (you bet your backside it’s framed).  My favourite attempt at a landscape so far:

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I’ve also done a metric tonne of life drawing over the years:

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Which then turned into lots of practice at portraiture, after I realised that my sketch books from life drawing did not contain anything much by way of feet, hands or faces.  It was all very archaeological.

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THEN I realised I wasn’t that fabulous at drawing people wearing clothes either, so I started attending the local chapter of Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.  Most capital cities the world over have one.  Basically, you go to a pub and draw burlesque dancers in their costumes.  (You should go).  Little did I know then that Dr Sketchy’s is the gateway drug into the world of Burlesque.  (I regret nothing!)

Meet Miss Burlesque Queensland 2012, Miss Alyssa Kitt:

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Yes, she really is that good at backbends.  Go and ask Youtube.  I’ll wait here.

And while we’re at it, meet the lovely lady in my header, Miss Burlesque Gold Coast 2011 Bella de Jac:

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So far Bella’s been my most public success as an artist, winning me second prize in the Ipswich Portrait Awards a few months ago.

The private successes?  Wait and see.

I can only apologise in advance…

For that which is about to be inflicted on your retinas.  I don’t have photos of cats doing silly things (YET!), so I’d say about 2/3 of you are about to click on another thing.  Fair enough.  We all know that the modern world doesn’t know how to communicate without the aid of 1.a picture of a cat or 2. phonetic text speak.

So why am I here then, if I’ve got the gall to both turn up without a photo of some misanthropic feline (they’re just like us!) and a refusal to stop at least attempting to spell?  That’s a very big question to ask, Charlie Brown.  Why are we all here, for that matter.  Out of all the specks of cosmic dirt in all the whirling chaos that we attempt to pin down with things like physics and time, right now there is you and me, both looking at a screen.  It’s a Sunday here on my speck of dirt, in my bit of chaos, and I’m starting a blog like I said I would instead of cleaning out the fish tanks.

This is going to be an artist’s blog, with me, the artist.  I’ll attempt do do things that look pretty.  I’ll attempt to make you think.  I’ll be a palate cleanser in between all of those photos of funny cats.  I’ve tried keeping another blog before, one that was much more personal, and back in the mists of time that was 2004, this was perfectly acceptable.  These days?  Not so much.  I’ve got a living to maintain these days, you see, and that’s supposed to involve less lazy public whining, because unfortunately I didn’t grow up to be a food critic.  That and honestly, nobody really cares.

But!  The art thing?  I’d like to make a document of.  I’d like to start a dicussion.  I’ll probably end up frothing away about the plethora of half-baked half-arsed abstracts that there are filling the world (because GOOD GRIEF, PEOPLE!  That stuff was not for sniffing!)  I’d like to show works in progress.  I’d like to take a rare opportunity to put my thought processes in coherent order.

I’d like to see what else is out there.

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Stick with me, Charlie.  It gets better.