Artist’s Date :: A week of selfies

When I was trying to decide what to do for my Artist’s Date this week I scoured the interwebs for ideas and came across a list of 101 artist date ideas. When I read item 41 Take a self portrait every day I heard my inner artist go…uuuuh NO! But then my inner sadist said…oooh YES!

I really really really hate having my photo taken…so the thought of taking a photo of myself everyday for a week was somewhat daunting, but I figured that it would be a good challenge. By forcing myself out of my comfort zone I am pushing myself to see things in a different way. I am pushed to get creative in a way that I wouldn’t normally…and usually it has a flow on effect.

So, I caved in and joined the cult of Instagram and started snapping away. By the end of the week I was so relaxed about the whole deal that I took a pic without the benefit of makeup πŸ™‚

This is the result.

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Artist’s Date :: Mt Arawang lunch

This week’ artist’s date has brought me to the top of the little hill behind where I live. From here I can see all the way into the city and if I had binoculars I’d be able to see mountain bikers on Mt Stromlo. I chose this as my date this week because I needed the perspective that rising above it all can bring…and exercise also tops up my creativity tanks. I brought my sketch gear, but I don’t think I’ll use it. I’m enjoying just being πŸ™‚

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Canberra is a beautiful city! This is a near perfect winters day.

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My companion sprawled out on a rock reading his kindle.

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I have coffee… All is well with the world πŸ™‚

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Playing with pastels

I was given a neat little tin of pastels for Christmas and decided yesterday that it was time to pull them out and have a go. The person that gave them to me is into classic cars, so I drew a couple of favourites that pop up in conversation from time to time.

 
5-2012 // Ghost of Vantage Past

6-2012 // Dangerous Curves

I loved it! Pastels are so quick and responsive and I love the feeling of the chalky pencil dragging over the toothy paper, followed by the buttery blending as I move the pigment together to make something entirely new.

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Childish Inspiration

I’m sitting here procrastinating about writing an assignment that is supposed to talk about solving the Synoptic Problem, all the while fretting about the support agreement that I am supposed to be writing when I get back to work next week (I’ve never written one of those before). I’m procrastinating because I’d much rather be writing my own material…writing my own books and drawing my own pictures.

A Twitter conversation a couple of days ago sparked some memories of the books I used to love to read when I was a kid, and that still inspire me today to write and to draw. I thought I’d share πŸ™‚ (and procrastinate some more)

I have always loved to read; and I have always sought inspiration and refuge in equal parts between the pages of books.

From the moment I was able to borrow library books from the school library I maintained a bag-load of glossy tomes to keep me entertained. I remember during one phase I borrowed masses and masses of craft books that were packed full of cheesy 70s paper mÒché and macrame projects, and I think I drove my mother insane with requests to make things.

Other times I devoured novels and found myself hiding in the leaves of the magic faraway tree or exploring foreign lands with characters I met nestled within the black and white lines of text. I’d lie in bed at night and wish that the people I met in those books were real and that my dolls would come to life. (Am I the only one to have done that?)

Some books left more of a lasting impression than others.

Some books I borrowed over and over and my name appeared on the borrowing card more than anyone else’s for the years I was at that school. All of the books that I borrowed repeatedly had similar characteristics, and I borrowed them for the same reason. They inspired me. They made me dream and imagine a future of action. The funny thing is that these books continue to inspire me thirty years later.

The first set of books are picture books written and illustrated by Bill Peet (Walt Disney’s best writer and storyboard man). Beautiful rhyming stories accompanied by vivid colored pencil illustrations. Whimsical stories. I still borrowed these books right up until I was in grade 6. I would read them and dream of writing my own books and drawing the pictures to go with them.

The other book that I borrowed over and over was an equally whimsical piece of work with page after page of gorgeous watercolour paintings. A book that had me searching under logs and within canopies of leaves for little people for many years.

I bought myself a copy of this book a couple of years back, and I still look at it from time to time. Such remarkable attention to detail and beautiful artwork! Such imagination!

Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of becoming a writer and artist. These books fed that dream.

Sometimes when I get busy writing technical specifications and business cases I forget to feed the dreams of my inner artist and they begin to wither, and I get tired and jaded.

I am learning that it’s important to keep dreaming. To nurture the creative connection to our Creator. To allow that connection to be expressed.

The books I want to write and the art I want to create these days bear little resemblance to my childhood dreams, but the desire to write and to create is as strong as ever…….now, if I could just knock off this assignment and stop worrying about work that I don’t need to do until next week……. πŸ™‚

What inspires you? Do you think it’s important to be inspired in life? Even as an adult?

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New Art Nook

This week I moved all of my coloured pencils and watercolours and pastels etc over to my antique roll top desk that sits in the corner of my bedroom. Previously it had been a collecting place for all manner of crap and looked messy and depressing. Now it’s an inviting, restful space where I can write and create! I love it!

I inherited the desk from my paternal grandfather a few years ago and it has the most glorious array of little drawers and spaces in it!It’s about 150 years old and was made in Ohio in the US. I tracked down the company that made it and even chatted via email with the great grand-nephew of the man who made it…but that’s a story for another time πŸ™‚

Here are some photos…I used some funky film and lens combination on the Hipstamatic iPhone app and they look old and blurry! I’ll post some “clean shots” on Flickr later.
Antique Dornette Brothers oak rolltop desk
Art space
Nooks and Crannies
Graphitint, CPs and Copics
Me! When I was 2
Knick Knacks
Microns and Pigment liners

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Frustrated Artist…life gets in the way

I have barely touched a pencil in the last couple of months! I haven’t finished a single drawing in I don’t know how long…I’ve started a couple (which I’ll share at some stage once they’re past outline stage) …I ended up ditching the slef-portrait I started because I’ve lost 10 kilos and with another 15 or o to go, I want to wait and draw the skinny me and not the chubby one….. :o) Anyway…to stop myself from going completely nuts without my drawing to act as therapy, I’ve started drawing a bit more in my journal….some little sketches and some more involved pieces relating to the day…so I’ll post some of those from time to time. I have been inspired by the blog of Suzanne Buchannan …she is an amazingly prolific sketch blogger with gorgeous line drawings covering all sorts of stuff. When I grow up I want to be like her :o)

Here’s my first effort…I hope I get better over time.

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NOOOO!

Oh man! I stuffed it! I was so close to being finished and then I decided, for some unknown reason, to try blending with a tissue. Unfortunately for me it must have had some kind of moisturising additive in it, because it made an unholy mess of my drawing….I haven’t had the motivation to pick it up since LOL.

 

I did do a baby portrait in the meantime though, and I have started on a self portrait. I’ll include a scan of the baby pic with this post, and then I’ll post the SP a bit later on when it’s looking a bit more presentable.

 

The baby portrait is approximately 5×7″, graphite on bristol board.

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Something new!

Thank you for checking out my art blog! I am going to be using this blog to post my artwork in WIP format. What’s a WIP? A WIP is a work in progress…you can see my drawings as they develop.

It may take me a little while to get myself organised, but hang in there…it will happen! πŸ™‚ Feel free to leave a comment.

thanks

Michelle

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