This month has been filled with a preoccupation: my new porcelain crown. It all started in April, right before ArtScene. They ground down my tooth that was broken off in 2nd grade (see illustration above) and replaced it with a temporary crown on May 3 that resembled a highlighter or canary color. Since May 3, my temporary and "permanent"crown has just popped off at the most convenient times: on my way to CHAPERONE PROM, while TALKING TO SOMEONE, and right before ADMINISTERING A FINAL EXAM (yesterday). A religious zealot and chain smoking tooth creator tried to match my teeth and somehow came up with a "permanent" crown that was much like a CHICLET in my mouth. I haven't smiled much in the last 6 weeks because of these events. Today, finally, I went to the dentist to get my final permanent crown installed. It was a match! How do you know this? Because I'm not in JAIL right now for assault. I mean, really? It's hard enough to stand in front of know-it-all teenagers WITHOUT something awry about your face. This has been a trying month just because of one ounce of porcelain. But guess what, May? I win, you lose.
So, today's drawing is based on two "manikins" that are supposed to help with proportions. I admit, it does help break things down. But, do they really pay off for someone who is trying to improve their hand or figure drawing skills? I think not. The only way to improve in ANYTHING is practice, practice, practice--seeing and observing the real thing is better for any artist. And having a child-like curiosity each time you're confronted with the same [type] of subject is essential too. Young artists make a lot of assumptions. I'm guilty of that too. But through this little journey I'm taking, I'm rediscovering the joy of observing. Today's drawing is mechanical pencil with watercolor wash and touches of white-out pen (my fave).
So here's the freaky thing. Did you know that they make these "manikins" life-size now!? Just imagine that thing sneaking out of your studio and showing up in your bedroom doorway one night, lurking. Weird. What possible purpose would that serve, besides it being the coolest thing ever. Brendan wants the man one, because the woman one...."has boobs, and that's weird, mom." Check it out: http://www.dickblick.com/products/lifesize-wooden-manikins/
So, this is our little lemon tree. We've had it for two years, and this will be its third summer. I knew it would grow slowly, but it is still in a pot, which is a good thing since we live in northern Illinois, where it was 95 degrees today, and will be 60 tomorrow. It gets brought inside on those cold nights....poor widdle baby! So, last summer, it sprouted its first lemon. Well, it had two at one point, but I looked at the little one sideways one day and it just fell off, right onto the deck, with a thud. We had to prop up that one lemon because it got so fat and heavy, the tree's little dinky branches couldn't hold it. But, alas, finally, it was ready to be plucked, and I actually used it--the juices went into a nice shrimp dish I made. This summer so far, we have 14 damned lemons growing on this poor excuse for a tree. It IS the Charlie Brown lemon tree. I will let you all know when the 14 lemons are old enough to attend parties where they can mingle with some vodka and ice.
Today's post is obviously because of Memorial Day tomorrow. I bought a new flag, and before hanging it just now (see below), I drew it sitting on the counter. So, here's to all of the active duty people I know, and those who have served in the past, but mostly to those who are no longer with us because they fought for this country. We all have our own views of what "should" be happening in our country right now, but the most important thing to remember is that, like it or not, we're all in it together. Apart does us no good at all. So let's be done with the useless hatred, shall we?
Ahh, wine. This is usually the last thing I do each night, post my daily journal while sipping a glass of wine. So, this one was a quicky, I've been so busy today prepping for my upcoming solo exhibit at Burpee Museum of Natural History. I'm pretty stoked. I've got 24 pieces that will hang there for 6 weeks. Installing tomorrow, and I think I'm ready. I finished a piece just today (at 5 pm) and I hated it up until about 4:45. It's called Starlight. The opening reception is 6-9 pm on June 1, wine and cheese. All my friend
Harlequin Girl. Magazine image, gesso, watercolor pencils, marker, pencil, pen, whatever else I could get my hands on. Happy Friday!
Today's journal page is a tribute to my favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is, I believe, the meaning of life: to make or contribute to something in this world that will outlive you. Giving to young people (teaching) is how I'm trying to achieve that. The quote is as follows: (Aah, gives you that warm, tingly feeling, and almost makes me forget that this mantra is SO HARD when teaching high-schoolers).
"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intellingent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today's silly drawing is a seahorse with coral. or as Brendan said, a unicorn with a stack of donuts. Whichever interpretation is fine with me. I drew it from the book, Daily Book of Art. It has readings, tutorials, art history etc. One topic per day for a year. This was a systematic step-by-step how to draw a seahorse. Fun. Maybe this art journal thing will turn into 365 Daily Art Journals. Who knows? Stay tuned...
So, yesterday, my oldest son cut some flowers from his grandpa's garden and brought them home to me for dinner. So sweet. These peonies are so full and big, and so is their scent! They still grow just outside what used to be Chad's bedroom window, so for the past 24 hours, he's been very sensitive to the smell filling the kitchen. Just like, oddly, I like the smell of sheets that have been on the shelf for a while and have lost their detergent smell, because they remind me of visits to my Granny's house during the holidays. Nostalgia is so closely connected with the sense of smell. Amazing!