Archive | November 2012

Another important creater in my life

So you have heard me talk about various creaters, usually writers, who have been important to me. I think I’ve mentioned Dr. Suess and Graeme Base. Those who brought Disney and Pixar into existance are HUGE in my life. I talked about Lloyd Alexander not too long ago. In the music/video world there are The Piano Guys and Lindsey Stirling and I have enjoyed their work a lot.

Now, I have recently been exploring watercolors. Some of the tones in the demonstrations I saw reminded me of the colors in some of the Calvin and Hobbes works, something I’ve enjoyed a lot over the years. With this thought in mind, I did a wikipedia search of first Calvin and Hobbes and then Bill Waterson (the creater of said comic).

After reading that, I have to say that I think Bill Waterson is… what word can describe it? Mostly, it was reading his comments in retrospect about discontinuing Calvin and Hobbes. He said that he said all he had to say, and if he kept going and repeated himself for another five, ten, twenty years, people wouldn’t be mourning the end of Calvin and Hobbes, they would be cursing a tedius cartoonist. He’s never regretted stopping when he did. And I think that it’s wonderful and amazing that he had that kind of… insight. That he was aware of that. And now I’m grateful that he did stop when he did, even though it is bittersweet and that I dream about reading new Calvin and Hobbes strips (literally, I have dreamt this before). There were other things he did that I respect as well, not allowing merchandicing in order to preserve the spirit of the comic, for instance, and for the way he strived for full paper versions of his comics.

Those comics mean something to me. They were the first comic strips I really read. So I must have first read them when I was… younger than twelve, I’m not sure how much younger though. And it’s fun because as I got older and reread them, I was able to understand the strips I wasn’t able to before and so the strips were still able to entertain me. When I was… thriteen I started writing little comic strips. They weren’t any good. But it was important nonetheless, because in later years I would do more comics/visual novels. So I have to thank Bill Waterson and Calvin and Hobbes for first peaking my interest.

So there’s another to add to the list of important creaters in my life: Bill Waterson, the guy who wrote Calvin and Hobbes. Thank you.

 

 

Quick note about my artwork: Okay, so I’ve been working with the salt glazing. I’ve come to a few conclusions, first of all, I think layering the salt glazing makes it lose a little bit of it’s visual impact. So I’m kinda sad, I feel like I’ve corrupted it. Maybe I’ll do something with it anyway. Yesterday I started a colored doodle, just so that I could work with color on something incredibly simple, yet beautiful, until I come up with a new image to do. I don’t know it I’ll ever finish/post it. I hope to do some brainstorming today. Wish me luck.

 

New Image: The Quiet Hour

This is the image I drew/colored onto the back of an index card. I finished it yesterday and really liked it!

 

 

This is what I said about it when I posted it on Facebook: “I did this on the back of an index card. Whenever I post some of my… wierd artwork, I always wonder what the reaction is. Because if I was the outsider, I’d probably be saying something like, “Oh, she’s going for the ‘misunderstood artist’ kind of deal, creating weird artwork that nobody understands.” Well I’m not doing it on purpose. I just… start an image and sometimes it goes places I don’t anticipate.”

One of my friends, someone who has often commented on my posts, said this: “I think your art catches some piece of the inner being. Sometimes they are calm & thoughtful. At other times, there is an excitment to them. They always make me stop & reflect.” Later, she added: I enjoy your art work. I can see stories in them. I just wish you would write the stories too. Can’t wait for the next one to show up. I think you should take a stab at childrens books. I’m sure you would be a hit.”

Didn’t I tell you? Didn’t I say that people have this idea that I should be a children’s book writer? But I liked hearing what she had to say. I got that encouragement that I had been looking for. And I liked hearing what she had to say about the children’s books as well. I wrote a reply talking about how I have been dabbing into creative writing, and that I would like to one day be good enough at writing and art to create something like a children’s book.

And maybe I will. Who knows? It certainly doesn’t hurt to take a stab at it. I’m just not expecting anything any time soon. I mean, art has been a hobby for me since I was a kid. It took me all my life to get as good at it as I am right now, and there is still so much room for improvement. I’ve been dabbing into creative writing for… what, four years? And in that time, I haven’t ever really come up with more than a lot of bits and snatches. Fragments. I believe that, given time, maybe I could write something. Why not? I got this far in art, didn’t I? But the point is that it’s too soon to see where this will go.

So do you think I really can make use out of my talents? Really be able to create something wonderful? Every once in a while, it seems possible. But I guess only time will tell.

I think I’m going to do more salt glazing today with my watercolors. I have an idea of something really simple that I can do with that until I come up with another project.

Oh my goodness, I’m right now watching an amazing video, a watercolor tutorial on negative painting. Wow. Now I really wish I was a better watercolorist. I’ve got so much work ahead of me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqhvswHdSSI&list=UL

Progress report

Well, I figured out something to do with one of my doodles yesterday. I drew on the back of one of my index cards left over from school this past year, one of those big indext cards. Like… 5×8 or something. Anyway, I did it for two reasons. 1) I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was doing, so I figured if I worked on a smaller scale than I usually do, it would take less time and therefore not be as big a loss if I don’t get it right. 2) The dementions were better for what I had in mind than an average computer paper. I needed something more… horizontal.

So I started that and…. I didn’t finish. It took me that long to come up with what I was doing. And then there was the fact that I lent my laptop and my workspace to my younger sister so she could write in her story. One of our computers died, so there’s sort of a waiting line for all the other computers. Still, I didn’t finish coloring an index card.

I’m not sure I like what I have. Though there must be some aspects of it I like, because… I keep thinking it’s going to turn out fairly decently. We’ll see.

And… another Thanksgiving day hike picture. Don’t worry, I don’t have too many more of these.

 

Translation

So…. I started by thinking I’ll do a little doodling to brainstorm for an image. Then I thought I might be in the mood for doing some more silhouette pictures, and maybe my doodles could help me brainstorm for that. But the page of ‘big paper’ that I had been using for my doodles for the past few days has been filled. So what I ended up doing for the longest time was just looking at some of those doodles, because I think some of them are really beautiful. Hey, it’s healthy for an artist to admire her work sometimes. And I love these doodles, but for some of them I just can’t figure out how to translate them to a larger, colored image. That’s… something you’d think would be easier, but it isn’t as simple as it seems at times. For a few, they work in odd dementions, for other’s it’s a matter of filling space, needing to add things, or arrange them in a way that creates the most visual impact… and of course there’s the color pallette to be worked out, which is getting harder since I need to restock on quite a few colored pencils.

But these doodles are lovely. They’re like little seeds, full of potential- I just need to crack the shell so that they can grow and flourish. It would be sad to leave them by the wayside.

Look at me, waxing sentimental about these silly little doodles. Sometimes I wonder at myself. But if that’s something unique about me, why can’t I explore that for possibilities. I mean, if I don’t who will right?

I’m going to try to work with these doodles to see if I can come up with something. That will be my assignment for the day. Not neccisarily something big, but something. Preferably colored.

And for the sake of color, here’s another photo from our Thanksgiving Hike.

 

Acknowledgement :)

Well, I feel like a bit of a nerd. Mostly because yesterday, I found a video on Youtube that I had been looking for. It was actually shown to me in my English class last year, and I really liked it. Sombody named Sir Ken Robinson talking about education and creativity. These are two things I can get fairly enthusiastic about, so it was nice to be able to watch it again. And then, just because technology is so amazing, I could look at other videos of him giving lectures or speeches or whatever you would like to call them. I also found some videos of other intelligent people talking about things like creativity and motivation and other such stuff. It was really great.  So that was wonderful, I could just listen to all of it, learn a few things, and it made me want to do things, you know.

One of the things that was nice to hear from Sir Ken Robinson was that he was talking about was how everybody is deeply talented and talented in a unique way. But people don’t know their talents, some aren’t even aware that they had any- and to the degree that they don’t know their talents they can’t develop them. His point was that this is a problem, and the educational system isn’t doing anything to help when it can. But for me it was just nice to hear… acknowledgement I guess. Because I’ve been struggling with knowing what my talents are (yes, art- but other than that as well) and what I’m supposed to do with them and how I’m supposed to develop them, and it’s nice to know that somebody is aware of this difficulty and treats it like it really is a problem. So because of that, I’m more eager to explore my possibilities and creative potential, find out what I can do.

I’m actually wondering if I’m kind of in the mood for watercolor. I’d have to do some cleaning up if I want to do that. Collect all of my scattered colored pencils and all that. There is no longer an urgency to do calendar images, though I’m fine with coming up with ideas for those as well. I’ll see what I can do.

Oh yeah, and I need to make bananna bread.

And now, for the sake of color, another picture from our Thanskgiving Hike. That’s my parents in the distance there. They weren’t posing or anything, I just snuck a picture of them.

Okay, following up what I was saying earlier. I have made the bananna bread. I’ve also worked a little bit with my watercolors, mostly just playing around with them, seeing what I could do before planning out an actual image. What I’ve discovered, or rediscovered, is that watercolors are really great for backgrounds. Like one of my images is a really nice salt-glazed… atmosphere? it isn’t really anthing but color and texture. So I’m sitting here going “…. this is pretty, but what am I going to do with it. It needs something on top, something for the foreground.” Two difficulties arise with this. One is I don’t know what is to go on the foreground, the other is I’m worried I’ll ruin what I’ve done before. That second one is particularly one I encounter in this sort of hobby, but I’ll have to move past it eventually.

 

Back to businesss

Well, I decided to use this Thanksgiving Break time to reread a webcomic I haven’t read in years. Note to self: webcomics can last for a long time, so the process of reading them all in one go can be extremely mindnumbing, but enjoyable nonthless. No wonder they give it to you one page at a time.

Anyway, now that I’m done with that, I need to get back to buisness. I currently have about sixteen images with which I can assemble a calendar. It is no longer really necessary that I create any more calendar images, although it is nice to have a certain… objective when it comes to creating these images.

Part of me wants to try something aside from art. Like creative writing. I wish I could tell you how many documents I have on my computer in which I fiddle around with creative writing. Bunches and bunches of little scenes and incomplete thoughts. So even though I’ve spent a fair amount of time dabbing into it, it’s awefully hard to feel acomplished when you haven’t got anything finished. Maybe if I keep at it for another ten years, I’ll have something- like how it took me twenty years to get to where I am with art. That’s a little disheartening.

I am an expert at disheartening myself. Which is why I need a mentor. Positive reinforcement, that’s the ticket.

For the sake of adding color to this post, I am including more pictures from our Thanksgiving Hike.

New Image: Sol

Her name is Sol. Because she’s my little light. My sister tells me that that it looks like something to do with the sun, and Sol is the spanish word for sun (which I’ve always loved because of the play on ‘soul’).

She was great to do. She turned out pretty good for one that didn’t take all that long to do.

I finished her yesterday while watching some videos from the Riverside Shakespeare Theatre youtube channel. First Much Ado About nothing, then The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was an enjoyable way to spend Thanksgiving. But we’ve been doing family activities as well. There’s the hike we went on yesterday, and today we had a Dance Dance Revolution party. Later on, we’ll be picking up some requests from the library. All in all, a great vacation and a wonderful way to recharge after a time of discouragement.

Family time

This is possibly the best family photo we’ve had in years. We never have our pictures professionally taken, practically all our family photos are taken using the a ten second timer, and Dad scrambling to get in the picture on time. Then of course, someone will be looking away, have their eyes closed, or is not smiling. This we took on our family outing, a hike through an indian mound reserve not even twenty minutes away from home driving. It’s one of our favorite places to go for a family outing. We are actually standing on a slope, with the camera set on the ledge of a rock. I had to crop out the patch of moss that is sitting right in front of the lense. So… not the best of photos, but better than we usually have and I like it. I’m the one on the far right.

Back in the game

It’s fun what a night’s sleep can do for you. I’m good now. I still don’t know what I’m doing with my art, but I know what I’m doing now. I got to work on that image I mentioned yesterday. I can tell right now that it’s not going to be a masterpiece, it’s just a little treat for me. Something simple I can do in a few days.

It’s actually fun, my featured female is… well, I tried to give her a pallet that was like a wax candle, but instead of a little candle flame, her hair is a burst of fire. Of course, hearing that you might think that I’ve got something really good going, but it’s not acutally that good. It’s just the idea that I like. This little girl, my featured female, is going to be my little light, my firecracker, with all of the brightness and energy that I wish I had.

However, while I’m not exactly desparing about my artowkr anymore, the back of my mind is still wondering what it is I’m doing with my artwork, and if maybe I should invest more time in a defferent talent. But if that’s the case, what should I go for?

But at least I have something to work on while I get that figured out. I just hope that I can come up with something quickly. I mean, I’m not going to have a lot of time when school starts in the winter. That’s why I’m so concerned about being productive and getting stuff done, creating things now while I can.

Stuff. Also, I am in need of encouragement

I slept a lot yesterday. I wonder why I’m so tired, it’s not like I’m doing anything strenuous. Not even mentally. Although I did actually write a script for a skit for my youngest sister and I to perform for the family. Just a little comedy sketch. But I have to say, it seemed a lot longer when I wrote it than when I recited it for her. So last night she asked me to make it longer. Which is like going back to a painting after you’ve turned it in for a grade- you don’t want to do it. But I’ll see if I can come up with something.

I’ve been doodling a bit as well, trying to cook up some ideas. Once again I ask myself what good any of this is supposed to do. I’ve been told to develop my talents, and sometimes I just want to know ‘why’ and if it’s worth investing my time in art. This would generally be the sort of thing I would talk to my brother about. He has this ability to be encouraging without empty flattery or inspiring words without meaning. He’s a good mentor for sensible people who are also dreamers. But, face-to-face conversation is not exactly an option.

Meanwhile, time is slipping by. It goes by much faster than I like these days. Even while I’m at school, time just seems to pick up. Ah well.

 

 

Truth be told, part of the reason why I’ve been having a hard time with my artwork is because I’ve been getting down on myself about it. Today has so far been extra bad because of a comment made during seminary about extracurricular activities that people ultimately don’t continue after high school, or don’t make a career out of, like maybe playing trombone in a band.

Ouch.

Being as I am rather sensitive and of a delicate emotional constitution, I’ve been down on myself about my artwork ever since. It’s really really hard to keep yourself going with this sort of thing when it seems like nobody else cares. After all, it’s not like this is easy. Which is why I have to admire writers/artists/musicians and the like.

So even though I have an idea for my next image… I’m having such a hard time wanting to do it right now. Especially considering the way I came up with this idea. Basically, I started an image based off of a doodle. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I decided to go for it anyway. It looked okay, then I started coloring. As I added color, I suddenly got a better idea about what I was doing. But as when I discovered the look I was really going for…. it was too late, I had used the wrong colors earlier. Now I have to start over and draw it again. Which is difficult, because it’s so hard to redraw something you already got really good once.

So…. I really, really, really don’t want to work on art right now, and yet a I don’t want to work on anything else either. I want somebody to care about my artwork, so that I can care about it more too.