Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Long Day

After the positive response to my awkward video log yesterday, I have decided that I will keep on with Video Mondays. I seem to have a lot of kinks to iron out though (i.e. the first time I uploaded it there was no sound, the second time I just noticed it deleted all my titles, and I have NO idea why!) Hopefully it'll be less of a laundry list of art projects, and include more interesting stuff too. If only I could figure out what would be interesting. Ahem.

It also turns out that stuffing your house full of teens and almost teens isn't the best strategy to get your work done after all. Yesterday had me pulling out my hair all day long, not over the work lost, but the drama that ensued. Sometimes, being a parent is really, really hard.

So, while I didn't get much done, I did get the Ribbon girl finished:

"Ribbon" 9x12" Watercolor on Paper

All in all, I don't feel like it totally came together. It feels like an "almost" (which is why I'm putting it up for a lot less than I normally would.) I can't explain it, and I think it's likely one of those times when some ideas from one's head doesn't translate the way you want it to in reality. I almost wonder if this was an idea that I should have explored with digital painting. I may revisit that some day. Speaking of which, I had long lusted after the Cintiq 24, even though I've never even seen one in person, but I've decided it's likely not for me. There's something about a digital painting that feels as if it loses some of the special qualities that something from scratch carries.

I figured out that I must be a purist (snob? I don't want to be a snob, but I seem to have strong opinions on this.) I remember being at an art show, and one of the other artists had made all her paintings with a projector (projecting a picture onto the canvas, tracing the lines, then painting it in.) To me, this just felt like cheating. I think it went back to grade school when someone would draw something, and if they traced it through the paper, kids weren't impressed. Anyone could trace, so it wasn't very cool. But the kid who could draw something free hand? Now that was cool! I know a lot of skill still goes into filling in those painted traced lines, but there was still a level of resentment inside me about it. I could never let myself use a projector like that.

With the Cintiq, I'm not sure what makes me think a little less of the artwork effort, because it is freehand (well, you could cheat and bring in a photo and do all sorts of things, like reducing it to a line trace and such, but for the most part I look at it as a free hand device), but I think it's perhaps the ability to always "undo". It's not like a watercolor where if you accidentally blob black on the paper, you are absolutely out of luck. It's not even like the more forgiving oils and acrylics, because eventually you can totally ruin those too (believe me, I've done it more times than I can count!) In the end, you can undo and manipulate, where in the physical world you have a finite amount of chances to get it right.

So, maybe that's what has put me off taking my business in that direction just yet. Whatever the reason, I'm no longer trying to figure out how to get my hands on one so I can demo it. That's not to say that if I win lotto or something, that I wouldn't run out and get one right away. Because it'd be on the top of my list (maybe I'm just placating my pocket book rather than my artistic sensibilities, then? It's probably good I've never laid my hands on one and really experienced it. What if I really liked it? My bank account would be in the hospital!) But for now, I'm sticking to hard traditional. Just me, my pencil and paints, and nothing else.

Anyway, at least I got her, Ribbon, off my block and done. If I ever do have one of those Cintiqs, I'll try her out there. Some day.

Later in the evening when I was ready to fling myself out the window, I snuck off to my studio and laid in the sky on my Caterpillar:

I didn't get incredibly far, but at least I put paint to canvas on this guy - finally! I really want to finish him this week so I can get the Cheshire Cat started, as well as some dragons. I have my work schedule for February, and unfortunately I'm a bit behind! It's time to pick up the pace... if that's possible with the kids on break!


  1. It's so difficult to paint with the kids home! I hope you get some quiet times. :) I like the real medium of paint and drawing. My friend has made paintings on her Ipad, really amazingly painterly and well done but it's not for me. I like the ooziness and drips and watching the surface transform as it dries. I'm glad you're not going to delete your video, I really enjoyed it!xx

  2. Ribbon Girl is amazing! I love her! You are truly so talented! You are not a snob, I agree with you. I could have never done that! I like my pencil and paints too ;o) Your painting is coming along wonderfully ;o)


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