Wednesday, August 1, 2007

green stars #2


I think this drawing (from one of my art journals) was actually created before green stars #1. The image is made with Crayola wax crayons and black china marker.

I love working in an art journal, because as I write and draw on future pages, the colours from earlier, adjacent pages become imprinted upon each other, adding to the visual complexity and rhythm to the images.

Monday, July 30, 2007

increase


This is another drawing based on an I Ching reading. The image was created the same way as that in yesterday's post.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

unity


This is one of the earliest drawings I made in my first art journal. I was very interested in the I Ching at the time, and decided to "draw" my reading - the hexagram called "Unity." I started by scribbling blobs of colour on the page, and then drawing an outline of the image that was suggested by the shapes - in this case, a bird diving downwards.

The drawing is created with Crayola wax crayons and black china marker.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

illustrations for my green cleaning blog


These collages are part of a series of illustrations I've created for my eco-friendly cleaning blog, the greener cleaner. Like most of my recent drawings, collages and illustrations, these illustrations are created with Crayola wax crayons and china markers in various colours.





Friday, July 27, 2007

peace

I am so disappointed with my scanner. It just doesn't seem to be picking up pale yellows, greens or pinks. I almost didn't post this image, but I think you still get the idea, even without the proper saturation of colours.

The collage includes a scrap of paper which is a list of my kitchen dishes before my last move. I then coloured the image with Crayola wax crayons. I was inspired by a website I discovered this morning:



Thursday, July 26, 2007

apple #3

This is one of my all-time favorite drawings of mine. I don't normally like to make overly realistic drawings, but sometimes everything just works. That apple on the left looks like it wants to pop right off the page. I can almost feel its texture against my teeth. I can taste it...

The drawing started out with some colour laid down with Crayola washable markers. I sprayed the ink with water to make it run, and after it was dry I went in with coloured pencils and added all the details.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

mangoes

This drawing actually started out as a watercolour painting. After doing an initial wash with some yellow and red, I let the painting dry and then went in with coloured pencils and added cross-hatching and other details.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

pear

Another from the coloured-pencil fruit series. This is one of my favorites, because of the deep, saturated colour of the pear.

Monday, July 23, 2007

grapefruit

I did a whole series of coloured-pencil fruit during this period, but these are some of my favorites. The drawing was done on the back of a recycled photocopy, and the dark areas of toner can be seen through the page.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

banana

I've found that bananas are one of the hardest fruits for me to draw. Perfectly yellow ones don't have a lot of colour gradation for me to play with (my selection of green and yellow coloured pencils is pretty limited), and once bananas start to brown they're too complicated for me to be interested.
This drawing was made with coloured and soft graphite pencil.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

tumbling fruit

I went through a period of drawing lots of fruit with coloured pencil. This is one of my favorite works from that time.

Friday, July 20, 2007

self portrait #2 - photoshopped

I don't normally do much manipulating of my images in Photoshop - just some basic cropping and colour adjustment. But one day I took this drawing (first seen in yesterday's post) and had some fun playing around with Photoshop filters. The end result reminded me of a Kirlian photograph.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

self portrait #2

This drawing was done during the period of the green and purple men's faces. I look kind of like a hobbit, but I love the sense of joy and playfulness in my face.
Again, this drawing was made with Crayola washable marker, then sprayed with water to make the ink run.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

art cards - florals

I created these original art cards a couple of nights ago to send out to friends. In total I made ten unique cards - easy enough if you do it assembly-line style. I worked on all the cards at once, completing each stage on all of them before moving on to the next stage.
For most of my art cards I first print out the contact and bio information on sheets of white cover stock. Then I fold the page in half widthwise, so that the entire outside spread or "cover" of the card can be worked on as a unit (I like the images to flow onto the back cover of the card as well as the front cover).

For these cards I first drew an incomplete Spirograph "flower" with coloured pencil in varying shades on the front covers. I then chose cancelled postage stamps that matched the colour schemes suggested by the Spirograph flowers, and glued two or three on each card - one or two on the front cover, and one on the back.

With an HB pencil, and using my non-dominant hand, I drew the stems and leaves underneath each stamp, plus a few extra stems to make a row of flowers.

With coloured pencils that matched the colour schemes of each card, I drew in the tulip heads. Then with varying shades of green coloured pencil I re-drew some (but not all!) of the stems and leaves.

With Crayola wax crayons I "scribbled" colour fields over the flowers. I like to stick with pale colours that let the other lines show through, but sometimes (depending on the individual card) I chose darker colours and simply coloured in the tulip heads.

Afterwards I went over each of the cards with china markers in red and green, picking out certain lines in the tulip heads and stems.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

woman's face #1 (brown)

This drawing was created a couple of years after the previous two, but is in the same style, with the same technique. I used a Crayola washable marker and sprayed the drawing with water to make the ink run. I love the dreamy expression it gives the woman's face.

Monday, July 16, 2007

man's face #2 (green)

Here's another drawing from yesterday's series. I love the laughter in this face. It was drawn with a Crayola washable marker and then sprayed with water to make the ink run.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

man's face #1 (purple)

Here's the original drawing from which my last post was created. It was made with Crayola washable markers, and then sprayed with water to make the ink bleed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

man's face #1 (black and white)

This is actually a black and white inkjet printout (on watercolour paper) of a drawing I originally made with Crayola washable markers. The marker ink will run if you wet it, so I made a series of drawings which I sprayed with water to make them look more like watercolour paintings.
This image was a controversial one in my family. My father really disliked it (and others of the same series) because he found the faces macabre for some reason. I was really saddened at the time, because I thought they were some of my most beautiful, sensitive and haunting work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

tomatoes

I created this journal entry after admiring some tomatoes that were sitting in a bowl on my table. The collaged scrap of paper is a printout of an online map. The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and china markers in various colours.

Monday, July 9, 2007

summer end

I'm getting really frustrated with my scanner. It just isn't reading many of the pinks and yellows that are part of my artwork. Weird.
Anyhow, this is another page from one of my art journals. It includes a collaged scrap of paper that had some Spirograph "flowers" drawn on it with coloured pencil. I coloured over the image with Crayola crayons, and china markers in red and green.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

happy flowers #2

This is the other page from the journal spread that includes yesterday's page. The collaged wrapping paper was from a gift that a client gave me. Also collaged are some used Post-it Notes. The image is coloured with Crayola crayons.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

happy flowers

You must transform yourself into the person for whom the possibility of great things happening increases.
Deepak Chopra

The only collaged element on this journal page is the inkjet printout of one of my favorite quotes. The other half of the open spread that accompanies this image contains a scrap of floral wrapping paper that was my inspiration for the floral theme.

The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and china markers in various colours.

Friday, July 6, 2007

blue tulips

Sometimes I love how really random scraps of paper ephemera can suggest a colourway, or give a punch to what might otherwise be a pretty uninteresting drawing.
Here I've collaged the label off a skein of knitting yarn and a schedule of choral anthems from my former church choir.

The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and china markers in various colours.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

pink angel

I don't normally like to scan partial images of my artwork, but I'm really fond of this collage and scanning just one page or the other didn't do the entire image justice. Unfortunately it didn't scan well anyhow - the original is full of rich yellows and pinks that didn't translate accurately in the scanning process.
When I create images in my art journals, I usually make them without any plan ahead of time, instinctively drawing what feels right in the moment. In this case, the combination of colours really pleased me, and I often keep this particular journal spread open and displayed in my apartment so I can enjoy it.

The collaged papers are old notes to myself and an old greeting card envelope. The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and red china marker.

Monday, July 2, 2007

leaf #2

This leaf was drawn at the same time as the one in yesterday's post. Slightly more realistic, again in Crayola washable marker with coloured pencil.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

happy canada day

I drew this leaf several years ago. I started by outlining the leaf shape with washable Crayola markers, and spraying the page with water so that the ink bled. After the image had dried I then went in with coloured pencil and added details. The paper is a used photocopy from a child's school handout.

Friday, June 29, 2007

my green life

This is a page from one of my art journals. I pasted a used greeting card envelope and scraps of other paper to the page, then coloured everything with Crayola crayons. A scrap of graph paper with a floral illustration sits inside the envelope.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

yellow stars

This collage is from one of my art journals. The Post-it Notes contain lists of people I had to call. The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

starry sky #2

The curious child's eyes began to droop, and the Grandparent gently carried the curious child to bed.
This illustration changed part-way through its creation. I started with a magazine photograph for the grandparent's face, but didn't like it and pasted an inkjet print of one of my drawings over top (you can just see the remains of the first face in the upper right corner). The star is a scrap of envelope. Everything is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

starry sky

The curious child stared up at the heavens and asked, "Are there more?"
The child's face is a photocopy of a magazine photograph, and the stars are drawn on scraps of paper. Everything is coloured with Crayola crayons, plus black and white china markers.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

neptune

The Grandparent replied, "There was another planet named Neptune that was discovered with a telescope in 1846. It was named after the Roman god of the sea, because it was so blue. It is the eighth planet in our solar system."
Neptune is a scrap of blue construction paper, and a scrap of photocopied music makes of part of the sky. The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

grandparent

The curious child stared up at the heavens and asked, "What are the names of the other lights we can't see with our bare eyes?"
This collage contains scraps of construction paper, a photocopy, and a magazine page. I was getting tired by the end of the story (I created most of the illustrations in chronological order), and started getting really inventive with my colours (hence the brown sky).

I love the elderly woman's face with her kerchief tied around her head. She has timeless eyes...

Friday, June 15, 2007

grandparent and child

The curious child stared up at the heavens and said, "Grandparent, there are fast lights, bright lights, reddish lights, and large lights... but are there slow lights?"

This image contains a scrap of a photocopy (the face, from a photograph in a book), and an old Post-it Note. The background of the grandparent figure is blue construction paper. The head of the child and the hands are scraps of white paper. Everything is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

It was important to me that the figures of the grandparent and the child not be gender-specific. Sometimes they seem to be female, and other times male. Curiously, most of the children I taught assumed they were male.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

jupiter #2

The Grandparent replied, "That is the largest planet, named after the kind of the Roman gods, Jupiter. Jupiter is so big, it is more than twice the size of all the other planets put together. It is the fifth planet in our solar system."
Jupiter's face is an inkjet print of an earlier pen and ink drawing of mine. There are scraps of an old poster (the green background) and some gold mylar (Jupiter's crown). The image is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

jupiter #1

The curious child stared up at the heavens and asked, "Grandparent, and what is that light over there?"
This illustration contains scraps from magazine pages (Jupiter and the grandparent's face), and is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

sun and mercury

"There is a light that moves quickly across the sky - it is the planet Mercury. It lives closest to the sun, and it moves so quickly because its year - the amount of time it takes to travel once around the sun - is so much shorter than our earth year."

This illustration contains scraps of construction paper (Mercury and the sun) and is coloured with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Monday, June 11, 2007

the earth (everything)

I was visiting my sister in Smithville, Ontario this weekend, and she played me a song which I can't get out of my head - Everything, from Michael Buble's latest CD Call Me Irresponsible. (Listen to a sample here - scroll down to track nine.)*

It's a real feel-good song; I was dancing around my sister's kitchen with my five-year-old niece, swaying with her and spinning her around.

The chorus goes, "And in this crazy life, and these crazy times it's you, it's you. You make me sing. You're every line, you're every word, you're everything."

I remembered the lyrics incorrectly, and thought it said "in this crazy world." Which made me think of the earth... which made me think of this illustration.

It's another one from my solar system series. The earth is made with a scrap of Ontario roadmap, and the moon is a scrap from a magazine ad. It's again coloured with Crayola wax crayons and black china marker.

In a funny (strange) twist, one of the students in the class looked at the illustration and said, "That's where my cottage is." I hadn't picked the Parry Sound area on purpose - I just wanted a piece of map that included land as well as water. In an even stranger twist, when I showed the illustrations to my friend Mary Hamilton, she also commented that her cottage was in that area.

*And in an even stranger twist, when I Googled Michael Buble to find a link for the song sample, I found his homepage - where Everything was the track of the day.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

sun and planets

The Grandparent replied, "Not all of those lights that we see are stars. Some of those lights are called planets, and they also spin around the sun - the star at the centre of our solar system. The planets are like mirrors, reflecting the light of the sun, and so we can see them."

This illustration contains scraps of map (the earth), pink construction paper (Mars), and a used Post-it Note (on the sun). Again coloured with Crayola crayons, and china markers in black, green and red.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

sunset

They watched the sun slip below the horizon, and slowly the lights of the night appeared.
The curious child stared up at the heavens and said, "Grandparent, tell me about the stars in the sky."

This in another illustration from my solar system story. There are many collaged elements: an inkjet print of an old drawing of mine (the sun/face), a scrap of magazine page (the blue advertisement) and some yellow construction paper (the star). Again the image is coloured over with Crayola crayons and black china marker.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

the sun #3

This illustration is the title page for my solar system story. There are collaged papers (blue contruction paper and a scrap of a map) coloured over with Crayola crayons and embellished with black china marker.

Monday, June 4, 2007

the sun #2

Another illustration from my solar system series. This image includes a collaged scrap of manila envelope and a torn photo from a magazine. I coloured over the entire page with Crayola wax crayons, and emphasized the shape of the tree and the outline of the sun with black china marker.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

the sun

This is another illustration from the series I did for my solar system art class. It's the last page in the story, when daylight again returns.

The image began as a collaged scrap of brown kraft paper on the page. I wrote the text from this page of the story over top of the kraft paper, then coloured over everything with Crayola wax crayons. Black china marker emphasizes the outlines of the shapes.

Friday, June 1, 2007

apple #2

This apple was actually created before apple #1; if you look closely, you'll see that the apple image in the latter is actually a computer-generated print of this drawing. I frequently use a print of this original image on the front of my handmade art cards.

The drawing was one in a series of coloured pencil works I did of fruit. I stopped half-way through, unhappy with the way I'd rendered the reflection in the lower half of the apple, and made notes to myself about what I would have done differently.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

glenn gould

I was a huge fan of Glenn Gould in my late twenties. I had just started to learn the piano, and went looking for recordings of Bach keyboard music because I enjoyed the "List A" pieces in my conservatory piano books.

I found something called the Goldberg Variations, and played it on the stereo one night when I was alone in a huge, empty house. Part-way through the recording I was frightened by the sounds of a male voice mumbling nearby. I got up and looked out the windows, peering into the blackness unable to see anything, my heart beating rapidly.

Then I realized that the "mumbling" was coming from the stereo speakers. I later read that Gould always sang as he played, and his singing is audible in all his studio recordings.

The Goldberg Variations (especially Gould's 1981 version) became one of my favorite works, and when my sister got married I suggested she use the quodlibet (variation 30) as her wedding march. (Listen to it here - scroll down to track 31)

I did a series of sketches of Gould performing at the piano, using videotapes of his recording sessions and TV shows. Gould was an eccentric musician, constantly swaying, rocking, and conducting himself with closed eyes as he played. There was something restless and driven about him, and I like this particular drawing because it seems to catch him in a freeze-frame.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

self portrait

I remember a drawing instructor once asked my class, "Why are there so many self-portraits in art history?" We tried to think up intellectual reasons - something along the lines of "the self-reflexivity of the artistic process since the renaissance," and were brought up short when the teacher pointed out that the artist is often the cheapest and most convenient model for him- or herself.
I went through a phase where I drew my face, hands or feet incessantly, and after a time I could even recreate my face from memory, without consulting the mirror.

This drawing is created with black markers in varying thicknesses, as well as soft (dark) pencil.