Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Apple Painting

I had a very hard time photographing this little painting but it gives a sense of how things are going.  I will say that it is very important to paint things that you love or have an interest in.  I have learned that I am not so excited about apples but believe that through study I can learn to appreciate the design of the apple. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book plate or label Squawking Bird

In the spirit of book plates which were elaborate artworks meant to establish ones literary collection, often created  for the wealthy and intellectually elite, I have decide to make something of the kind for my handmade books in order to brand them with my shop Onetindrum.  I have also wanted to make my own book plate just for the fun of it because I love to read and collect books for my own library though I am neither wealthy or part of the intellectual elite.  This image above was made from an old etching I did when still in school and I photo-shoped the text in.  Each one of my handmade sketchbook journals now has its own label on the inside of the back cover which is a nice little addition.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hooray for another book sold

Another handmade sketchbook journal has been purchased in my online shop!  I am almost sad to see them go because each one is a unique and one of a kind item.  I put a lot of hard work into making these books which don't yield much profit, being that they take a great amount of time and the cost of making them is high because I only use the most quality of materials.  However, I make them because I love how they come together as artistic objects, each unique in style, and destined to find their way into someones life for their own individual purpose.  As an artist myself I believe a sketchbook or journal should be made to fit a variety of purposes to suite the needs of the artist or writer so the paper is suitable for watercolor painting, but is smooth enough for sketching in pencil or writing in ink.  This is a perfect mixed media sketchbook and serves writers who love to incorporate drawing with their work.  Please feel free to see others available, I have just 10 left in my shop at http://www.onetindrum.etsy.com/

Monday, April 18, 2011

What parents do

Last Friday I decided to go on a trip by myself to seek out some of the waterfalls of Dundas and Hamilton where at one time were native lands before colonizers came and named the land and falls after themselves.  I decided to go to the area that contains Borers Falls which is nestled in a valley with other smaller falls in the center of a few residences and country roads.  There is a trail called the Bruce trail that runs a great distance and traces most of the falls from an escarpment but I am curious enough that I sometimes veer from the path in order to see more.  The many falls north of Borers were at most at a small trickle which surprised me greatly and I stumbled around in the mud and rocky banks to discover bones, one being the full head and teeth of a fox.  Wanted to see more water and falls I climbed out of the valley and drove around to a parking area for Chapel Rock where one can take a trail to the top of Borers Falls, the ticket machine for paid parking was vandalized so parking was free.  I climbed down the rock slopes which is precarious due to all the leaves and eroding material but I was extremely careful.  I was delighted by the amount of water in the stream as it rushed forth but didn't get to see the actual falls.  The bank was strewn with muddy rocks many moss covered and as I was sitting on a rock in the middle of all the rushing water a salmon splashed and dove in my direction.  Being surprised, I felt extremely lucky, realizing that I was witnessing the salmon making their way up stream to lay their eggs.  Some of them were at least 2 feet long!  A very beautiful thing and not often witnessed, this life process, for them the final and dramatic act for the continuation of life through the sacrifice of death.  I stood above the bank in awe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brief Underpainting for Apple Study

Nothing means so much to me as painting people but I know that an artist should explore other subjects, even those so common as fruit which are so typical in oil painting.  An artist must also challenge their technique and try new approach to painting so that they are not limiting themselves to a formula that may only lead to a narrow path.  I don't paint in any traditional sense at all, especially in my use of colors and so I decided that I would take a more classical approach to painting in several little studies of apples.  This is an underpainting which gives a loose impression of the old apple that I used as my subject.  The underpainting allows one to first develop the form of their subject by establishing lights and darks, giving a solid foundation from which to build the painting up.  Little paintings are not a huge commitment and I can focus primarily on technique without too much bother about composition.  I will attempt to post pictures of each stage as I move into this painting.

Getting Out

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day and I began my morning by getting Isabella off to school by 8:00 for a symphony field trip her class was taking in Toronto.  After that I got out the baby seat and laid down some blankets in preparation for picking up my paintings from the Artplus gallery in Belleville where they were being exhibited.  It is a good hour and a half drive to Belleville and I spent it in thought while flipping through music channels on the radio.  When I arrived I met with Dianne who is the gallery coordinator there and she was already in the process of hanging the next show which has a spring theme.  She is very personable and we talked about art and our own struggles and of opportunities.  It made me think of how important it is for an artist to get out once in a while and connect with other artists so that the artist is not stuck in their own bubble which can be quite isolating.  Artists need to be around art and other artists for inspiration and for argument about concepts and ideas.  After loading my paintings I decided to check in on an artist I met at the opening who introduced himself to me.  He and his wife have a jewelry shop in the business strip of Belleville where he also sells his oil paintings of landscapes, figurative works and still lifes.  I was completely blown away by the artistry of the shop in its wares, their display and of the layout of the space.  They even live above their shop in an amazing apartment which was very spacious and well laid out.  We talked over cafe au lait which he made for me on his stove, about art and approaches to painting and I asked simple questions about his methods with his students whom he teaches in the back of the shop.  I stayed for a few hours, looked at his current work and drove home.  It was a very pleasant day indeed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Horse is A Horse

This is a reproduction of a horse etching that I did many years ago when I was still in art school.  That was when the horse was speaking the words "I'm a longing" the number 4 was "for" and "you" was a letter U that made up a puddle at the horses feet.  This was a dry point etching through and through created on the surface of a copper plate.  I never intended to take printmaking but needed such an elective to finish my course work.  I was so glad that I did because it is a wonderful process and I only regret that I didn't do more like this one.  I sold one of these digital reproductions just earlier this week and was told that it would be part of an interior design contest to be published.  I still have more etchings that I did of antique dolls that lean towards slightly disturbing but that is basically how I saw them to begin with.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My first Spring Run

Today, the weather was very spring like with a misty rain in the air and being so inspired, and wanting to shed my winter lethargy, I took off on my first spring jog.  I had to root out my jogging pants which were buried deep in a chest full of camping gear and outfitted baby clothes.  My shoes I located one at a time in a heaping pile of other separated pairs consisting of all seasons and sizes.  I didn't care to stretch for the consideration of dormant muscles that haven't been used or thought of through winter.  I just felt like running is the thought that pushed me out the door, along the highway and off past slumbering farm fields and quaint little county homes.  I felt like a man of 50, my pace slow, my steps short but steady and I thought about how soon I would like to be in shape, to feel the power of my body making long strides and calm easy breaths rather than the dizzy feeling I was having.  I thought back to my high school days of running cross country and the flurry of legs and splattered mud after the bang of the starters' pistol.  In those early morning races we often lost footing in the wet grass, following paths through and around woods.  I remember the absurd spectacle of a fellow runner lying on his back in a ditch, wailing in pain from a twisted ankle as we stayed the course.  Running for me has this way of taking me back to my past, maybe in the same way a long drive in my car does, when I am carried away from the present.  However the present does come back fully at the end of my run when I cannot go any further and my body is ready to collapse, then I can relinquish myself fully to the moment with eyes open.