Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creative Every Day - Play

This journal spread for Play took a very long time to come tegether. I had joined this group to expand my "artistic" horizons. Usually I just draw and paint with watercolors. The quality and creativity of many of the people in this group was a bit intimidating. I was way out of my comfort zone. At the same time, I was energized and excited about the beautiful work I've seen this month from other members of the group. Drawing from my imagination, without an actual object in front of me was very difficult. I sat down any number of times, hesitating to put pencil to paper, and ending up walking away. Finally, I got it done - just in the nick of time. And it was fun to do. The cat looks a tad demented - the pen slipped on the place holder ribbon that I had forgotten to move out of the way. But I like the "jumping for joy" part in the middle. It's a very different thing to draw from imagination than from real life. This is micron pen and watercolor pencils in my everyday writing journal.

I have also been inspired by this group to try collage or mixed media next time for the Words inspiration for February. Thank you to this group for providing me with all sorts of ideas and inspiration. It's gonna be a fun year!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

EDM 207 - Seashell

"Today is a smooth white seashell, hold it close and listen to the beauty of the hours."
These are some seashells that we picked up on some of our many walks along the beach outside our hotel in Puerto Vallarta. We had a long, lovely, white beach - technically in Neuvo Vallarta away from the city. There were not a lot of large, spectacular shells like we saw in the markets (where did those shells come from?) but lots of these small, softly worn shells that had tumbled along the surf from who knew where. On a cold, snowy, blustery day in Calgary, I opened the box that holds these shells. I breathed deeply and got a lungful of sharp, salty, sandy scents and was magically transported back to Paradise. What a treat! Who doesn't have a wonderful memory that includes finding shells on a beach or shore?
Watercolor pencil, and pentel brush pens in Aquabee sketchbook.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Burns' Barn

The ink is hardly dry on my New Year Intentions. I've not fallen off the wagon, but I'm teetering on the edge. I almost didn't make two posts this week. But I did work on my intention to draw buildings. The urban sketches proved a bit too intimidating, so I'm going to draw buildings instead. This is maybe only a partial building, but surely the fence counts for something.
I was given a beautiful book called Historic Alberta with photos by Michael Breuer and text by Rosemary Neering. This photo is from that book which will be my main source of reference for the first few buildings. This barn was built in 1927 on Pat Burns' ranch near Calgary. It is now restored and lives at Heritage Park in the city. Pat Burns was one of the fathers of the Alberta cattle business and established a slaughterhouse in Calgary. In 1898, he began shipping cattle by rail to Vancouver, by ship and then foot to the Yukon. There the cattle were slaughtered and floated by raft to provide food for the Gold Rush. He became the city's first millionaire and in 1912, along with some other backers known as the Big Four, began the Calgary Stampede. In 1931, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate.
Watercolor pencils, Pigma Pen in Moleskine sketchbook

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

EDM 205 - Draw a soda can

Up here, in the land of the true north strong and free, we call this a "pop" can rather than a soda can. The original name was "soda pop" and I think some regions shortened it to soda and some to pop. This is about the only pop I'll drink, having been born without a sweet tooth. And usually I make it a little tarter with the addition of a shot of good amber rum and a squeeze of fresh key lime.
Also I find in the course of the discussions of the name of this object, that here in Canada we call things by the American names rather than British names of our official heritage - such as trunk, semi, umbrella, and elevator. But we spell with the British style - such as flavour, honour, colour, catalogue, cheque and memorise.
This can is done with watercolour pencils, and brush pens in the little Aquabee sketchbook.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

EDM 204 - Glass of juice

The glass turned out a little wonky. It's funny how one line that's a little off can put the whole thing off. It's even funnier that you never see that the line is a little off until you do it in permanent ink. Then it sticks out like a sore thumb. I wan't very inspired by this glass of juice - the color seemed a little insipid to me. But when I put the bottle beside it, well then the colors seemed to pop. That has to be the prettiest label on any bottle of juice. So look at the bottle, not at the wonky glass.

I've given a lot of thought to the discussion on the list about art goals for 2009. When looking at my goals for last year, I discovered that a few of them should be "life intentions" rather than a single year's goal. How can I ever say I achieved experimentation or having fun? And if I achieved them in one year, does that mean I can never experience them again? So no goals for this year. Instead here are:

"Some Things that I Intend to Do This Year and Perhaps Forever"

  • Play and experiment with different media, papers, pens, and anything else that seems like it would be fun (in an artisitic sense, I mean)
  • Draw buildings. Urban landscapes are too complicated. Start small - draw a single building or the sign for a strip mall.
  • Do something creative everyday even if it's just drawing a snowman on the whiteboard on my cubicle at work that may make someone smile as they walk by.
  • Do the EDM weekly challenges, and the Creative Every Day monthly challenge, and the vsd monthly challenge.

Awhile ago, I was tagged by EWian from the EDM group who kindly sent me this tag that she made. It beautifully sums up my intentions. (Thanks, EWian!)

Monday, January 05, 2009

EDM 204 - Draw something frosty

Happy New Year to all! This was my frosty drink of choice for New Year's Eve. It was also a good beer for the season with its festive colors, and its lovely range of shades of green.

Those yellow squiggles represent the fireworks that were part of the Zoolights celebration, but they didn't scan very well. Every year, the Calgary zoo has a lovely extensive display of lights along a part of the zoo. Most of the animals are indoors because it's cold here in the winter. There is music and hot chocolate and sugar cookies. It's quite enjoyable and ends with a ten minute fireworks display on New Year's Eve. This year there has been some controversy because a group of animal activists believes that the animals are harmed by the noise of the fireworks and the lights and they want the zoo to stop the whole event. There is no real eveidence to support this, but this may be the last year for this wonderful Christmas tradition. After the fireworks, I took my frosty bottles of Stella to some friends' house for drinks, snacks and a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit. Frosty is the only way to drink this crisp, delicious beer.
Micron pen and watercolor pencils in the Moleskine sketchbook.