"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Sunday, February 27, 2011
All About Me
One thing that was a bit tough to get used to when I first started this blog was that whatever I might do, this blog is about me - my thoughts, my art. I was not used to publicly displaying anything about "me", and even more disconcerting, with a blog you must have an AVATAR.
I love the word AVATAR. According to dictionary.com, avatar means:
1. Hindu Mythology . the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
2. an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
It is a powerful word.
But for a blog, an avatar is merely, well, your picture.
So I was a bit shy for my first avatar. It was a cartoon I had drawn of myself painting. A cartoon is friendly, and anonymous.
But then as I got to know other artists online, and knew what they looked like, I felt like I was hiding. So I impulsively ripped off the mask by using my cell phone to take a picture of myself, and used that as my new avatar. Some folks missed my cartoon image, and so did I.
This is especially true since my wife and my mother both repeatedly told me that my new avatar was a terrible picture, and didn't look like me. I didn't get around to changing it though.
So this week Alex was kind enough to draw a picture of Raena and I as a tribute to our joint blog, 2'nfro. The only thing was that he used that very bad photo (which was about, what 1/2" x 1/2"?). He did an excellent drawing of a horrible photo. You can see it here.
Serves me right.
Then my wife told me that his drawing looked just like me! You figure it out.
So it is time to change the avatar. This time I chose a picture that looks better than I probably look 90% of the time. This is, I suppose, how it should be for THE INCARNATION OF A GOD anyway. I was very relaxed when the picture was taken, on vacation out of state, and watching my oldest son, Ian, play guitar.
But enough about me..
The first step, so to speak, in the Everyday Matters challenges is to "Draw a Shoe". One day when I was feeling frustrated I decided to start with number 1 of the EDM challenges by drawing my wife's boots, and work forward; but although you could say I have discipline of a kind, it is not that kind. Drawing pictures in order just "ain't my thing."
So I let the ink drawing of the boots lie for a while, and this week I colored it. It is at the very top of this post. I decided to experiment with the background, with colors and "technique" - there is wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, drybrush, glazing, scraping, scrubbing, I used sandpaper on one part, and Mr. Clean Magic eraser on another, and lord knows what else. If anyone has ever told you that dark watercolor colors cannot be erased (or at least lightened substantially), they haven't tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which must be used gingerly or the paper will be destroyed.) I got this tip from David Lobenberg, an excellent artist, whose blog is here, and who was kind enough to e-mail me when I asked how he made a sizeable dark portion of a rather large watercolor literally disappear! I didn't use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to erase, but rather to lighten a dark that was too prominent. It did leave a sort of soft penumbra though where I did it.
I got tired of all of the squares, and introduced a diagonal. Boredom helps sometimes, but sometimes it does not. I'll let you decide whether it did in this instance. One option would be to trim this picture down to eliminate the diagonal (see on the right). The boots would become more centered, but then the picture would be an irregular size, and I try to avoid that. The background would be more uniform. Which do you like better? Why?
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!