Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Boardwalk Days part 10

The big move is complete, the school year is underway, time to get back to the art.  The last time I worked on this latest boardwalk block was about six weeks ago, though I have spent time since then looking at it and thinking about what would happen next.

I had figured out a while ago that the overall perspective was off.  After a lot of looking at the block, I decided that the problem was that the two buildings, while both drawn relatively accurately, were not lined up properly. I looked at some of my panoramic photos of the scene to see the relationship of the two.  According to the photos, the curved edge of the round restaurant balcony on the left side should line up horizontally with the curving arch over the bank of windows on the right side.  In my August drawing (above), the left side is about an inch lower than the right.  Today I made the adjustment, starting at the top with the triangular peaks of the restaurant and redrawing each piece a little higher.  Now the two curving arcs (see below) match up.

I made a few other minor changes today, all on the left side.  I adjusted the top line of the benches, bringing the end in the foreground up.  And I moved the umbrella a little more to the left, closer to the shrubs and ramp.  This area of the block will need a lot more detail work, but I do think the changes are an improvement.  I like that the roof of the building on the left is now taller, instead of them both being about the same height, while those two horizontal curved elements, now lining up, form a bit of symmetry.  With luck I'll get into the Studio a few more times before the next crit, so it will be worth showing.

The framing around our new windows was finished a few weeks ago, and they even repainted them a similar light green to what had been there before.  But today I had the camera with me, so you get to see what they look like.  I'll have to keep on the landlord about getting us some shades or blinds.

The Other House Project

Few things have taken as much time in my life over the past year as moving.  Everyone in my immediate family was in the process of moving in 2011.  It even inspired a print that I finished early this year.  The biggest piece of the process was emptying out the old family home, which we had occupied for almost 40 years.  We're still trying to find space to put all the stuff, but by the end of last week the house was empty.

With this house project done, I expect to get into the Studio a bit more often than I have lately and get some art projects done.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Origin of Studio Arrabbiata

Still haven't been able to get into the Studio for anything other than dropping off and picking up stuff for classes, but I'm hoping to change that very soon.  Meanwhile, I used time while I was stuck at home tonight working on school stuff to convert a pile of tomatoes (product of my brother's garden) into a batch of arrabbiata sauce.  Was going to do it last night, but we had multiple power outages from a massive thunderstorm.  (don't need electricity to cook, but it does make it easier to see, so I put it off)  

It's a very simple recipe, but the process of peeling the tomatoes takes a little while, so I made something else for dinner first, and made the sauce after that. But now I've got tomorrow's dinner halfway made, as well as the day after that.  Of course, it was this sauce that inspired me to use the Arrabbiata name for a number of creative projects going back more than two decades.  Simple, spicy, bold- it's the woodcut of pasta sauces, which makes the name perfect for my Studio.  As much as I will enjoy eating some of it tomorrow, I'm really looking forward to my next blog posting being about working on a print.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to the Grind

Due to the ongoing family moving process and all the preparations for the fall semester, I have done very little art of late.  It's been almost two weeks since I last posted here, and almost a month since I even worked on anything new.  But summer is over now.  The whole building was hopping tonight, with dance classes and theater people at work.  Today I've completed my first week of college classes, and I'm hoping that settling into the semester routine will allow me to schedule some regular time in the Studio.

The first step is having our holiday-postponed September critique.  We had nine artists with work, plus a couple of regulars who just came to watch and talk.  In the above photo (left to right, top to bottom) we have Mary's woodcut (from my BAC class), two paintings from Jill, Jane's tall landscape painting, Katie's graphite drawing, Margery's ceramic sculpture, my woodblock, and Lisa's plastic sculpture.

Jane also brought another landscape painting (above), in which we could see the effect of adding a layer of light blue paint on the left side and how much it changes the scene underneath.  Tim presented a new collaborative work (below) done in colored pencil, with he and his friend gradually rotating the composition and adding elements until it was complete.

Like me, Molly has been occupied with a bunch of stuff that wasn't her own artwork, but tonight she showed a few new things in progress. Above, Tim considers Molly's two pieces of wood, the vertical one partly cut, the horizontal one in an early drawing phase.  Many of the group have seen earlier versions of my latest boardwalk concept, but this is the first time on a block, and reversed.  I told them up front that my biggest early concern was the mismatched perspective between the two buildings.  I also explained how some elements I had considered in early versions would be spun off into a separate print.  One thing that people agreed on was that the composition was pointing viewers toward the empty center space in the sky, so I will need to put something of interest in that spot.