Sunday, July 12, 2015

Birds Flying High

"Birds Flying High | 1", 5x5" Mixed Media on Paper
A few weeks ago I did a week long, intensive retreat with artist V. Jane Gordon. We were working with the figure, but on the whole we were figuring out how to take an experience and record it... not just visually, but using everything as inspiraiton; the sounds, the environment, the movement, the moment. We did a lot of work with the model in motion... it was unlike any figure drawing session I had ever participated in. And the drawings/paintings that came out of that week were really interesting and completely different, even if not completely successful as works of art. 

With this experience still fresh in my mind, I was thinking about what I'd like to do next and how to incorporate what I had learned into the couple pieces I have going at the moment. I was sitting out in my backyard with my sketchbook and my coffee, enjoying the morning sun and watching the birds flit around in the garden, and as I have a thing about birds, I started playing with ideas about how to portray them in motion. My drawings got very abstract as I watched them move and dart in and out of the trees. I was inspired enough to get out my paints and try to do something with these interesting lines and shapes. 

I had originally been drawing in charcoal, so I kept that as my drawing tool. I misted it with a mix of medium and water in an attempt to fix it somewhat, so I didn't end up with a muddy mess when i picked up the dust with the paintbrush. I also limited my pallet to black, white and blue, to keep everything from getting too muddled. I was pleasantly pleased with the results, and I actually think this one is good enough to put up for sale. I have a couple other ones started that I will hopefully be able to finish up over the next week. I did one with charcoal, but didn't fix it first (an experiment... but you never know. The results might be interesting!) and a third with the drawing in india ink. Even though I have planned to work on paper for the next little bit (it's so much easier to store), I've been eyeing one of those blank 30x40" canvases I have leaning against the wall. I really do need to use up my stash of stuff, and I really like working large......