"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Frustration of Photographing Art

When it comes to photographing my art...whether it's a drawing or an article of clothing, I always seem to have problems. One, my house is dark, so anything photographed inside, has to have lots of light focused on it, which with drawings, creates glare. If I take things outside, depending on the weather, the color can be off.

Then we come to scanning. I thought if I scanned this latest piece, it would show better, and the colors would be truer. Alas, no. The scanner's bright light washed all the color out of the drawing. I fiddled with the dpi, and the image got darker than the original. So, I gave up, and went back to just photographing the piece in my "studio." Which gets a slanted angle, but truer color. Gah!

Here is what I mean.

Scanner run...the first.

It looks like this went through the laundry by accident, and all the color got washed out.

Scanner run...the second.

This is the scan after I fiddled with the settings, and in all honesty, I like the richer colors in this version, but that is not how the original looks.

Lastly..my photo of the work.

Bad angle, with one corner cut off, but the colors here are truer...even with a slight bit of glare from the lamp.

So, that is my frustration. I think I need to take a tutorial on how to photograph art so that it comes out looking like the original, instead of my dorky attempts at getting the color right. I have had success with my scanner before, so I am not sure why it wouldn't work this time.

As for my assessment of the artwork itself, well, a few things. It still looks too "flat" to me, and my attempts to make tree-ish background shapes are more distracting than anything else. Also, I couldn't get the intensity of color I was after (which is why I like the seconded scanner version) , and this is probably because I haven't worked with the colored pencils enough to understand layering. I've seen it done, so it's just my lack of experience that is at fault.

Bottom line, these early pieces are learning exercises. Trying to get my mojo working again. So far, Ms. Mojo is standing over in the corner with her  arms crossed, shaking her head, and saying, "Not yet, deary, not yet."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nature is a Presence

I believe with all my heart that nature is a presence all around us. She has eyes, ears, and a voice. She sees what we do, she hears our loud existence, and speaks to us but we rarely listen. Sometimes nature fights back, but most of the time she can only watch as we slowly destroy the very thing that gives us life. I suspect that most of the time, nature is angry. She has every right to be.

This will eventually be colored in with pens, watercolor pencils, paint, and gouache. 

"I am Watching" 8.5" x 11" done on 130 lb, 25% cotton drawing paper.

Pencil drawing, with just a few lines inked in. When I am figuring out a drawing, I work really rough and kinda sloppy - more of a quick gesture drawing. I get focused and a bit anal after the pencil is done flying around, and the paper is full of erasures. Which is why I need tough paper or board. Otherwise I would rub big holes in the drawing before it was ever finished.

Here is the drawing now inked over, with most of the pencil erased out. I used a Micron 05 pen in a dark blue. I mainly ink drawings in dark blue, dark green, dark brown or dark grey. I rarely use black.

This is the inspiration for the drawing. The photo is one I took on our property, of a an oak tree bole. The woman figure was cut from a fashion magazine. The leaves and twigs are ones I picked up on my way back from the barn.

The only thing I am concerned about is that the paper has a slight bit of texture to it, and I am used to working on illustration board, which is smooth. If I don't like the results on the paper after I put in the color, I think I will redo the drawing on board.

So, while it has been raining and foggy, this is what I have been working on. My husband and I have pulled back on quite a few of our horse activities this year, for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones for me was, wanting to get back to my artwork, which has been on the back burner for years. The pencils and paints still feel a bit clumsy in my hands, but...

I have missed them. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Art Journal Pages & Mushrooms

No, the two are not related. But photographing both was pretty fun.

It's been cold, foggy, and raining for the last month. This kind of weather makes me crazy, and not in a good way. I have also been dithering back and forth over what new beading project I want to start, which means I haven't started anything. If I didn't sit down and create something, I was afraid I would start banging my head against the walls. So, I turned on my sunlamp, pulled out my art journal, and played. I did a total of four pages, and had a great time. Here are three of those pages. Can you tell I was thinking of Spring? I wanted COLOR on those pages, dang it! Bright Spring colors.

I like doing collage in this journal because it's quick gratification. I have another journal/sketchbook for more serious work. This one is all about a few paint washes, cut, paste, and quick notes. 

And now for the mushrooms.

My husband is creating horse trails in our back ten acres. He will rototill the path first, then he lays down a layer of horse manure that we pull from the stalls. The manure breaks down and makes a nice soft footing for the horses. When out feeding the beasties one morning, I noticed dozens and dozens of mushrooms growing from the manure. It was like a fairy road of mushrooms. I even found some growing on tree trunks or in old rotting stumps. So I went back to the house and grabbed my camera. I kept wishing my camera would allow me to get closer shots, so I could pick up more detail, but this is the best I could get.

I don't know what kinds these are, but none of these mushrooms are a variety you could eat. All of them would cause great, and very nasty, and probably fatal reactions if consumed. So, no mushroom omelets from these guys.

I had a lot more photos than this, but at least you get the idea. By the time I was done it had started to rain again, so I had to duck back inside. Within about a week, all of these were gone, except a few of the tree mushrooms. I hope they come back again next year. By then I hope to have a book on mushrooms, so I will be able to identify the different kinds.