Tuesday, May 24, 2011

every day in may: what the hey?

For those who haven't been reading my twitter feed (can't really bring myself to say "tweets"), here's the scoop. I've been sick, exhausted, and physically incapable of scanning and posting anything for the past few days, but I did make an effort to slap the paint around.

So.... what I think I'm going to try to do now that I'm on the mend, is to do one big post with everything in it so far that's in my sketchbook that didn't make it onscreen yet. And then, hopefully, we'll be back on track with the whole painting/posting thing.

Keep painting, people!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

every day in may: sixteen

We've been on a bit of an Ed Emberley kick around here. I think Angela's Nessie is way cuter than mine, don't you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

every day in may: fifteen

That's right... it's recital time! And this year I'm trying to stay in town the whole time with the kids, instead of going to my parents' each night and driving back late with cranky kids. This experiment is either going to be a great idea, or it will be a really, really, bad one. If I get paintings done and posted every day, it will be a miracle.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

every day in may: eleven

I think I got the hair right this time. Yeah! (And yes, it is this big, and yes, I LOVE it.)

every day in may: twelve

Work in progress, natch. Don't Ask Me Why.

every day in may: fourteen

The beautiful and ethereal Sophie posing for me for about 20 minutes at bedtime, with Lambey tucked down the top of her PJs. This one actually took a LOT of color correction as my scans kept coming out either too brassy or too dark. It still doesn't exactly match the tones of the original but it'll do. And as for her eye sizes not matching - that's Soph. Her right eyelid has had surgery on it twice, and it doesn't open as wide as her left. If I made them the same, it would look like another child entirely.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

every day in may: thirteen

Angela, running around after school. She looked so adorable I knew I had to paint her.

Friday, May 13, 2011

every day in may: thirteen

Believe it or not, in real life this snippet is about 1.5" x 2" tall and was way harder to paint than it looks! I'm going to stay away from straight lines for a while....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

every day in may: ten

Lame? Perhaps. But there is a precedent....

Peter Reynolds writes on his site:

I have a promise to myself that I will make a mark in my journal each night, even if I am tired. I will try to jot a drawing, or a poem, or a word, or even a simple mark to just prove I was alive that day.

One night, when I was exhausted, I made a mark with a black felt-tipped marker and promptly fell asleep. When I awoke with a start an hour or two later, I noticed the little mark had mushroomed into one giant black dot.

I put the cap on the pen, put the book to one side and went back to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, I looked at the journal again and instead of seeing it as a mistake... I suddenly realized that perhaps this was one of the best ideas I had ever had.

I grabbed the pen and quickly jotted "The Dot" above the black dot and "by Peter H. Reynolds" below it. I had just created the cover to my new book.

I was alive today.

Monday, May 09, 2011

every day in may: nine

(also: Illustration Friday, Beginner)

So this weekend, my very stylish sister took me shopping and I learned a lot about what I will and won't (and shouldn't!) wear. While I've been dressing myself most of my life, I don't know that I was necessarily dressing myself well. I'm still kind of a beginner at this.

One thing I learned this weekend was that I dislike empire waists (on me). And not only that, I especially dislike how an empire waist looks on me when there are no sleeves involved. According to my sister, I look fine, but to me, that's just putting "the girls" (as she calls them) on display a little too much. I think it all smacks of maternity wear to me! But something belted where I actually have a waist? Or something soft and flowy? That works. It amuses me that I'm hitting a milestone birthday this summer and I still have so much to learn about myself.

Another thing I feel like I'm back to being a beginner at, is painting. I have had some incredibly loooooooong stretches with no paint, as I've said, and forcing myself to get the watercolors out is sometimes just plain hard. Compounding this is the fact that I am trying to work using as little pencil as possible, and letting the paint suggest what's going on. Less is more.

I almost didn't post this because I thought it was so bad, but I think there's a kind of redemption in the way this doodle progresses from the first figure (ugh) to the last (kind of getting the hang of it). Not to mention I've never painted my hair since my new haircut - I have to devote a day to a curl study, and the way light bounces off them, and how to suggest curls without having to paint each one. As Michelangelo said in his 80s, "I am still learning."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

every day in may: eight

Swingy dresses are fun to paint!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

every day in may: seven

And now, the divine Angela, who is sporting lavender pjs, hugging her lavender pony, and topping the look off with a glittery aqua scarf (not to mention the GORGEOUS cascading curls). This first-grader's got style!

Friday, May 06, 2011

every day in may: six

This is Sophie assuming her usual ice-cream eating position: shoulders hunched way up, and sometimes giving a little shudder when the ice cream is too cold but she can't help eating another bite. This is a girl who really enjoys her ice cream. :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

every day in may: five

My boy Petey playing on the iPod in bed in his pjs (because he can). I was going to paint this but I liked the drawing so much just the way it is that I decided to leave it as it is. Peter likes it so much he wants to take it to school.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

every day in may: four

This day was completely off-the-wall bananas. I painted anyway.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

every day in may: three

The first graders are working on writing their own books about a specific animal they've researched. Sophie did quokkas last year, Angela is doing jellyfish, and Peter is doing baboons. Because I am so experienced in the Ways of First Grade, I know what's coming next. Dioramas! And so one night when the kids were playing with clay, I told them to start working on their animals to see what they could make.

Peter's first attempt was fine, but he got very frustrated and balled everything up and went to his room for a while. We had dinner, and after dinner, decided to try again, but this time we had a plan. I sketched out for him all the parts of the photo he was trying to copy - the head is like an oval, the body is like a pear, the arms are kind of like sausages, etc. Once everything was broken down in linear fashion and he understood that it was okay to sketch it out first, he had a much better time.

The real turning point came when he was making the eyes. He had black clay (okay, Crayola Model Magic, we absolutely love that stuff) and was making little balls for the baboon's eyes. I got out some tiny beads and said, "Hey Peter, you should use two of these for eyes." He said he was doing it all himself and he didn't want any beads. So I took a tiny white bead, stuck it into a small black ball of clay, and held it up in front of the baboon's face, and said again, "Hey Peter, you should use two of these for eyes." After he saw that he wanted them, :) grabbed the beads and with minimal help from me, got them into place. After he made indentations for the baboon's nostrils and mouth, it suddenly was filled with so much personality that Peter was laughing out loud looking at it. Now this baboon and baby have a walking (!) baboon with a baby on his back to accompany it, and he plans to make more.

The fact that Peter went in one afternoon from artistic despair and frustration, to crowing at his handiwork, fills my heart with so much joy.

Monday, May 02, 2011

every day in may: two

This is yesterday's painting, but I wasn't able to scan it until today. It's what was intended to be a quick watercolor sketch of Sophie's communion bouquet, but turned into an increasingly more detailed work as I was reminded again that for me, anyway, simple is hard. I think for not painting in forever, it's not too horrible.

Sophie stuck a tiny butterfly in it, which made it even more sweet.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

every day in may: day one

I'm continuing my tradition of painting or drawing every day in May. While I would love to post a long writeup about how enriching this will be (it will!) and how I wish everyone would join me (please do!) right now I'm having a hard time forming a coherent thought because I'm so exhausted.

Sophie's Communion was today and it was awesome.

I painted today, and it was awesome.

And now I'm about to do a faceplant into the keyboard. Though I painted, I didn't scan yet. Hopefully that will come tomorrow, and I hope to write more as well about the incredible struggle I've had to paint, how getting through this May is going to be like trying to push through water, and how I almost cried when my children kept asking me WHY I was painting, because "it's not Christmas." They've totally forgotten when I would paint every day, and that painting is a part of me, and that just makes me so sad.

It's time to remind them what I'm all about.