Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 27

I'm admitting that I'm tired of needing to post these. 
Not tired of drawing.
Just too much to remember.
I think it's part of the summertime doldrums where I'm a little tired of being
"mom" 24/7 and keeping everyone happy.

Sketch-a-Day 26

A "singing frog" from my collection of little frogs.
I love little frogs.

Sketch-a-Day 25

From a model at the museum - some things move to fast to sketch live.
With the current heat outside (100+) museums are a good option.

Sketch-a-Day 24

From a museum model.
Sketched during a moment I probably should have been watching the kids more closely.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sketch-A-Day 16

Several years ago (at least four or five) I purchased a fantastic set of DVD's. The Structure of Man by Riven Phoenix. The production isn't high tech - but the instruction is SERIOUS.  If you go through and do the lessons, learn the formulas (it's all about formulas!) - you will be able to draw the human figure from the bones out.  Granted they are visual formulas about proportion and placement - not math and numbers.

Me? The way my life is - I'm still on lesson 10. There are over 100. I'm a little stuck here on the complexity of this piece. I need to buckle down and just do it over and over. In a short enough time that I don't forget everything I did last time.

Lyricisms: On Being Blind

“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle." ~Frederick Franck

photo by Julia Wade Photography
I'm half blind

It's true. I vividly remember being five years old and getting my first pair of glasses. As I came out into the shopping mall I was shocked to discover that the big colorful blobs above each store front were, in fact, words. The details I had missed had meaning. It felt like stepping into a new world.

To this day I still feel as though I need a different language to exist in the world without my glasses. I put on my glasses each morning and finally feel connected and awake. For me, it's all in the details.

When I'm drawing I see things differently.

These days, I'm finding that I feel half blind without my sketchbook in hand. If I'm not drawing something, figuring out how shapes go together and at what angle to curve each line, I feel as if I'm not really seeing what is there. It feels as if my pen is a pair of glasses, giving me the details I need to understand the extraordinary meaning and beauty in everything around me. The world is a magical place seen through the eyes of the artist I am intent on becoming.

"You are not stuck where you are, unless you decide to be."  ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

What tool are you lacking?

Where is your blind spot?

What skill or technique, what way of thinking, is keeping you from fully connecting to the world of your own unique vision and art? Often we get frustrated with our perceived lack of ability to create the visions in our minds' eye. It's too easy to say "I can't" or to say "I'm stuck" and to simply give up. Understand that giving up rather than doing the work is YOUR choice.

You can choose to not be stuck!

Stop and take the time to figure out what tool you need to help you move forward then do what it takes to add that tool to your kit. It takes work, time, and effort to master a new skill. Sometimes it takes an instructor to teach us the techniques we lack. Sometimes it takes the encouragement of a supportive friend or mentor to keep us going when we get discouraged. Always, it is a decision to plod along one small step at a time towards your goal. There might be missed footings and detours, but each step will take you closer to your goal of becoming an artist.

You can do it. I know you can!

This essay is from my most recent newsletter, Lyricisms. If you know someone else who might enjoy this please feel free to hit that little button up on the top right and share this via FaceBook, email, or Twitter. I'd appreciate it! If you would like to subscribe to the Lyricisms newsletter- you can do that here.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For Your Inspiration: Summer Wonderful Salad

Summer Wonder Salad
3 cups watermelon
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp scallions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

chop, mix, chill.... divine!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 12

Self Portrait
waiting in the car during daughters' flute lessons
temperature 97 Fahrenheit

Monday, July 11, 2011

Artist Spotlight part 1: Christine Hager-Braun

I'd like to introduce you to another one of my favorite textile artists. Christine Hager-Braun. I've long enjoyed her work but a few months ago I saw some new pieces hanging in a gallery that simply blew me away. Thought I'd share them with you.

Lyric: How did you become an artist, what is your background?

More Than Just the Sum: Northern Red Oak
18.5" x 24.5"

Christine: When I was a child my grandmother taught me to crochet, all sorts of embroidery and needlework techniques and to sew on a treadle sewing machine. However, I was only exposed to quilting after I moved to the US in 1999. In the Summer of 2002, I made my first quilt following a pattern from a book. It was a lapquilt, machine-pieced and free-motion quilted, for my grandmother on the occasion of her 87th birthday. This piece was a valuable lesson for me in order to realize that I did not enjoy making repetitive blocks.

My next quilt was already based on my own ideas. Feeling comfortable with straight seams, I assembled the center from 400 little squares. Over the years my skills developed: curved seams were added, strict geometric patterns were supplemented with free-form cuts. Besides having a stash of commercially available fabrics I started dyeing and painting my own fabrics. I truly enjoy the characteristics of fabric such as colors and malleability so fabric became my medium of choice.

More Than Just The Sum: Post Oak
18.5" x 24.5"
L: I know that you were a scientist before you chose to dedicate yourself to your artwork. Why did you decide to quit that job and spend more time with art?

Christine: I worked as a scientist in the field of HIV research. Amongst those people infected with HIV, only very few develop specific, so-called neutralizing, antibodies which fight the virus and prevent the individual from developing AIDS. I characterized some of these neutralizing antibodies hoping that the insights would contribute to the ultimate goal of the research community to develop a vaccine against HIV. But over the years I became frustrated because I felt we would always be a step behind. My hobby of art quilting helped me to remain balanced as it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Eventually, creating art became an essential aspect of my life, important enough to give up my job in the lab. In addition, having a studio in my house allowed me to spend more time with my son who started kindergarten at that time. Although being a professional artist requires discipline and dedicated hours in the studio, I enjoyed – and still enjoy – that I can be more involved in my child’s education and well-being.

L: What inspires and informs your current work?
More Than Just The Sum: Northern White Oak
18.5" x 24.5"
Christine: My background in biological sciences and simply life around me is the inspiration for my work.
Thematically, my current work focuses on interactions: Interactions on a microscopic level between cells or microorganisms, but also interactions between humans on an individual basis or in communities. My latest work, a series entitled “More Than Just the Sum” was inspired by images of microscopic slides prepared from wood slices. Individual cells form tissue samples with specific functions, and although various tissues are visually and functionally different, they interact and form one organism, namely a majestic tree. 

Sketch-a-Day 11

The tool bucket at the orthodontist had much the same structure
as the echinacea in my flower beds.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 10

The element of water - remnants left on land.
I have a collection of shells in a bowl on my dining room table.

Sketch-a-Day 9

Peaches are my idea of the perfect summer fruit.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 8

The element of water.
The element of air.
The element of fire.
It's hot and humid here at the pool.

Faces on Friday

Hmm. I still have thing with the lower half of the face being too short.
Something to work on.

Sketch-a-Day 7

The element of air - a seeming defiance of gravity.
I want to fly too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 6

crazy blind contour self portrait
I did cheat and look at the page several times - but did not lift the pen.
Oh - and I drew FAST instead of slow.
Looking in the visor mirror as we waited to get out of the parking lot late at night after the fireworks.
Our fireworks were a day late because of torrential rainstorms.
I think I like it that way - much smaller crowds!

For Your Inspiration: NC Farmers Market

All photos taken with my iphone
Processed with the Hipstamatic app

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sketch-a-Day 4

Tape Dispenser sketch by Lyric Kinard
A completely ridiculous (and lovable) part of my frog collection.
I think I'm going to have to do a new post on my collection as it's grown a bit.
Just figured out how to post photos from my iphone to blogger thanks to this tutorial.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge - July's Theme

Fun Stuff over at the Sketchbook Challenge this month!
sketch by Lyric Kinard
It's my turn to choose the theme and I think it's a good one. Of course there haven't been any bad ones.
You can read more about it here - but the short version is that I'm going to focus on the word
So many possiblities.
Of course if you've read my book, or know me and my relentless soapbox (YOU can learn to be an artist!) you know one of the things I'll be thinking about are the elements of art.

I thought I'd do something fun and post a sketch a day this month. I'm going to take five minutes each day and look at the world around me. Find interest, find beauty. Think about it and absorb it as my pencil follows the path of my eye. One little visual thought each day. 

You don't have to find anything grand. A waste bin can have beautiful lines. 

LINE is one of the basic ELEMENTS of the visual language.
What is a line?