Saturday, August 25, 2018

Summer Drawing Challenge

Summer is a good time to just kick around and practice some art!

I like to give my older students a “daily warm-up” to get them focused. It’s a great opportunity to practice with no pressure. A daily challenge is also a way get into doing art on a regular basis without feeling like you have to take on a big overwhelming project. 

A while back, my husband gave me the book One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawler.  (Lawler has a series of books like this one to choose from on this site: http://www.onedrawingaday.comOne Drawing a Day is a 6-week course geared to older artists, so when August rolled around, I thought I’d give it a go and be the student for a change!
So far, I’m up to 12 exercises. The time frame is going to be a bit extended for me because I had to skip a few days, and (full disclosure) I didn’t follow all directions exactly, mainly substituting supplies when there was something I didn’t have on hand. I also used photographs when it wasn’t practical to draw from life. I made it work, and let’s face it: the Art Police are not coming to get us. Artists often improvise to problem solve all the time. It’s called “creativity”!!! The important thing is to keep moving forward.

One Drawing a Day explains the day’s task in a clear way for beginners, but also gives great tips and ideas for taking it to the next level for more advanced artists (we call that “differentiating” in the education world). 

As you can see in my first set of drawings, I’ve had fun and learned things even if the results aren’t perfect. It’s all part of process!  I won’t reveal the themes and directions because you should buy or read the book for that. When I’m done, however, my copy will be available in my Little Free Library (first come, first serve). 

If you want to try an art challenge, visit the One Drawing a Day site, or visit my Drawing & Art Challenges Pinterest board for tons of ideas!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

2018 - A Whale of a Summer!

I celebrated my birthday this August by heading down to the Kilburn Mill in New Bedford to view the Whaling Museum’s Grand Panorama Whaling Voyage Round the World exhibit which runs through Oct. 8, 2018.

The Panorama painted by New Bedford artists Caleb Purrington and Benjamin Russell about 170 years ago, was originally viewed as a rotating scroll in the days before movies and told the story of a typical whaling trip around the world in great detail. Imagine for viewers back in the 1800s, this was the only opportunity to see what distant parts of the world looked like without seeing them first hand! Rumor has it that parts of Moby Dick were inspired by the scenes depicted in this Panorama.

It is no exaggeration to say that it was a completely unique experience to see this art work, which is as long as the Empire State Building is high. The amount of time it would’ve taken to execute an art work of this size is mind boggling. Even to mount this exhibit, restore and repair the work so it is viewable, was a huge undertaking. (The space needed to display the 4 scrolls which hang on specially created supports meant that some artists who had studio space on that floor were displaced temporarily. The space will be reverted back to some other commercial use when the exhibits closes.)

Some highlights for me were the beginning of the scroll: scenes of the familiar skylines of New Bedford and Fairhaven. I loved the scene of Portugal, and the beautiful details of a huge variety of ships and boats. The mystery of the missing scroll, which seems to have been misplaced about 100 years ago, is explained in an interesting display as well. 

The world-class New Bedford Whaling Museum did an incredible job providing context information and lots of visuals to help viewers understand what is depicted as well as what creating, restoring, and displaying the work entailed. There are huge interactive touch-screens with information, a working miniature model of the Panorama as it would have been displayed in the olden days, and lots of chairs to rest in for those who need take breaks, because it is vast.

This exhibit is free (donations are accepted) and there is a tiny pop-up gift shop with souvenirs related to the exhibit. I would say give yourself one to 1 & 1/2 hours to enjoy this exhibit. Free parking can be found along the street but we parked in the strip mall lot across from the mill (local knowledge tip). The Kilburn Mill is not walking distance from downtown, but the Whaling Museum is running a shuttle to the mill every half hour. (If you haven’t been to the Whaling Museum or haven’t been there recently please check that out as well. Both the museum and the exhibit are appropriate for families.)

There is a limited time to see this amazing exhibit, so don’t miss out! You don’t have to know anything about art to be swept away on this journey... Just go!!!

(My photos do not do it justice. Also FYI, no flash photography allowed but camera phone without flash was okay.) 

The Panorama Marquis at The Kilburn Mill, at Clark's Clove

The view from the Panorama room

A cool little mural on this building, too!

Info about the missing roll.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jumping on Board with Gallery No. 9!

For the last two summers, I have put illustration and books on hold and have been doing some traditional painting. I've been focusing on things that interest me, mostly natural elements like birds' nests and ocean stuff!

I'm very excited to announce that I am now part of the Gallery No. 9 Artist Collective who will be representing me and selling my art work in our local area. You can purchase my original paintings through Gallery No. 9! I am also willing to take limited commissions.

Check out the Gallery No. 9 Facebook page and stay posted for opportunities to purchase my work as well as the other artists' work. It is a diverse group and there is so much to choose from for affordable prices.

Check out my updated portfolios on my web page, too! A few of the works there have been purchased already, but some are still available. You can contact Gallery No. 9 through Facebook page Messenger to ask about availability and prices.

A few of my recent works: local seascapes and a trompe l'oeil.
Right now, I'm painting a seashore-themed series and enjoying the summer. In a few weeks I will be back to teaching, so wishing you all a very long, beautiful, and relaxing remainder of summer!!