I follow many people on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes I find a link that sends me down a rabbit hole. This happened recently when I came across an article (how I got there? who knows?) about a book entitled We go to the gallery by Miriam Elia. This is undoubtedly the cleverest and funniest book I’ve read in ages. Based lovingly on the 1960s Ladybird books,
We Go To The Gallery is the first in a series of ‘Harlequin Ladybird’ books designed to make scary subjects approachable for the under 5s. Described in bold colours and clear and concise English, each book will drag families in to the darkest recesses of the collective unconscious, for their broader cultural benefit.
You might be able to buy a copy of the book here. If it is no longer available perhaps the “average” rosettes will appeal to you.
Unfortunately Penguin Publishers has brought a suit against Miriam for copyright blah blah blah. Do read more about it. In today’s world there should be room for parody (not plagiarism, Mr. Labouf). A similar case is being looked at by the courts and the use of a song by the Beastie Boys in a commercial for GoldieBlox.
This month I am diving back into my sketchbook and doing some drawing. I am very wary of my drawing skills. So, as Macklemore says, I just need to put in those 10,000 hours (okay, Malcolm Gladwell probably said it first but I like Macklemore’s song).
I absolutely love the work that Crystal Moody is doing in her sketchbook. So much so that I’m going to try the same thing for the month of March. Sketching from photos or drawings in books.
The book I am working from is Collins Pocket Guide to the Sea Shore by John Barrett and G. M. Yonge.
I love beach combing, gathering rocks, shells, bits of driftwood and seaweed. I’m hopeless, I’ll come home with my pockets full of sand and treasures, like a little kid. Some of my “best selling” (and please don’t let that fool you, I’ve sold a few more of these than of others) prints are those that I’ve done of the shore. Maybe these sketches will inspire more prints.
My Daily Habit in February was to search out images and collect then in my sketch book. This was a really simple process and sometimes it it the simple things that can get you back on track. Looking back on them triggers more ideas for both print and fiber work.
So, a few lessons learned,
- Looking is a skill that should be learned and mastered.
- This was a great escape, looking through all sorts of magazine, brochures, junk mail. Cutting and pasting images. But It didn’t feel like quite enough.
- February skies are still depressing.
For those of you just joining in, I am following along with Crystal Moody’s Year of Creative Habits. Crystal is amazing in her discipline to the project and I love her work, especially lately with dinosaurs and bugs – two things very close to my heart. You might want to head over there and see her interview with me. Or not. It’s cool.
So much fun we went twice. Psycho Donuts has two locations in San Jose, tiny little spots, full of fantastic donuts, hilarious décor and amazing, wait for it, art.
The art in both stores is curated by Christine Benjamin. Christine is an artist herself, working in several mediums. As much as I love her paintings, I was, of course, drawn to her art dolls. There is an incredible amount of detail in each one, from the felted faces to the articulated limbs made from clay or found objects. The costumes are miniature versions of real clothing, again, showing a tremendous amount of detail. I can only imagine the amount of time each doll takes to construct.
For more information on Christine, you can visit her website.
This photo is borrowed with permission of the artist.
The gray skies have been too much for me this year. So last week my little family and I went to San Jose. We had a wonderful time, blue skies, sunshine, the beach, San Francisco, Psycho Donuts, the San Jose Flea Market. It was wonderful.
And now home to this. sigh.
This month my goal is to continue to look at things. I know this sounds so funny but what you see is so influenced by your mood, what you are already thinking about or if you are in the creative spirit, how you can use what you are seeing.
I am clipping magazines, and pasting images in my sketchbook. Alongside the sketchbook I am thinking of ways my art might be influenced by these.
Despite the severe lack of posts, I am keeping up with my year of creative habits.
I have to say, that taking photos of gray January skies became more difficult than I had imagined it to be. Even searching out color became a drag. Yes, there was lots of green moss, trees and lawns, but they were all set against a background of grey.
bright red berries
underfoot, bright yellow traction strips
taking photos through the shading of the car window to simulate blue skies
I continued working in my sketchbook each day, but began to sketch from handbooks of flora local to the area.
So, a few lessons learned,
- January skies are dangerously depressing when you are looking at them closely every single day.
- Sketching everyday is a discipline I enjoy and hope to continue.
- Looking is a skill that should be learned and mastered.
- Even when you aren’t feeling particularly creative, making yourself sit down for 10 or 15 minutes at least keeps your head in the game.
A few months ago my husband bought me a subscription to Art in America magazine. The first issue totally overwhelmed me. I thought that I probably wasn’t anywhere near the target audience. The second issue was lovely, I skimmed a few articles. But the next issue blew me away. I poured through the ads, the articles and found so much inspiration in the artwork.
A few of the artists that particularly caught my eye are Anna Galtarossa, Lisa Kokin, Aminah Robinson and Phyllida Barlow.
Anna Galtarossa Lisa Kokin.
. Aminah Robinson Phyllida Barlow
Here is a link to a current exhibit by Anna Galtarossa and Daniel Gonzalez. I love everything about it, from the giant skyscrapers to the over abundant use of sequins.
Lisa Kokin is a mixed-media artist. Her work combines materials to create art pieces as varied as cowboys formed from antique linens to flowers made from the spines of self-help books. You can find out more about Lisa and her amazing work on her website, here. I think my favorite pieces are the works with buttons.
I’m not quite sure where to start in describing Aminah Robinson’s work. She is amazingly talented and works in several mediums. You can visit Aminah’s World to learn about her art and processes. You can even create your own art. To see her work as presented by a gallery, follow this link.
I love the color, materials, size and texture of Phyllida Barlow’s work. It is imposing, somewhat ominous but absolutely approachable. This is a great site to see her work.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous posts, here and here, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions but I do love what the new year represents, a chance to start something new, try different things and expand (or even reduce) your horizons.
I’ve decided to follow along with the blog, The Year of Creative Habits which is, in it’s very simplest form;
- Choose one creative habit.
- Do it everyday for one month.
- Share your effort/progress with others.
- Reflect on the month and decide if you will continue the habit.
The project is being directed by Crystal Moody. I love, and can relate to, her quote, “I’ve spent a lot of time wanting be creative without any action.” I too have spent oodles of time looking at web sites, pouring through art books, magazine and natural history books, but in the end, I actually do very little, at least on a daily basis. So, like Crystal, this is my year of creative habits.
This month (starting on January 6th, because I’m cool like that) my creative habit is to:
- go out everyday for at least 15 minutes and take photos.
- come home, pick one photograph and make a quick sketch.
For more information on the project here are a couple of links:
http://yearofcreativehabits.com/ You can sign up for project updates and learn more here.
http://yearofcreativehabits.tumblr.com/ Tons of great ideas on sparking creativity and creating habits.
While most of the mid-west and eastern US and Canada suffer in snow and cold, we are having our usual gray weather. Grey skies and in the morning, fog and frost making everything else just as gray. I had an appointment this morning at an office part that is nestled in a wooded area and took a few photos of the frost.
The camera I’m using is my new phone, the Nokia Lumia 1020 with a Zeiss lens and 41 mega pixels. I’m thrilled with the quality of the photographs and ease of use. This ad is on TV, which you may have seen and yes, it actually does work just like that. And most importantly, it is running Windows 8.