Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blog time!

Well I just woke up from taking a nap and catching up on some sleep. I was up late last night working on this music poster for a friend (I won't reveal the whole thing as I haven't heard back from her yet and I'm not completely 100% done). I'm pretty happy with it so far, just hoping she is too.

      Staying up late last night reminded me of the 'commissions' I used to do in the eighth grade. It started out as one friend in my class venturing out and asking me to draw a portrait of her dog in colored pencil, so I did and things kinda went from there. After I did that for her, more students started to come to me with various projects. I was both surprised and thrilled at how much people seemed to appreciate my art skills, so much so that I accepted their requests free of charge.  Eventually the drawings became bigger and I was experimenting with making them more 'professional', by making them larger, more colorful, and extra photo realistic (even though that really isn't my strong suit). One young man particularly seemed to enjoy giving me projects to draw.
    Now don't worry, no love stories here. He lived and breathed bull riding (a rarity even at our tiny country school) and was even competing in a few local rodeos every now and then.  He started out by handing me torn out pages from his favorite bull rodeo magazine, and I would draw them during art class that day. Eventually he started to give me snap shots of him actually riding (which were pretty spectacular!). I loved them becuase it had so much movement and excitement than the pictures of dogs and hamsters I was usually getting. I think the last drawing I did for him he just gave me the whole magazine and let me pick out what ever I wanted to draw, after I did that he paid me in chocolate, which I happily accepted.  Any other commissions I did that year I don't think I'll remember as much those ones. Maybe becuase I felt connected to a part of my community (my family were sorta isolated in that we were really part of the farming community), or maybe I honored to do something I love to do, from something he loved to do.
   I've done other little commissions since then,  never really getting paid very much, but I figured it's good for the experience. The one's I really enjoy tend to go along the same theme: doing something I love, to celebrate something they love. It also tends to be them taking a gamble on my drawing skills, a challenge, and it's always nice to surprise them and my self. I just have to make sure that I keep that in mind throughout the next coming years, I've already experienced how the stresses of life can take away the joy of art from me, so I'm gonna take it easy today and work on some crochet, and maybe head over to the horse barn to help out and draw horses. If I have the time....


Sunday, July 24, 2011

So Busy!!

So I devoted a portion of my day today working on a music poster for the lovely Laura Cortese, who is hosting a birthday bash in August. I'm hoping I can include everything that needs to be on there without making the poster look too busy, and as with most of the commissions I do, my number one concern is that the recipient is going to be happy with the results.
Aros the Gelding

   Generally this summer I've had the luxury of having lots of time open to work on pieces for long stretches of time to complete them: such as with this horse sign for a local stable owner who wanted a metal horse sign painted to look like her beautiful blue roan gelding, Aros. I would ride my bike to the barn and spend most of the day there painting (now I'm helping to put up fences and such, more on that later :). 
 Or like with the backdrops I mentioned in the last post, where I would just come with my younger brother to band camp and paint them outside there for long stretches of time.
The real horses don't know what to think!
   However today I was having trouble mixing in working on this poster with social things, and tomorrow I'm going to have to figure out a way to work on that, hanging with friends, and finishing more backdrops at the school! Not to mention I want to get some running in some how, although lately, I've felt really run down and out of it. I'm hoping sine I have to drive my brother into town today I can pick up a planner and some art stuff which might help me feel better. I don't know what I'm going to do once school actually starts.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Project time!

Alrighty, I think pretty soon I'm going to have to devote a post to all the things I've made this summer so far, but for now here are some I've either finished or am working on this week....

In crochet news, I finished this circle motif shurg I was working on. I am happy with how it turned out considering how it's mostly improvised from expanding an open work circle and adding arm holes. However it's a little too small for my shoulders so I'm going to give it away to some one who might fit it and appreciate it's funky-ness. During that time however, I am going to try again and make one that would fit me in a lovely nave color for this coming fall.

All this week I have been joining my friends and my younger brother at my high school's marching band camp working on these back drops for their 'A Night in Autumn/Halloween' half-time show.  I think I'm still recovering from painting out in the heat but I'm pretty happy with the results (and even more thrilled that the band really likes them and I'll be coming back Monday to paint another mountain and a sunset drop down). They are playing Night on Bald Mounting, Call of the Mountain and Thiller and I think it's gonna be a great show, I'm so proud of our band. Good job guys and congrats on surviving marching outside during that killer heat wave!

My running, my mom, and other things...

Today's post is partly inspired by my mom.

     In the last few years, I have taken a liking to running and biking. I am currently getting in shape for my high school's cross country team, one of the only sports I have ever taken serious interest in (or competed in, for that matter). I'm hoping for a great season this year so I've been hitting the running pretty hard this month. As a result, the faults in my mechanics and my weak spots are starting to catch up to me with achy hips and heavy legs. I just can't keep from running though, so I woke up early and went for a mild 4 mile run this morning after taking a break for a couple days. Running for me seems this balancing act between what's in it for me, and what's in it for the sport.
   Anyway, as I was getting ready to head out the door, my mom popped out of her room getting to go on a walk/run herself. She 'ran' her first 5k in June. Before that, running has been mainly an isolated thing for me, I was so excited that morning that she was gonna give it a shot. She was fantastic, having fun even! I cheered her on the last lap, and we triumphantly went home feeling so accomplished, together. It was a true mother/daughter day we haven't had in a long time. Walking and running are starting to become things we share, so any time she gets up and goes, I want to get up and go too.
  That morning, I was relieved when I finally got back from my run. As I expected, I was pretty uncomfortable most of the time, and likely would have taken much longer if there wasn't a coming thunderstorm on the horizon to beat home. I walk in the door to see her resting after having finished her run before me. I was rather exhausted and expected us to watch tv for a while, but she pops up out of her chair and proclaims: "I'm gonna walk around the block and get the mail".  I was a little suprised, perhaps confused, at her restlessness. But I smiled and settled into the couch as she went out again.
   I woke up two hours later to the sound of her coming into the door. "So how was it?" I asked, knowing I shouldn't have slept so long. "It was great!" and she listed the neighbors she talked to along the way, including a man who lives down the street with this big Dane/shepherd mix of a dog. "I petted him, actually, he's really sweet dog." Every day she gets a little faster and little stronger Mom said as she continued going around the living room settling down. Pausing and looking out the door, a thought seemed to bloom from her heart: "You know, it is so lovely to have a Saturday when you have nothing looming over your head to do. You can just get up and go and do as you please, you know? It's so great." I finally understood her drive this morning.

On of my favorite works of my mom's : The Sea Shell Hunt, circa 1975
    I won't go into detail, but life has been getting better in our house at the same time it's been giving us new challenges to face (or rather, variations on the same theme). I prayed mom would feel this great all day, all weekend, becuase I know too well how it seems those things we HAVE to tackle always seem to follow us close behind. The things that can build and drag us down after a while. Days like this give me hope that soon we'll sit down together and share our creative minds together as we've shared other things. My mom is an artist as well, and my talents are as much of hers as they are mine. She hasn't done any art for her self lately, and it's a part of her life I wish I knew more about. I owe so much to my mom. Parts of me, are hers forever.

Friday, July 22, 2011

See how they run....

    Well I'm glad to have gotten the first post out of the way, becuase I have a lot of projects that I'm working on I need to get on here. Most recently, I finally finished my second attempts at animation today. 

    In my first attempt (top), I used the Muybridge photographs to sketch out a galloping horse, not really understanding the movement of the animal.

In my second attempts (middle and bottom), I tried to clean up the horse design so I could better see it's movements, (which I discover are still kinda off). 
I also thought it would be a good practice to try and match up the horse's movement with music, which might help me when I'm trying to do more lengthy and interesting animations in the future.  

 This aren't the most interesting horse animations in the world, but I've got big ideas ahead. Especially since I recently got a new wacom fun tablet (talk more about that later) which means I won't have to do it the old fashion way like in these.

I'm also working on posting more stuff on my youtube account.

Getting in the Hang of things....

    Hello Everyone! Welcome to my first blog entry, about which I'm excited to see how things go. I won't go too in depth of what plans I have for this, but I will give a little background. 
One of the artworks entered in my first Art show
   All of my life I have been making things: everything from making arts and crafts, to music and performances; from poems and movies, to gifts and props. It could be said, that much of my survival has depended upon my ability to making things. One could comb through our house and pull out boxes and stacks and bags full of the paintings, drawings, projects and trinkets I've made (in fact, last summer we did comb out all these things and tried to go to a portfolio review, more on that later). Not to mention the works I've given away as well (more on that later too).
   What I hope to explore here, is why exactly I make these things. Recently, I had entered some works into a local art show, I knew I shouldn't expect much from a first show, but that night I felt so terribly insecure. Perhaps it is because soon I'm going to have to find ways to live off my art, every passing look at any of my works feels like either the glance that gets me into a good college, or the glare that tells me to hit the drawing board again. I'm hoping that by documenting my 'projects' and reflecting on my past works, I'll better understand my methods and create better art; art that tells my life story and not just be a part of it. Not to mention the high possibly for having some fun as well.
   So if you'll please be patient as I get used to this whole blogging thing (which is a project in its self), I'll post snippets of the stuff I'm working on, and the things I learn about my art along my life's journey. 
    Even though it is currently thunder-storming outside (which is a rather spectacular way to end a killer heat wave of a week), I have a great feeling about this.