Finding my voice

First of all, I apologize for such a long absence. The last few months have been a bit nuts. Not long after my last entry, I found myself a full-time job and it has been a roller coaster ever since. When I do have some time, which is not often, I work on some watercolors. I started to do that last January after a friend with whom I was doing art therapy suggested I try. I used to stay away from this medium as it made no sense to me as I was only working in graphite and sometimes in acrylic. But, feeling a new creative surge come through me thanks to my art therapy to unlock my creativity, I decided to jump into that pool and I admit that I have had a lot of fun. I have a small sketchbook that I bring with me at work with my watercolors. My work is usually pretty bland, but for the past few days, I have been experimenting and I have really enjoyed the process. I added some ink to my work and I am even more in love with the results. I believe I have finally found my voice in my own art practice and it is awesome. My sketchbook is not made for watercolor, but I am still able to make this work. So, I will show you my recent work in my new style of portraiture. I do hope that you will l like it. I have no idea if or when I will go back to graphite, but for now, I am having a ball feeling alive like never before in my own art practice. Until then, see you soon and happy summer.

The image on the left is one where I started to experiment. I had put some purple and then ink. I thought my ink resisted water, but found out it was not the case. But, instead of being discouraged, I immediately saw the possibility of the medium and started to test more on that with the image on the right.
With more practice, I am feeling more and more comfortable not only in the medium but also in a new cartoony style of drawing. I have always wanted to make a European-style comic book. I guess those influences are shown through my own illustrative work. I do like the result so far. I am also daring to use more colors and having fun with contrasts as well as using colors that normally would not be used in a portrait. I am finding that I much prefer being free in my application to controlling how I was when using graphite. I guess this new medium is perfect to let myself be free and not be stuck in an artistic prison that I used to put myself in. Losing control has become not only addictive but quite freeing for me.
Here, I let emotions rule my practice and it was quite fun to do so. The picture I used as a reference doesn’t show fear per se. It just appeared as I worked on it, and I love how these changes that happen automatically really give a new narrative to my art. I do see this man in one of my stories, dreading something that will happen to him. It helps create a whole story by seeing his face and imagining why he seems to feel what he feels and why. Plus, reading webtoons for long periods does seem to spark my ideas as well. Overall, today’s drawing was really fun to do and I am already planning my next piece.

Marionette fun

It’s been quite a while since I was last able to blog. So much has happened. I did continue on some drawing studies, but those are not what I will post about here. As stated by my title, I have been having fun creating a marionette. It is far from being over, and even the base is not completed. I at first wanted to make mine in paper mache, but it has proven not as good as I thought it would. So, today I decided to start to work on my marionette with felting that I do myself with specialised needles and Canadian wool that I had laying around my studio. It has been fun. I still need to make the arms but I ran out of crafting wire for that, so I will get some this week on my day off from work and I will be able to work more on my marionette. I will show you where I am now. My good friend Christa has been wanting to see my work, so that is why I am posting a WIP post on my work. Hopefully she will like it. So, until I get my supplies to continue my work, I will let you guys check out where I am now. So far, it is really fun. See you soon.

A simple felted marionette on it’s original sketch. I still need to finish the arms, but so far I really like the look and feel of it all. I am learning on the fly, so I know I am making mistakes. But, hopefully I will learn and improve on my marionette art. The marionette is done using a simple wire armature on top of which I have put on some pipe cleaners to help the wool stick to it and then I am adding Canadian wool on top with my felted needles. It is quite relaxing to work this way. I do like it. Eventually I will add color and details to my marionette. But for now, the base is getting along pretty well.

Nurture

It has been quite a while since I last posted and I do apologize for that. I have been not only waiting for some supplies to come in the mail, and as you all know Covid has slowed anything coming through the mail, but also I have gotten myself a full time job, which limits my creative time considerably. I have been working on a personal piece that is called Nurture. I decided one day to create my own photo reference and after we got ourselves a new kitty who is a Tazmanian devil in disguise, I asked my daughter to pose with the kitten her arms and that picture became my reference picture for my art. It took me quite a while to complete but I am very happy about it. This was a fun piece and it even got me some exposure at work where now they gave me the nick name of “The Artist” there.

Since I started to work about 6 weeks ago, I have noticed that each minute I can create, or each minute I can rest, are very precious to me. I do not have the time to be bored anymore and that is good. I can now invest more in my passion for art, among other things and truly enjoy life again.

I do hope that you will enjoy this latest piece I did. No idea what my next one will be as I will need to create my own reference photo, but do know that I will all keep you in the loop.

Until then, stay safe and enjoy life to the fullest. See you soon.

The original picture I took that became my own art. My daughter is holding our little kitten Kira, who has grown so much today.
My graphite rendering of the picture I took. It is not perfect, but I strive to get better at it in time.

Simple, and yet difficult

A few months ago, I was given a commission work and I was more than happy to oblige. The topic, water. Water seems super simple as we confound this element as something benign and simple, when in fact in art it is one of the most difficult element to draw. Not only is it incredibly organic, it is also without limits and it’s reflective and moving qualities make it incredibly difficult to render. I am pretty sure that all artists who had to tackle this subject all found within themselves a pure conflict in the soul. On one side, our brain tells us that it is just water, a simple element that is easy to look at, but then find in another part of our brain the new knowledge that no, it is very difficult to draw accurately. I know that on both times I have had to draw water (the first one was in a study), my brain has been confronted to both sides at the same time. It is so simple to look at, until you actually look at it more closely.

I had a lot of fun doing this piece. Challenges are part of the learning process and this subject is always one that I love and hate at the same time. But no matter how much I struggle, each time I am done with this I feel confident that I have learned a bit more not only about how to tackle such a difficult and simplistic subject, but also more about myself.

I will also show you the photograph that I based my study on, a photograph by Terry Vlisidis @vlisidis.

Until next time world.

This drawing was challenging to say the least, but very fun to draw this single drop of water being created as it mounted in the air after the initial drop, surrounded by ripples and movement.
Photo by Terry Vlisidis @vlisidis on social media. Photograph found on the unsplash website.

Wolf challenge

Not long ago I was asked if I knew how to draw a wolf. As soon as my renovations were completed and that I was finally able to draw again, I took this subject on for a new artwork. It was not easy and it took me a full week to complete, but I was more than happy to take on this challenge as it looked better than what I anticipated it would look like. With it, I will share with you the reference photo. I took the liberty to change a few things, like the chest. I found it too dark on the picture, so kept some light patches of fur to give it texture, but overall, I am quite pleased with the results. I already have my next piece ready to start tomorrow. Drawing each day is such a bliss for me. I truly have found my happy place in my art.

The original picture was taken on the unsplash website. It was taken by Marc-Olivier Jodoin (@marcojodoin) and it was a real fun challenge to do. I can’t wait to start on my next piece and show it to you all next week. Until then, if some of you want to check out more of Marc’s photos, you can do so on his instagram.

Until then, have a great weekend and do stay safe.

Picture by Marc-Olivier Jodoin found on the Unsplash website.
The result of my hard work rendering this subject. I had a lot of fun drawing this wolf and I can’t wait to get going again on more art.

Computer art done

After many months of work, and a full month of renovation preventing me from drawing either on paper or on the computer, I was able to finish this piece. I started it last February, and only was able to work on it on and off. And last month, I had massive renovations to do in my home, so I had no energy to workout, let alone draw. But thankfully, I was able to have some fun today and finish this piece. The reference picture found on the right is by an unknown photographer. If some of you do know who took the original snapshot, please let me know so that I may give that artist a shout out and proper thank you. Also, I did not use a grid, which will explain why my version is a bit wonky, but hey, I am learning. I hope that you will enjoy it.

My next piece that I will do will be very personal. I got myself a nice big pad of 11″ X 14″, so I know I will have fun. I have never drawn on that kind of paper that is with a fine tooth surface. Hopefully, the results will be good. I can’t wait to start soon to show you guys. Until then, have a wonderful day!

New sketch to bittersweet memories

Today, I was too sore to do my usual workout, so with the green light from my coach, I decided to take a nice long walk in order to find a subject to sketch today. My walk was quite a long one, over 15000 steps, but it was worth it as I found an art installation that was put in my city over a decade ago when we had to move from our first house in this town to the one we have now. This is a bittersweet moment for me, because this installation represents the old neighbourhood that I used to live in that had to be destroyed to make place for the new sections for the open mine pit. That pit is pretty huge and has put my small town into the map of the world. One one of the telephone poles that I drew is the name of the street I used to live in, and our home number. When the place was going to be destroyed, the artist, Danielle Boutin Turgeon asked the residents of the area if they were willing to give their civic number to her in order to add to her piece. As I am an artist myself, I was more than happy to oblige her and we gave her our number. It is a bitter sweet moment for me each time I go see this installation back, because it just reminds me of what changes I had to go through in my life in the last decade, not that I am complaining but I used to love that old house of ours. But, life goes on and I am happy to have been able to walk for an hour to draw this piece. It really makes me feel better about the whole thing. Art truly does make life better!

My interpretation of this huge piece of art at the end of my town, representing some of the homes, streets and telephone poles that were destroyed over a decade ago to make place for some sound equipement for the open mine pit that is just next to it. That pit is huge, google Canadian Malartic open mine pit and I am pretty sure you guys will find loads of pictures of the very pit that has put my city on the international map.
Forêt d’An-Temps, by Danielle Boutin Turgeon, created around 2008-2009 in Malartic, Quebec, Canada. This installation is composed of telephone poles, street names and civic adresses taken with permission from the owners of the homes and by the city of Malartic.
My civic number, 221, seen on top of the picture, and on the left side of the pole, our street name that is unfortunately no more.

The fun of sketching.

Tonight, while I was waiting for the time to go forward before going in the tub, I decided to go ahead and watch this week’s podcast on YouTube entitled USkTalks S2E16: The Rhythm of Chaos. It’s a podcast on sketching. I started to get interested in the genre as of late and I found it quite interesting. So, here is my sketch of the day of Rob Sketcherman (@robsketcherman on instagram among other places), the host of the show. I am finding that even if I am exhausted at the end of the day, picking up my PicassoTab and draw what I see is just an awesome way for me to finish my day.

I do hope that you will like this small sketch. I could use pen, ink or paint to sketch, but for me,my tablet suits me best for this. See you all soon, my tub is calling me now.

Wirlwind of emotions.

The past several months have been high on emotions for me, especially in the last few weeks. For the past year, I have kept myself busy, refusing to feel certain emotions, think certain thoughts, and only focused on my journey to lose weight and be the kind of a warrior I am destined to be. But, for the past few weeks, I have been feeling that what used to be buried deep down in my subconscious, has now risen up to almost get to the bubbling surface of my conscious self, enough that I would see the ripples in my mind. So, I decided a few days ago to deal with these emotions, before they would deal with me. So, for the past 3 days, I have been busy every night after supper painting. But, because I did not have access to acrylic paint, a paint I learned to use over twenty-five years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith and work for the first time in my life with oil paint. And the best way for me to work with this paint and with my bubbling emotions, was to create an abstract painting of how I felt, and it has been a true revelation for me. I am finding that dealing with a year’s worth of buried emotions with paint, gestures, colours, has truly been liberating for me and cathartic as well. There were many tears that were shed during these last three days, as I know that there are more to come.

Tonight, I just completed my first oil painting and I am quite happy about my results. It will take time for it to dry, and then to varnish it, but once all that will be done I will be more than happy to put it up in my house. I am positive that this will by far not be my last painting that will soon hang in my home.

Other than that, I am busy doing commission work in graphite as well as hopefully find some time to finish some digital art that I started last mid-January of this year. I have also been watching some Fake or Fortunes shows on Youtube, and reading a really interesting book that was published in 1876 entitled Grammaire des Arts du Dessin, and I am finding this book quite fascinating. If you are interested, you can get it free on google play in the book section of the app. I just love reading old books because the way they are written is not at all like books of today. I find those so much more poetic in the stories that they are telling. Truly inspirational.

Yep, I have art on the mind, what about you?

Here is a picture of my painting. Mind you, it is not yet dry or varnished, but overall I am quite happy about what I was able to accomplish. See you next time dear reader.

“In Mom’s Honor”, oil on canvas with lines of graphite under the paint. 24″X30″.
I created this piece (to which the picture really doesn’t do it justice) to get all the grief and pain I have been feeling for over a year, grief and pain that I buried deep within myself but needed to deal with as of late. It took me 3 days to create it and I am quite happy with the results.

New medium, new fun

The other day, I got a PicassoTab Tablette from my husband and daughter. They knew I wanted one, but also knew that I had no idea when I would ever get it. They surprised me with it the other day and I have been having fun drawing on it. It’s very versatile and much more forgiving than working on paper, although the feel is quite different. Although I am better for now with my graphite on paper than with my tablet, I vow to myself to become better at hyper realism, no matter what medium I use. Whether it is graphite on sketch paper, or on my tablet, I want to become a serious competition in the field someday. The advantage of my tablet vs paper and pencil is that I only need my tablet and I am good to go. The inconveniences is that 1) it is a lot more expensive, and 2) it is also a lot more heavier. But overall, I am having loads of fun exploring the IbisPaintX app that I am using. It would have been better to use Procreate, but my tablet is not from apple, so I took what I could, which is IbisPaintX. I rather like it. It is not too hard to use and it is hours of fun for me. If I need to bring it with me on the go, I just quickly put it in my purse and I am all set. I just need to make sure that my tablet will be fully charged that morning first. But overall, I find it is incredible fun. So, whether I will do hyper realism on paper or on my tablet, I will still share with you all.

So, until next time!