Saturday, March 8, 2014

Artful Beginnings: A Tale of Me and the Girls

As part of my challenge for Lent in 2013 - I chose to do something creative everyday. Specifically I worked on creating scrapbook pages. On some days, I cranked out multiple layouts. And then, on other days I worked slowly - placing a card or choosing a picture. The really beautiful thing about that journey was that it reignited my love for scrapping and being creative. I found that I enjoyed the creative process more and wasn't addicted to the need for lots of words. It was an epiphany and a pleasure. I think that was due in large part to the fact that I had been scrapping for six years at that time and I was trying to get the spark back - that little thing that keeps you going and moving towards being a creative being.

Cut to 2014...I had taken a few classes and started drawing faces aided by the lovely and talented Andrea Gomoll. Her online Facecinating Girls class comes with a stamp set that includes eyes, noses, and lips. It made things so much easier and I really felt successful. I decided to take the Lifebook 2014 class sponsored by Tamara LaPorte at Willowing Arts. I've been doing one or two projects a month since the year started and am really focused on faces.

So I decided that I would do a face a day for Lent this year - I've already changed this. Last year I made the goal to be creative each day in my scrapbooking. I realized a girl a day was a little too much. I'm going back to my previous model...I will be working on one mixed media girl each day with a focus on learning to shade darker skin tones. Tutorials for shading people of color are in short supply pretty much everywhere - so I'm really winging it. This is my fourth day - and truly this is a frustrating task. I realized this morning that it's because I'm a beginner. I know what I like and I can't produce it yet. And it drives me nuts. So instead of waiting to show my great work...I decided to show you my progress so far. Prepare to be underwhelmed and in one case horrified.   

I want to be totally honest...I had a guide for the shading on this one. I will not be sharing that guide because it is truly unfair to the artist that worked so hard to put her class together. I'm a beginner and it shows. I used the stamps from Andrea Gomoll's Facecinating Girls Vol. 2 class and did the rest by myself. I've made a few changes since then - but this was the basic look. I made more hair scribbles in multiple colors. I wanted to throw up after this first try - so horrified.

On the second day - I decided to try distress markers and inks. I was really motivated and inspired by the work of Brett Weldele. I used the stamps from Andrea Gomoll's Volume 1 class and got to work. I actually think this went well. There were only a few major problems. I used very cheap watercolor paper and it started to break down pretty quickly causing some color discoloration and curse words from yours truly. I was pissed at the time but actually like her a lot now. There's a lot to be said for taking a step back and chilling out.

So for those of you thinking - holy shit what did this girl do this time. I'll explain how this poor, sad, hideous girl came to be. My intentions were great. I wanted to use the same materials from my previous girl without the wear and tear on the paper. So I tried gesso and went to work again. I feel sorry for this girl. She's a disaster. She's an 'F." She's a failure - or should I say...the project was a failure. Remember this is just gesso and the EXACT SAME markers and ink. I could go on but there's no need...I decided to do a comparison photo. other thing...I drew this girl. I got overconfident and drew the face in ink before I stamped the eyes. I will not be repeating that mistake anytime soon. I just can't handle mastering two skills (sketching and painting) at one time. The difference is huge and makes me love the other girl so much more. At this point I wanted to give up...but I decided to push forward.

This is my latest catastrophe. I used acrylics and a recipe of sorts. I completed this part of the piece yesterday and finished her up today.  This is a really great way for me to work.  It takes the pressure off.  I was really shocked by how she looked last night - I was calling her the ugly creature from Fraggle Rock.  But I'm so much happier with her now...

I'm having trouble with proportions - admittedly.  And her lips are an abomination.  I kept on screwing them up and making them bigger and bigger.  Don't even get me started on the friggin' eyebrows.  However, she's SO much better than the eery muppet from before.  She's a reminder that things DO get better.

So why this long diatribe...I just think it's important to document the beginnings. Beginnings can really suck. In my case it includes cursing, crying, and gnashing of teeth. I often lose the will to live. I often lose the will to make art ever again. I think my supplies should be given to someone else with just a little tiny amount of talent. Then I come to my senses and remember beginnings suck and this is just the growing pains of creating something better. I'll get there. I have the scrapbook pages to prove it.

So here are my new guidelines...
  • I will use Andrea Gomoll's stamps - I'm not spending energy on drawing AND shading. It's too much right now.

  • I will work on a mixed media girl each day. This can range from painting and stamping an entire girl or just painting an iris.

  • I will share my work here weekly.

  • I will share the materials I use when the shading and coloring is successful (by my standards).

  • I will keep my girls in one place as a chronicle of my journey.

  • I will use high quality watercolor paper when using uber-wet mediums.

  • I will be easy on myself. I will relax. I will try to have fun.

Here's hoping it gets better. I hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday! Until then...

BTW: The pictures with additional art was edited using A Beautiful Mess' photo app.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Site Info