Sunday, August 7, 2016

All Good Things Must Eventually Come to an End

We are now heading into the last week and a half of our vacation and I have to say, "When can we do this again?"  There has just been something about not having constant demands on your time that just free one to be more creative.  Also having only about 160 sq feet of space to keep clean means I'm not really  overwhelmed with housework like I am at home in my 2000 sq foot house.

I love this Ely, Nevada area.  I might not have that same opinion during their very cold winter months but the summer temperatures have been amazing.  We have also experienced a lot of inspiring scenery and wildlife during our 2.5 weeks here and that does wonders for your creativity.  The one animal that I haven't gotten to view up close yet is an elk. This area is home to many elk and I'm told by the locals that during the summer they are high up in the mountains but come the cooler weather of fall they will again be seen more frequently.  
Sketch of an Elk
I had to rely on reference photos to draw this colored pencil sketch of an elk. I'm sorry that I have to post cell phone pictures of my artwork but my scanner and home computer just wouldn't fit in the camper and I forgot to pack the chip reader for the good camera so that I could have access to the photo on my laptop.  

The one thing that is different about this sketch is that I usually don't include all the background, but only focus on the main elements of the composition. Probably because I'm a tad bit lazy but this time I tried my hand at penciling the whole scene.  I think it turned out pretty well and I am pleased with it.  This process of creating a rendering helps me for the time when I'm ready to actually create a painting.  I feel that I am much better prepared and have a better understanding of what it is that I'm going to paint.

We got to walk around the downtown area Saturday, August 6th and take in the annual "Art in the Park" event that I have been looking forward to since we first visited in June.  As I suspected, the area was full of vendors but I saw a lot booths that had more crafts than fine art.  As a matter of fact, I only saw one traditional artist tent there.  His name was Randy Morris of Salt Lake City and he had beautiful work and told us that he has come for several years.  I hope he did well because outdoor art festivals are in my experience a whole lot of work with very little reward.  It was still fun and we showed our self-discipline by walking right past all those funnel cake and Indian taco vendors to come home to a healthy lunch prepared by yours truly.

Great Horned Owl- 10 x 20 Acrylic
In previous posts this week,  I have shown some sketches and a progress picture of the great horned owl painting I have been working on.  This piece is getting very close to being complete.  I have several minor details to work out and a few more highlights and then I will be adding my signature and calling my feathered friend here finished.  He is going to look really great when I add that coat of varnish to him. That always brings out the colors and adds a nice shine to the piece.

I'm also very excited about a new opportunity that may be coming my way as an artist.  It seems very likely that I will be teaching an after school art club at a local private school that I have associations with.  I'm both excited and a bit nervous.  I'm sure once I get a few weeks under my belt I will be just fine.

In planning for this club I want the first 8 week  session to be focused with drawing.  Shapes, shading and creating depth will be a good starting point for the club that will range from 3rd - 12th grade.  I have been adding some sketch ideas in my own sketchbook and going crazy with my newest social media love, PINTEREST!  What a wealth of ideas there are there.  I just can't stop adding pens to my boards.  

Here is one of the fun little sketchs I did this week and it may be the example for my first art club project.  There is just something about drawing lines that I find relaxing and therapeutic.   I just love taking a simple line and by adding a curve here or  a shadow there, you can create such amazing and complex composition. I decided I had to add an element of mystery to the design so I added some little eyes peering out from a black void in the wrappings.  Elsewhere you can see ripples and creases that I think give the drawing more interest and spark imagination.  Now will the kids enjoy drawing something like this as much as I do?

 For more information about this art club that I'm calling "A-Club" you can go to my website.  I was pretty excited that being the non-technical person that I am, that I was able to set up a registration and payment tab on my Weebly website so parents can register easily. Check it out at: A-Club information.  I was pretty proud of myself for figuring this all out.


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