Friday

The Human Skull


The Human Skull... 22 bones, common to all humans... the most complicated bony structure of the body...

The largest form of the skull is the Cranium... where every bump and hollow corresponds to the shape of the brain...



This bone structure is responsible for the outward appearance of the head and face... so much so that experts in anatomical sculpture can take a skull from unknown origin and quite accurately recreate the features of that individual...

At the front of the skull are two orbits that contain the eyeballs... and a central hole for the airway of the nose...


The upper jaw is part of the main skull... The lower jaw is a completely separate bone which pivots on the cheekbone... hinging on either side of the skull at ear level...

The entire facial area is small... compared to the size of the whole skull... making up only about one-eighth of the entire surface.......

The slight size and subtle shape variances of this bony structure are what makes each particular face unique and recognizable...

I love the challenge of taking on the skull as a creative endeavor in any medium... maybe because I feel I am looking back in time... maybe I just want to understand how we human beings are put together... or maybe just because I still have a lot of learning to do...

Click to see Other Skulls on my blog.

approx. 4" x 6" ink, watercolor, crow quill pen, brush on CP Arches WC paper

Thursday

Banana #1


A little loose watercolor sketch... using 2 brushes... my tiny size 2 script and a size 12 watercolor... lightly drew a banana then slightly soaked the whole sheet with my brush using clear water...

...while it was still wet and using the large brush.... I puddled various shades into the banana shape and let them flow... to merge light, shadow and mid-tone... but still trying to keep some colors distinct...

when it was dry, I used some of the same colors with the script brush.... I held it lightly at the tip of the handle and gently flicked it back and forth in the general shape of the banana... the bristles of the brush just barely touching the paper... not trying to follow any particular lines at all... a simple lively exercise to play around with, to loosen up ...


approx. 4" x 6" on the back of a light WC weight card

Wednesday

Oatmeal Raisin Brown Bread




Oatmeal Raisin Brown Bread.... our most favourite bread ... it takes a bit of trial & error to work out recipes to your liking and I finally have this one worked out.... It is really simple & delicious.... takes less than 5 min. to put it together

I use a breadmaker to mix it & do the first raising... while I work up in the studio... must be what having a maid feels like...

1½ C. water - lukewarm- so not to kill your yeast
2 Tbsp.milk powder
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. sugar or honey
1½ tsp. sea salt
3½ C. flour ( I use ½ unbleached and ½ whole wheat although it tastes great using all whole wheat too.. just a little denser)
¾ C. quick cooking oatmeal
2-3 tsp. dry yeast

Just as it starts to mix in the breadmaker,

toss in ½ C. raisins... Feel free to add a few Tbsp. of your favorite nuts or grains for flavor & texture .... I have been using Flax seed, ground and whole, Salba, sesame and Sunflower seeds.... a small handfull of 12 grain cereal is nice too...

....this first portion of kneading and rising takes 1½ hours but the machine does all that. Then take it out and shape it into a slightly flattened round ball, (sometimes I shape it into a long loaf) , roll it to and fro on your greased cookie sheet.... cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm draft free place...a sunny window sill works well... if it isn't sunny I sit it near the woodstove...






 Bake in preheated 375º F. oven for 25 min.... this time works for me but as all ovens are a bit different in temperature... check it every now and  then to see if it is done..

....this bread tastes as good as the aroma that emanates through the house... it goes with everything....yogurt, fruit, home made soup, beans...

.... and is just plain delicious all by itself...

Monday

The Three Wise Monkeys





..................."See No Evil... Hear No Evil... Speak No Evil"

... there is discrepancy as to the origin of the "Three Wise Monkeys" ... it has been credited to either China, India, or Japan....

They are an amusing way to remind ourselves to think twice, about what we see, hear or say.....

.......Easier said than done...


A 4th monkey is sometimes included in other versions of this group.... "Do No Evil"...   use your imagination!


approx. size of each monkey in my version 1¼" x 1¾", ink. watercolor, brush, crow quill on 140 cp Arches wc paper

Saturday

Red Flat Bark Beetle





 

Cucujus clavipes...
These insects live in the eastern forests of North America.... their habitat is under the bark of Ash and Poplar, especially of recently felled trees... extremely flat... brightly colored... eggs are laid under bark, where larvae seek prey... actual size of beetle is 10 - 14 mm.

.........It is not so much that I love bugs..... it is that they are fun to draw... as a skull is... It is the exoskeletal form and the stronger lines it affords that I like...



...approx. 3½" x 2" ink, watercolor, gouache, brush, crow quill pen on 140 CP Arches WC paper
at Desideratum Art and Jewelry Studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada 

Friday

A Glow


We found this old hanging lantern at a flea market.... in a box.... under a table... under more junk...
It was in sad shape.... but we could not resist it... We were always on the lookout for unusual light fixtures to add to our collection of antiquey old salvage things to eventually add to our home... so we brought it home...

Took it apart... removed the old brittle wiring... fixed and replaced the broken parts... cleaned it up... rewired it... lengthened the chain... searched out a tiny light bulb to fit... put it all back together... and hung it from the ceiling...


The original glass was long gone... we took a chance and added white Japanese textured paper, cut to shape to diffuse the light... we were struck and pleased by the effect....

although not bright enough to read by ... it has a Glow enough to transport you...

It was worth the effort...

...brought to mind that old quote ... "Nothing ventured... Nothing gained"

Wednesday

A Bowl of Apples



A few green apples... a muted grey green bowl... the light was right... I felt inspired .....


approx. 4" x 6" ink, washes on 140 CP Arches watercolor paper....

The actual clay bowl was handmade by our friend, David Eastwood of Queenstown, NB...

Monday

Interpretation of an Egon Schiele





One of my favourite artists for inspiration..... especially when it comes to brevity of Line...

approx. 4" x 6" drawn and painted on the back of a old card I found in the studio.

Saturday

Clouds Over the Bay


The beauty of changing cloud formations over the Bay of Fundy ........ a Gift....

Thursday

The Calling Crow






Calling for his supper... calling for a mate... calling for his friends...

or is he calling to let everybody know this is his territory......

We will never know ..... .....unless we learn... to speak "crow".


approx. 4" x 4" pen, ink, watercolor on 140 lb arches watercolor paper

Tuesday

Fate



.........."A Man's Character Is His Fate"....


Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher 540 - 470 b.c.


my little art book .... Watercolor paper, watercolor washes, quotes

Sunday

Paint It Black...


My task was to create a series of 6 black & white images using pen, ink & brush... The images had to be identifiable..... and bold enough so the individual was recognizable.


An exercise to practice various methods of pen & ink... stippling... textural scratching.... basic line... cross hatch... scribbling... and solid black & white drawing....



Each one had "Limits" in the technique used... which I think helps free the artist to work within that medium to its full range..... In the end it was interesting to see the comparisons between these very basic techniques...


Even though this project took a fair amount of time to complete... it was enjoyable & freeing.




I really had fun working on them...... Did I say Work? ........Felt more like Play!





........................................Thanks Mick........

ps........ sorry about the coffee stains on your face in the stippling block

each approx. 4" x 6" ...using pen, brush, India ink on 1 ply weight illustration paper

Thursday

Bremner






Sometimes an image makes you stop...... an emotional response...... you relate.... somewhere inside....
......was there a place in time when you felt this....

This is how I responded when I saw the photograph of this young man...

It made me want to express what I felt he was expressing to the world...... so I got out my brush


approx. 4" x 6" pen, ink, washes on 140 lb. arches cold pressed watercolor paper

Tuesday

Bracelet with Spirals


Solid Sterling Silver and large muted chunks of colored glass with colored glass beaded spiral dangles .......... one of a kind....

Sold

Saturday

The Sunflower


The very first Linocut I ever did... early last December....

I waited so long to try this technique... gathering the tools, the ink,the blocks, the paper... all I needed was the nerve.... these materials had sat in a box on my shelf for several years and I continually would not let myself use them... I didn't know how to do it... I never saw anyone do it before... all I ever saw were finished pieces...
...with their crisp strong black & white lines.... beautiful lines...

Then one day came.... I had no other task vying for my attention.... I took the box off the shelf and started making myself familiar with the tools...... and at last began.....
cutting into the block with the sharp "V" tool felt so good.... it was one of those activities that when you start it is hard to stop............ I was afraid of that!.....

I loved it!...

I chose a Sunflower for its boldness and the feelings they conjure up when I see them in bloom...... joy... warmth... happiness.......
..... their heads turning with the sun as they follow it..... from early morning till sunset.... you really can't feel sad when you look at a sunflower... They make you feel good.... They almost make you smile....


But then it happened again...... it took a couple of months for me to get up more nerve to actually print it....
It just sat there on the shelf looking at me... I saw it every time I passed... I looked for it.... I liked looking at it.... I picked it up several times & wanted to print it.... I liked holding it... I loved it... the texture felt soooo nice... but something held me back.... suppose it was fear... of the unknown... maybe it wouldn't work... I never did it before.... would I have time for it...

Funny thing to be timid of trying something new.... something as simple as this... I couldn't stand it any longer... I dove in & did it... rolled on the ink & printed one after the other....

Ahhhhhhhh......... What a relief........

.........I have found another art form that I have fallen in love with....

approx. 2½" x 2½" printed on white card stock