Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The thing with AEDM is that it doesn't let me rest on my laurels like I usually would. Right on to the next creative journey. I really needed that push. I'm liking this.

The first photo shows what made me reach for the camera. All that sunlight over our ginger tabbies, the dark and light contrasts on the rumpled couch slip cover (cats - beautiful and destructive all at once - between walking around on razors and spitting up on everything, there are days... but then they look like this, or fall asleep in my lap and all is forgiven), and Miss Santolina, in particular, asleep with her head against that book.

But mister Tamlin would not cooperate. As I knelt there for nearly 10 minutes (I could hardly get up afterward) daughter and I were unable to distract him from his tongue bath. When I finally DID get him to look out, so I could get his profile in the sun, Lina picked her head up. It's like trying to get a portrait of kids! This child's face is perfect, but the others weren't looking at the camera. Oh here they're almost all fine, but this one put his finger up his nose. Oy!

So I just cut and paste what I wanted using paintbrush (I don't own anything more sophisticated for editing) - close enough - and I'll fiddle the drapery back together in the drawing. I stretched Tamlin a bit, because in the original photo he just didn't extend far enough to the left for me, leaving that half of the composition too unoccupied. He was also too small. I pasted in the version of Lina I wanted, though I had to fiddle the size some to get it to nearly match the book and couch around her in the other photo. You can see corners giving away my band-aids.

I'll show the drawing, once I do it, before any painting begins. I've never painted something with this much contrast before - that will be the challenge. Show the light! Not sure if this can remain just watercolor, or if it will become a mixed media piece - I will do whatever seems to work.

Then this other picture here is of the random lines that I'm still exploring. I had so much fun drawing blind contours from the deadhead crowd scene at Jerry Garcia's funeral (photo in a book in the mountains - see results on previous blog posts) that I Flickr'd for more deadhead crowds and "felt" my way around heads, collars, hats, t-shirts, etc. as the pencil wandered the page unseen.

I spent a good twenty minutes tonight just staring at this tangle, waiting for something to emerge, turning it 90 degrees and waiting again. Nothing yet. I added more lines and repeated (after this photo). Still nothing. I erased any lines or shapes that annoyed me. Still nothing. I'm used to this. It might take a while for anything to emerge - or I might have to add and subtract quite a bit more first. I'll know the moment when it arrives.

Dinner tonight with my brother, to catch up - probably no art time...


Anonymous said...

Looks like plenty of art happening here.

Melissa said...

Aaaaa, cats...they just don't cooperate. I'm having the same problem here. Kittens don't hold still for anything. 1 out of 10 pictures I take aren't blurry.

Anticipating where you'll take this drawing. I'm sure it's somewhere bursting with color and Life!

~Art On~

tammy vitale said...

working with artists is like herding cats - well illustrated here (that from a co-op mate years ago...you'd think I would have learned but no, took several more years). Can't wait to see the picture! And love the process of line drawing till something shows up - Leah does that with blotches. I am in awe of folks who can do something awesome with all of that.

Rowena said...

I love watching your process. It's so interesting to see how artist come to their art, from inspiration to sketching to product.

Lately I have been painting mostly out of my head, letting the brain burst lead the way. Sometimes I need a reference to get the exactness right. Hm. Last night I did use the cat as my reference. I don't usually take photos, though. That seems to expend the inspiration, and I never go back to the photos I take for references. Hmm.

Oh, and the word verification was "grazie"... reminding me to thank you for your kind words on my blog.

linda said...

steve, waiting expectantly on that drawing and find it fascinating how you begin with lines and the movement of your pencil! thank you for sharing that... you have inspired me to make my way into my studio today and start a watercolor (I think)...how's that for commitment?

I couldn't make heads or tails(*grins*)of what you were doing with your kitties since I don't have any paintbrushes other than my iPhoto...wish I could figure it out. Loved the cats but you can't herd them! :)

the word verification is MODISTSI(modesty). LOLOL!!

Leah said...

i'm so glad aedm is giving you a gentle push and i love seeing your process...and your cats! i've got one big ginger boy, a couple brown tabby cats and one gray kitty. they are very hard to capture on camera. they simply won't take commands! :-)

Dia said...

Herding cats indeed! I, too, have had a ginger tom - Pasha, a regal king of a fellow. When we adopted Vanilla (cause he was a 'waif'), he was nervous of Pasha, jumped up in the chair, then hissed; that's when Pasha began washing the waifer .. "it's really OK, fellow"

I look foward to seeing them appear on the canvas

carin.c said...

Isn't that just the way with cats and kids?? They have a need to be contrary when you just want them to cooperate! Looking forward to the painitng. I always love when artists share their processs from point of inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

Steve Emery said...

Ladies - I've got to get the Summer Fish off the board and get another page stretched so I can draw thee cats!!! I was going to do it today, but the day job and some other things got in the way.

And as for cats - I think it's their independence that draws me to them, and them to my drawings.