Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pastel 86 - Facing Down the Sumo Rats

This is one of the few times I've used black - I generally prefer to use a blue, purple or dark brown to represent black.  But I needed the gritty, sooty feel for this one.

As usual - this was a surprise to me, starting with the rat faces and the big bellied body of the rat in the foreground.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pastel 85 - Barn Animals

Once again, I do not know how it happens, but the pony, with folded legs, and the goat were just "there" in the blind drawn pen lines.  I added the duck and the rabbit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pastel 84 - Spider in Love

This feels like something I would have drawn as a kid...  but I don't edit or turn away whatever comes along.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pastel 82 - Gentle Man with Bird

As usual, this image was "there" in the lines, including the bow and flowers, but especially the bird and the face.  I particularly like the spirit of this piece.

Pastel, ball point, and Sharpie on 24 x 18 inch kraft paper.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pastel 80 - Hail Storm

Unusually great day at work today  - so many things went remarkably well, like all my planets were aligned...  This piece has nothing to do with that - I completed it almost two weeks ago.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pastel 79 - Duck Bills

I found Pastels 79 and 80 (right under 81 in the stack - I still can't figure out why I thought there were only 4 in that stack).  This one could also be called Testing the Waters.

Pastel, ball point, and Sharpie on 24 x 18 inch kraft paper.  Click image for a larger view.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pastel 81 - The Jongleur - Process

First - I seem to have either mis-numbered or lost two pastels.  I could swear I completed a 79 and an 80, but they are not in my camera, and I don't see them in the garage...  I have to search.

Second - it's been a while since I shared the process for these.  I first draw with ball point on the kraft paper pad.  Sometimes I watch, sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I am blind-contour drawing something I see outside or in the garage (where I do this incredibly messy play).

Here is the result for Pastel 81.  I watched this one part of the time and closed my eyes part of the time.  Click image for a closer look.

Then I look for what it will be (what do you see?).  This can take 5 minutes (like it did in this extraordinary case - the jongleur was simply THERE) or it can take several days of leaving and coming back.  Sometimes they never resolve themselves, or I simply see shapes and motion and go with that.

Once I do see the beginnings of the pastel to come, I pick it out with a Sharpie.  Here is the jongleur with helpers.  You can see how some things are there, some are hinted in the pen lines, and others require a lot more from my imagination/memory.  I try not to look anything up for these, generally working just from my heart and head.

Note the three feet.  I don't have to decide which I will keep until I get to the pastels.

And here is the final pastel.  I decided to emphasize the balance rather than the movement, and I liked the crossed feet/slippers.  I also like that I can't tell the jongleur's gender.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pastel 78 - Island

This one is different, more intentional.  It's the first in what I sense will be a group of pieces about symbols which embody strong ideas to me.  I haven't looked at this one since I completed it over the Christmas holiday and it surprises me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pastel 77 - Flowers and Bees

This began as several other things and then changed.  Then it needed some significant editing.  So unlike others, which seem like following along, this was more of a struggle.  Overall, though, I'm pleased with the way the spaces and shapes work in this piece, and the color balance.  I feel the summer heat in this (a welcome thing this week).  And while red is still something of a mystery, pink is getting more comfortable.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Auto-Drawing Images - The Snore and Boat

Before the Pastels became my primary creative outlet, I used to do a 10-15 minute auto-drawing with a Perfetto (a soft pencil with red on one end and graphite on the other).  These were two particularly surprising results.  I enjoyed both of these a great deal while drawing them, and after.

Compulsive Smoothing or Embracing Irritation

Some of my time is spent compulsively removing the wrinkles from things, and the irritants and visual misdemeanors in my controllable vicinity. On this morning's run/walk, for which I use 5 stones as lap counters at the end of my driveway, I was using the imaginary version of the stones. This is what I do on unusually cold mornings or wet mornings, when I don't want to reach down and move each stone. Instead, I leave the stones in the house and I imagine the stones as vividly as possible while I walk or run each segment. This morning I realized with sudden clarity that each of the stones has a distinct irritating quality that I deliberately ignore. This morning I grinned and magnified the imagined defects of each stone. One is smaller and rounder and smoother than the other four, and it's trying too damn hard, like someone who is already overboard with some trait and is therefore never satisfied with it. Then the striped stone which is too flat, and therefore harder to grab and move between laps; I normally wish it were thicker but today I was glad for this distinct irritant. The large stone is all wrong for the others, like a different species altogether, I hate the way it's so obvious in my hoodie pocket when I carry them out; I think it's funny how much it bothers me. The darkest stone is scratched and has rough edges where all the others are smooth; it shows no sign of the water polishing that makes the others a pleasure to hold. More than once I have thought of replacing this one, but it's no more of a misfit than the others. And finally, the pinkish granite is also trying too hard with all the designer spots, like someone you never see without brand name clothing. I hate them all - I love them all - they are a set. And I realized that I would be bored if my life were free of trouble small and large. So why am I always trying to make it more "boring"?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pastel 76 - New Dad

Dad, baby and dog were all there in the lines...  The changes this guy is going to go through, if he sticks with it, might rival the baby's.  Second best thing that ever happened to me.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pastel 74 - Sky

I like dramatic skies.  This piece came at the end of a very frustrating day several weeks ago, and the first piece I attempted that evening I had to simply tear off, fold up, and throw out.  Then this simply came out of my pen, like it was waiting there behind the other discarded page.  This is such a weird and freeing process.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pastel 73 - Dance

Dance.  This one was a bit of a struggle from trying to figure out what it would be to how to handle the energy between them.  What I was trying for was the feel of the taut space between two dancers who trust each other and move as fast as the Lindy.  I'm happy with the result.