Reference book

I started to become obsessed with drawing fish after I came up with an idea to make a tarot card deck with a fish theme. I figured that I better start practicing and sketching fish so that I can make nice cards. 

I bought this book:

ImageI really do need to find places with aquariums so that I can draw the fish from life. Once I move to Chicago to be with my boyfriend, I will most likely purchase a membership to Shedd Aquarium so that I can go there often and draw fish all day.

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Found a nifty drawing book.

I haven’t really been in art mode lately. A couple days ago I had the worst headache ever. It scared me because it hurt so bad that I thought I was having a stroke or an  aneurysm. I raised my arms, smiled in a mirror talked to my dog Zoe to see if my speech slurred. Very scary! I also had a nasty stomach bug the same day.

I went to Half Price Books today and found this book:

 

 

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I like how it covered and resembled a lot of the drawing classes I modeled for, so I went ahead and bought it. It has a lot of good exercises and explanations. I hope this will help me improve my drawing and painting.

This is one of my Moleskines. It is from Decemeber. I drew it at my boyfriend’s apartment while he as taking a shower:

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I saw a cute little doggy a couple weeks ago and drew this:

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I am going to be busy for the rest of the week, so I don’t know if I will have time to draw. I should get in the habit of drawing in at least one of my sketchbooks or pads, even if it is just one of the little Moleskines. 

Preparations for a holiday in 2015

 

 

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I plan to go on an art holiday in Europe next summer. I am not sure which countries I will visit and not sure how I’m going to plan my itinerary.  One possibility is to visit as many famous art museums as I can so that I can actually see famous works of art in person. Another possibility is to bring my art supplies and draw and paint as many scenes as I can. 

Before that, I need to fill all of those art pads seen above. I need to get myself to a much better skill set so I can do those drawings and paintings justice.

 

How my writing muse was maimed

I had a really shitty time in grad school. I was very, very ill at the time. Not only was my ulcerative colitis in constant flare up, I was also battling a years long eating disorder.

I had two very sick in the head female professors who actually ENCOURAGED my eating disorder and actually gave me shit and DISCOURAGED me to get help and recover.

This one creative writing professor, who I think has eating issues herself praised my work in this autobiography class I took. She said that my anorexia made me a brilliant writer and “It’s more important to feed your mind than your body.” She also claimed to be a feminist. Can you say hypocrite? 

This batshit crazy Victorian lit professor LOVED my proposal about the anorexic motifs of Christina Rossetti’s poem “The Goblin  Market.”  When I changed it to a topic about Oscar Wilde because the assignment was interfering with my recovery, she actually angrily lectured me and also repeated the it’s more important to feed your intellect than your body. 

I spent two weeks in the hospital because of complications of ulcerative colitis and anorexia/bulmia. I had a high A going in a class I really really liked. This professor gave me a D because of it, even though I had medical documentation and three different doctors chewed his ass out.

Are all English departments this batshit crazy and toxic or is it just IPFW? I know others who are in English grad programs who shared similar stories.  

I tried to to a NaNoWriMo about a girl with problems with addiction and eating disorders. I wound up with horrible nightmares and dangerous triggers, so I had to abandon it.

My poems had a confessional bend to them kind of like Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath.  I got A’s in my creative writing classes, but the expense was that I became so very, very ill.

I even had my ribs broken and my sternum cracked when somebody panicked and did CPR on me when I collapsed and they couldn’t feel a pulse. 

When I sit down to write, I can’t write anything without this bitchy voice in my head telling me it’s all stupid.

I would like to be able to write stories again and finish a novel, but I just have such a hard time doing so. 

It’s odd that a hobby that was always secondary–visual art is pulling through and getting itself expressed than the primary hobby I had for most of my life.

I can’t let the sick fucks in that program win and kill my writing muse forever.

Observations from an art model

 

 

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I have worked as an art model for sixteen years. I’ve worked at IPFW, University of Saint Francis and Artlink INC in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’ve also done some sessions for art groups.

Over those years I have worked with many professors and art instructors. I have gone to many art openings and talked to many artists. I’ve absorbed so many theories about art and art history by listening to all the lectures where I modeled. I know a lot about concepts on an academic level. I just need to learn how to apply them when I attempt do create art. The really talented students make it look SO easy. I enjoy observing the ones who struggle and see them improve over their college career. They really have a lot of ambition and tenacity. I observe how they learn techniques and then try to learn them as well.

There are some students who really struggle in art school. It’s not because they’re not talented. They are very talented. It is because they are very stubborn and have that arrogance of youth. They are so used to being praised as the best in their class from high school and being the best in their high school. When they go to a university, they are no longer always the best. There is a lot more competition.  Sometimes they hold onto the techniques they used for their entire lives very tightly. When a professor tries to get them to try another way of holding a paint brush or using more of the edges of a block of charcoal or pastel, they freak out and accuse them of wanting to make them into clones of the professors. This is not true. None of the professors I work with have a desire to churn out Mary Klopfer or Rick Cartwright clones.  They were once first year art students and they know that they need to be pushed out of their comfort bubbles.

When I see this struggle happen, I go up to talk to them during breaks. I encourage them to just TRY the new techniques for a bit to see how they feel. I tell them I know that it may be frustrating, but they may surprise themselves of what they may come up with. I remind them that art requires you to have an open mind and experiment a bit. It usually helps and it eases the tension between student and professor.

I know it is frustrating to learn new techniques in any media.  I remember when I was a freshman in a creative writing class and locked horns with some professors about trying new writing techniques right out of high school. I, too was used to being praised as being one of the best creative writers in my class and got mighty huffy.  I just wish that I didn’t have that really awful experience in grad school that pretty much killed my writing muse. But that was more about certain professors not knowing proper boundaries and getting very creepily personal and probing places where they really SHOULD not go to the point of being pathological. But that’s another story for another day. *shudders*

 

 

 

 

An old nerdy hobby of mine and an idea for drawing

Does anyone remember the RPG Vampire the Masquerade? It came out sometime in the 1990s. I think maybe 1990. I played it between 1994-1998. I had just about all the books. Life got in the way and I got creeped out by a few players who played Malkavians. I ended up selling the books. After finding some Facebook groups for V:tM, I started to download PDFs of the books. 

I think I am going to draw a character from each Vampire Clan to practice drawing human form.

These are the clans:

Assamite

Ventrue

Followers of Set

Malkavian

Nosferatu

Ravnos

Lasombra

Giovanni

Brujah

Toreador

Gangrel

Baali

Tzimisce

Tremere

 

I may as well create mini-bios for them in case I want to use them to play the game or if I want to bring my writing back from the dead. 

Getting it all out there

I decided to post all the stuff that I’ve done since I decided to try to get back into the art. I do need to draw and paint more instead of wasting time on stupid Facebook games or procrastinating too much.

I will also include my sewing projects and other crafty things. I may also take pictures of the jewelry I’ve made and the jeweled lampshade that I’m working on.

This is an embroidery project am doing.  So far the plan is to have a rainbow satin stitch up the side seams of these jeans. I don’t know if I will add some Grateful Dead Dancing Bear patches.

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