Lake George

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an #ArtWednesday, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t drawing. The last three months of 2015 I dedicated to working on Christmas presents for my in-laws. Now that they are handed out I can display them!

Each got a drawing of something from Rodgers Rock Club at Lake George where the families have lake homes. Lake George is one of my favorite places to go, and I am very thankful for the time that I have been able to spend in that place. It makes me think of heaven, every summer.

Before I show the three Christmas presents, here is an older drawing from Lake George.

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Sailboat. India Ink Marker and India Ink. 2012.

This drawing was from a picture I took the very first summer I stayed at Maple Cottage, the name of the families lake house. My husband and I had recently gotten engaged and we went to spend time with his family and to undergo “the lake test”. Fortunately I passed.

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Courtside. India Ink. 2015.
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Forte. India Ink. 2015.
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Maple. India Ink. 2015.

Each of them were challenging drawings for me. I don’t do architectural pieces very often and perspective is not a strength. “Forte” was the first animal portrait I had done. Each of them have little mistakes in them and are more “stylized” then usual, but I had a wonderful time creating them and learned a lot. I was very grateful to be able to finish them in time. I also got to frame them myself! Lots of learning going on in these drawing and lots of fond memories.

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Happy Fifteen!

Players of the Stage is fifteen years old. It’s hard to believe that much time has past. In anticipation of our celebration and reunion this week I wanted to share two pieces of recent work that are POTS related. I have a goal of creating a piece of art inspired by every POTS production I direct. I’ve got two done. Yes, I am rather behind. Here is the first:

"Imogene and Baby Jesus." Collage. Started 2012. Finished 2014.
“Imogene and Baby Jesus.” Collage. Started 2012. Finished 2014.

This is from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, performed in 2009. It was the first show I directed. A crowd favorite, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (or BCPE as we liked to call it) was the perfect show to introduce me to task of directing. Memorializing the experience in a collage was a great way to get me back into pursuing visual art.

In 2008 I decided to switch my degree from Fine Arts to Technical Theatre. I dabbled with a few art projects, but I didn’t invest the time in it that I should have. In 2012 I sat down to begin my project of making a piece of art for each of the plays I’ve directed. It was one of the most brutal projects I’ve ever done. I love collage. I started this project thinking it would be a quick and simple piece, but I was rusty. I had forgotten how to follow lines, shapes, space relationships, shadows, perspective, everything! I had forgotten about the rule of working backwards to forwards. Most horrifically, I had forgotten how to lose myself in my work and find joy in creating.

It was good that I was figuring everything out again through a collage. Collages are very forgiving. Mess up? Cut away or paste over. A good two years later I finished, triumphant and thankful to have pushed through. I still had lessons to re-learn (the next piece has a good example of one), but I had rediscovered my love for art and my need to pursue it.

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“Handbag?!” India Ink Marker. 2015

As soon as I had finished the piece from BCPE I started on The Importance of Being Earnest project. This is a portrait of me performing as Lady Bracknell in our 2010 spring production. This is another work of triumph. One reason is I re-learned the importance of correct math when it comes to grids and aspect ratio for keeping the correct proportions in drawing. (The lack of correct math is why I am a bit squat in this portrait.) The other reason is that I did around eighty percent of the drawing after I seriously injured my hand last fall.

I was determined to finish this portrait. Almost cutting off my dominant hand was not going to stop me. I did some of it with my left hand, painstakingly practicing  figure eights, straight lines, and dots, before pressing the point of the marker to the page.  Once I had recovered enough to hold a pen, I switched back to drawing with my right. Again I had to practice. It was not easy to draw, but I was drawing. It was good therapy, physically and emotionally, to be able to draw. On February 14th, three months minus one day from my accident, I finished the Importance of Being Earnest project.

Since then I haven’t worked on any POTS drawings. The 2010 Christmas Carol is next, and I would really like to get it done before our 2015 production of Christmas Carol opens…but, we’ll see….

L.I.F.E

With the recent testimonies happening before the House Judiciary Committee, these seemed appropriate drawings to post. I did these for Drawing 2 with Professor Laduca. Entitled L.I.F.E, each drawing shows a different stage of the babies development. The first drawing is done in colored marker. The second drawing is black marker and India ink. The third and my favorite drawing is oil pastels. The final drawing a badly done portrait of my younger sister Marian and is done in graphite pencil.

If you haven’t already watched the testimony by Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden do so now. Watch and ponder and pray.

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Summer haze

Today for Art Wednesday, here is a painting that a friend of mine did. I love how the landscape has both stylized and realistic rendering, how the river helps control eye movement across the page, and the vibrancy of the colors and how they work together. Erin has several shots of her work up on her website, so go over and check it out!

Unfinished Portrait

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I started this portrait of Allan Vivona in the last two weeks with the hope that I’d be able to show him how much I appreciate his investment in my life before he went to be with Jesus.

That didn’t happen. I was planning on showing him Tuesday, but he started living in heaven on Monday.

It’s unfinished, but I wanted to post it now because of his recent death. A lot of tribute has been given to him on Facebook. This is mine.

The picture is from my wedding reception. I love the fedora- such a part of Pastor Vivona’s look- and the gentle expression. He was such a kind, godly man.

I’ve harassed many pastors with questions of faith and doctrine in my life, but I think Pastor Viviona got it the worst, because I pestered him at Pinebrook Bible Conference when he was supposed to be on vacation! With out fail, every year I’d set up a counseling session with him, and he and his wife would graciously give me one of the afternoons of their rest.

I didn’t spend much time with him outside of Pinebrook, but those times were very important and helped mold me as a person and follower of Christ. I wish I could have expressed to him how much those times meant, but words didn’t seem strong enough. I knew he loved art and had meant this portrait to be my “thank you.”

I still have work to do on the portrait, but Pastor Vivona’s work is done. The drawing has some serious mistakes, because I was racing against his remaining time, but Pastor Vivona is now free from all mistakes as he basks in the glory of the Savior.

Rejoice my dear friend! Sing the perfect praises of your Lord. One day I will see you again but there will be no need for counseling sessions, because all my doubt and sin will be removed from me.
Thank you for encouraging me in Christ. I look forward to the day when we can worship Him together, and who knows, maybe even smoke a holy cigar.

There be Dragons!

IMG_0924If you know me on a basic level, you know how much I love dragons. (For all my POTS students out there, remember…Dragons are better than dinosaurs.) My attachment to dragons began at a young age. I’m trying to remember what sparked my love of dragons.  Nothing from literature or movies comes to mind. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love dragons. It may be a similar reason to why I love Klingons: the honor, the power, the glory, the fierceness, the ability to fight. Something about that connects with my soul, in all that that word implies.

(Maybe I should write a post about what lessons Christians can learn from Klingons and Dragons?)

Regardless of what started my love of dragons, nothing has dampened it over the years. This piece is from my second semester as an fine art major as apart of an assignment for 2-D Design with Bruce Wall. We had to create a piece that explored shapes in black and white that included a collage. I threw away the base of the project, but kept the dragon, because, well, obviously.

Right now, this piece lives inside one of my portfolios, but I’m thinking of framing it and hanging it up. Long hours went into the creation of this work and they paid off. It’s hard to see in the photograph, but there is a lot of detailing on the dragon, layers and layers of paper painstakingly cut and pasted on top of each other. It’s certainly not the best collage ever done in history. Looking back I can see things that I wish I had done differently: building up the layers so it would be more 3-D, for instance. But it’s one of those pieces of art that I poured my heart into, and I’m still proud of it. Besides, it’s a dragon and should be displayed based on that fact alone.

Chicago Airport

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Since I got stranded in Lincoln, Nebraska yesterday, I wasn’t able to get on my computer at home to upload my next piece. Fortunately, my path to home ran through the beautiful Chicago Airport, giving me plenty of other pieces of art to showcase, something I planned to do eventually anyway.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure who did this. It’s one of the beautiful window art that graces this airport. I’m doing this on my phone, and I can’t figure out how to orient the picture, but hopefully you can still see it well enough!

What I love about this piece is the strong use of different shades and tones of the primary colors. Blues, yellows, and a reddish orange intertwine throughout the piece in striking interdependence. Each color shines on its own and shines on the other two.

I also love the composition, a dance between horizontal lines, shapes, and negative space keep the eye moving over the piece with energy. And the contrast between the warm and cool sections of the piece give an extra punch of interest.

This is a picture that I would “Mary Poppins” if I could and jump into the driver’s seat of one of those cars and explore Chicago.

This is my second time in Chicago’s airport and I am extremely grateful for all the beautiful art they display to celebrate their city. Next time you have a layover walk around and explore, there is lots of art everywhere.

And if anyone knows who did this piece, please put it in the comments!

The Beginnings

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Time for another Art Wednesday! These two pictures are from my second semester as an Art Major. The one of the left is my first painting from Painting 1. Our amazing professor, Bruce Wall, had an exciting still life set up, ready to be caputred in our view finders and painted onto our canvases.

I remember agonizing a long time over the particular section I wanted to paint. The “S” clearly had to be in the composition since it stood for my name, but I also wanted to paint the fedora that sat ontop of the styrofoam’s head that rests at the top of the picture. The “S” won out with the consulation that I would always know a fedora was present, even if it wasn’t pictured.

The Bicycle drawing is from my Drawing 2 class with Isadore LaDuca, another amazing professor. With it’s sharp constracts in shade and shape, it’s one of my favorite drawings that I have from his class.

I did a lot of drawings and paintings during my first year as an art student. Most of them I threw away, especially from my early classes, but these I kept. The painting is hanging in a temporary resting space in one of my stairwells, and the bicycle lives in my portfolio.

Neither of them are great feats of art, but, like the Eagle drawing, they are important markers in my artistic journey. They filled me with such pride and joy at completing them (even though Mr. Wall helped a great deal on my painting), and they still serve to remind me of the love that I have for art and that it is important that I keep the creating of art as a part of my life.

Thanks for letting me share my work with you. Next week is a Dragon!

Eagle

IMG_0923Staying late, covered in ash, standing stooped over a small piece of paper, I discovered my love of charcoal. I was young, somewhere between ten and twelve, taking an art class at the homeschool co-op my mother helped run. Mrs. W was my ever patient instructor. Most of my art projects were terrible, so terrible I threw them out and suppressed them from my memory. But this Eagle I kept because it was the first spark of joy and pride that I received from creating art.

The art project was to do a charcoal drawing of an animal. It was my first time using the medium, and I quickly discovered how much fun it was. Smearing ash across paper is a lot like making mud pies – pure joy. Mrs. W mentioned that I had as much charcoal on myself as I did on the paper. That’s still how I do art. You should see my paint clothes.


I remember that I was still working this eagle drawing several minutes everyone had already left the class room. Mrs. W finally came over and encouraged me to pack up and move to my next class period. I got a few more seconds to finish the last touches – the yellow colored pencil for the eyes – before I got kicked out so the teacher could prepare for next class. It was a long time between that Eagle and my senior year in college when I decided to get an art major (something which got derailed by theater, but that’s another story), but I knew that day that I would always love charcoal. No other medium can get me so completely covered with so little consequence.