Sunday, 27 December 2015

It's not just a scribble

Last week's Illustration Friday prompt was soar, and since they haven't gotten around to putting up a new one yet I suppose I'll go over there and post my version after all.

There's a reason behind this.

There's a reason why it's uneven. There's a reason why there are blank patches.

You've probably guessed by now that I'm going to let you make up your own mind.

I realise that my current abstract-ness isn't to the taste of a lot of you, but it's doing something for me and that's pretty important in the end. Realism will come back. Eventually. It always does. In the meantime, just enjoy the colours if that's all you're seeing, because that's all right too.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Punch in Art Stix

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is punch, and this... is scribbly. Scribbly kind of day, really. And Art Stix are pretty good for that kind of mood.

I'll be honest; I've never seen a Punch and Judy show except for little snippets on television. I have a feeling that I wouldn't have liked them as a child. I was too neurotic to cheer on the random "killing" of hand puppets, I'm afraid. Maybe you have to be there in the moment? Ah well, at least this idea prevented me from scribbling a bowl instead.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

City in watercolour

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is city, and I'll likely edit this post before I put it there because it's a pain posting from the phone with a quick phone scan. Edit: decided not to edit.

Anyway, this is pretty much what the city felt like to me when I first moved to one from a small town. My neighbourhood was ok, but downtown was completely overwhelming and didn't feel like it was made to human scale. And if you could find a sliver of blue sky and sunlight, well, that pretty much made your day.

I'd intended this to be the first layer of something more elaborate, but as I was waiting for it to dry I realised that it already said city to me. All I did in the end was to add a black dot.

That's me, of course.

Just for interest's sake, below you'll find the doodle I did when I was deciding how to approach the prompt. Guess I was having a vague shape day in general.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Branches with chickadee

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is animal. And this is another week of me making myself slightly uncomfortable.

I just don't know where manipulated photos fit in my personal art, you see. I've no doubt that there's art to it, just as I've no doubt that I've put some work into this and made some choices. I almost want to show you the original so that you can see the differences, but in a way that bothers me even more. You know, like I'm a five-year-old trying to prove that colouring outside the lines makes it my picture now.

Ah well. That's as may be. And if I get time later today maybe I'll do something that involves actual paper and I'll feel happier about the whole thing.

A bit of discomfort isn't a bad thing anyway, I figure.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Bouquet in acrylics

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is bouquet. And this... is where I normally put some long winded explanation of what you're seeing.

I'm not going to today.

Frankly, it always makes me a little uncomfortable to post my abstracts (yes, there are plenty more that you haven't seen). It makes me even more uncomfortable to try to explain them. Suffice it to say, then, that I knew what I was going for here, and that it isn't random.

Um... the end.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Fisher in Derwent Drawing pencils and metallic pen

This week;s Illustration Friday prompt is star. I went with stars, plural, because I'm a bit of a sky picture person.

Most of us in English-speaking North America and Europe know this constellation as The Big Dipper, The Plough, The Wain, or some variation. It's not a constellation at all, though. The Big Dipper is an asterism; a new picture made from a chunk of the bigger, actual constellation.

Scientifically, a constellation is a section of the night sky and all of the stars it contains. For most of us, though, when we think constellation we think of the imaginary picture our brains form by playing connect-the-dots with the stars in that part of the sky. Either way, this constellation is known as Ursa Major, the Big (or Great) Bear. The Graeco-Roman myth attached to it has to do with Callisto (or Callistro, sometimes), a nymph who was changed into a bear by Artemis (or sometimes Hera. Or sometimes Zeus. Mythology has a lot of sometimeses) for abandoning her vow of chastity and having a son named Arcas (sometimes Arctos...) with Zeus. There are many versions of what happened next. You can find my retelling of one of them on my other blog, here. Keep in mind that it's only one sometimes of many, however.

You'll notice that some versions explain the long tail of that bear by having it hauled up to the sky using the tail as a handle. Many cultures have seen Ursa Major as an animal (if you look up the constellation without my superimposed drawing, it looks like one), but not all of them see a bear. The Anishinaabe see a Fisher, a member of the weasel (mustelid) family. They have a wonderful story of how Fisher brought spring to the earth, and rather than embarrass myself by telling a story that really doesn't belong to me -- although I've done it before and likely will again -- I'd encourage everyone to read the story of How Fisher Visted Skyland.

Personally, I think it's important to look at the sky through different eyes, sometimes.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Very quick thing in pen & ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is ink, so last night I got out the sketchbook and... decided I didn't really feel like it at that time of the day. So, literal two-minute doodle with the book on my knee, which is why things are so wobbly.

To give Inktober its due, though, here's a couple of things that were done a few years ago with some actual effort:

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mermaid in ArtStix

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is mermaid. And this weird thing is literally just a doodle in front of the television because I wasn't feeling very detail-y.

The one thing I will say is that there's a reason she's scribbled on. Well, actually scribbled both under and on, but you can't tell that from a scan. The reason? She doesn't exist, of course.

Well, it made sense to me last night...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Heart in Derwent drawing pencils

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is heart.

Well, I couldn't draw a Valentine and all, being me.

This is probably completely inaccurate and I suppose I've given Imaginary Model a serious heart condition, but gimme a break. It's been a long time since my lab drawing days and I didn't exactly have a live model to work with. Er, dead model. You know what I mean. Besides, I worked with dead animals, not dead people.

Not that it should make a difference, but you know where I'm going with this.

Anyway, this was just a half hour or so in one of my Moleskine cahiers, so not terribly bad for what it is. And I've really got to stop being so lazy about doodling. I see my last blog post was... June? Seriously?

Yeah, I've got to get back to some more regular art stuff.

ETA: if anyone doesn't follow my other blog and for some reason wants to follow me, I'm on twitter @deeolworld.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tent Trailer in Art Stix

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is vacation. This scribble is meant to be the tent trailer we grew up camping in every summer. I loved that thing, although I'm sure my parents had a love/hate relationship with it. On the one hand, lots of space but reasonably cost-effective to tow. On the other hand, set-up. Especially in the rain...

Oh, but I loved the rain in the tent trailer too. Lying in one of the wings, listening to the rhythms the drops made, being careful not to touch the canvas sides so that the bedding didn't get soaked; it's honestly one of my happiest childhood memories. To this day if I hear rain on an awning or something like that, I'm right back there listening in the trailer. And, frankly, feeling what it was like to be the one taken care of and not the one worrying about whether we'd have any leaks.

On a side note, this kind of camping seems almost dinosaur-like for a lot of people, and that's sad. Camping shouldn't be complaining if there's no showers and wondering if the campground has wifi. If you're going to do things that way, why go at all? I just can't imagine that kids today will have the memories of getting dirty, cooking over a fire, looking up unfamiliar plants along trails in guidebooks, and coming home exhausted, smelly, and happy like I do. Will they just remember whining about the lack of cell coverage?

I hope not, but it seems like that's where we're headed.


Friday, 12 June 2015

Bladderwort after a fixative accident

This started out as an okay pastel sketch of Common Bladderwort for work, and then... the plastic bottle of fixative literally split when I was trying to give the thing a quick coat. Ah well. I have another version in ArtStix that I'll use instead. It's the one below.

See? Art's still happening, even if I forget to post it most of the time.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Um, art?

It's the start of my latest project, maybe. I'm planning to move up to monoprinting eventually, but you have to start somewhere so this is stencilling with hot glue and a spouncer.

I dunno. It's a bit out of my comfort zone, but that's probably a good thing.

I'll likely be drawing a flower after this, though.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Weapon of choice in Derwent drawing pencils

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is warrior. NHL playoffs are coming up pretty soon, although as a fan of a team that dislikes the playoffs so much that they haven't bothered to show up for years (sigh), I can't say that I'll be paying much attention.

The reason this goes with the prompt? Well, some of these players may think that they're warriors. Often the commentators call them warriors. They're not. They're highly-paid professionals who are generally only fighting for their salaries, given the fact that between the players and the management (and the whole system, really), there's not actually such a thing as team or city loyalty anymore.

Not much, anyway.

The closest I can get to warriors with these guys nowadays (the girls, of course, don't qualify for the highly-paid part. Maybe they're the real warriors?) is the fact that the sticks occasionally get used as weapons...

Ah well. If you want to put a more positive spin on this choice for the prompt, just think of all those weekend warriors out there who are still tying on the skates every week for some fun league or other. No highly-paid there either. Unless you count a beer afterwards with a group of friends.

Actually, that could probably count.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Daffodils in tri-tones

I've had to edit the snot out of this to get anything to show up, courtesy of my fussy cheap scanner. It's too bad, because part of the fun of using tri-tones is the unexpected things you get when you start shading, and that's totally missing from the scan. It's weird, someone like me liking that random factor that's a part of tri-tones, but I do.

Anyway, the Illustration Friday prompt is outside, and this is me doodling part of a bouquet of daffodils that my father bought me. Yeah, doodling "outside" inside. It's way too early for actual daffodils here.

I suppose flowers would be enough for the word outside, but Dad didn't buy me daffodils at random. April is Daffodil Month in support of the Canadian Cancer Society (and maybe other international societies? I'll have to look). The daffodil's meant to be a symbol of strength and courage for cancer patients/survivors and their families, amongst other things.

How does that fit with outside? Well, I can only imagine that finding yourself in the world of cancer treatment makes you feel outside of a lot of things -- your former life, life in general, the understanding of well-meaning people...

Yeah, that'd be me. I simply can't truly understand what it's like because I've been lucky so far. Lucky for myself, but also in my family. One aunt by marriage and one very old great-grandmother is all (and I know how unusual that is). A couple of friends. And I can't even pretend to understand what it's like.

I can support, though, and you can too. Buy a bouquet. Wear a pin. And be there for those in your life that haven't been so lucky.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Eggs in Derwent drawing pencils

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is strong.

Birds' eggs are amongst the most elegant and strongest constructions in nature. As long as the shell has no structural defects, a properly cradled egg can hold enormous amounts of weight.

The whole eggs and strong thing was ringing a bell, so I had a dip in my archives. Sure enough, back in 2009 the prompt had been strong as well, and I egged it up that time too. You can see that doodle below.

I guess that I really find eggs strong... or consistently, anyway.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Staple Hunting in Derwent drawing pencils

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is reflection. I figure that Tom (yes, that's right. Tom Cat is his name) deciding to hunt a staple that he found amongst some packing materials -- and which was immediately taken away from him because I'm no fun --  is kind of a reflection of his wilder relatives stalking actual food.

Tom's not actually a longhair, by the way. I was just feeling scribbly.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Turkey Brothers in Derwent drawing pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is sleep.

You can't tell me that anything does sleep better than a cat. Unless it's two cats, that is.

This is a really (really) quick doodle of Tom and Bob. Yep, that's right. Tom Cat and Bob Cat. They're brothers, and they're turkeys. Thus, Turkey Brothers. If you want to see them in real life, just look for the label Turkey Brothers on my other blog.

Incidentally, I'm liking these Derwent  drawing pencils rather a lot. Smooth, soft, and much less fussy than Contes. In my limited experience, that is.

Emphasis on limited.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A couple of photographic abstracts

 Just playing here, really. I took a few shots at a low shutter speed while moving the camera, then ran them through some filters with a simple photoeditor. I do it fairly frequently, actually, but these ones turned out kind of neat so I thought I'd post them.

I'm of two minds about things like this, to be honest. On the one hand, I made choices here. I decided where to crop, I decided what and how much colour I wanted, how many layers there were going to be, and how much of the original photo was still identifiable. But... does that make it art?

I suppose it does under most definitions, but it just doesn't feel like it to me. Manipulating photos, at least the way I do it, just seems too... I don't know, easy? effortless?... to count. I mean, don't get me wrong. I am definitely not saying that digital artists aren't artists. Not everything everyone does is to my tastes, of course, but I'm not trying to imply that there's not art there. There is. For me, though, when I do things like this I don't feel like I'm making art.

I'm playing. I'm seeing what happens when I press a particular button. If I don't like it, I try another button until I find what I want.

But doesn't that make it art, then? Do I really need to be holding a pencil in my hand to give myself permission to think that the end result could be considered art?

By the way -- for those stumbling onto this blog for the first time, I should say that when a post is nothing but questions it generally means that I really don't know where I'm going with this...

Anyway. I know that many people out there wrestled with this question ages ago and came down on whatever side suits their philosophy best, and that I probably seem pretty late to the party. I'm not; I think about these things a lot. I just don't usually post the things I'm playing with while I'm thinking of them, that's all.

Maybe I should do it more often.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Noise in tri-tones

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is noise. The scanner lost a lot of this one, but it was just a scribble anyway.

I work as a naturalist, as my profile says. I'm sure it's not surprising that I find much of our modern noise annoying; including, by the way, our habit of plugging ourselves into mp3 players or phones so much of the time as opposed to hearing what's happening.

I probably don't need to say much more about that except to wonder why we work so hard at cancelling out the non-noisy sounds around us...

Friday, 23 January 2015

Some of the Toys in tri-tone pencils

Last week's Illustration Friday prompt was toy, and I didn't get this submitted. No loss -- it's just doodling in front of the television with not enough light and no glasses on my face.

Here are a few of my toys, though.

There are lots more.

Bet you wouldn't have guessed.
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