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Animated Muses

18 Oct

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I posted last week about a digital animation I made of some of my life drawings of female models who inspire me, my muses. It appeared last week at the FiLiArt conference and exhibition in London. I didn’t want to put it up until it had premiered at FiLiArt, but that’s over now so here is the animation, working with seven terrific artists’ models.

 

 

 

It’s the first time I have exhibited something like this and I’m pleased with it. I have a love/hate relationship with digital drawing but this seems like a good way of using it. I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app.

 

Warming Up

17 Oct

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Here’s a quick warm-up sketch I did at life drawing last week at Swansea Print Workshop. After this I worked on a portrait study for an hour, but I find I need to have a quick scribble to start with, to get used to the model and pose before committing myself to a longer study.

 

Although it was done quickly, I really like the immediacy of it. I find that when I tell myself that something is just a warm-up or a practice, I am much freer and less inhibited in my approach.

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I worked onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app, sometimes with a stylus and sometimes with my finger.

Close Up

16 Oct

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Although my visit to Avebury on Friday was a quick one, I spent some time looking closely at the magnificent stones there. They are covered with fantastic growths of lichens and the surface of the stones has been weathered and eroded across the millenia. I took a close-up drawing of a section of this stone.

More Stones Than You Can Throw A Stick At!

14 Oct

Husb and I are away for a few days visiting on the East Coast but we called in to Avebury on the way to see the ancient standing stones. We have been meaning to go for years and finally made it. It was a revelation!  We’re used to tramping wild places in Wales and seeing a single stone or one chambered grave, but Avebury has more stones than you can shake a stick at. And the whole complex nestles in a delightful village with thatched cottages, a fine manor and imposing barns. Terrific place.  Normally, I have one stone to draw so I spend some time choosing the best angle.  At Avebury I had to run around choosing from loads of stones, all huge, imposing and worthy of attention.  We didn’t have enough time to get around the whole site, so we’ll have to go back.

Formidable

12 Oct

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At the end of tonight’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop, our model asked if she always looked ‘cross’ when she posed. I don’t think she looks cross at all, so I explained about what younger people call a “resting bitch face”. I roared with laughter when I first heard that phrase, but it really does sum up what happens when our faces relax. I’ve drawn hundreds of people and it isn’t possible to keep a natural smile going for very long, then our faces relax down into “resting bitch” mode. She has a great face, strong, formidable, full of character. I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app.

Warts And All

11 Oct

HopeI’m working part-time for a charity, running arts sessions for people who have housing problems. Some of the people who come along are experienced artists and enjoy a few hours in a warm, safe place to get absorbed in their art. But some have very little experience of making art and I often hear, “Oh no. I can’t draw” and panic when I get out a bit of paper. It’s a pity that this is ingrained into so many adults – children are usually much more willing to have a go. I think that one of the reasons that people are so fearful of drawing is because they think it’s innate, god-given, a born talent rather than years and years of practice and striving.

I think that we artists have become disassociated from our craft. People see perfectly formed artworks in tasteful frames on pristine gallery walls and it’s easy to buy into the idea that these magnificent objects spring forth from a bottomless pool of artistic genius. WRONG! They’re the result of blood, sweat and tears …. and endless mistakes …. and frustration! That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of art in public, en plein air, in streets, shop windows, anywhere that people can see art being made … warts and all.

Banner 1

When someone said to me today that they couldn’t draw, I said, “It’s not drawing, it’s writing”. That made it better. I asked the people I’m working with to think of one positive word, then write it down, then start playing with different ways of making the letters, colouring them, adding patterns. Then we redrew our words onto a roll of primed canvas and started painting a banner.

I work alongside them so they can see my mistakes and the bits that are rubbish and hopefully understand that making a drawing or painting is a process that starts small and builds and builds over time into a finished piece ….. and that they shouldn’t judge themselves so harshly. More next week…..

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

A Snazzy Eggcup

10 Oct

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I have a bit of a thing for eggcups. I buy unusual ones when I can afford to. I don’t collect them as such, I just like having weird eggcups around. I don’t use them either in case I break them. I have some really cheap, expendable ones for my soft-boiled eggs and Marmite soldiers. I drew this ceramic one for the 40 Day Drawing Challenge, using my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and a free app called Markers. I’m pushing out of my comfort zone by doing still-life studies and using digital media. I’m much more comfortable with paper, pens and charcoal.

 

My Muses In London

9 Oct

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I’ve just emailed a digital artwork that’s going into an exhibition in London this weekend. It’s an animated sequence of some of the female models I work with and it’s called “My Muses”. It’s made up of life drawings that I’ve done on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app. I’ve been hitting the ‘Save’ button frequently, every few seconds, to build up a record of the drawings as they progress. Husb transferred them onto a desktop and edited them together in Adobe Premiere Pro.

 

The animation is appearing at the FiLiA annual conference at The Institute of London near Russell Square this weekend. I am so lucky to be able to work with such exceptional women. Artists’ models are rarely given the recognition they deserve, it’s not an easy job, there’s more to it than just sitting still, they inspire us.

 

The women I work with are older, middle-aged, younger; large and small; black and white; a student, a teacher, a soldier, an artist, a stay-at-home-mother, a free spirit; employed and unemployed; from all walks of life. They have one thing in common – they are My Muses.

I won’t post the animation just yet as it’s getting its debut at the FiLiA conference, so I’ll post it next week.

 

The FiLiA conference is at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL (nearest tube stations: Russell Square, Euston) on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October. Please follow the links below for more information.

https://filia.org.uk/welcome/ 

@FiLiArtivism

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

The Alma-Tadema Ladies. Part 1 – The Two Wives, Marie-Pauline Gressin-Dumoulin de Boisgirard and Laura Epps.

9 Oct

A female artist I had never heard of, wonderful painting, Laura Alma-Tadema

Source: The Alma-Tadema Ladies. Part 1 – The Two Wives, Marie-Pauline Gressin-Dumoulin de Boisgirard and Laura Epps.

Awkward Little Object

8 Oct

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So it’s now day 7 of the 40 Day Drawing Challenge organised by Green Olive Press in Morocco and I’m working my way through individual objects to draw still-life studies. Today’s was an awkward little thing, a small marble pestle and mortar that I bought in Pakistan about 3 years ago when I was on an artist residency near Rawalpindi. I stood it on a jazzy coaster and drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app. The marble was a pain to draw and doing this challenge is giving me so much more respect for artists who work with still-life, it’s not easy.

Alyson Williams

Art & Design Foundation, UWTSD

Black Pen Art

Website and blog on the simplicity of the line. (c) 2017. All contents belong to sueblackpenart

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