Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sketchbook

If you give me a piece of blank paper and the right black felt tipped marker, I can play quietly by myself for hours. The problem is, I don't often have hours. And it's got to be just the right pen. All pens in this household must pass audition. I am a stringent critic. If they make the cut, they are quietly hidden in a bag pocket, near my desk, by my bedside.

Lately, the sketchbook has been my friend. I took it with me to Jeckyll Island last month and did some quickies here and there. There were only moments to capture poses, etc... before the person moved. I find the act of drawing live and fast forces me to use my eyes instinctively....forces me to capture the essential information in a scene.

Here are two of my traveling companions partaking of our nightly 'oysters, shrimp, and beer at sunset' ritual:


I think this guy is saying, "Hey, Baby..." I also think they realized they were models, got wierded out, and moved to the other side of the dock:

Notice they all have short legs and big heads. Draw whatcha' know, baby.

My dear friend Melissa watching the ocean:


So much for Jeckyll. It was a fabulous trip...ocean, seafood & beer, old friends. What's not to love?

Back in my real world, Eye for Fiber, my critique group, met last night. Barb Dinneweth, the resident art teacher, led us through an excercise about line. She asked us to draw fruit, just capture it's shape:

In stead of drawing circles for grapes, I wanted to capture their edges with a horizontal squiggle. And unlike the Jeckyll sketches, there was time to use a little more control. This morning, I realized that I've made this mark before:

This is a silk screen image I made using flour paste. I scratched the image right into the flour paste coated screen. The idea that shape is defined by edges and light fascinates me. I wanted to use edges, not straight lines to reveal the contours of her face.

In fact, I've been using this same kind of mark since childhood. I clearly remember defining clouds with these horizontal squiggles. Hmmm...

In the back of the stew I call 'brain', this idea has been brewing. How do I translate it into fiber? The obvious answer is thread painting. But somehow that's not satisfying me. The question of medium is flaring brightly in my mind. Is fiber the best medium simply because it's what I know? Or is it time to explore something new? I know watercolor's not it. And I'm not completely ruling out fiber. But I am thinking. And Horace, I warned you about thinking.

3 comments:

Debra said...

Hmm... the edge thing can be addressed with embroidery and hand stitching instead of machine thread paiting. Embroidery would let you alter the width and thickness of the lines, and would still allow the squiggle.

Alternately, screening would work. Or any mark-making technique on the surface.

It would be easier to examine the line in a different medium, but do you really want easier?

tge said...

http://www.illustrationfriday.com/

Ferret said...

Wow, I want to be able to do that, just play with drawing. I do intend to use thread painting to then move the skils and ideas into fiber. I have to admit I cheat. I use the longarm for this sort of thing now and it feels much more like drawing.