Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sharpe in The Kitchen



Sylvester, woodcut print, #1 of 10.
The kids were watching  Titanic.  Their parents and honey were napping. I was hanging in the kitchen waiting for the breakfast dishes to go through the dry cycle so I could get on with the lunch dishes. There were ladders blocking us in and guys up on the roof replacing rotted boards on the chimney. I figured I might as well draw. I decided I wanted to draw with something clean. The only pen  I could find was a Sharpe Fine Point.    The reference photo  by Kathleen Whittaker, Art Director for Tauck  World Discovery Tours was still on the table.  I thought I'd take another pass at it. The drawing came out looking like a woodcut. It would make a very nice one, but not by me.

The only woodcut I ever made was a portrait of Sylvester Stallone in 1976.  I used a white oak block.  It was pretty good for a first try. I was going to send it to him, but never did. I still could, but won't. Too complicated.  And I never made another woodcut either. Carving  the plate made my thumbs ache (even though white oak is a relatively soft wood) and that made me think I was flirting with arthritis. Arthritis in my hands was to be avoided at all cost. So far, so good.

23 comments:

  1. I especially like the pen drawing, it has some nice contrast even if the darks/shadows are mad with lines. It isn't that much different from my own approach, which means a lot of lines, but step back and let the lines blend and give it a new impression.

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    1. well, meant "made" (not "mad")

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    2. I especially like heavier line pens than the extremely fine points. I think it's because I've been nearsighted all my life and like to see what's going on. My nearsightedness is also why watercolor really isn't my medium. The darks aren't dark enough.

      Achieving the right tonal values with line or dots or dabs is the challenge of pen and ink. Escher is one real big favorite of mine.

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  2. I think that's great that you grabbed the nearest drawing implement and made it work for you! These are great! And using something like a sharpie forces you to focus on only the shapes, and how to best shape them, knowing that every mark is going to be permanent... which is a good exercise! Did everybody like Titanic? That's a great movie!

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    1. The movie was on all day. It is a long one. Once again I cried as Jack (Leonardo) slipped into the deep. Between action scenes, my guests went marketing for dinner. Everybody is not moving very fast. Between the Zoo, the boating and fishing, Nascar races and Greenfield village everybody is exhausted. Tomorrow they leave for Chicago and Six Flags then back for a couple of days and home. Monday we're going to The Ford Museum where there is an exhibit of the treasures recovered from the Titanic.
      As I reply, I can still smell the Sharpe. While their on their Chicago excursion, I'll find some real art pens or bring up the watercolors. I don't want to disturb their "apartment" while they're here.

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  3. Fascinated by your life stories and love your multi-talented, multi-media approach to your art.

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    1. Fascinated Mick? You're probably astounded that I'll talk about myself and my family in front of the whole world. All the men in my life are. Ellis is. He hates it. Thinks I should zip my lip and breast my cards--which boils down to showing a piece of my work, titling it and that's it. OR not blogging at all. My guys think I'm too open.

      Fact is I think blogging is great. I love reading what you all are up to. Gary was taking a jog one day and ran into a parade. Hallie thinks she might have seen a UFO when she was a kid that looked like a recessed light. Christine takes excellent macro photographs, but doesn't show regularly because she gets hung up worrying about her family, Celeste goes to a lot of workshops. Her work is amazing so I signed up for one too when I had completely closed the door on ongoing art education in groups.

      I think world wide communication between ordinary folk about ordinary concerns--in our case, making art--is a move toward real world peace by the general populace just meeting each other as plain folks sharing daily concerns. Sounds hokey I know. But art comes from our real lives. So what we're up to, is connected to the work we're showing each other. The last three days, my life was turned upside down by having my empty nest overflowing with activity. My drawing suffered. I've adjusted and my ability is coming back.

      Now look at the effect your one sentence had on me. I ran off on the keyboard but one last thing: my multimedia approach to art comes from years of working with different design styles. In art, I really do think that different subject matters demand different treatment with different mediums. This is not a good thing for a serious fine artist who would like to settle down, focus and possibly sell a few works. That ability distresses me. Thank you Mick,for making me think.

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    2. And thank you for doing the same. There is much to admire in your philosophy that taps into the needs that we all have to participate in society even though we often suppress them because of all those things that make us hesitate to be open human beings. I find your attitude so refreshing and inspiring and hope that I can learn from it. Thankyou.

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  4. Like the drawing--lovely inking.

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    1. Whatever works. The Sharpe was there. The drawing pad was close by. The pastels were ground into my fingertips. I needed some tool that didn't make a mess of the kitchen sink or throw a blanket of colored dust over my pale yellow upholstered bar chairs when I blew off the excess. The Sharpe is hardly an instrument of "Fine," but it is clean.

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  5. Your first and only wood cut? Really? WOW!! I think it proves how talented you are.
    Your pen drawing is wonderful. I am amazed with your artistry Linda. You can do it all! (Including write!!!)

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    1. You're no slouch yourself Pam. Why I don't see you in the funny papers I don't know. Your drawings and wit are delightfully funny. I really look forward to seeing new posts from you.

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  6. Love your Blog Linda! Love the drawing and really enjoy the woodcut. Thanks for posting your art work and your writing.
    Michael

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    1. My pleasure Michael. I do hope you've decided your abstract city scape is done. It has a morning mist effect that's quite attractive. No more contrasts or details are needed. I get the picture.

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  7. ...in fact I thought at first glance that it was a wood carving, you certainly don't loose a second to create , do you :-) Love this drawing , and the wood carving of Stallone is REALLY good!

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    1. I like to do something everyday. Drawing is like working out. I have to keep it up. My boating incident and my overflowing once empty next threw me a bit off kilter (Erin's horrible portrait in charcoal the other day), but I'm relaxing and it shows in the strokes.

      I really liked doing that woodcut. I produced ten prints from it and could have done fifteen more of excellent quality. White oak was soft enough to carve with little distress placed on your hands, but the plate's life is limited. Red oak would last longer, but the hands would give out faster. Though the medium suited my personality, I really didn't want to be injured. During the process, I was rubbing my thumbs with Aspracream the whole time. Not good when you're in your thirties.

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  8. Linda, all I ca say is both images are brilliant! And I'm amazed how much you NEED to create all the time - love it!!!

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    1. I really don't have a NEED. I have to do something artistic daily. If I don't, I could forget about the whole thing and not do it again--making art can be quite aggravating. I regard drawing daily like exercising daily. It keeps my eye/ hand coordination sharp no matter how it comes out.

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  9. Once again, I have been following all, and I mean all - not commenting and feeling a bit bad about it because your posts have each, to a one, been so excellent. Great sharpie sketch! (And I'm glad you're still with us after your swimming incident).

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    1. Thank you Dan. I'm anxious to see what you've been up to. I'm still up to my ears in family vacation, but on leave at the moment. Ellis and I really have forgotten what it's like living with kids around. Then as soon as we get adjusted, they take off for a vacation within their vacation. So this weekend we're empty nesters once again and missing the commotion. I hope work has settled down for you--not so much that you're not making great bucks--but just enough for you to make great art.

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    1. Thanks Jane. Do you know that that Sharpe drawing still has an odor two days after it was done? And it isn't pleasant.

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  11. I'm catching up on comments. I think drawing/creating is not so much a need as an involutary necessity like breathing. I've wondered if it might even be a curse.

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