at a great rate of knots – and yes – for the first time this year – the 'C' word was mentioned yesterday – yes, you know the one, the one my year used to be measured by….
it's 3 months,
or 111 days,
or 2669 hours, or 160162 minutes or 9609728 seconds until Christmas – whew – no wonder it's galloping – those numbers just escallate! I have had to (regretfully) acknowledge that The Princess (grandbaby) – Miss 3 – is NO LONGER a toddler and that I am approaching a very large number next year.
It's funny, having always been mistaken for being much younger than I am, age has really never worried me, but having suffered a whole raft of mobility issues in the last couple of years, I am now beginning to seriously consider my own mortality and aging. It's not a pleasant thought. I am even wondering about my pursuit of drawing – will I finally get it, just before I die and not ever produce anything worthwhile? I am STILL a fledgling – better of course – I would even hesitate to say MUCH better – but I am still heavily reliant on copying and having something already 'flattened' into an image rather than drawing from life. oh well – at least I won't be a 'stale' old grannie – you can't get too old if you are still learning! These are some of my recent dry point etchings – and NO – they aren't drawn – they are primarily traced. The decision of how & in what manner to shade is where the 'art' comes in, as it alters the whole look of the piece. Still impacted by my 'Degas' visit last year, the little dancer was first etched and printed, then I bathed the paper in walnut ink & detailed it with white chalk. The magpies are from photographs I took of our little Master 2 1/2 feeding a family of magpies they have befriended at their home (of course they end up reversed when they are etched & printed).
Countdown to Christmas!
For weeks now, I have been counting down to 2pm today – when I had my half year assessment for my art course. Six subjects, all being assessed, all at the same time – 8 art journals (for 2 subjects I am already on my second one); 8 printworks; 5 oil paintings; a critical review of an art work, 20 drawings in various mediums, 12 life drawings; yada, yada, yada, basically, lots of stuff – all due at the one time, in the one place for a face to face review by a panel of 'art critics'. Like a folio presentation.
I have spent the semester feeling TOTALLY out of my depth, still feeling 'drawingly challenged' so the whole process was summing up to be pretty scary! They were kind, and gentle and encouraging. I still feel like a 'fraud' artist (due to my lack of drawing skills) & like I don't belong, but I recieved some encouragement to persevere with my painting, great reviews for my print making. The row of chairs is a 'relief print' carved out of matchbox sized cross grained wood with funny shaped tools that fit in your palm and are as sharp as a razor! (yes, I have the blood to prove it!) This was really tricky to do, and although it was a requirement, it's probably not something I'd fuss about doing again. My set of 5 paintings were elements of Melbourne life I called Urbania. It included: 'Hands of Justice' (representing the court buildings and taken from a photograph of a statue of a judge); 'Diverse Culture' depicting street buskers (entertainers) & traditional ballet & our Art's Centre. I was required to create a 'hommage' to an artist & so my 'Man in the Street' panel was a hommage to the work of John Bracks – a Melbourne artist, most famous for his work titled 'Collins St at 5pm' (a CBD street – equivalent to Wall St, or Saville Row – a main, well known CBD street). The other two panels were a retail one & one abstractly depicting Federation Square (another major Melbourne landmark)
Although none of this is altered arts – it's the path I am on at the moment for my art, I ache to get my hands in some acrylic paint & just 'squidge' around in it – but that's not to be right now – this is all pretty full on, and I am still battling physical constraints that are quite challenging at times.
We are done with 'relief' printing now where you work in the 'negative' – moving into 'intaglio' or dry point printing using etched plates & working in the 'positive'. After working with this for only a couple of weeks, I am really liking the results of this, and see a much broader application for it. It remains to be seen how well I do it, but I am encouraged by today's work – shown here – taken from a magazine photo of Snow Gums. I would like to 're do' some Alice scenes & I think this would be a good medium to do it in. The one from Tenniel with Alice at the tea party has always worried me, it seems to me that she has such a sullen pouty face, & she doesn't fit with the 'wonderlust' Alice that I have conjured up in my mind. Also I have Teri's 'White Rabbit' journal due to arrive here, so that's a good excuse to work on something like that! Something a bit less serious than my work in first semester.