Sunday, July 22, 2012

Drawing + Painting

A little of what I've been up to this weekend, not counting the knitting, which will get its own post soon, I'm sure. Part of what is making Pages and Paint pretty cool for an online course is that it's the first one I've taken that includes snail mail. Before the course began, we each received a little packet in the mail with some odds and ends, plus an envelope to open each week. (That's 200 packets that had to be compiled and mailed out--whew!) One of the odds and ends was a snippet of fabric, and this week's bonus assignment was to get out the paints and try to re-create the pattern on the fabric. What a great idea! What fun!

So this was my attempt. First off, I'd have liked some black to mix with the blue and white, because that background is really more of a blue grey, but the supply list had the primaries and white, so I'm sticking to those for now. (But yeah, I'm going to have to use some black. I like shades as well as tints.) Second, I didn't reproduce the fabric exactly. Once I had the white circles (made with my fingertip), I mixed colors and added them as I pleased, more trying to get the spirit of the thing rather than the thing itself. (With a nod to Wallace Stevens.)

I had fun. Also, I really like mixing paints. I've said before, yes? I'm realizing that this is one of those things that I think is easy because I can do it (a common way in which I don't appreciate my own skills or talents: I think if I can do it, it must be easy). Many people are relating how they are struggling with mixing paint colors, so that is another benefit of this workshop--I do not recognize my strengths, mostly. And while I still think if I can do something, certainly anyone can learn to do it too (and I do think this is a skill, not a talent; it is entirely learn-able, and my kids can all mix colors with varying degrees of success because they have been given the paint and the opportunity to do so), I'm going to take a moment and appreciate my love of color and willingness to experiment with it.

Okay then. So after doing that assignment, I decided to vary the theme, and came up with this.

Earlier in the week we were told to play with text and different ways of writing it. I used some letter stencils and some letter stamps (which is what you see here). In this instance, I stamped on tissue paper and then glued it over the painted background--squares instead of circles, different color palette, but still a direct descendant of the fabric assignment. This is the text, which might be hard to read:I have spread my dreams under your feet/tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

They are the final lines of a poem by W. B. Yeats, "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven." Would you like to take a minute to read it all? I'll wait.

Isn't it lovely? I'd written this fragment in one of my many notebooks a year or so ago, thinking I'd like to do something with it, something illustrative, with embroidery, clearly. And I moved on to other things, and forgot about it, and found the notebook while straightening up the studio the other day, and wanted to remember it again. (I need to get better at keeping all the ideas in one place.) I love poetry. You probably knew that already though.

One more picture for you. A couple of weeks ago, iHanna posted about mandalas, and she included a video. I watched the video, and not too long after began drawing one every night before bed in a small notebook. It's very soothing. I think it's perfect to do before bed. Here are some samples.

The one in the larger notebook was done one rainy afternoon when I thought I might interest my older kids in trying it if I sat and did one myself. They were only sort of interested, but that's okay. They may decide to try at some point. All it takes is paper, a fine-point marker, and patience.

And you? Did you find some time to be creative--or contemplative--this weekend?


Shell said...

The fabric swatch reminds me of millefiori glass, all the little compacted circles. I don't have any but will have to make it a mission to obtain a little bitty piece, on a ring or pendant. Your art based on this would look great on a post card or artist trading card.
Thanks for post the link to the Yeats poem. To be honest, if you had just named the poet, I would not have looked for it but as you popped a link in, I nipped over for a look and it is a lovely poem.

Sally said...

Loving your fabric replication. I think the "in the spirit" is a great approach. You can tell it is essentially the same pattern - but not so much that it isn't yours. My big boy and I love mixing paints. Creating colours is awesome fun. Who'd have thought people would find it tricky?

bells said...

love the notion of mandalas before bed. What a lovely meditative act.

Carolyn said...

Amy, you are doing beautiful work. I love that you are exploring your creativity! Love the mandalas, I've been playing with Zentangles for awhile, I'll have to give the mandalas a try!

Michelle F. said...

Amy, I took Pages and Paint with Sarah at Squam last fall and love what I learned there. I think my most valued lesson was to let go of my idea of perfection and just play. Sounds a little bit about your experience with the fabric recreation, which I love by the way! And I am going to try a mandala tonight. What a peaceful way to end the day. Thank you!

Donna Lee said...

I use mandalas in my groups frequently. There is something meditative about the repetition of the design. I watched one being made of sand on a dining room table. The beauty lies in their impermenance. When they are finished, they are brushed away.

And I understand the feeling that if you can do it, it must be easy. I always think that way.

Michelle said...

The kids love coloring mandalas, and I've been wondering about drawing them. It's another one of those things I figured I can't do. I'm working on that. They're so beautiful. I love the meditative quality.

Crud, I was gonna tell you something else but I cant go back on this ereader to see what it was without losing this and you know how i LOVE retyping on this touch screen. Grrr