So this is what it must feel like to have my own artwork hanging on a wall in a real art gallery!
Although my artwork isn't nearly as large as these are, it gives me a bit of inspiration to "think bigger" and actually use the 3 enormous canvases my family gave me back in May for my Mother's Day gift. The canvases are still in the shrink-wrap with the decorative bow stuck to it.
"Sketching Around Houston" ~ Glenwood Cemetery
This week our art class met at Glenwood Cemetery, which is an 84-acre hidden gem in the middle of Houston. It is beautifully landscaped with rolling hills, towering oak trees, and has a huge collection of statues and monuments that serve as reminders of Houston's rich history. People that are buried there include the last President of the Republic of Texas, four Governors, 20 or more Houston mayors, founders and CEOs of major oil companies, religious and professional leaders, as well as anyone who has made significant contributions to the shaping of Houston. It is just so hard to believe that this cemetery is just one mile west of downtown.
Ellen, my art teacher, scouted out this location after making sure there were no funerals taking place. It felt a bit awkward as we set up our lawn chairs and unpacked our drawing supplies. We said a thank you to those that were around us in the spirit world, letting them know we thank them for letting us create in their personal space and that we promised to be respectful.
Our first exercise lasted about 15 minutes and it was to find a scene and create that scene so that it reached all 4 sides of our paper. I chose this tree as it reminds me of the tree we have that hangs over our driveway.As
Since this was really meant to be a warm up exercise, I ran out of time while I was sketching the base of the winged statue.
Next, Ellen wanted for us to have the experience as artists to connect with what we were drawing. Each person scattered around finding their own inspiration. I saw a statue I thought "would do" but as I sat down to draw, the mosquitos were swarming around my face and the ants were biting my toes. So I took that as a sign to find another location. Just a bit further down I came upon this statue and I immediately felt connected to it.
We had about 45 minutes to create a diptych, a drawing made of two parts. The first part was to draw the entire statue, and the second part was to pick a focal point, drawn to the four sides of the paper.
I found myself wondering who this girl was, and how sad it was that she was so young. She appeared to be content and had her dog with her, comforting her. It reminded me of when I was a young girl about that age, I had lost my mother to breast cancer. I thought about me holding and petting my cat. I also thought about the Applewhite Lott family - who they were.
“In the faces of children I have seen a look of wisdom and of kindness expressed with such ease and such certainty that I knew it was the expression of a whole race.” - from "The Art Spirt" by Robert Henri
I was pretty pleased with my work and all the detail I was able to include in such a short time. All of a sudden I felt a light misting of rain and realized that the water sprinklers had automatically turned on, so I quickly packed up my things and ran out of the way! And with that, our class was over. We each took turns sharing our drawings with one another.
This was a real turning point for many of you - seeing negative space, stretching to include a wide range of value, selecting a subject that carried meaning and personal significance. I was blown away by your work. Thank you for helping me honor those whose final resting place provided inspiration for us. - Ellen Orseck, artist and instructor, Rice Glasscock School
Such a nice group of women! We enjoyed lunch out together at nearby Star Pizza.
What's on my easel ~ "Vintage Jennifer"
I just completed this digital drawing from a photo of me when I was about three years old. When I was a little girl I was always wearing dresses with lace and ruffles. I was a girly girl through and through. Even when I went to summer camp I insisted on wearing dresses. I just love the innocence and emotion that this 1970s portrait evokes. This piece of art required more than 24 hours of drawing time and used more than 30,000 brush strokes according to the Procreate’s statistics!
For the longest time I couldn't figure out what I was holding in the photograph. I thought maybe it was a stuffed animal or a blanket, but then I realized it could be a purse. I did take artistic liberty to change it to a teddy bear, using my art teacher's wise suggestion. Even the bear looks girly!
My drawing may not be exactly like the photo, but it's pretty close. My drawing skills are improving but still have a ways to go. Maybe one day it will be hanging on a gallery wall larger than life somewhere!
Here are a couple more drawing done on my iPad. The one on the left reminds me of a mystical forest, or perhaps under the sea, with the flowers swaying back and forth. I didn't use a reference image for this one, just playing with the various brushes.
The orange flower is probably my favorite. It looks so soft and the flowers in the background look a bit out of focus which was intentional. I used a personal photo for my inspiration.
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