Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Reading & Recent Art

I've been piddling around the house, doing more reading that arting recently, as I re-read Harry Potter for the umpteenth time. This has become a Summer Reading ritual of sorts for me and it's always amazing how much I either forget year to year or discover in the depths of the books. On this read-through, I'm finding myself short on patience with the Boy Who Lived, finding him to be more irritatingly self-centered than on previous read throughs. I'm nearly done with The Half Blood Prince, so I doubt my opinion will change this go-around, but next Summer will most likely be different.

Much like my art, my current moods tend to flavor my reading experiences. So right now, external forces have irritated me enough to cast poor Harry in an unfavorable light. Ah well, there's always the solid love I have for Snape to fall back on. That will never change, fear not, Fictional Boyfriend!

All that aside, I have made little pockets of time to sketch, paint and work in my art journal - which has once again, been sorely neglected.

First off, is a wee body sketch in the Moleskine.

Several years ago, I doodled my first person in my sketchbook like this one. At that time, I was sitting on a bus heading towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art for my Art History class in college. A friend was sitting with me and we were chatting while I doodled. It started with a form, that I fucked up while shading, that I had sketched out with an inky Pilot pen. I decided, rather than scrap the piece, I'd work with the fuck up to shade her in. And thus, this style of sketching started for me.

Some people have remarked that it looks like musculature, and that may be true, but it's highly inaccurate, because I don't try to follow the patterns of musculature. So much as those of light and dark. This newest one ended up getting arms in the end, but I sort of wish I had left them off. I liked her better without them. Ah well, that's what sketching in the Moleskine is about to me though; experimenting, letting go and not really caring if it looks like shit in the end.

My much neglected altered journal got some attention the other day. Now, before you feel horrible for the poor thing, let me explain the cause of my neglect. This book has been my journal for over 5 years, it is 500+ pages long and the 1960's pleather spine of the poor thing is threatening to burst open like a cicada shell should I stick any more ephemera on to its pages! After speaking with some friends the other night (thank you for your input, guys!) and looking up some tutorials on how to remove and re-attach the covers with a larger and less flimsy spine, I'm confident that I will be able to finish the book instead of leaving it with 160 blank pages.

And so, I pulled it out, opened it up and drew an immediate blank as to what to work on. Never to be forced to put something away by lack of inspiration, I pulled out an envelope I keep s collection of small word cutouts in and chose a word at random to serve as my jumping off point. The word I drew? "Drowning".

At first I had dark images going through my head, but I pulled paper scraps and images from my collection based on what appealed to me and let the page shape itself. The images were laid down and I was content with just that, but as I cleaned up my collection of paper a page from Homer's The Odyssey caught my eye and as I scanned it, the phrase "Wine-Dark Sea" and word "husband" leapt out at me. And so, the phrase on the page came to be:

"I escaped to the wine-dark sea, there my husband awaits."

A wee bit eerie how it came back around to drowning in the end, romanticized or not, huh?

And last but not least, a finished piece that I started back in March. She's watercolor and Micron pen on watercolor paper and heavily influence by the work I've been doing with acrylic over the past year. The same style doesn't translate as well to watercolor, but I like her just the same.

Her name is HeartSight, for those curious. :)


  1. I love your painting. She's gorgeous!
    what do you use for your watermarking? I'm trying to find something simple.

  2. Yes, I have to agree with you about HP. In prep for her class, GK and I had a HP movie day....and then we listened to books on tape 5 outta 7 together. While she did her class work I finished the series and pfttttttt.
    I did not remember many, many things and the questions that the staff and professor asked the class were amazing at turning on light bulbs. I think next year I'll sign up as me only as a 13 year old and have fun. Only I'll disguise myself as Luna fave.
    As to your poor sketch book...I have one that lives in a box because that is the only way it will ever stay together as pages of a stream of consciousness.....and it is many decades old.
    Transfer, schmansfer.....I love this work, water color, oil, pastels are good at what you do. Love her.
    Hope you and Mr. Joe have a great weekend.....Oma Linda

  3. I know what you mean about a series being different each time you read it. I read the Outlander series once a year, and pick up on new things each time. You're right, situations around you really can flavor what you read. I love seeing how your sketching style developed. I like the armless figure too. Heart Sight is powerful. There's just something about her that pulls at me. Thank you for sharing Danni.


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