This is an old drawing, but an appropriate one for the upcoming season, I think. I have been too busy dealing with family issues to get back to my art this month, and I miss it so much!! I have signed up for an upcoming critique class with an especially challenging and experienced art teacher. He has been teaching since the early 70's, and is very well known in the Memphis area...more on that when it happens. I am a bit anxious, as the first assignment has already been set, and it is to do a self-portrait, without painting yourself! Terrifying and exciting at the same time. I have a few ideas which I will be setting into motion this upcoming week, with any luck at all. Family is wonderful, but in some cases extremely emotionally taxing. I am having dreams of moving to Tahiti...as long as there aren't too many bugs there....Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Isn't this an interesting texture?? Being an artist means getting excited over silly little things...Hubby once came rushing in from the bathroom yelling for the camera - the washcloth had fallen into a perfect squishy mess that gave him an idea for a sculpture. So my enthusiasm over the soapy windshield of the car during a trip to the carwash can't be that surprising. I am thinking this is an incredible background for a bird painting...or an amazing snow scene with pine trees...or just about anything! Texture is exciting. It is what makes a painting interesting, and brings you back again and again to look at it. I definitely need to use this texture in something....let you know when I find it!
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:30 PM
Friday, September 21, 2012
I am still playing with the ART DOODLE BOOK, and I will tell you why...I am in a slump! A creative cave of darkness (aren't most female artists emotional drama queens?) I am trying to get a jump start back after some difficult, soul-sucking, creativity-draining (and thankfully fairly minor) times. Unlike Van Gogh, Monet and Kincaid, I am not at my best when I am feeling stressed, whiny, or hormonal. Thank goodness for those creative people who have the little tricks of the trade to get back on the artistic tracks! I am enjoying the Picasso playground. Above is my Picasso Pookiebear...that started out as a blank page with a circle and a comma. The comma reminded me of a pacifier, and it went from there.
This page started out with the outlined foot. I chose to do a scene with this one, a self-portrait. The woman walking up the stairs is me, ultimately tripping over the cat. I have added a wonky window and a still life with violin, and wallpaper asteroids. This is the first flattering self-portrait I have done, so don't laugh!
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:17 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Sometimes, a still life is just one little thing, but that thing has all the elements of light, shadow, value and reflection. I placed this tiny porcelain bird on my window sill, and take such pleasure in it every morning when the sunlight hits it. The reflections of color in the window bring it to life, the blue shadows cool it down and ground it. This vignette speaks to me on so many levels, and I will HAVE to do a painting....It calls to me. It speaks for me. It is what art is all about!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:51 AM
Monday, September 17, 2012
I discovered a wonderful interactive book this week, called THE ART DOODLE BOOK by Abrams Image, New York. It is kind of a color book for artists, and gives inspirational images by a variety of famous artists, and encourages you to try something of your own in that style. This is my first try! As you can see, they printed a single eye on a blank page. I chose to do what I call 'Mother and Child', using a ball point pen, trying to simplify my lines to pure form, as Picasso so brilliantly does in his paintings. I am pleased with the results, though I think it came out rather like a 60's psychodelic poster. If I were to paint it, would I go with hot pinks and dayglo orange? You bet!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:57 PM
This sketch is completely different from my norm. I am still not sure as to my comfort level with my imagination. My son-in-law thinks I am highly influenced by the movie Dark Crystal, and the Skeksis creatures. I am sure he is right, but I was really thinking about my wildlife art instructor years ago, who was trying to teach me how to draw a robin. He was demonstrating on his own canvas, the strokes for the feathers, and he wasn't having a good day. Frustrated, he threw down the 5x7 canvas, and told me to go with my gut. I mentioned that his bird looked rather interestingly like a metal bird. Excited, he grabbed his canvas, and in the next 2 hours made the most beautiful painting I have seen of a bird, completely metal with a titanium color pattern. His imagination was so beautifully rendered that I have envied the ability to use it creatively ever since. In my attempts to broaden my artistic ability, I always think of him. I will 'endeavor to perservere'! You may eventually see a part of this sketch in a painting. Who knows?
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:44 AM
Saturday, September 15, 2012
It is Monarch butterfly migration time, and I alway like to commemorate the time with a still life of the courageous creatures. Having 2 cats, I find it best to have really delicate things protected, and what better way to protect my antique teapot, than in a cage? Hubby found this beautiful paper monarch that flutters it's wings, and I attached it to the top of the birdcage to highlight the colors. Also inside the cage is a tiny mouse flying on the back of a butterfly. My mother, who volunteers for the Missouri Conservation Department, spent last weekend banding thousands of butterflies to track their progress across the country to their home way to the south. I worried that the tiny dot stickers they place on the butterflies would cause them to fly crooked, but she said they took off without a problem. I still visualize issues with the tracking dots, and will have to draw something to that effect! Blessings on your journey, Monarchs!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:30 AM
Thursday, September 13, 2012
I am starting the sketches for my yearly Halloween greeting cards. This is the first of several I will do before I choose the right one to print up. As a quick sketch, it is not too bad, but I want to bring a bit of the macabre to the holiday this year, and this definitely is too friendly. Possibly a pumpkin carved as a skull? or a creepy shadowy card with a bit of a wicked grin lurking about...expect more weirdness. I am in a scary mood this month!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:16 AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
This is something new for me. I decided to try drawing feelings that I was having about dealing with a parent with Alzheimers. My mother-in-law has the beginning diagnosis, and hubby and I are feeling conflicted, to say the least! We have no desire to take away her independence, but she is acting more and more erratic. We want happiness for her, don't want to take over her control, don't want to 'parent' the parent...we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If we move in any direction, we are upsetting her, but we can't NOT do something, right? Yikes! This little guy is pinned to the floor with no way out that will not be horrifically painful. 'Stressed' is not even close to the right word, or title. Can you come up with a title for my unhappy little guy?
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:09 AM
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I was in an antique store in the city when I found a huge box of printer's letters. For 50 cents each, I dug through and found my last name (well, the m is actually an upsidedown w!) I combined the letters with some fake metal amphora pots that I love for their classic shapes. I put these pieces together because I love the combination of text with curves. It is an exciting mix, and reminds me of the collages that I love that the more contemporary artists are doing today. It also reminds me of the beautiful Asian paintings with the calligraphy. As always, I am drawn to warmer colors, and I really love the mottled look of the metal urns. I hope to do a background on a painting someday that is infused with all of the movement and texture of that metal.
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:46 PM
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This simple sketch is one of my favorites of the year. I wanted to show the sweeping grace of the single wheat and grass. The head was heavy with its ripe grain, bowing down the stem. It is not an exact rendition of the wheat, but my feelings about it, so I actually feel like a real artist today! Most of the time I feel like I am just practicing at it, and never really GETTING it!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:27 AM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
This is the second piece of jewelry that I ever received from my hubby (after my wedding ring). It is a necklace with a handmade silver setting of an Idaho opal. The artist who made it was from Santa Barbara, CA and I have no idea who he/she was, but it is still one of my favorite pieces ever! The Idaho opal has a different kind of fire, with lots of blue and pink. I was not sure how to draw it, so this was a real challenge! It is always hard for me to do anything transparent, so I will continue to practice it. I do SO admire those artists who can draw and paint glasswear and reflections! They are real miracle workers!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:19 AM
Monday, September 3, 2012
I found these wonderful paper parasols in an international discount shop for only $3 a piece! I loved the geometric ribbing on them, and the hand-painted bird scenes. I actually have gained more inspiration from these pieces for their simple color pallette and inked outlines. Being a nature lover, I loved the choice of birds, but I was also thinking that it would make the most wonderful painting to add all of those sharp rib lines to an outdoor scene. Almost like a stained glass piece. The idea is still spinning around in my head. I am sure one day it will solidify and I will be able to start a painting. These parasols are softening the lighting over my garden tub at the moment. Every time I turn on the lights I feel that golden glow and a glimpse of serenity!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:32 PM
Sunday, September 2, 2012
I am SO looking forward to autumn! Even though it is still hot and muggy here in Tennessee, I am starting to see little pops of color to encourage me that my favorite season will soon be here. We have a particular hickory tree that starts turning scarlet at the end of August, just to make leaf-lovers like me happy! This landscape started out as a black and white...a grisaille drawing. I then used some colored pencils to lightly put in the beginnings of the season. I look forward to my fall picnics, drives in the country, and sipping hot tea to my heart's content!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:10 AM