Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending April 6

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art! Art! Art!

Saturday, March 31 – By now you know the drill. More small tiles.

Slowly but surely the tide is turning. There are many more tiles all dressed up than there are tiles waiting for their outfits. Look at all of these.

AD 3-31 #2006

You can see from these shots. I’ll be finished with this phase in the life of these tiles pretty soon, I think.

Sunday, April 1 – I went through a few different mediums today. First, I pasted some new items in my current Large Artist Sketchbook to set up some new art ideas for later. We’ll see where these go as time passes.

Next, I got out my figure drawing book – this one:

AD 3-28 #2008

and worked on this technique of creating the figure through using negative space. Here is the book’s version:

AD 4-1 #11002

And here are mine. I used India ink and a chinese brush. I really enjoyed this technique. It requires you to look at the white space as you draw and not at the black that your hand is adding. There is a sudden switch that occurs (because you are looking at the black, yes, you are) when you see the white figure emerging and you follow its progress.

You do need to give your negative space some room or you will eat away at your figure before you know it (witness some of those skinny little people). Anyway, give this a try. You could use any medium to achieve this effect, but it is fluid and kind of mysterious to see the figures come into view, no matter what.

And then, to finish up, I started on some tiles but did not have time to finish them before dinner. Another day.

AD 4-1 # 12001

Tuesday, April 3 – I woke up this morning with the idea of finishing up those tiles that are massing for attack (I’m getting to feel overwhelmed, can you tell, by their numbers…). Here’s the last group ready to get decorated:

AD 4-3-18 #1009

Here is the table all cleaned up. I plan to do some handbuilding next, so I’ve got the field cleared for when I want to start that. I won’t need the underglazes for that, of course, but – maybe they want to watch?

AD 4-3-18 #2008

And here are the tiles. There are 161 squares and three round ones.

I’ll be firing them pretty soon, I think.

Next I did some odds and ends in the studio upstairs. I’m gearing myself up to do some painting, I think, but things are still in the thinking stage. No action today. Instead I worked on some more of those negative space people. I can’t get enough of those. Here are some I did with blue ink as a background, or with two layers of ink (I like the layering effect of the latter).

I even did a page of them in my current Large Artist Sketchbook (and I know I’ll be adding more to this page, but what? I’ll have to wait for the idea to come to me, I guess).

AD 4-3-18 #8001

Wednesday, April 4 – I am now understanding what kind of week I’m in – it’s kind of a recovery time. I am getting ready to start on some new biggish projects, painting and clay, pretty soon – I feel my mind gearing up, turning over possibilities. But what I’m actually doing right now is small and simple – the tiles, ink drawings…There is a rhythm to how things go, wavelike, I think. Right now I’m resting before I sprint off again.

OK. Today I got the tiles into the kiln. I will see if I can fire them on Friday, since I’ll be out all day tomorrow. Here are two of the three shelves filled with small tiles, ready to go.

I have an idea for a page in my ongoing Large Art Sketchbook – a neighborhood. I’ve glued in the houses but there is a need for a lot more suburban activity to liven things up. I drew some elements in India ink and dip pen on a piece of sketch paper. I will cut them out and stick them on the page and then maybe draw around them some more. A good sitting on the sofa kind of project.

Thursday, April 5 – Last night I worked some more on the neighborhood page in my Large Artist Sketchbook. Well, it’s a bit cluttered, but homey. Some projects are notable for the enjoyment they give in doing them, regardless of their artistic merit. I did enjoy adding and adding the various elements.

AD 4-4-18 #5001

I was at a Poetry Marathon session all day, but I did this small sketch of a nearby student at the library, just to settle myself in, first thing after I set up my computer and books.

AD 4-5- #12002

Friday, April 6 – All right, it is Friday, and lots happening, all small things, like a little sampler menu. I got those tiles in the kiln – after 6.05 hours, they are done (so says the kiln) but – we do not open that lid ever until about 18+ hours have passed. Bad things will happen to you if you do, not that I’ve tried it – the idea of 1800+ F degrees is all the information I need to have. Tomorrow I’ll be able to see how things came out. Patience!

AD 4-6-18 #2006

I have been staring at this random ink blot thing for a few days

AD 3-29 #6001


and I thought – I’m never going to do anything with it in one piece, I know it – so I cut it into postcard and ATC sizes, then gluing the results to backgrounds that I’ll trim up later on (the Bristol board is not heavy enough to suit me for these purposes). OK, now I feel better about the prospects here.

AD 4-6-18 #3004

Last night my hands were restless, so I did that sofa/TV thing and opened the current sketchbook. I worked a pen and ink drawing; and this afternoon I added some color to an earlier page. Now I’ve got the remedy for TV time idle hands tonight.

Now, I was going to go to my clay area and maybe make some animal legs for some – animals – that I have a vague idea about, but I realized I was running out of time and clay – well, you must take your time with it. So I went with Plan B – I’ve been gearing up for a couple more paintings and I got started on them.

They are both from my imagination. One is a hall in a house, and the other is going to be someone reading.

OK, that is it!

See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

10 thoughts on “Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending April 6

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I really like that ink drawing of the building exterior. The negative space drawings are fantastic. I’m a fan of negative space but I’ve not carved figures out with big strokes of ink like that since I was attending life drawing classes back in Scotland. With all your positive/negative stencil figure work, I can see how much this approach would appeal to you.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, that’s what it made me think of, stenciling, and I love the process, for that moment when it switches over from paying attention to the black to where the white negative space leaps forward. Like a jolt. Really something I want to try more of, not just figures.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, me too. I spent some time arranging them (dumb, since I was just going to take them up to fire them) and it was very satisfying to play around with them. Wait till you see the fired version…

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