Tag Archives: negative space

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending April 20

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

Art! Art! More Art!

Saturday, April 14 – On Friday night I drew a scene in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook in pen and ink, while I was watching TV. I meant to take a photo in the black and white stage but I didn’t get to it. So on Saturday I colored it and here it is:

AD 4-14 #1001

Well, things are on a slant in this picture, due to the fact that I was half-lying on the sofa when I drew it and didn’t have as good a view of it…as it obviously needed. Oh well.

I glued in some people and all of a sudden the picture had a story.

AD 4-14 #6002

This book is almost filled up. I’ve been doing a lot of art in it lately. I added this page, collage work (not done on the sofa but in my studio) inspired by scenes I’ve been greatly enjoying from a fellow blogger’s site, Jessica’s Nature Blog. I won’t tell you more, go and look for yourself, but here’s a landscape from my point of view:

AD 4-14 #2006

and here is a selection of the papers I used. Many of these are old book pages that I painted with watery acrylics – the soft old papers absorb the paint so beautifully.

Sunday, April 15 – I checked on the terra cotta clay tiles I cut the other day. They are drying nicely, and they have firmed up enough for me to clean up their edges with a small damp sponge. By doing this now, the clay is actually stronger then when dry – it then becomes very brittle – so I can wipe harder and make nice smooth non-sharp edges. By doing with a wet sponge rather than sanding the bisqued tiles later on, I also avoid creating and breathing in a lot of dust.

AD 4-15 #1008

Then I cut tiles from my remaining white clay. I’ve used up all my clay now – I’ll be needing to buy more to make anything else.

AD 4-15 #2007

I then zipped up to the studio and got out my sketchbook again, randomly gluing in leftovers from yesterday’s collage work, plus some other papers, plus a little paint. I’ll see what develops from this beginning later on.

AD 4-15 #3009

I worked on my two paintings. I think the reading lady is finished. Pretty much, anyway.

AD 4-15 #5010

The other one, we’ve decided, is a waterfall. We’ve narrowed the scene orientation down to two ways. Here’s how I worked on it today, yellow part at the bottom, and then the opposite, blue at the bottom. Getting close to finishing this one, so I’ve got to decide…

And I don’t like to waste paint on the brush. I usually slap it on to postcards or ATC’s – the latter are what you see here. I’ll save them and they will show up later on in my art practice, transformed or added to.

AD 4-15 #7006

Monday, April 16 – A dreary day, with pouring rain, ultra-pouring rain! I’m staying home and doing chores etc., today.

AD 4-16 #2004

I decided to take the opportunity to put my initials and date on the back of the small tile group I recently did.

AD 4-16 #1005

This step is the last one in getting these tiles finished. With the help of my cat, Paul Drake, and Perry Mason,

and Sharpies (I say the plural here because it’s a foregone fact that the rough clay will destroy at least one, wear it down right to nothing, so you’ve got to have a group of them) I got this job done.

AD 4-16 #4002

Tuesday, April 17 – I pulled out some little boards I bought a while back. I think they are Claybord and I have a shoebox full of these ATC-sized boards covered with a scratch-into-able surface. I bought a ten-pound supply of various sizes and used the other choices up – these are what is left and they’ve been waiting for their turn. I feel like embarking on a large series of something very simple (kind of like those 2″ x 2″ clay tiles I recently completed).
Here’s a look at the materials.

I was not sure what I wanted to do with them besides using acrylics. I chose about 15-20 pieces and I started putting color down. As I worked, I decided I wanted to do some faces and some landscapes. By the end of the session here is what I had.

Wednesday, April 18 – The two larger paintings have been sitting upstairs in my living room, “resting”. I brought them downstairs to work on a little today. The lady reading continues to evolve – guess I wasn’t done with her yet – but she still maintains her essential theme and form.

AD 4-18 #2004

The other one, well, I chose the orientation with the blue at the bottom, and I have decided it is a picture of a waterfall. So, what you see is a waterfall, just making sure you know it! I worked on it today as well. It has now reached a stage in which it needs more rest and and it is making me uneasy. So more will be done to it.

AD 4-18 #1005

I also worked on the tiny paintings. Now we have people:

AD 4-18 #3003

and we have houses in landscapes:

AD 4-18 #4002

and we have trees.

AD 4-18 #5001

I never tire of these themes. I believe that the landscapes and trees are close to finished. The people, I am planning to give them faces and details with India ink, next time I get a chance.

Thursday, April 19 – I don’t usually do any art on the same day as I do a Poetry Marathon session, but – I started looking at the larger painting (it’s been sitting upstairs in the living room where I’ve been eyeing it for improvements) and I was just going to do “one little thing” to it, and ended up working on it for about an hour plus.

AD 4-19 #1006

I did feel better about the direction of this painting when I was finished.

Friday, April 20 – I worked on both large paintings this afternoon. They inch toward completion, but I think I am REALLY close (have I said that before?).

I got out those ATC-sized paintings I was working on earlier in the week. For the portrait set, I added details with India ink and acrylic inks. I will post individual photos sometime in the future so you can see them better, but here is a group shot:

AD 4-20 #5003

After looking over the landscape and tree groups, I liked them as they are, so – they are finished. Once again I’ll post close-ups in the future.

I went down to the basement to check on the tiles. I believe they are ready to be fired. You can see they have a different appearance than when wet – they are paler and chalkier-looking. Terra cotta and white clay are shown here.

Another test for dryness is – you put the item to your face. It will feel cold at first, always. Then, if it is dry, it warms up. If it still has water in it, it will stay feeling cold against your cheek. These all are showing the signs of readiness for the kiln. Not cold! I will try to get them and the sculptures in there next week.

Thanks for reading!

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

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.