Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Twists and turns

Last night we had meetings at school rather than classes. It was a nice break, to meet colleagues, learn about what’s going on w/the school, be re-energized about teaching and learning. There’s a lot of focus on Student Learning Outcomes at both the schools I teach at: What do we want our students to do, feel, know – at the end of our classes? The focus is less on providing instruction (ie, data dump), and more on encouraging learning. Wouldn't it be great to motivate self-teaching?

I got there early and got to eat dinner and sketch for a little bit along the reflecting pool and added color when I got home. Arty note: Since I have two mini paint sets, I decided to fill one with tube watercolor paint and try working with that, rather than the solid pans. I fight with the pans, I’ll admit. They normally win, not me. So the tube paint in the little wells will dry out enough that you can take the kit with you with little or less fear that it’ll spill out and goop up your art bag and all the precious arty materials in it. The w/c paints will soften with even just a little bit of water. I had heard this and went, “Really? I can use the tube paint? And still be neat?”. Yes, it really does work that way. Cool.

Tube paint in what used to hold solid pans of paint.

I have to say, though, that I was *so* excited by all this pigment that I could finally use so easily, that the intensity of colors here isn’t really what I had envisioned in my mind.

Reflecting pool at PCC

"Ick. Too much.
The blue. It bothers me."

I flipped through my sketchbook, which I finished off this morning. Most of the early sketches from about the past year were in just ink, or graphite pencil. Lots of gnarly trees. Not so much color. So that’s a new thing to play with more and fine-tune.

I wanted to loosen up for some work I need to do today and went out on the patio to sketch the row of plants that J has. I enjoy using this continuous-line quilting approach to drawing; sort of like drawing in script. My intent was to scan this then print out pages and work with the color – lots of nice gradations from green, yellow and red in the broad leaves. I grabbed my brush pen, and went back in for, what? I’m not sure, maybe emphasis. The much thicker lines really changed the character of the line work in a way I’m not sure I wanted. So, realizing this, I did a couple more quick sketches to capture gesture and to try to discern what I thought about the different pen weights, independently and/or used together. I’m going to work on this more, linework, in my work and my ‘play’.

"blah blah blah!" Is anyone still reading? Or are you just watching the sketches go by?

I added blocks of color in photoshop to a scan of the first two-page sketch and the sketch bothers me, well, ... less. [impish shrug]

I’m going to print up some of the b&w line drawings and play with color (paint) more, too. Later.
Because... in the middle of finishing off my sketchbook and quick sketching, I started sneezing. Fall is in the air, and something in that air, on the patio, makes me sneeze and sniffle!

I wouldn’t say that it’s been a discontented last 24 hrs of art, though (well, aside from the itchy nose. That’s pretty distracting). It’s amazing that you can always come back to working with the basics: Lines, color. The journey, like the art, has gesture, twists, stops and starts, splashes of color that you didn’t expect. Working through the process, I have to say, is what makes it really fun for me. And, of course, for me, the play - - very happily - - inspires the work part, too.

So ... dow, I hab to go blow by dose and ged to worg. Have a good one. -w


karen blados said...

he he he! Made me laugh! Bless you, btw. I'll have to try the tube paints. I have some in a big tray from college that have a couple of greens I really like. Thanks for the new idea.

Wendee said...

Thanks Karen. The tube paint really is just so much more ... fluid and silky compared to the solid little pans. Hope you have fun with it. Thanks, btw. I think the allergy/whatever is mostly done ...