Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Other Images from Annie Cicale's Class

As I mentioned in a previous post, we worked on other images on the second day of class. Here are some of my classmates' drawings.

This drawing was done by Barb. It is a rock that had a marble streak down the center that looked like the letter "b"...for "Barb". :-)

Another Barb did this wonderful "sketch". I love that background treatment!

Yet another Karen did this image. I'm telling you, there were some talented people in this class!!!

And last, but not least,  this delightful painting 
was done by Marge. Check out her blog here.

More Apple Images from Annie Cicale's Class

The work represented here is by some of the talented people I had the privilege of working alongside of last weekend. Some of them have blogs or websites, too, so where applicable, I've included their links.

First, a sampling of apples from the first day. I don't know who did the apples on the right, but she was very ambitious!

This gorgeous apple was done by Ellen, who is a wonderfully talented artist and calligrapher. Who would have thought that a red apple didn't have to be drawn with any red in it at all? :-)

This stunning composition and drawing was done by
Barb from Michigan. I love the technique used to create
the background.

This is by one of my all-time favorite
artists/calligraphers, Rosie.

And this yummy piece was done by the amazing Karen!

This apple was done by another of my favorite artists, Luce. Check out her blog here!

And this one was done by Randy, who is new to our workshops. 
I LOVE how he incorporated the words into the shadow. 

This beautiful sepia tone was done by another Karen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Annie Cicale Workshop in Chicago

This past weekend, the Chicago Calligraphy Collective hosted a workshop with Annie Cicale, a fabulous teacher and artist. (If you get the opportunity to take a class with her, DO IT! And check out her website by clicking on her name above.) The title of the workshop was "Word Meets Image on the Page". Annie's goal, as stated in her workshop description, was to teach the class how "text and image complement each other to expand communication. We focused on illustration to develop meaningful imagery, using simple tools such as pencils, pen and ink, watercolor and other media, emphasizing the potential of black and white—and grey—images." We used tracing paper to write out our text and moved it around our images until we got the layout we desired.

On the first day, we did a simple drawing exercise of shading a cone, sphere, cube and cylinder—the basic shapes of which all matter is composed.

Then Annie brought out bags of imperfect apples and had us choose one. We could draw it whole, slice it, chew it, smash it, etc. She wanted us to try different media in this exercise. I chose, from left to right: graphite pencil; pen and ink, with Prismacolor pencils; and a brown Pentel Color Brush and a water brush to smear it a bit.

Later in the day, we worked with text and either added it to our existing apple images, or we drew new ones. I did this quote and drawing with the tip of a folded pen, walnut ink, and colored pencil. (This is unfinished.)

The next day we began working with our main quotes and images that we'd brought from home. I chose this quote:

“It’s not right raising kids so far from nature. I suppose your boys and girls have never seen pussy willows, robins building nests, or grass covered hills. This pavement is fine for cars, but it is hard medicine for children.
Hills are always more beautiful than stone buildings, you know. Living in a city is an artificial existence. Lots of people hardly ever feel real soil under their feet, see plants grow except in flower pots, or get far enough beyond the street lights to catch the enchantment of a night sky studded with stars. When people live far from scenes of the Great Spirit’s making, it’s easy for them to forget His laws.”
Walking Buffalo (Tatanga Mani; Stoney Indian) 1871-1967

(NOTE HERE: The "Great Spirit", in my understanding and belief, is the One True, Triune God; the Creator. :-)

I laid my design out in simple spreads for a book, with the idea of doing illustrations along with the text. I wanted to show the stark, bleak city environments contrasted with the beauty of nature. I also wanted to show children engaging with those environments. I started doing some loose sketches and wound up working on one of my son (when he was 3) playing in a large dirt pile. I used graphite pencils for the sketch, then used a brush and water to do a graphite wash for shading. (Also unfinished.)

Annie gave me the idea of perhaps doing the contrasting imagery, side by side. So, in this case, I'd like to show a boy playing on a dirt mound, and next to it a boy playing on a pile of trash. (The infamous dump in Manila came to mind.)

As you can see, I didn't finish the illustration, so I have a long way to go towards finishing the book. But I'm excited to work on this project and see where it leads.

I'll post some of our class photos soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Wonder-full" Things!

Children are experts at it. Some adults seem to have lost it. But I'm a firm believer that all of us were born with it.

It's one of my favorite words and one of my favorite things to do. I looked up the definition and found these:

• to have a wish or desire to know something
• the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising
• to be amazed at (I have a permanent crease on my forehead due to this one!!!)
• curiosity: a state in which you want to learn more about something

Lately, I've been journaling about the things I wonder. Here are just a few of them:
  • I wonder how crumbs get into the silverware drawer when I’m only putting in clean silverware and the drawers are almost always closed.
  • I wonder where do little boys go.
  • I wonder why the honeycomb pattern is so present in nature and the universe and how one could possibly think that it happened randomly.
  • I wonder how it will be to one day sit at the feet of Jesus and hear him speak.
  • And I wonder what stories He will tell.
Here are some wonderings from my son and husband:
  • I wonder how parrots can talk. (Josiah - age 7)
  • I wonder how little kids grow into big people who don't even look like themselves. (Josiah - age 7)
  • I wonder why so many of us are content to live life to the minimum instead of to the max. (Brad)
So, what do you wonder about? Care to get in on the conversation? Your wonderings could be funny or serious, trivial or deep. If you'd like to share them, please leave a comment here and I'll compile your answers and put them in another post for all to read.

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Denis Brown Workshop

My beginning Celtic knot. I've decided that I AM NOT cut out for the very left-brain process of knotwork! Even this simple one drove me absolutely crazy!!!

Some of my doodles from the day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Denis Brown Workshop

Hello Readers:

Well, it sure has been awhile. Funny. I've been in my studio working for the last two weeks, but I don't have too many fun things to post. Logo jobs and ads have been taking precedent, none of which you'd probably care to see. But I do have a few interesting (I hope!) things to post.

I took a one-day, Intro to Celtic Art workshop with Denis Brown at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. (The CCC and the IAHC sponsored five days with Denis.) My 17-yr. old niece went with me. (Yayy!!!) Denis gave a lecture the night before about some of his modern work, then did the Intro workshop the next day. He spoke about various ancient Irish manuscripts, including the Book of Kells. He gave us a brief overview of Celtic knotwork and spirals, as well as the Uncial hand used in the B of K. We had a sold-out crowd of CCC members and non-members! Over 50 people took the class and were introduced to the "art of beautiful writing"!

This photo at left, and the photo below it, are free images from the Trinity College Dublin's (home of the B of K) website. I love the crispness and quality of these letterforms, as well as the very contemporary (for their day) colors and how they fill in the counterspaces.

This next image shows the intricacy of knotwork and spirals. Such amazing artistry! At the end of the day we were treated to a special showing of the Irish American Heritage Center's facsimile of the Book of Kells. It's an exact replica in size and even has all the holes and "defects" of the original. It's probably the closest I'll ever come to seeing the artwork up close.