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judithj
05-24-2003, 11:36 AM
Hi Everyone

Here is a recently finished acrylic - it is 28" wide and 24 " tall.

It's title is 'Spiral Snake' - or perhaps I will change my mind and call it something else.

I have 2 separate approaches to making art - one is abstract and intuitive. the other is photo realistic.

I love the intuitive approach because it lets me explore emotional expression and the photo realism is kind of a meditation that lets me have a break from my inner life and focus on external objects/environments that interest me.

This is a work for me that is a bit unusual because I have used both approaches.

It is funny because I have been trying to give other works posted in various wet canvas forms a little feedback and I find that I look at a work and I just kind of stall - I am thinking to myself - I do not know how to help the poster because I do not have enough context and here I am trying to figure out how to help them with an insight that may not be relevant or helpful.

So I guess I will give you a little context since this is the first time I have posted in this form.

I have gotten myself signed up to do a solo exhibition in September to force myself to start making art on a regular basis again.

I have been making art - personal art, for a while and that feels very safe for me - I am on pins and needles about making art for exhibition. And yet I need this motivation or I would be watching the Simpsons instead of working...


;)

I like this piece - it makes me happy. I had a lot of fun making it. It is my first fairly large (for me) acrylic for years...

I have been working in colour pencil and have chosen to get back into acrylics so that I can exhibit these painting without a frame - the painting is also on the sides of the canvas and I need a way to exhibit without the cost of framing.

I actually painted most of it with an old sock I had thrown away - I fished it out of the garbage.

Let me know what you think.

Many thanks, Judith

jenna_searcher
05-24-2003, 02:14 PM
having never painted with a sock, i can't comment on the technique - but this is incredible. love the swirl of it - the danger of the snake - the cool blues and greens. nice one.
:)
good luck with your exhibit.

judithj
05-24-2003, 03:28 PM
Thanks for your kind words Jenna.

The sock painting was a lot of fun. a lot of daubing...

-Judith

marc
05-24-2003, 08:40 PM
Oh wow, you did this with a sock?! :D

I've done a lot of spiral paintings similar in form to this myself... but this just blows me away, it's great! I love the texture and colours and the way you mixed the snake's (or dragon's?) head with the stylistic swirl. It opens up a lot of ways to look at it and makes it feel very original. The colours feel positive and vibrant, and I sense the reptile is smiling at me. There's so much depth to the texture I have to consider taking up the use of old socks myself. ;) I find this very hard to stop looking at. Well done!

judithj
05-25-2003, 04:29 PM
Hi Marc!

Yup - I used a sock - and it was so much fun. I could scrunch up the sock in different ways to get fun textures, and with the ribbing, if I made a 'c' shape around my finger - I would get these cool scallop shapes.

The reference photo for the snake was infact a snake - but I love dragons and I find myself drawn again and again to the dragon motif. Now that you mention it the Snake/Dragon does look like he is smiling so perhaps I will call the peice 'Dragon's Joy' or something. I like that better than Spiral Snake -

I would love to see some of your spiral paintings - spirals are another recurrant image in my work - I just love them so much.

If I were the type of person who collects things - I would collect spiral shells and snail shells...

Judith

marc
05-25-2003, 04:57 PM
Hi Judith,

Dragon's Joy sounds like a great title. It does look happy :)

Unfortunately almost all my old paintings are private and dedicated to someone so I can't show them in public (except I have a relatively recent one that is quite graphic in nature but the swirl is only secondary).. This one definitely inspires me to try again, there's just something about swirls and spirals.. actually there are plenty of swirls (and dragons!) in my recent pulse piccie I put up here.. maybe I should do a complete spiral like that.. food for thought ;)

Since I do all my painting digitally I can't get to the socks yet, but I might take up watercolours soon, maybe it will work with those too?

judithj
05-26-2003, 03:47 PM
I am sure you will have all manor of fun with watercolours... using socks, brushes or fingers.

Digital is a lot of fun too.

I work so much with the computer in my profession as a graphic designer that I really wanted to get away from it with my art. That's why I got back into paint and paper and canvas.

There is just something about having paint under your fingernails...;)

I just got to look at your Pulse piece - very cool.

Very interesting discussion - I will have to read the thread about the copyright issue.

Spirals and dragons - yes indeed - to me spirals are so intense as an image because they imply infinity. The cyclical nature of time and they are just so intensely beautiful.

Dragons - why do I love dragons... I think it has something to do with the wildness of them. Also, with the psychological metaphor for that part of myself I have to hide to be polite... Dragons don't give a hoot about being polite.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your paintings and I will let you know whey I get my latest one up - I am working on a painting with a barn owl in the mist of drippy paint.

-Judith

marc
05-26-2003, 06:46 PM
The other day there was an interesting little tidbit in NY Times about how dragons as mythological beings seem to have emerged in completely isolated cultures around the world, including ones like the inuit, which really don't have any exposure to reptillians or similar creatures that could inspire dragon myths.

I agree about the physical stuff, I'm just taking up learning to draw, using pencils, and there's a certain sastisfaction about holding the original finished piece (even when it's kinda crappy like mine ;)).. I actually joined WC to learn about drawing, and I feel more comfortable about posting those (to learn) than I do with my digital stuff, so most of that I don't post..

judithj
05-28-2003, 06:16 PM
Hey Marc

Sorry about the delay. My home office is in the guest room and we had a guest who has gone home yesterday - I've been lugging my computer and all the other goodies back into the guest room aka my office.

Dragons - I wonder some times if we have genetic memories of dinosaurs or something - and that is what makes these mythological critters so captivating.

Drawing is so much fun - I have gotten away from it a little because I am painting so much these days - it is just that I do not have to frame paintings and they are faster.

Are you trying to draw realistically? I found that working through the exercises in 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' to be very helpful with regards to learning this skill.

I really loved the blind contour exercises out of this book because I have a background in meditation and the blind contour was very much like a meditation.

One thing I like to tell people about drawing - the only 'crappy' drawings are the ones you don't make... ;)

Have fun, Judith

marc
05-28-2003, 06:33 PM
Hi Judith,

I'm not sure how we would have those genetic memories seeing that there's a span of over 60 million years between the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dawn of the earliest humans.. but there does seem to be a universal awe of dragons.. the NYT piece talked about old cultures being aware of fossils (both dinosaurs and mammals) which both inspire dragon stories, but that theory isn't perfect either.. maybe dragons are just too cool to be figured out intellectually. ;)

I did indeed start with 'drawing on the right side', it's a great book and very encouraging (haven't finished it yet, got kinda sidetracked with wetcanvas!). I'm trying to draw realistically, and I think I am making progress.. the hardest part for me is to stay enthusiastic about it, it's a bit of a struggle, but I'm determined to get it eventually. Dahzl gave me a great tip on listening to music and drawing with eyes closed - I guess it's blind contour on steroids. ;) I posted some stuff in the body parts project, which was a really good project for me.. I'm actually doing body studies now for a picture I have in mind. It's fun to do sketches to become more familiar with how to approach the final concept.

judithj
05-28-2003, 07:00 PM
Yah, I hear you. Learning to draw realistically is a big process - and it can be a little bit of a challenge for the attention span. Small regular doses work best for me.

I actually find that I need to scoot back and forth from abstract to realism - it keeps me engaged - I get board very easily.

Here is an approach that has been very effective for me.

I start with my eyes shut and make a scribble and then if it looks like anything - I make it into that. I will take just a hint of something in the scribble to get an image or lots of times I just futz about with line, colour and textures and make totally abstract things this way.

That is how I start most of my work - just letting it happen and making it into what ever it wants to be.

I did all these drawings like this: http://www.museon.com/justbeing/html/thumb-2.html

Gotta go - I have to put in my time painting.

Cheers, Judith

marc
05-28-2003, 07:15 PM
That's an interesting approach - not unlike what I do with digital sometimes. I too like to make the pictures decide what they want to be, but sometimes I have a vision and want to try to put it into a physical image.. then sketches can be a good help to approach it in small pieces :)

marc
05-28-2003, 07:19 PM
I forgot to say that I looked at your website and I like your imaginative pictures a lot :)

judithj
05-29-2003, 10:10 AM
Yah - working both directions at once is a riot. That is what I've been doing - starting a painting totally open - letting a vision emerge spontaneously - and then going to look for or photograph the reference that is suggested.

I find that when I let the imagery emerge spontaneously I am really intrigued and engaged with the work. It is weird - kind of like taking dictation. I mean it is not an intellectual process - just go on auto pilot and trust the process.

Thanks for looking at the drawings - I went through a stage where I was not interested in sustained work on any one piece so I was working small and fast and just letting it all flow. Multiple drawings per sitting.

These paintings are much more sustained and a real challenge to my attention span.

Rendering can get boring for me - but that is just me.

This is my latest: I am not sure if it is finished as yet - I am not satisfied with some of the landscape, I feel that the drawing is a little clumsy - I am trying to balance the spontaneous drip paint effects and I have been using some of my rusty Japanese brush painting techniques to suggest the forest - not satisfied with it yet. ANd yet I am very pleased with the piece overall...

Another one that makes me happy.

I think I will call this one 'Heart's Content'

-jj

marc
05-29-2003, 01:43 PM
Can I ever relate to short attention span :rolleyes: - I don't recall having ever done anything half serious in one sitting.

That owl is intriguing also - I do like how your subjects seem to emerge from mysterious, almost mythological realms, the owl almost seem like it's peeking through a veil, maybe from a theatre stage, that it'll close again in a moment. We know that life is just behind there, but we can't quite see it. Your choice of colours in many pictures including this are not to my personal taste (right now anyway), but I do like all the other stuff. ;) I really did like the colours of Dragon's Joy. Maybe it feels unfinished because the composition is so bottom heavy? I don't feel my eye is pulled up so much when I fist have eye contact with the owl, although the moon does help in the left side..

Here's a spiral for you ;) (not mine)

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=1521602

judithj
05-30-2003, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by marc
Can I ever relate to short attention span :rolleyes: - I don't recall having ever done anything half serious in one sitting.

Working fast is so much fun. Can't take to too serious though.:D


Originally posted by marc
That owl is intriguing also - I do like how your subjects seem to emerge from mysterious, almost mythological realms, the owl almost seem like it's peeking through a veil, maybe from a theatre stage, that it'll close again in a moment. We know that life is just behind there, but we can't quite see it. Your choice of colours in many pictures including this are not to my personal taste (right now anyway), but I do like all the other stuff. ;) I really did like the colours of Dragon's Joy. Maybe it feels unfinished because the composition is so bottom heavy? I don't feel my eye is pulled up so much when I fist have eye contact with the owl, although the moon does help in the left side..

Here's a spiral for you ;) (not mine)

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=1521602 [/B]

I love the spiral staircase!!!!

I am going to be sitting with the Owl and thinking about your comments - the work does not quite have to done feeling that Dragon's Joy has - when I look at it for any length of time I keep on thinking of 'fixing' it.

I will just have to let this one sit for a little while.

Colours - Yes I have various moods and phases. Some intend to give a sense of calm balance - some are trying to get at unsettled wispy experience on the edge of awareness, and some are just me giving into a love of saturation.

I find that I go through colour phases - like a dark period with lots of black and earth tones, or a cyan, magenta and yellow phase (very bright and perhaps discordant.)

Not intellectually sure why - the intention is not beauty or anything - just letting it flow and trusting the moment to give the right expression.

Perhaps one day I will figure it out intellectually.

Gotta go - have a great weekend!!!!!

-Judith

marc
05-30-2003, 07:45 PM
Yes, the owl is a very different image. The dragon pic is very dynamic and full of vitality and extrovert whereas the owl is more mysterious and moody, with what you suggested was discordant colours? I personally tend to have a need for colour harmonies, so maybe discordant is a good word.. I'm not sure that what I think of as harmonic colours are considered such in the colour theory field though, but there's little I could care less about. I purposely avoid being taught about rules in colour, I just enjoy making up my own and feeling my way is much more enjoyable, and as a direct result that process creates better pictures. I've noticed that the 'rules' subject seems quite flammable here. What is probably easily overlooked is that all the theory books bear little significance compared to what people can learn by themselves by simply looking at great art. I'll get off the soap box before I begin some monster rant, it's not really something worth mincing words on anyway. People must find what works for them.

The spiral staircase is a classic photographic motive, but it's always a great one when done well. :)

Good weekend to you too!

judithj
05-31-2003, 10:29 PM
Hey Marc!

I'm just about to print out some small thumbnails of the Owl painting and try to work into the printouts with my colour pencils to see if I can arrive at a solution.

I was just thinking about the different processes these two paintings went through. The dragon before I went on vacation and I was in my office/studio. It started quite monochromatic - mostly turquoise. Worked back into it with cerulean blue.

The owl came after I got back from vacation... I was sick and miserable and we had a house guest and I had to give up my office and I was feeling a little - homeless - so to speak, so yes - there is definitely a much more moody feeling to the owl - also I started it differently - I had just gotten an order of new paints and the owl started off as an experiment in which I was just putting all the new colours on the canvas and seeing what would happen. - so there are way more colours in it.

In my personal art expression I am intrigued by expressing emotions and even physical sensations. I am interested in dream/subconscious imagery.

These things are not necessarily beautiful or even balanced - they can be intense or banal or just what ever they are. I feel discord lots and lots so using colour to express discord seems - appropriate.

I actually have the book called 'The Elements of Color' by Johannes Itten and I love the book - it is all about colour theory and it is fascinating.

The thing I find fascinating about it is the science. And learning how colour works in the human eye.

Not rules per se - just very interesting observations by an astute and very kind man - You can tell how sweet he is by reading his text.

And then you can use or disregard these observations at will.

Personally I find 'rules' interesting - not as something I have to follow... so much as a philosophy to try to understand. Just another thing to play with.

I think you can feel your own way through colour - just as you can feel your own way through rules... ;)

Follow them, break them, forget about them - what ever is appropriate for you in this moment...

Some people like structure and appreciate theory books - some prefer personal experience - what ever works for you is the best route to take.

I've seen the flaming - it is tiresome.

Yes - the spiral staircase was indeed beautiful.

I'm going to get those printouts now and see what I come up with.

I have a turtle painting just about finished too - need to finish that one next.

It really is a pleasure to be discussing art with you.

-Judith

Adrienne
06-01-2003, 10:21 AM
Judith,

I just caught this thread. What a pleasure to see your work!!!

I love your dragon (and it is more inviting as a "dragon" than as a snake)!!!

The colors and form are so beautiful. I can see why it makes you happy.

I also love the owl, but felt like the trees over her head were crowding her down and about to collapse on her. The reason is that they appear to me to be growing out of the top of her head. Was that your intent? I was thinking it might be more effective to have her emerging from the background rather than seeming to carry it. (Actually, she does seem to be emerging from the background on her sides -- but not across the top of her head.)

I understand what Marc was initially saying about the owl paintings colors, but I think they are very neat. I recently did a painting using similar colors. It was way out there compared to anything else I'd ever done, but it makes me happy. I posted it, and not very many people liked it, but in the last few days, I've looked at it again (and fixed a few blobs), and it really does make me happy.

It was kind of funny how it got to be so "garish." I use really garish colors to do my brush tests. (I make my own brushes.) Using bright, garish colors lets me see the action of the brush better, and lets me see how well it pulls (or doesn't pull) paint, etc.

In this case though, I began to see something in the painting that I'd been thinking about for a couple of days, so I continued with it as an official painting.

I never would have painted with those particular color choices if I'd been thinking about it, but then, I usually try, like you often do, to let a painting paint itself, and tell me its story as it goes.

So, I guess the moral to this story is, if it brings you happiness as its gift to you for giving it voice, then it is complete and wonderful, and not to be lightly dismissed.

marc
06-01-2003, 12:24 PM
Hey Judith :D

I'm not opposed to knowledge.. just thought I'd make that clear. :D I do find the science of colour (and all other science really, especially the kind that is directly observable in nature) fascinating, and I like to experience both Newton's discoveries and Goethe's more philosophical take. I will try to remember Johannes Itten.

I've just always truly enjoyed mixing colours - something I have always been able to do, unlike creating shapes and forms. I also react to them on a much deeper and more emotional level than I do to shapes and form, and as such they feel very personal. So one person's take on them, as interesting as it can be, will only be just that. I also find it interesting to look back at my work and see how I responded differently to colours as I changed on my own.

I almost always create pictures that feel positive and joyful to me.. There's so much pain everywhere, and I find it depressing rather than carthatic to explore it; rather I enjoy finding beauty and joy and expanding upon that.

I mentioned this in another thread.. people create art for their own unique purposes.. some to express and live out something inside them, others to seek out and experience new impulses from the outside. Some to communicate, others to understand themselves. And some a bit of everything at varying times. ;)

I know you said that you enjoy not using the computer when you create your personal art because you use it so much.. but I was thinking, wouldn't it give you more freedom to do experiments like those you're doing now with coloured pencil over printouts? Not to create the piece itself, just to test which direction you want it to take.. A lot of people here seem to take that approach because it's easy to quickly see if something works. I've only done the reverse - used paper for the concept and then creating on the puter.

Are you going to show the turtle when it's finished? :)

judithj
06-03-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by marc
Hey Judith :D

I know you said that you enjoy not using the computer when you create your personal art because you use it so much.. but I was thinking, wouldn't it give you more freedom to do experiments like those you're doing now with coloured pencil over printouts? Not to create the piece itself, just to test which direction you want it to take.. A lot of people here seem to take that approach because it's easy to quickly see if something works. I've only done the reverse - used paper for the concept and then creating on the puter.

Are you going to show the turtle when it's finished? :)

HI Marc!

Sorry it has taken such a long time for me to respond - I got sick again - I am much better today.

I am left handed and when I was learning to use a computer back in college, it never occurred to me to demand a left handed mouse - I am almost 'both-handed' - so it felt exceedingly awkward at first but I just kept on trying and learned to use the mouse with my right hand. Since then, I have had opportunity to use left handed mouses - but they now make me very confused.

I tried to work with my left hand using a tablet... and it was just so frustrating - it did not hear me - I mean it would go from wisp to blob and I got very frustrated with it.

Sooo - What that means to my process is that I think better - more fluidly with my left hand - I do my drawing in my sketch book and then I just scan it in and work it up with the computer.

That is my solution so far - perhaps one day I will try another tablet to see if they are more responsive - but pencils and brushes are just so immediate and totally responsive to me.

Although I must say that sometimes if I have an image and I am interested in sorting out a composition I will work on my computer. - It depends where I am in the creative process - for me I find that the computer makes me more intellectual and analytical where as the pencil and brush is more conducive to emotions.

I did putter with the Owl painting in photoshop - I must say that it was a lot faster and more intuitive with my pencils.

Yes I will show the turtle when it is finished - it has turned into a realistic piece. Although it started totally intuitively. Thanks for asking.

The Owl has come through a lot of changes too. More in the night time now.

I am looking forward to seeing more of your drawings.

-Judith

Tamana
06-03-2003, 04:40 PM
GREAT use of resources!! I LOVE it. "Alright children, it's time for painting. Everyone remove their socks!!" Hey!! All you men out there need to get rid of your "un-matched" socks? lol

Shalom,

Tam :)

Adrienne
06-03-2003, 08:55 PM
Judith says: "I tried to work with my left hand using a tablet... and it was just so frustrating - it did not hear me - I mean it would go from wisp to blob and I got very frustrated with it."

Judith, I won't go into the details because it sounded like you don't currently have a tablet hooked up, but if you ever try it again, you can work with the driver to get a smoother transition between wisp and blob. Also, if you use Painter rather than Photoshop, you can set brush tracking to vastly improve the range and detail of the pressure sensitivity.

If you ever want to try again, let me know and I can provide more detail (if you use a Wacom, that is). I'm a Wacom junkie!!!

See here for a charcoal study of my horse's eye which, like all my work, was done in Painter with my Wacom:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=94759

Adrienne
06-03-2003, 08:55 PM
Tamana????????????????

Is that you????????????????

marc
06-03-2003, 09:08 PM
Hey Judith :)

Sorry to hear you got ill, but good you're feeling better :D

'Tis funny, I'm right handed and used to use right hand for mouse, but after years of abuse (both using right hand for writing (school) and computer mouse for hours every day) I got some serious pain around the wrist so I had to switch to left, which I've used ever since. Feels completely natural now, I use a neutral mouse so there's no left/right bias on it.. but funnily I haven't switched the button functions I kind of like having it 'reversed' when using left..

Sounds like you got some weird stuff going on with that tablet? I've had lots of issues with mine also, but it's better these days.. I still have lots more control with paper and pencil though, when using tablet I have left hand stuck on ctrl-z (undo) because I mess up a lot more. :D Lots of settings can be changed in drivers (wouldn't know about old ones, I have an Intous II).

Looking forward to seeing owl update plus turtle :D - if you want to see my newbie pencil stuff I just put up another nude study in the figure forum ;)

judithj
06-03-2003, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by Tamana
GREAT use of resources!! I LOVE it. "Alright children, it's time for painting. Everyone remove their socks!!" Hey!! All you men out there need to get rid of your "un-matched" socks? lol

Shalom,

Tam :)

Hi Tam!

I often paint with my fingers - but I was loosing skin on the canvas and I needed a way to get real touchy feely and keep the skin on my hands.

The sock is a great tool - lots of fun.

-Judith

judithj
06-03-2003, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Adrienne


Judith, I won't go into the details because it sounded like you don't currently have a tablet hooked up, but if you ever try it again, you can work with the driver to get a smoother transition between wisp and blob. Also, if you use Painter rather than Photoshop, you can set brush tracking to vastly improve the range and detail of the pressure sensitivity.

If you ever want to try again, let me know and I can provide more detail (if you use a Wacom, that is). I'm a Wacom junkie!!!

See here for a charcoal study of my horse's eye which, like all my work, was done in Painter with my Wacom:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=94759

HI Adrienne!

I went to see the horse's eye - wonderful!!!!!! kind of makes me want to get back into drawing on the computer. Nope - I don't have the tablet hooked up - it was not a Wacom - something else - cannot remember what - It is no longer compatable with my new computer so I may just let it rest. Perhaps one day I will get back into it - I have painter 5 - what version is now in use?

Thanks for offering to help - Judith

judithj
06-03-2003, 10:09 PM
Hi Marc - sorry to hear about your right hand - The computer can be so very damaging with regards to RSI and all - I get really bad neck and shoulder pain , not to mention eye strain if I am using mine too much.

Wow - using the mouse in different hands with opposite functions - sounds so very confusing to me.

Yah the tablet never really worked for me.

I am glad they work for you.

ctrl-z is a second habit with me too - I guess that is why I love acrylics - you can alwayse paint over a mistake - whereas with watercolours - there it is...


I am just about to post the new owl painting - but I think I will start a new thread for it.

-Judith

marc
06-03-2003, 10:14 PM
Yeah the mouse thing is weird, but I didn't have a program to switch functions when I switched mouse and then later on I was just used to it this way :D

I'll keep my eye out for your new threads!

Adrienne
06-04-2003, 07:57 AM
I went to see the horse's eye - wonderful!!!!!! kind of makes me want to get back into drawing on the computer.

Thanks for going to visit Windy!!! :D I love drawing on the computer. Fantastic way to save resources and learn technique and control, as well as freedom and losing control :cool:

I have painter 5 - what version is now in use?
They just came out with v.8. I haven't gotten it yet. I was spoiled as I got v.7 free for beta- and post-release testing it. Couldn't sign up for v.8 to beta test it because of a couple of catastrophic illnesses in the family (all okay now!).

If you were interested, I bet you could get v.7 fairly cheap now they've announced v.8. It is really, really, really TONS and LIGHT YEARS better than v.5. HOWEVER, they released it with what should have been a ship-stopper bug. Be sure to get the patch for it and install it according to their unusual instructions, if you ever do purchase v.7. It is a truly wondrous tool and toy.