In Week 2 I began to feel glimmers of my inner artist really showing up for the party. Above was my interpretation of Star, which was a breakthrough concept piece for me, since I was illustrating a Native American legend.
If you break a cottonwood tree small branch at the circular growth line, and it is not too green or not too dry, you will find a star.
Image from: My Wishing Rock blog
The Arapahoe and Cheyenne tribes believe this is where stars are born and the wind sends them up into the sky. I love this and that is where my concept piece was born.
Another legend says this is where stars hide during the day. The Lakota use the cottonwood in their Sundance ceremony as the tree of life because of this. — reference: Mom off Track blog
The idea of the three trees is taken from three of the cottonwoods I grew up with along the drive to our barn (and I used a reference photo to capture some of the branch placement.) I have a strong affinity for these trees because the sound of their leaves in the wind winds through every childhood memory of outdoor play like a ribbon through my hair. The sound transports me every time, and now I have another reason to love these trees.
Inktober 2018 started out with a bang that has continued to reverberate on the Facebook page for these past weeks – controversy over what words really mean. The very first word was “poisonous”. We saw a lot of drawings of snakes, which are venomous, but not, technically, poisonous – so I commemorated the heated discussions that arose with my own submission. It was quite funny to watch the conversations on a page of with 40k international followers. Hopefully it was instructive for those willing to learn and they took it in good part.
These are poisonous red mushrooms found here in Indiana – it is my desire to watercolor my inked pieces this winter. I want to do a whole series on Indiana mushrooms.
TRANQUIL – I could not make up my mind on on this prompt – so I did a series of tranquil quick drawings as I played with ideas. This is as far as that went, and it was very enjoyable. I love doing these types of sketches. Good warmups.
ROASTED: Another mushroom – this one is good roasted, I am told. Hen (or Chicken) of the Woods. Again – this will work better when painted. I will probably re-do it and make it bigger. These are beautiful variegated orange mushrooms. I am on an Indiana Mushroom page in Facebook and saw where someone harvested 80lbs of these. It has been a big mushroom year with the warm, humid weather.
SPELL – this one is a favorite. I plan to do a series on State Park and Natural Preserves that we visited this year and especially the paths that lure me into those day long treks. This is the one in Pine Hills going up to the Devil’s Backbone.
CHICKEN – this one ended my first week because I was not worth anything for about 2 days. I went to my first colonoscopy and I had put it off for years, like the chicken that I am. Glad it is over. It seemed appropriate to commemorate that since it landed on the same day as this prompt.
It is that time of the year again where artists around the world commit to one ink drawing a day.
Here is a preview – my newest nephew, Isaac, in graphite pencil. I later worked it into an inked piece. I really want to grow my portraiture skills over the next year.
This year’s family (13×19 inches) calendar was a study of the past 200 years in my family history. It is more research intensive than it is beautiful. The purpose of this piece is to place a family name to events in history. It is a personalized resource for my 25 home schooled nieces and nephews, as well as be a bouncing off place for the adults to research further. I concentrate heavily on the 1850s-1870s (pre through post Civil War) and the 1920s-40s (end of WWI, Depression, New Deal, up through WWII.)
I started out by creating silhouettes of my parents. Their silhouette goes on the page that corresponds with their family line being discussed. Elements include:
- Family tree
- A map of the state and county of birth when appropriate
- A box outlining historical events during the lives of the subjects
- Research text
- Any related photos to personalize
- 2017 head shots of kids in sepia
My main comment on this whole intense project – never again! But I am glad I did it.
Each page also features a 2017 photo of a niece and nephew in the lower right corner. The final page is an extra page with Jan 2019 to give myself a breather if I don’t get the new calendar done in time (like this year.) The oldest niece is on that page, which is not featured here.
This football helmeted tiger was for a high schooler whose team is the Tigers.
A first Christmas for a new little cousin and another for some cousins who just got married.
I first started painting these ornaments in the early 1980s. At that time my sister was very young and I copied a favorite artist (Karl Odenweller) for a gift for her. This past year, one of her own kids dropped it, so I recreated it for her, only with a slightly larger image. Second sister had the same thing happen. Hers was a Hallmark bunny that I placed in her little burrow. And no, I do not copy and sell these.
I do not know how I did those original images the size of a dime when I was younger and with no magnifier!
And speaking of magnification, I finally found a magnifying system that works for me now that I am wearing glasses. Getting older presents new challenges.
The above image was my favorite for this week. I was trying new things – this was my niece having a hard time of it when she found her daddy’s jeans hanging on the line. It is one of my favorite moments. Faces and emotions are not easy to capture. I vow to work this next year to do better with them.
I am pushing myself to try different styles – quick drawings, purposeful drawings, tiny lines, emotion on faces, events.
Following the prompts of Inktober has been great at stretching my creativity and I hope expanding my range (depth and breadth.)