Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A bad case of the busies

Hello again! Whitney and I have been pretty absent the last week or so, up to our eyeballs in work, work, and more work. Did I mention we were busy with work? Because we have been extremely busy with it........work that is. My other job has been steadily getting more and more hectic as we enter the spring season and Whitney is splitting all of her time between school and her internship at an accounting firm.....but my adorable little lady did manage to take a moment before she left today to let me snap a photo of her right before it started snowing here in Seattle:

Whitney edited 2
I've been fiddling around with the Nikon D60 I use for most of my pictures (my other camera is a Panasonic fz35 P&S) and I'm really happy with how this picture came out, so I felt the need to share it. I've actually have no experience with photography and have really never needed to take any pictures in my life with an actual camera until I started this blog, so I'm trying my best to become an expert overnight with the SLR and point & shoot cameras that we have. After a quick stop in photoshop, I'm pretty proud of myself and the pictures I've produced of my artwork! Now if I could just learn how to eat food without spilling it all over myself..........one miracle at a time I guess.

When I wasn't slaving away at my day job (or my ridiculously-early-morning-job since I have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. everyday) these last few weeks, I have been hanging by thread and struggling to get a pig done I promised a co-worker many many maaaaany months ago. She requested a baroque style pattern in black and white, which I immediately thought "no problem!" and anticipated that it would be tons of fun doing, since I love painting flow-y floral-like designs, as it comes very natural to me. HOWEVER, I had no idea I'd have this much trouble trying to "freestyle" a baroque pattern. I freehand absolutely everything on my pigs with pencil first (after I have primed the pig), usually referencing 1 or 2 pictures just to get an idea of how to go about it, and I'm usually well on my way without any problems. But after many weeks of penciling and reducing erasers to nothing, I've realized that I stink at baroque motifs.

Baroque pig
And don't get me wrong, I'm very familiar with baroque patterns, not to mention the Baroque era as well (I studied it quite extensively back in college.....*ahem* art history major), so I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to translate onto the pig. As you can see, I've started painting the first coat of the final color, but only because of sheer frustration of having to waste so much time penciling the design, since I'm not even done yet with the penciling stage. The key component to a baroque pattern is symmetry; everything on one side mirrors everything on the other. So I do a rough sketch of what might fit and if it does, I clean it up and make it a little darker.....although 90% of the time I ended up erasing whatever it was I had drawn because it didn't look quite right or I couldn't get it perfectly symmetrical (maybe I have a lazy eye and no one has told me??? Hence my apparent inability with drawing things symmetrical). The other HUGE problem that is driving me completely bananas was that a lot of what I was drawing ended up looking like it was more Art Nouveau than anything else. Thin and very organic vine-like looking curls kept creeping their way onto the piggy and I just couldn't get away from them. With baroque, I wanted to go for thick and heavier motifs that are very ornate, and lines that are constantly interrupted. The overall look is very regal, approaching it's shape like I'm doing a stylized chandelier. But unfortunately I just couldn't get it right, and for the sake of my other commissions that are getting pushed back further and further (sorry Tessa, Krysta, and Caitlin!), I just have go with what I've got and be happy with it.

What's even worse is that this pig has made me feel like I'm stuck in an artistic rut and it's hard for me to sit down and get some work done without flipping out and drawing mustaches on everything. Anybody out there have any encouraging words to help me out?

On a much happier note:

papersculpt tutorial
As a request I received from a nice young lady from Germany by the name of Jessie (http://www.freaktvblog.de), I have decided that my next papersculpt project will be accompanied by a comprehensive tutorial post featured on my blog, including everything you might need to create something of your own and a in depth look at my entire creative process! I'm excited to do this post because that means I get to do another papersculpt piece! I have a big list of ideas that I've wanted to create with paper, but which one to do.................you'll just have to wait and see! Thanks again Jessie!


  1. Make a twirly Baroque mustache. Now THAT would be something!

  2. Noted. Thanks for the idear Erin! Maybe I can wear it as well, since my super power is the inability to grow a mustache.....or any notable facial hair for that matter hahahaha.....ha..........*sad face*

  3. I think the pattern would have looked really neat if it was still symmetrical, but started (centered?) from somewhere unexpected... maybe... like the top of the ear... left eyeball... right hind leg... Yeah?

    But I think you're doing a fabulous job! You totally make me want to paint piggies now, BAD.

  4. Gotta hate those ruts.
    I feel like I'm in the midst of one right now.
    LUCKILY, when I got up this morning I was able to use a fancy new tablet that my sweetheart bought for me for my birthday. (I'm also super excited about our art trade and those breaks are desperately needed sometimes...)

  5. Adrienne: I actually thought of that but had to immediately scrap it because the pig's ears create a HUUUUUGGGGEEEE problem. If the design was smaller, it'd definitely be a possibility though. And thank you! You should totally do your own!!!!!!!!!

    Drea: I want a fancy new tablet too :( I asked Whitney if she'll buy me one and she told me to shut up. ART TRADE YAY!!!!

  6. ohhh first i hope you both will have more time soon again ,)

    and i love your pigs :) nice!

    and i looking forward to your next papersculpture :) and thanks for the mention :)



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