Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Circling the Thing Called Art

Pencil Sketch of Dave, 5x5

My sketchbook is always handy but until three weeks ago I had never sketched in public.  At an auto shop I got my chance; sitting across from me was a great model, my husband Dave.  Both our Jeeps were at the dealer (54 miles away) for repairs.  Dave's not very patient--he sat for a few minutes, left before I sketched his feet, and returned to a different seat.
Corel'd Dave
I recently bought Corel Draw Graphic Suite X5 (an upgrade because Suite 12 didn't work with Windows 7).  I wanted to play with digital paint brushes and colors so I tried scanning the sketch into Corel--the scanner didn't work.  We now have a new printer/scanner.  Everything's working, thanks to a good friend, Sam Caparatta.  Sam and Dave spent lots of time talking with "Tech."  We bought a Windows 7 computer in January and it has taken me 10 months and a lot of cussing just to get back to where I was last year.  I'm not sure this is progress; it's more like treading water and trying not to drown.   

I took a 3-hour linoleum block printing class at
Convergence Art Guild, a real pleasure, taught by my sister-in-law Mary Wilkerson.  My
subject was the chair next to my work
station.  I added a cat the following day, Halloween, and only needed three bandaids. 

Two-legged Chair, linoleum block, 7x5

I hope to do more linoleum block printing.  My problem is I like the block itself--looks like bas relief , and I'm hesitant to cut pieces away for printing with more than one color.  I just read THE COMPLETE PRINTMAKER, a book I've had for years; printmaking is definitely interesting.

Terry, charcoal drawing, 24x18
I attempted to draw my artist friend Terry during Thursdays at the Y Art.  The easel contraption stood still; Terry didn't.  When she appeared too thin, I took the easy way and made her head smaller.  She said she had always thought she had a pinhead--ha.  She was wrong when she said she lacked a sense of humor--we laugh a lot.  

Longwood Park
I feared I had missed the autumn colors so I took my camera along when I voted yesterday; luckily, I wasn't too late. 

Kinderton Golf Club

Clarksville Marina--3 blocks from my house

End of 4th, next to Marina--my favorite.  Geese patrol this knoll during the summer.
And I'm still playing with my Winsor and Newton watercolors--nothing worth posting yet. 
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  1. Nice report, Hallie! I love your drawings and the lino print (of the "two legged chair")...I agree with you that the lino block itself is a work of art. My husband's name is Dave too. Yours seems to have more patience than mine. However you figured out how to change Terry to be correct seems to have worked perfectly. You live is a very beautiful place!

  2. An absolutely fabulous and oh so interesting post, Hallie. I remember doing lino prints back in grade school and it was fun.

  3. Wow, that's one action packed blog post! I admire your ability to learn new tech stuff regardless of how long it takes, Hallie. The colors with corel are awesome, nice feet by the way. How did you do that? And the autumn colored photos are breathtaking, they are paintings waiting to happen. From sketching to technology to linoleum block carving, is there anything you can not do??!!

  4. Thanks Celeste. Dave's not that patient; actually, we were at the auto shop for four hours and my car stayed for another ten days. I was okay; I carry snacks and sketchbooks. Some of the scenes around here are just too perfect to paint.

    Conservativelybohemian--I wish I had done lino prints in grade school. We just had crayons and tempera paint.

  5. Hi Robin. I haven't learned much tech recently; I was just trying to do some of the same stuff I could do on the old computer--really frustrating. In Corel photo/paint (part of the graphic suite) I can pick brushes, colors, sizes, etc.--that's how Dave got feet. It would be really great if I could just pick one or two things--maybe I enjoy learning more than doing (not a good thing). Well, I did stick with sculpture for about thirty years.

  6. That looks a the person who took my purse, I recognize the feet.

    Everette T. McGill

  7. This is one fully packed post Hallie! Full of good things. Dave is a lot like my honey who won't sit still if he sees me staring at him with a pad and pencil in hand. He's very uncooperative--but also a bit boring when it comes to his usual poses, (sitting). Linoleum blocks have got to satisfy the sculptor in you.I know I loved carving wood blocks, but these days linoleum would be all my thumbs could take. I agree, the block is very attractive--a number of them would make a great paneled wall. And your photographs are worthy of hanging too; Celeste is right, you do live in a beautiful place and are one energetic lady.

  8. Anonymous Everette. I should have given him old shoes like your favorites.

  9. LWRoth (Linda). You know I enjoyed the carving--not using a chisel and mallet felt a bit strange, though. The linoleum block combined the two things I like most--sculpting and drawing. I plan to visit a large, once-a-year trade show tomorrow in Raleigh (Art of the Carolinas) and will probably pick up some additional tools and paper.

    I'm not really energetic--just circling, and I have trouble picking a landing spot. I like trying everything (except skiing).

    Dave is actually a good model but he doesn't always like the results.

  10. Nice post. An art form in itself.
    I, too, remember lino block printing in school. Loved the way it felt gouging out the stuff. Like budda!
    Gorgeous photos. Golf courses are beautiful places. Geese love em better than golf. Me, too.

  11. Hallie you have been really busy, I love the fact that your posts are always a surprise, one never knows what you have been up to. So interesting. Your drawings are super, and I had a good laugh seeing your husband so obviously annoyed, you really caught that look!
    I never learned skiing either, really tried hard to , but they never wanted to stay parallel, so I quit :-) All the best.

  12. Thanks SamArtDog. I haven't finished anything recently so I decided to share the way I fritter away my time--playing. I did enjoy gouging that linoleum; I felt I needed bigger, more dangerous tools! Kinderton is a beautiful course; I was a member for a while--played only a few rounds. After two years, I figured each game had cost me about $1,000 (my husband doesn't play). I could have bought some of those pastel boxes instead.

  13. Thanks Jane. I was trying the watercolors again today--third attempt at the same old bottle that was uncovered in my yard a few years ago. I hope to one day have an acceptable painting; then I'll post all the attempts (for laughs).

    Yes, my husband was definitely annoyed--my appointment was at 1 p.m. and at 2:30, no one had even looked at my car. I do believe they fixed the leak in my sun roof, though--I'm waiting for the next big rain.

    I'm not a skiier, a skater, or a biker; walking's okay if it's on dry ground.

  14. Hi Hallie
    As all commentors have already pointed out...a greatly eclectic post...

    I love carrying a sketchbook around with me at all motto: don't leave home without it...then it's never boring...though 4 hours at the car repair could test that theory.

    always fun to catch glimpses of your world...geese know the best places to hang.

  15. Oh...did you ever try the KleanKut print making carving into butter with a hot knife...
    like you I love the look of the carved blocks..Ileave them sitting around in my studio.

  16. Hi Donna. Eclectic or scatter-brained--that's me. I've carried this sketchbook for a couple of years--and this was the third sketch. There's one of my pocketbook and one of cars when I was waiting for an oil change. This sketchbook will never be filled (I have others).

    KleanKut will go on my shopping list. I have a stash of kids' blocks in my studio; I'll add some carved ones.

  17. Well Hallie, I think you should do some more printmaking! I really do!
    They are great. Why do our subjects move so? If they would just stay still!

  18. Wow, all this circling must have made you dizzy... Thanks for those Fall photos. We don't get too much color during our 20 minutes of Fall. It's pretty much green one day and brown the next.

    At least the Jeep dealership has decent chairs for you guys to sit in. Even so, I hope you didn't have to stay there the whole 10 days.

    I love your Two-Legged Chair. One of my favorite parts of working with linoleum, besides the 'cutting like butta' is the smell. Your little foray into printmaking has now triggered a desire in me to dip my toes back into that proverbial water.

    Happy Creating!


  19. Hi Carole. I know you like trying everything, too. I plan to get some more blocks.

  20. Hi Don. It was lucky that we both were getting repairs; otherwise, I might have had to stay at the dealership for ten days. After Dave's car was fixed he had to hang around in case I needed a ride home--it would have been a long walk.

    When I was reading Complete Printmaker, I thought "Don has probably tried all these methods of making prints." You showed us some a few years back--and I was a winner!

  21. Hallie,

    Remember, old shoes still have souls.

    Everette T. McGill

  22. I think I lost my comment, so I hope you don't get two.

    I love Dave looking bored. You really captured him. Simple solutions for fixing your art are the best and bring out the humor in your subject, don't they? I love the results of printmaking. I've been a real fan of Sabra Fields from Vermont. Recently I visited a gallery in Bodega Bay featuring old and recent Japanese block prints. Wow -- love em and bought one for a gift, but we need to be quiet about that til Christmas...

  23. This is a great post! Love your sketch. Did he know you were sketching him? I've done the same thing at auto repair places, and nobody seemed to know.. It's a great way to pass the time.

    I have wanted to try print techniques for some time. Great print. Great block.

    But my favorite of the day is your charcoal sketch. Love the way she leans back just so - and the complexity of the contraption.

    Finally, I cannot imagine going to vote and seeing such a beautiful scene! SOVA is stunning.

  24. Yes Evertte--your old shoes had souls like our old Cherokees. (Sob)

    Hi Mary. I'll have to google Sabra Fields. I have a couple of Leonard Baskin prints that I love. When a class in lino printing was offered locally, I thought, "Why not?" I've studied the Japanese prints in books--you're right--Wow.

  25. Hi Dan. Yes, I told Dave I was sketching him; I thought he might sit still for a while. Get some blocks and bandaids and start carving. It was fun for me--something new--and no worry about color.

    Autumn is beautiful; I drove down to Raleigh today, mostly on a two-lane road with over-hanging trees--amazing. I drove home on the same road, after dark, and worried about hitting deer. I saw five live ones alongside the road--scary this time of year; hunters are out.

  26. Great, lively drawings, Hallie. I admire your determination with the computer. It's all i can manage just to crop and image, haha. And just love the boldness and strength in those lino cuts!

  27. I'll be watching for the watercolors!

  28. Harry--welcome back; we've missed seeing your work. There were several times when I was tempted to send this computer sailing through the window; I have no patience for re-learning--once should be enough. (And there's always the nagging question of whether the problem's with the computer or with my brain.)

  29. Hi Celeste. I am slow and easily distracted, but I'm working with the watercolors--my pretty little set has gotten rather messy.

  30. Hi Hallie, You always have such fascinating posts. I particularly like your drawing of Dave and the linoleum block; fun. Oh...we solved our Windows problems by switching to Apple :) (Naughty of me to mention it, but I feel your pain!)

  31. Thank you Peggy. I just took a look at your website last week. I'm hoping my problems are solved--with Windows we have a knowledgable friend close by. If I had a problem with Apple I'd have to drive about 60 miles to the closest store. (I do have a few shares of Apple stock, though--buy Apple.)

  32. First, I have one of those impatient husbands. He will never, ever pose for me except as a sleeper.

    Second, printmaking is a ton of fun. It's most exciting when you take that first proof. Cut a block for each color. Then you won't destroy the original.

    Third, making art with friends is the best way to spend time.

    Fourth, you are an excellent photographer. All three pictures are stunning. The third is my favorite. I caught my breath when I scrolled into that!

  33. Hi Hallie, sigh, aren't computers fun? I do like your linoleum block.; aren't they fun to carve?

  34. Hi LifeArtist--thank you, thank you. I look forward to seeing that painting of your husband sleeping. I have been reading about various methods of making prints--they all look like fun; I just need to find time. The photo you like is always a beautiful spot--whatever the season.

    Hi Peggy--computers and carving are a bit alike and fun; the outcome can be a surprise.