July 5, 2009

Sparkler Painting

For a self-portrait, set your shutter on the low low and go to town. Then flip the image horizontally. If someone is taking the picture for you, set the shutter to Bulb. The shutter will stay open for as long as they hold down the button, allowing you to write a really long message. In either case, amp up the aperature to 22 or higher.
Try different lights: laser pointers in different colors, flashlights. I experimented with a square shaped light that produced thick white strokes like graffiti.
Don't let those sparklers go to waste. Try writing a love note or drawing a picture (especially contours) with light!

June 12, 2009

The First Day.

Agent Pineapple and I were the only students to show for the first art class; it was just usthe two of us, JT (teach), and the model.

The rope thing did make sense once he demonstrated it and it's actually quite brilliant, functioning as a sling for your drawing board. It's a cheap way to let you draw anywhere comfortably and hands-free without a costly and bulky easel. The rope is fed through the clips that hold your paper and than over your shoulder around to the other side of the board.

He provided us with torn and crumpled pieces of paper which caused an interesting texture on our first drawings. I love that teach encourages us to repurpose and recycle: instead of spending money on costly drawing paper, we are encouraged to bring recycled paper bags and kraft paper.

We began by shading the pieces with charcoal and blending it with both a piece of paper towel and a piece of kraft paper torn from the corner to learn how each blends. The model was illuminated with high-key lighting to emphasize the lights and darks of her face. Then we erased the light areas of her face with a kneaded eraser to create a general guide for her features.

Charcoal pencils served as our measuring tools. This part was tricky and awkward; with so few people it was weird to hold up the pencil and squint. It was quite awkward in general actually. Whenever we would look at the model she would look at us and flash a nervous smile, so I didn't look too often.

We learned that less is more when drawing a portrait, that it's better to have fewer lines and to not concentrate on details. This was the most difficult part for me, being a perfectionist. I erased a lot and had to rush at the end to create a "finished piece" (to Rage Against the Machine). I expected to begin with 30 second timed drawings or to simply concentrate on light and dark values but he threw us into it in order to gauge where we are. In that respect, Agent P. and I were glad that it was just the two of us.

Another great tip learned: to yoga breathe as you draw. Breathing from your belly puts less stress on your shoulders and arms, drawing endurance!

JT was very supportive and was surprised that neither of us had taken a drawing class before (my internal sensor scoffed at this!). He encouraged us to sign our work and was excited to provide the hold on to our first portrait. As scary as it was, we both enjoyed the class and are looking forward to next week. In the meantime we will be working on noses, drawing each other's and ones from magazines. And I will be mindful of not aging the model by twenty years, I have a thing for skeletal faces.

I think it looks better inverted, it really picks up the texture.
Thanks for reading!

June 11, 2009

Potato Play.

A couple of weeks ago my mother, Mama Marshamallow, raced over and knocked on my door practically out of breath to tell me about potatoes. She was about to fry up some potatoes when she discovered that they had quirky characteristics. I love that she looks at vegetables differently now that I've been taking pictures of them. Well today she wanted to make potatoes again and eat one of these little characters, so I had to take pictures.

Abstract potato love:

Doodles the duck.

Wally the walrus.

Look at that face!

And last of all a butt. Potatoes have cellulite too!

Have you eaten your vegetables today? We ate the butt potato.

June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Agent Pineapple!

She turned the big two-one today! We're going to dance to some live music and eat taco dip. My 2-layer heart shaped red velvet cake is on the cooling rack, begging to be slathered with fudge frosting and sprinkles.
The cake in the picture is from one of her creepy old regulars that's in love with her. He lit it in the store and shelled out big bucks for a fancy perfume set. Creepy! But it's my perfume too so I'm not complaining because it smells delicious.
Happy Birthday baby! xoxo

More Graffiti Inspiration

It's here! It's here! A HOPEful graffiti clutch by Alisa Burke! If anything could serve as inspiration This. Is. It.

Photoshoot on a beautiful blue vintage Volkswagon Beetle.

A little man with curly back hair and a bald spot on the crown of his head in corporate attire drove it into the parking lot at Agent Pineaple's work and then left for a prolonged period of time. He didn't patronize any of the businesses and disappeared down the alley, perhaps he is a traveling salesman.

I worked up my courage, looked for him walking down the drive, and then went to town taking pictures of the clutch all over his car wherever it would stay propped up. My adventure for the day, silly fun!
**This just in: I posted one of the pictures while leaving feedback on etsy and Alisa loved it! She even posted them on her blog :)

Further inspiration: I have been eyeing this Montana spray paint at Blick for a long time. It comes in the most beautiful colors...bright, painty, messy, lusty. My list of personal imagery and visual fetishes is growing: stencil fodder.
Art class starts tonight. We're supposed to bring ten feet of rope. When I inquired about the rope, JT told me that we were going to tie it around our necks and then to our drawing board in lieu of an easel. He also said that it would make sense when we did it. Hmmm.
Since I rarely have occasion to carry a purse and this beauty needs to see the light of day on the regular, it shall transport my charcoal set to class. Whoo hoo.

xo Lara

June 2, 2009

Taking Back the Night

We rang in June 1st with a northerly drive. Unfortunately we were sucked into a vortex of industrial parks which is all too easy to fall victim to living in the burbs. We chalked it up to a faulty quarter toss and went in search for a caffeine injection, it didn't take long though since Agent Pineapple works in a coffee shop: I can pick 'em! Coffees in hand we stepped out the door to discover that the wind had shifted and the sky had turned pink, an eerie pink. It was clear that the only way June 1st could be salvaged was to race home and grab the cameras for some night shots. Ms. Agent helped me set up the tripod and I went to town taking shots of this stone factory that I can't get anywhere near in the day. The passersby were very intrigued, perhaps they thought we were terrorists.
Surburbia is better in the dark, it gains a slight veneer of intrigue. My mother and I used to go for late-night drives down the side streets and count the number of houses that actually had their lights on. The results were very disappointing :) I encourage everyone to take pictures at night. Live dangerously. Take a walk on the wild side and all that jazz! Night is when the ideas fly in for a visit.

I am slowly digesting Taking Flight. I love this book, it's like a personal cheerleader that congratulates you every time you crack the spine! I'm on chapter 2, which prompts you to identify your fears. "If I wasn't afraid, I would": take art classes, lots of them! I have been terrified of taking art classes since it was drawing at the local park district in elementary school. Sometimes I wonder what happened to that girl, the one who danced on stage, talked in class with eyes on fire, and went to art camp. She has been neglected for some time but is jumping up and down for June 10th, the first day of my first grown up art class! First stop portraiture, next stop Stencilry in August! I'm so excited that I'm "stenciling" on the computer as you can see above. Sometimes I feel like I'm growing up, but not in a bad way. I cannot express how cathartic simply identifying that thing that slowly gnaws at the ankles of your being is.

xo Lara

May 30, 2009

Saturday Artist Date

Open flowers, open doors.

Welcoming us to our favorite cafe. The one owned by our favorite saucy Italian lady that we've set foot in only once before in search of authentic gelato.

It is such a dream inside. Cerulean, turquoise, rust, burnt sienna, bronze, and sunflower yellow adorning the textured walls and authentic tin ceiling. Adorned by delicate swag lamps and crepey curtains this cafe is truly a romantic's haven.

Ahhhhh my house will look like this.
Looking at the pictures again is both calming and invigorating, like remembering time spent in a far off place. We are thankful for a warm place that tickles and arouses our creativity, amps up that drive to make.

Discovering the bathroom was also a treat. The door looks is a magical portal, sky rimmed in gold. Another self-portrait in the bathroom: Rosie the Riveter came out to play coaxed by the promise of a starry night.

Agent Pineapple and I made lists, plotting future projects. I'm going to make the perfect journal that can both withstand mixed media artwork and transport detritus as well as cute little albums for our photo booth strips. The list became increasingly general from there: print-making, assemblage, collaborative projects. I have been waiting for a project to find me. Something to explore through multiple mediums and formats. Something to be consumed by. My eyes are peeled, I'm on a stakeout, and Saturday artists dates will become a weekly affair!
And maybe if we become regulars at the cafe, Saucy Italian Lady will let me take some real pictures with tripod and all, with models, and ponies!
xo Lara