In my efforts to loosen up and trust my imagination more, I decided I need to strengthen my creative intuition, trusting my gut and follow where my imagination takes me instead of putting on the brakes too soon and following the "rules". I think it's important for me to have a blend of the judge and the playful art monkey. A blend of rule following and exploration.
Inspired by a landscape I saw at the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Max Ernst titled "Landscape with Lake and Chimeras" c1940 (I think it was this one). The description next to the painting pointed out that it was "created by putting paint down, sticking a sheet of glass or paper to it and then removing the sheet to make 'unexpected textures' ". Surrealism and Dadaism were two of my first artistic loves so rediscovering an artist from that era feels lovely. Being at MiniCon this weekend and seeing Jon Arfstrom's work again, I realize that some of his imaginative works also had a hand in inspiring me to do this. Hopefully I'll have more on Jon Artstrom at a later date. If you haven't seen his work you're in for a real treat.
A few weeks back I had leftover paint on my palette and was feeling adventurous so I put some paint on some prepared boards, added a little solvent, and then stuck a sheet of glass on top. I decided to make them color themes (reds, yellow+green, and blue+black+white). I smushed, tipped, and twisted the glass-board-paint stack. What I ended up with were some very interesting textures.
This week I took some time to explore and follow my intuition instead of going through the planning phases. Here's what happened. I'm calling them Foundlings. These three will be with me for sale at Spectrum Live next weekend in Kansas City, MO (hopefully dry). I will be set up at Artist Table #14. Stop by and meet the Foundlings.
Edit: these and a few more will be with me at the IlluXCon Showcase 2017.
I couldn't find reference for the low angle view of the coral and other underwater objects. Flexible thinking was required. I asked myself, what else do I have access to that would have an approximate shape and structure of the things I wanted to draw? Oyster mushrooms!
I lit them in a similar fashion to what I was imagining the light in the picture to be. This gave me enough information to better understand the low angle, and overlapping shelves. Then I had to imagine how the light and objects would work together underwater. It came together the more I worked with the image and pushed the pencil around (butt in chair time).
Sometimes I need more information to complete a picture but don't have the budget or time to do an elaborate maquette or huge amounts of research. Kneaded eraser to the rescue! This thing has been stalactites, stalagmites, tombstones, a sci-fi piece of diagnostic tech, and various creatures. By sculpting something basic out of it I can get the angle of view and lighting I want. Other times I've used Sculpey to get a bit more detail.
Here are a few examples of the very helpful kneaded eraser. The plastic cover on the art book acted as a handy substitute for water reflections
I used these "stalagmites" in "Scorpio"
I used this kneaded tombstone in "Voodoo Queen (Woman of Power)"
Like a lot of things, making pictures requires flexibility in thinking and using what's available. To my mind, any tool that has more than one use is money well spent.