Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Developing Idea - Sketchbook pages

Picture      I had kept a sketchbook, lugging it from class to class in high school but the habit had lapsed when I acquired other duties and things to carry and ran out of hands for the sketchbook.  It dawned on me that I missed the process.  So a few years ago I picked up the technical pens and pen and ink I had used for the earlier sketchbooks and creaked open the cover of a new book - not knowing what direction it would take. 

I decided only one thing, to begin with: that I would continue working on each spread until it expressed a unified thought or theme - no matter how obscure.  New pages were unnerving, at first.  A sweep of line would break the page and then - ? I began to approach each page with the same general thought:  Now let's see...  and I was hooked. 

I began to feel pulled by a work in progress, left on the table, pen beside the open book.  Whatever the mind was chewing over, seems that was somehow being digested on paper.  I began to savour  the way a drawing developed slowly, dragging thoughts with it, developing a mental space internally as the drawing emerged on paper over days and weeks.  Some drawings didn't seem worthy of further work - a doodle, the moment, not needing digesting or developing.  Others were left unfinished for days or months - I had no idea what to do next with them - and may be in that state today, still waiting.  Others, when I flipped open a page, suddenly I could see just what was needed next - and the pull returned. 

I'll post them in the order that they appear in the sketchbooks, but undated - as they have grown over a hopscotch of timelines, some images surging to the page in a rush of hours drawn from a busy life in the course of a few days, others developing almost despite me, across years.

I enjoy comments and questions and look forward to hearing from you

Friday, September 5, 2014

Doodle Journey

 A page of raw doodles.  Who knows where they will end up, what life they will take on one day?

I'm always doodling.  Especially when I am listening intently to someone speaking.  I have doodles that go all the way back to high school and beyond.  Sometimes I doodle when I want to let my mind off the leash, and as it wanders through landscapes of colours and textures, the pen moves.

Usually a pen.  Back in grade school wherever I went, I would always have a stack of newsprint and a ball point pen.  Any spare moment out they would come and doodles would happen.  Lines would begin light and sketchy, growing darker as I decided on a final path and committed a dark deep line on the surface of the paper that gave way in such a satisfying way. 

Thinking back, that deep, dark line behind the pen felt a little like planting in my garden does now.  Seating the line or plant deeply leaves it in a good place.  Who knows, maybe those doodles when I was seven and eight have rooted and are bearing their fruit now on every sort of surface around me?

Some days the doodles are just a lifeless collection of lines.  Those sit a while and then get tossed.  The lively ones, the doodles that seem to breathe, have a life before and after I made them, they stick in the mind. 

These days, the lively doodles are finding their way onto and into different forms of creation.

Curly toes have become a series of satin-lined baby slippers.  Cheery monsters have morphed into huggable pillows in fuzzy fleeces and lively colours.  Lanky critters have spawned a series of big-footed floppy bunnies made from hand-felted old wool sweaters - some were mine, some have been found in used clothing shops, and now they know I am interested, shamefaced friends have begun hauling out accidentally-felted sweaters in gorgeous colours, apologetically offering them to me, since they are too lovely to throw out...

I see all kinds new ways for these doodles to take on a life beyond the paper.  I seem to wake with new ideas every day.   Hours are filled with developing new ideas, making up doodles already destined for some purpose, and the house is filling up with work in progress, materials destined for a project, and finished work.  In between, around and through all this, family life continues - albeit in a more colourful, doodle-filled way every day.

If you want to see work as it is happening and would like to put in a comment, do visit on my creative Facebook page:  ThePlayfulEye.  Work that is ready for sale is posted in my Etsy shop: www.ThePlayfulEye.etsy.com

And comments here, of course, are welcome as always. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter Dreams

Deep in the mad scramble of preparing for my first foray into art/craft show territory, with the house around me filling with art and crafts for sale on the one hand and undisturbed clutter on the other, a phone call: was I available for a rush assignment?

Why yes, yes I was.

After all, they do say a change is as good as a rest, and waking up repeatedly at 4 a.m. feeling I should get up and make something was beginning to wear me down a little.

Here's the third iteration of the design, once I got the final dimensions confirmed. Colour version anon.

 So far so good, changes to be made were outlined, and among them a better look at the raccoon.  So here he is in colour.  Book comes out next month, I"ll post the full cover then.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Unexpected Find

Developed originally for the Kids and Moustaches series this guy has grown on me more and more.

He used to have a lot more hair, but his older brother and sister told him he had no luck birdwatching because he had such big hair it scared them away.  So out came the scissors.

He may not have had much more luck birdwatching, but out there on a limb he did find SOMEthing...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Geat Uncle Moustache Nov 16

I remember the fascination I felt as a tot, of a family member with a moustache. Other kids we drawn to glasses, but the whiskers were the big question imy mind. This was new. And unlike glasses, didn't get taken off. What was it, and WHY was it ?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Moustache envy Nov 15

Where would a kid get a moustache?  That was the thought leading to this week's series of moustaches - among which this was the first.  The big black friendly companion lent his aid to many childish capers and if this was not one of them in deed, it was definitely considered by more than one kid in the family.  The dog has moved on to play with star-bones, but is part of the everyday warp and weft of family life and memory still.

And images.  He seems to creep in to so many...

(original post)
Today I begin a week of moustaches and kids... Drawing is done, can't post it on this mobile.  You'll have to take my word for it or go dig up today's post on facebook.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ben, Nov 14

I asked my husband for an iconic sports moustache and Ben Davidson's name came up immediately. (Me, I was thinking of Lanny McDonald) A defensive end for the Oakland Raiders from '64 through '72, he was a defensive end who made things happen for the team; memorable for his off the cuff plays.  Describing him, former teammates come up with terms like 'larger than life' 'powerhouse' and 'you never knew what he would do'.  His handlebar moustache, it seems, was part of the mean image he cultivated as a player, but off the field he is remembered for being gentle and likeable.

It was only as I researched this iconic football player that I found that he had died of prostate cancer last July, 2012.  He was 72.