Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What's My Name and Where Do I Live?

Can it be two weeks since I left for the SAQA International Conference in Portland, OR?

It can -- and it is.

I think I'm finally catching up -- on sleep, on house-and-yard, on reporting to the SAQA Western Canada Region, on EB's Master Class...

While there's more to do in all of those quadrants, work and practice is becoming more manageable at last.

In Portland I delivered my contribution to the 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction, along with 9 other pieces from our Region, to the delight of the curator of the event.

Monday this week I delivered my two latest 'minis' to Gracie D's Antiques, Collectibles and Gifts...with the hope they'll sell over the May Long Weekend (aka Victoria Day Weekend)...

And I managed to get Part I of the May assignment sent off to EB...just under the wire on Sunday night!  This month's theme is 'Landscape'...and it's challenge to me is to take something with which I'm familiar and improve my ability to interpret it.

Once again I began with photos and sketches:

Option A:  A boat on the water at Alix Lake:

and the sketch:

Option B: my favourite red shed:

and the sketch:

Option C: "I'd really like to do this but can't for the life of me draw the focal object -- a hand pump!"

(Sorry; no sketch!)

Quick like a bunny, EB gave me her feedback:

Option A:  the boat in the water:
Hmmm - I think this is a very difficult photo to work from, I'm afraid...even using my crop tools and zeroing in on the dock, I don't come up with anything very workable.  We're look for interesting shapes that interconnect...I can see exactly how you found it so difficult.
I think another trip to the lake and a LOT more photos are required.  My painter friends says that she takes upto 100 photos of a scene before choosing a few from which to work.
I think your memories of the lake trip are probably wonderful..but.....
the only bit that might work is to crop off the entire 2/3 left hand side....leave those talk plants stretch across the water to the reflected trees....that is really rather nice....and the grasses in front.  I love the way the leaves turn white as they reflect the sky!
As that photo was taken last summer, there'll be no "trip to the lake and a LOT more photos" till sometime in July!  Set that one aside for now!

Option B: favourite red shed:
I think your gut feeling is correct to leave out the trees and the slough - looking at the sketch you can see how the picture plane is almost divided into two ignore the left!
I like the way you've tipped up the corral so as to emphasize the pattern the fencing makes...
i'd bring the shed more into the image and perhaps add a bit of fencing to the right of it...
also continue the trees all the way across  on the sky line so as to keep it balanced...or omit them all together.  The sketch has a very nice wood cut quality to it so if you do do with with stitching then use a dark fact it would be fun to try this one just with black stitching on an ivory ground...just like an old woodcut.  also in your photo imaging software, try reversing the values once you have the new sketch - in PSE - that's Control-I - white stitching on a black ground might also be really interesting.
For clouds I'd try some dye (or seta color) painting...remember the tops are always paler than the sky behind, the bottoms are usually darker than the sky behind.
I agree with her about shifting the picture plane to include more of the shed...but I'm not sure about doing it as a take on a wood cut.  Woodcuts I've seen seem so very stiff and formal.

Option C: the challenge of the water pump:
Yes ...again I think  you need more photos...the pump is too lined up with the background...take photos from every angle, including below....and go to photograph when the light is low...not coming from directly above.....
i'd be inclined to have pump and grass and omit the building...but wait till you have more photos ...
It was more than kind of EB to comment on a photo without a corresponding sketch.  Blessedly I have more photos of the pump and its location (all taken about 5 years ago now) will set that aside for another day too.

And so...there are WIPs once again!

  • The May Socks from Stash...I'm turning the heel on Sock #1;
  • Mark on the Body...daily as usual;
  • EBMC: research into the 'look' if woodcuts, another sketch...and then auditioning fabric with which to block out the quilt (due May 20)...
And around the house?  
  • Clean out all evidence of winter in my car and garage!
  • Edge the sidewalks, where grass is encroaching!
  • Clear out the grass-infested yarrow in preparation for planting peonies!
  • Dig up the veggie patch in preparation for sowing and planting veggies!
  • Mow the **!!@@ lawn!
On that note...I'll link up to WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network, and leave you, dreaming of roses...which are already in full bloom in Portland...Sigh...


elle said...

Gosh, you have me slightly breathless. Course it could be all the balls that I, myself, am juggling. lol I do like that boat at the lake and then the red shed sketch. ooh, the pump brings memories!!! What a great class you are in!

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, thank you for sharing this exercise and EB's feedback. I will be following this to see what you decide to do. I am partial to the pump but I see the appeal of the red shed. I love old shed, barns and falling down farm houses. Good luck with your spring chores. I'm waiting for it to warm up a bit more today before I tackle digging out the winter killed shrubs and my beloved old sage plan.