Monday, 21 December 2009

Start, Stomp!

Here's a simple little 20's charleston routine I made up and taught in Taipei recently. It was great to see that our little swing scene is still going strong. I'm especially proud of the complete beginners who turned up and stuck through the 2 hours with me - thanks everyone :) It was fun!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Form & Deform

This makes me feel slightly motion sick just to look at it. But I love the concept.

Monday, 14 December 2009

I like...

this cable drawing by Maisie Maud Broadhead. [via Today & Tomorrow]

Friday, 11 December 2009

It's all in the eyes

I came across the illustrations of Julie Colombet via Drawn, and really liked how she does the eyes of her characters. Being slightly obsessed with anthropomorphism, I've noticed that so much of what I read into the expression of a character (be it a human, an animal or inanimate object) is determined by how the eyes are rendered. Somehow her style of eyes look to me to be slightly alarmed and wary - perhaps it's the dark shadow under the eyes and the fact that the direction of the gaze is often averted from the viewer? Anyway, lovely illustrations to share with you.

Another series of children's illustrations I'm keen on is from Good as New (written by Barbara Douglass, & illustrated by Patience Brewster). It's a story about a boy and his teddy-bear. I'm not overly fond of the human figures - but I love how the teddy is always looking at the boy (often with love and adoration, like below). Kind of like a Calvin & Hobbes thing... Here's some pictures from it.

[from Good as New illustrated by Patience Brewster]

[from Good as New illustrated by Patience Brewster]

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Plan B: Gee's Bend

So I had some plans tonight to go out but I dithered and they fell through - mostly my own sketchiness. It's getting bloody chilly out there anyway, and to be honest, I could use a night in. I fumbled around on Illustrator a bit and talked design with a friend, and worked on some of my own doodles. Then I went and looked up the quilts of Gee's Bend. Martha (our painting instructor) brought two books about these amazing quilts on Monday. I combed the catalogue and copied these images. Since I'm linking back to them I figure it'd be ok. I hope it's ok...! Anyway these are my favourites.

Loretta Pettway, born 1942.
"Lazy Gal" -- "Bars," ca. 1965,
denim and cotton, 80 x 69 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Loretta Pettway, born 1942.
"Housetop," 1963,
cotton twill and synthetic material (men's clothing),
80 x 74 inches.
In the early 1960s, Loretta Pettway fashioned three quilts from the same batch of men's clothing scraps.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Loretta Pettway, born 1942.
"Logcabin" -- single-block "Courthouse Steps" variation (local name: "Bricklayer"), ca. 1970,
denim, 84 x 66
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Arlonzia Pettway, born 1923.
"Lazy Gal" or "Bars," ca 1975,
corduroy, 89 x 81 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Essie Bendolph Pettway, born 1956,
multiple columns of blocks and bars, 1980,
corduroy, 93 x 75 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Martha Jane Pettway, born 1898.
"Housetop"--nine-block "Half-Logcabin" variation, ca. 1945,
corduroy, 72 x 72 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Annie Mae Young, born 1928.
"Bars," ca. 1965.
Corduroy, denim, polyester knit, assorted synthetics,
81 x 79 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Annie Mae Young, born 1928.
Blocks and strips, ca. 1970, cotton, polyester, synthetic blends,
83 x 80 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Annie Mae Young, born 1928.
Strips, corduroy, ca. 1975,
95 x 105 inches
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Leola Pettway, born 1929.
"Log Cabin" -- "Courthouse Steps" variation (local name: "Bricklayer"), ca. 1975,
corduroy, 85 x 70 inches.
Leola Pettway is China Pettway's mother.

[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Linda Pettway, born 1929.
"Logcabin" -- single-block variation, tied with yarn, ca. 1975,
corduroy, 88 x 78 inches
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Quinnie Pettway, born 1943.
"Housetop," ca. 1975,
corduroy, 82 x 74 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Ella Mae Irby, 1923-2001.
"Housetop"-twelve-blcok varation. 1962,
cotton, 88 x 75 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Gearldine Westbrook, born 1919.
Center medallion -- "Bars," ca. 1960,
cotton, wool, printed terry cloth, 79 x 70 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Lucy T. Pettway born 1911
"Snowball" (Quiltmaker's name) Circa 1950
Cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material 83x85 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Lorraine Pettway, born 1953.
Medallion work-clothes quilt, 1974,
denim and cotton/polyester blend, 84 x 68 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Florine Smith, born 1948,
four-block strips, ca. 1975,
corduroy, 68 x 81 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Louella Pettway, born 1921.
"Logcabin" -- four-block variation, ca. 1975,
corduroy, 79 x 71 inches.
Louella Pettway is Linda Pettway's aunt.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981.
Blocks and strips work-clothes quilt, 1942,
cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material, 90 x 69 inches.

Missouri's daughter Arlonzia describes the quilt: "It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, 'I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.' She take his old pants legs and shirt-tails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, and I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips."
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981.
"Path through the Woods" (quiltmaker's name), 1971,
polyester knit, 73 x 69 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Arcola Pettway, 1934-1994.
"Lazy Gal" variation, 1976, corduroy, 81 x 89 inches.
This variation on a "Lazy Gal," composed like an American flag, is one of the most remarkable quilts created during the Bicentennial.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Annie Bendolph, 1900-1981.
"Thousand Pyramids" variation, ca. 1930,
cotton sacking and chambray, 83 x 70 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Emma Mae Hall Pettway, born 1932.
Two-sided quilt: strips, ca. 1975,
corduroy, 76 x 92 inches.
[via: Quilts of Gee's Bend]

Friday, 4 December 2009

Vote of confidence

The other day Ozen and I were walking down Kensington avenue, on our way to lunch at Hibiscus. We were talking about what we were doing before art school (she was working as a mining engineer and I was a grad student), and what we want to do with ourselves afterwards. At one point I said something about how I'm finding this transitional phase difficult - between the pretty cushy situation I had before and the uncertain future ahead. But, I said, I'm trying to live my dream life - and who knows, maybe I'll never get there, but I'm going to try anyway.

Just then a young man passed us by, headed in the opposite direction. He turned around and said to me 'Don't worry. You'll get there.'

Thanks for the vote of confidence dude, whoever you are.

p.s. over another conversation re: the same subject, Anna astutely observed that it is always those chances which we don't take that we regret - not the ones we take (even if we fail)... I have to say that I quite agree.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Life-Drawing 1

So today we got to have one pose for about two-and-a-half hours (maybe a little more). In that time I drank three cups of tea, took a walk to the Tim Horton's with my class-mates, and managed to do five drawings (in addition to a whole bunch of gestures) on big newsprint.

I'm quite happy with the results... Obviously still beginner's pieces, but I thought I'd post them here anyway. Oh and also I photographed these with them lying on the ground in a jiffy just as class ended, so the quality is rubbish. Sorry about that. The drawings are presented in the order in which I made them.

This is drawing one. It's just a rough sketch. Notice how it's perpendicular to another gesture from another class a long time ago. Anyway I like the foot... Oh and it's done in compressed charcoal.

This one is the second drawing. That's a folded piece of fabric he's sitting on... it's not his leg. Funny how it didn't look at all like his leg to me until now. Anyway, the photo is on an angle. Humf. I like the back here. I think this is either compressed charcoal or conte. Can't remember which.

I kinda like the feel of this one. It's done in vine/willow charcoal. I love willow because it's so malleable. The next best thing to having an 'undo' button, really. Originally I made the foot way too small. Then Natalie pointed it out and I had a fit of erasing and re-drawing. Mmmm. Love willow on newsprint.

This photo turned out all blurry. Anyway it was probably my least favourite of the lot. It's done in coloured conte. I like the leg... but the rest of it is wanting. The head especially. Oh well.

This is the last one. I did it in charcoal pencil (you know, the wood-less kind). I did it really quickly, just a gesture followed by outlines and then filling in the deepest darks and using lines to hatch out some shadows. Ah, lines... my favourite. I like lines more than anything else, so this one is my favourite. It was fun to do something just the way I like it.

Now I go and catch some zzz's... Goodnight.