Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shifting Views

Artful Mistakes is on the move! I leave on Tuesday to begin the long drive to my new home in La Mesa, NM. 222 pounds of my books are already wending their way west courtesy of the magic of media mail.

Meanwhile, my living room is awash with more boxes. Unless I find a way to bend the laws of physics, shrinking some of that empty space between electrons perhaps, I will still have a stack of stuff significantly larger than the space available in my car. The next few days pre-departure should involve a lot of heavy lifting and UPS fees.

The cats are giving me increasingly dirty looks as more and more furniture disappears.  Clearly, I am up to no good. There will be yowling, they say, yellow eyes ablaze.  

Art thoughts have continued amid the chaos and goodbye lunches. I have managed to squeeze in a few last painting classes with my teacher Dana Ellyn, and so, in brief, here are a few painting updates.

Another portrait, Boxed In, which (once again) does not look like the original subject, went from here:
Boxed In, old version

to here,
Boxed In, more recent version. 
after reworking it in class. He seems to be rockin' an Edward Norton look a bit now.  

Bringing down his hairline widened his face. His hair looks somewhat more hair-like because of using a dry brush technique (although I need to fix that further); this will come up again as I rework other pieces and remove helmet hair issues.  I also widened his neck.

The largest changes, however, involved adding in shadows and light.  The first strokes of heavy shadow felt not at all right -- too much! too dark! too bold! -- but they brought the face further to life. True, he still doesn't look like the photo. But he does look more like a person and less like a cartoon.  

A note for painting men: no ruby red lips, lest they look like they are wearing lipstick. Lips are actually flesh colored, with the upper lip being slightly darker than the lower.  

Emboldened by the drastic difference in those changes, I dragged an old painting into another class. On Moonsoaked, Dana pointed out that, umm, the right arm was completely off, and possibly not physically possible, and it might be more attractive if her boob wasn't sliding around the front of her body (as in, add a crease line).
Old Moonsoaked

Once I started playing around with those issues, I started seeing where everything else was off.  So I moved her neck, which helped matters with her excessively large head.

Another class and consultation with Dana led to reshaping her butt and changing her elbows, and finally, addressing the lobster claw that was her hand.

Currently, she looks like this:

Moonsoaked Redux
The good news is that the detail on the hand really helps; the bad news is that now I'll have to go back again and add that level of detail elsewhere. Still, progress.

For right now, however, Boxed In and Moonsoaked are getting taped up in a box to prepare for a long car ride.

The Land of Enchantment, with its sunshine and light, and the 106 acres of my new locale, will bring all kinds of fresh perspectives, art and otherwise.


  1. Nice work! There is a difinite improvement while maintaining your distinctive style. Good luck with the move. Will miss you.

  2. Wow, I love seeing the older and more recent versions! That is so cool! Of course I have heard about your art journeys and projects, but I haven't seen much of -- you are clearly evolving. Mom was smart to snatch up early Cynthia Daffron. :) - Laura