As I walk my neighborhood in the fall I always collect leaves that catch my eye. This year I picked up some of the ones with brilliant red and orange colors but I noticed even the more mundane or muted leaves had incredible details. This lead to a series I call leaf portraits. Each painting is on watercolor paper and each leaf is the exact size of the the leaf. The oakleaf hydrangea paintings are on 18 x 12 paper because these leaves are quite large! I’m continuing in my exploration of plants by doing branches from various trees and shrubs. My first painting is a branch of a cedar tree.
I’ve been revisiting figure drawing this fall by attending sessions with live models. Working from the figure has always been a good challenge. I’m trying both drawing and painting medias. All of these images are from long poses and some are focused on portraiture.
I’m going to some life drawing sessions. So far I’ve attended the days children are modeling for portrait drawing or painting. I’m not very interested in portraits but the drawing experience has been fun and challenging. I’ve always liked drawing the spaces around the model in addition to drawing the model. This first drawing was of a 13 year old boy. I used charcoal – 11 x 17 paper.
In this second drawing I used blue 12 x 12 paper and colored pencil. I left my house without all my pencils so I had to manage with a fairly limited selection. This boy was 9 and he was a cousin of the first boy. Because these are long poses (15 minutes at a time for 3 hours), they are both rather stiff. I was impressed with these boys for their ability to sit still for so long!
These works are all made with Sumi ink on rice paper. Some have watercolor additions. I did a number of these drawings on rice paper for the open studio in December. These pieces were fun because it was challenging to recreate a Chinese style traditional painting. I have no illusion to be an expert in this area so right now I think of this work as practice but not “serious.” I used traditional Chinese landscape, flower and koi fish images for reference. I also added my “chop” signature which is my name in Chinese. I had the stamp made in China. I stamped my name using red ink which I purchased from a Chinese art supply store in Atlanta.
I am on a journey of exploration using line, color and movement. Much of my work right now is nonobjective and without a focal point. It is really an overall design. I go back to drawing from life or from photographs from time to time and that is satisfying too.
I am continuing to pursue my interest in working with ink and watercolor on paper. I am learning a lot about how the materials interact and how I can use layering, overlapping, color and line to create different moods.