Cinderella’s Birds

2014-02-26 12.07.24

The next play is Into the Woods, which is a fairy-tale mash-up. It goes up in a couple weeks, and so we are in construction mode. Not all costume design is done with a needle and thread, and as you have probably guessed, I like building things that people don’t expect.

In the play, Cinderella has birds that help her out, and in most productions, they are flown in. Our theatre doesn’t have flys to move in trees, birds, etc, so our trees and birds are puppets instead, making them my job instead of the scenic artist’s.

It means I get to play with power tools!

These were cut from insulation using a bandsaw, then sanded with a big belt-sander, and glued together with liquid nails.

105:365 Improvisation on Ash Runes

105:365 Improvisation on Ash Runes

Over the last few years, there was an epidemic on many trees caused by a bug called the Emerald Ash Borer. At Parker Mill, they lost many trees. But they used the problem to make some benches.

This drawing is inspired by the “runes” on the ash-bench and some other dead-looking wood that I saw in the park.

Maybe over the next few days, I’ll be able to make some more Spoonflower designs, and this one is high on the list because it will make a lovely pattern!

102:365 Spring Lily

102:365 Spring Lily

A sketch based on a wild lily photographed on a walk through Parker Mill Park this afternoon. Spring is coming, slowly.

There was enough frost on the car the past two mornings to leave me a little behind schedule.

The flower is about the size of a dime in reality, but the photos, of course are bigger.

090:365 White & Purple Crocus

090:365 White & Purple Crocus

When I was a kid, I loved oil pastels. I’d draw bright flowers, beautiful hillsides, and starry nights. There were drawings I’d do over and over, never exactly the same, but following the same formal constraints. Hill just so, sun or moon with these pastel-marks.

As a grown artist, I look back on those drawings with both fondness and chagrin.

Inspiration White & Purple Crocus

On the one hand, they were familiar forms that helped me perfect my technique. Drafts, as it were, that developed into skill with mark-making, composition, and iconography.

On the other, they like banal over-studied forms that stopped investigating new meaning.

We artists must constantly balance the need to investigate new horizons with the desire to connect with our audience. Many of the wild drawings I did in Madrid, which to me are emotional investigative storms on A3 paper, seem like decorative art to the viewer, while my repeated drawings of Gracie, with different techniques and stories, seem like developed work to the viewer.

It is necessary to repeat. It is necessary to connect. It is necessary to delve.

These necessities are why there are multiple strains of work that show up as I continue through this project.

None of this is really about the crocus drawing above. It represents another investigation into macro perspective beauty through the medium of paper and pastel instead of camera and pixels. It is not the end of developing technique.

One reason I like doing macro-photography is because it satisfies my need to delve and look at abstract form while still remaining approachable to the viewer, and it is fun to repeat the technique and change the angle to fit in with my body of work because it involves looking so close that there are always new things to see.

Spring flowers are so pretty. Took a bunch of photos today of what’s sprouting in the yard. Expect more flowers, banal though they may be.