Sunday, September 16, 2012

August in art: tarot cards, island life, naked people

A little tardy, perhaps, but here is my short list of ART in August! My 2 focuses (foci?) were the Tarot Card Project painting I am working on and vacation plein air painting in Monhegan, Maine. In between were some sketches and watercolors I didn't yet post, most notably a quick sketch of my niece Sage from a summer day by a lake in NH, and a life drawing session I went to in Lowell.

Sketch of Sage I scanned and colored in Photoshop

Tarot Card Collective

The Tarot Card Project is a group of 22 artists in Lowell, collected together by fantastic local artist Denise Warren. Each of us picked a tarot card from the deck of Major Arcana cards (I think this is like the royalty cards in a regular deck of cards) and are reinterpreting it in our own style and medium. On Halloween, the paintings will all be in a one-night show  at Brian's Ivy Hall in Lowell.

I picked the High Priestess card and spent the first 2 weeks in August finishing the sketch and transferring it to an 18"x24" canvas. Then, daunted by the size and amount of work left to do, I went on a week vacation to Maine.

Monhegan Island, Maine 

For the past 3 years, Joe and I have gone to Monhegan Island in the late summer with the goals of painting outside and relaxing. This year was the best in terms of both, and we painted and sketched every day on the island, stopping to take in art and nature, sunsets and siestas. Here are my two favorite images from our trip. It took a few days to build up the painting/seeing outside muscle again, the first few images I did were really practice pieces. One of the best things about painting outside is the chance to be outside and focused on something, while also watching everything that goes on. (On Monhegan, that means watching butterflies come and go, a mid-size rodent creep through the garden, and the tide come in or go out).

The week in Maine made me really appreciate what an artist residency could be like; the time away from distractions and  outside made things very clear and simple.

Life Drawing

Before leaving for Maine, I finally went to a Life Drawing session in Lowell run by another fantastic local artist Michael Vieria. It felt good to draw from the figure again and meet other local artists. I have to bust through some current mental obstructions and get myself to go again!

Sketching in Court

The last week in August was my last time having to go to grand jury dury in Boston, which I have been doing since October of last year. One thing that was good about it, besides it being generally interesting and eye-opening, was the chance to do sketching from life in the courtroom and in the train station. I am experimenting with coffee shops near work to find a new place to do more of this! (Barnes and Noble and Starbucks near work have been good starts!)

Next Month

My goals for September are to get ready for Open Studios, finish the Tarot Card painting, and get to another one or 2 life drawing sessions. Also, the illustration critique group will meet again, and I want to get back to completing Illustration Friday challenges!

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