Monday, April 6, 2015

phase 6 - each art-thing is a responsibility, on-going

A helter-skelter week with art-responses of "yes, no, and maybe so," and amidst it all - new things (naturally! :))  

The first part of the week went to making this giant drawing for a special request. It was a nice change working big in charcoal and a good reminder that as much as I love working with prints and collages, drawing is still the rock on which my art-house is built. 

That's a soda can in the foreground for scale ;)

While I was working on the drawing, a very special package arrived!  In looking back at the first set of gloves from 2 weeks ago, I felt the shift from the large tool marks to small tool marks was too abrupt.

This makes sense because I didn't have intermediate size tools - I had a few nice small tools and student grade large tools with not much in between. In last week's portrait block, I addressed this in a short-term way by sticking with one of the small tool almost exclusively...but...
I color coded them - warm colors at U gouges, cool colors are V gouges.
Arranged largest on the outside of the spectrum toward smallest in the center
with the middle being a 75 degree angle tool - beauteous!
The one with the dark handle is a tool I already had
(that's how I knew I'd love them - it's my favorite!)

ball point pen drawing on the block 
Ah,phase 6! My feeling is that, while every material has the potential to be frustrating at times, art-tool-frustration can be a good thing if it's a sign of pushing the material. I don't think it's the tools/equipment/material's fault - either it's worth putting up with or it's time to make a change...

I took the plunge and got a full set of professional tools (Eep!)

I don't really have the words to describe how much better the new tools are (picture's worth 1000 words?) Not only are there new (to me) sizes and shapes, but they respond to pressure so that now I can vary the width within a single cut (an exciting dynamic aspect that's going to take some (or a lot of ;) ) practice).

I feel like not only do I have more tools, but each one responds with more finesse, and, it may seem like a small thing, but the color coding also made a pretty big difference because it helps me keep track of which tool is which so that I can change more easily from one tool to another.

When the glove was finished, instead of doing the inverse as planned, I decided to go all out and try a portrait...

...So why are there 2? [sigh.]

This was a challenging block, but I was happy with the results...for about 15 minutes. Then I decided it was about 10% too small.[doh!]

Admittedly, that's a pretty big carving-mistake (one for which the solution is - carve another block). What happened? Was I just so into the new tools that I didn't notice while carving?

Yes, and no - I measured, and the first block is almost exactly life-sized, so not an execution mistake, more of a planning mistake - a lack of clarity in thinking (I thought I wanted it life-sized, but really, I want it to feel life sized, not be life sized (which, apparently, is "reality+12%" - oy.) Duly noted!


blocks side by side - second time around gave the opportunity for lots of practice with the new tools and a chance to make some adjustments to the drawing  - at least I have better hair in the second one?

"Why yes, that is a kitty on my back..."
I spent so much time this weekend kneeling on the grassy pillow carving with the new tools,
that my feline assistant decided I was sufficiently stationary to qualify as a napping spot [purrrr]..
But it wasn't all indoor time - outside in the park, swallows were zooming around.
and some of the first flowers of spring!