Friday, March 23, 2007

Sew Much Comfort

I saw this on the news and thought it was really neat.
Sew Much Comfort

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Victoria's Art

I went to a local “craft boutique” today. Cute, fun, handmade stuff, with the emphasis on spring, (whereas the fall shows have tons of Christmas things) For the most part, it was all stuff I’d seen before, but there was one booth with something different that I really liked: art made from leaves, flowers, bark, etc. Very similar idea to the leaf art Mrs. W.’s class made, only more intricate.

There were many different scenes. I only took pictures of a few. The photos came out a little glary because they were in an outdoor booth, mounted under glass, and you really need to see these in person to appreciate them, but you can click on them to enlarge them, and see the details a little better.

The flyer at her booth says, (in part)

The pictures that you are looking at are not paintings or photographs. These compositions are made of real dried leaves, flowers, plants and tree bark. The drying process is based on special technology that preserves natural colors and shapes of material used in art works. The artist uses watercolors on the ground, cornhusk or colored paper and every piece is hand placed with glue. Much is done with tweezers and magnifying glass. All pictures are three-dimensional and every picture is unique, as no two pictures are the same. It is not possible to make prints or copies that closely reproduce the look of the originals. All pictures are made by Larisa Thaney and her daughter Victoria Goncearenco in their studio located in Los Angeles. Every single work is full of harmony, warmth and deep vision of life…

Victoria’s Art received awards at Ojai, CA “Art in the Park” honorable mention in 2004 and 2006, First place at studio City, CA “Art in the Park” 2005, Second place at Lake Arrowhead, CA “Art and Wine Festival” 2005 and honorable mention award in Sherman Oaks “Art in the Park” 2005.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dropping out of class?

I’ve decided that this botanical illustration class is not for me.

I thought it was going to be an art class. I was wrong. The finished product may be a work of art, but the process involved to produce it does not involve the creativity and the joy I have always associated with making art. In its place, there is precision, structure, and strict discipline, to which, I find, I am ill suited.

For the first 30 minutes of our 3 hour class today, we had to sit and watch as the instructor discussed basic leaf structure, and how the leaves are arranged on the stem. I found that part to be reasonable and appropriate. (Finally in this third class meeting we were getting to the botanical stuff!) But then she spent the next hour discussing how to accurately capture the proportions (using calipers) and perspectives, and she demonstrated how to create a rubbing, turn it into a tracing, and make a precise “map” of the veins of the leaf. During all this time, we students were watching and listening, not drawing. It was all I could do to just sit still and not scream. At one point, I literally couldn’t take it anymore, and I actually started laughing. When she asked me what was so funny, I told her that the “intensity” of it all was freaking me out a little. I didn’t want to tell her that I was giggling to let off steam so I wouldn’t scream and run out of the room.

And when we finally commenced to our rubbing and tracing, it was in silence. No music. No talking. Way too quiet. Two weeks ago, I had interrupted the silence in our first meeting to express a desire to have a radio going or something. She said some people might find that too distracting, it might break our concentration. I found the silence distracting.

In all fairness to the instructor, botanical illustration is obviously something she is passionate about, and I well understand the desire to share one’s passions with others. Her lessons have been well planned, and she has given us a lot of information. I have gotten enough information to determine that I do not wish to continue. I also have a strange sensation. Is it my brain hurting, resisting the exacting nature of these illustration lessons, or is it the desire to counteract it with something intuitive, creative and fun? Maybe it’s both.

Last week's lesson. Light and shadows as per diagram.

Last week's "homework": Trace something

A bit of this week's lesson, at least as far as I got with it. See, I can do it, I just don't like it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Waiting for a snack

We don't normally buy doggie treats for our dogs. They have learned to love fresh fruits and veggies for snacks, and will beg relentlessly whenever we are snacking on some. In these photos, they are waiting for Jerry to finish an apple. Then he will cut the core in two and give each dog half.

Notice how their eyes never leave that apple!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


New digital art for Illustration Friday

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Honey, I shrunk the car.

Look at this crazy undersized VW I saw in my neighborhood today!