I’m so excited. This is my 100th blog. I never realized what I was getting into when I started blogging.
I thought I would be the lone blogger picking up a follower here or there. Then, I found Word Press. Word Press makes the blogging experience very special.
First, they make it relatively easy to set up your blog with a theme of your choice. Second, whenever I’ve been stuck, people have been there to help me.
The community of Word Press bloggers blows me away. Word Press works at bringing us together to share our love of blogging. I feel like I belong to a special community that is incredibly supportive.
A huge thank you to all the people who follow me. I never dreamed I would have actual, real followers who were interested in my art AND my health. You are all special people to me.
As to my health, well, it is what it is. I’m feeling better the last few days than I have all year. I continue to be returned to a life. For that I am grateful.
As to the art in this blog, well this is something different for me.
Starting Saturday, I am taking Japanese Inks from Karen at DAA.
This is a type of art I have studiously ignored all my life. I have had no interest in it at all.
So, why not broaden my horizon is what I figured. I’m totally intimidated, of course. Something new. There is a small part of me saying “you’ll never be able to do this.” But, I’m happy to report there is a larger part saying “yes, I can!” This is a huge change for me. Mrs. Negative had her way with me for a long time. But I have practiced being positive and loving myself and my art. I put Mrs. Negative Voice on a time out recently. I refuse to engage with her on any level.
Interestingly, I am finding that she is becoming less and less by my not engaging and fighting with her. When she pops up, I lovingly as possible put her on a time out. Of course, she will try to come back. I just gently remind her of the time out.
The first thing one does in Asian art is throw out all you know about Western geometric perspective. Ok, that’s easy. I know very little.
In Eastern art, the idea is convey a thought with as few strokes as possible. One needs to stay loose. These are two things that are very important to me in my art now. I want my art to be looser and I want my strokes to convey an emotion, a feeling. Not just sit there and be stiff.
Additionally, in Japanese Inks, the whole story fits on the page, but not using the perspective we are familiar with. It is more a bird’s-eye view.
Another interesting aspect of Eastern art is how it is signed. For centuries in Asian cultures, a “chop” has been used to sign things from art to banking. Many people will have a chop for banking, one for business and another for personal use. Traditionally, the chop is done in red and white, representing yin and yang. The red is the yin, dark, feminine; and the white, the light, male, yang.
Most of you are probably familiar with the yin/yang symbol. It represents the balance of the universe, male and female.
A person’s initials or name is made into a symbol called the chop. Then the characters are written out by a calligrapher and finally carefully carved into a stamp.
I was not comfortable using Chinese or Japanese characters for my name. One reason is that their characters do not translate well into English. For instance, when Coca-Cola initially started business in China, the characters they used for their name may have sounded like Coca Cola, but they meant “bite the wax tadpole.”
I definitely do not want to be represented by something negative or silly. So I am working on making a design out of my initials. The chop I used in this piece is my first attempt at creating a chop. I will be further refining it and using red and white to stamp it next time.
I created these flowers with some wonderful brushes Karen made for us for this class. They are watercolors. I am very challenged when it comes to working with watercolors in Painter. But, I’m pleased with my first real attempt in these flowers.
I started by just laying down violets and purples with a fairly straight-forward watercolor brush. Then I took a black pen and tried my best to stay loose while at the same time defining the flowers.
To finish the piece, I brought a texture into Painter. Then, I used masking to clear some of the texture color off the flowers.
All in all, this has been a fun practice for my upcoming class.