Friday, July 25, 2014
his blog , so check soon to see them. He was finally able to buy a wide angle lens and was experimenting with that today. We definitely plan on returning to this location later.
I may not post during the next week and a half, but I will be drawing, and I'll do a big catch-up post when we get home. Then again, my new phone may be better at taking pictures, and if that's the case and I can post, I'll make some interim posts.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
More thinking about the backpack, but then things get interesting on the feral bird scene. The wild turkeys visited again in the late morning, two hens and the eight half-grown juveniles from yesterday. Today the babies gathered under a rose bush and sat for a while, ignoring Jesse, who watched from his perch beside the woodpile. After a while one of the babies flew up to the top of a very tall tree!
Jesse meanwhile retreated to his favorite side-of-the-house spot, the roof of P's car. He is bored by wildlife I think, since they are unimpressed by him.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
For fans of the rice bag journal, here's the outside of the closed book.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Step 1: Flatten the empty cloth bag from Mafiz Valenciano paella rice and turn it horizontally. Cut or tear 25 sheets of drawing paper from an inexpensive Strathmore drawing pad so that they each measure about 4 1/2" high by 7 or 8" wide. Fold each sheet in half to make little folios that you will then nest inside of each other, 5 folios to a signature (or gathering or booklet).
Step 2. If you want a hard back to your book, slide a piece of light cardboard into the bag, and push it all the way to the bottom. When turned horizontally, the cardboard part of the bag will be to your right. Before doing anything else, sew a seam down the center of that end of the book to keep the cardboard from scooting around.
As you can see here, the open end of the bag is to the left when the book is open. You can leave it like this to use as a pocket for holding pens, small watercolor brushes and small mint tins of watercolor or money or keys or whatever else you want to keep inside the front cover pocket. Or you could slip a second sheet of cardboard in there to make a hard cover.
I left my cover open to use as a pocket. To close everything up, I fold the left side under and slip an old produce rubber band around the book. These paintings are all of stuff I picked from the square foot garden this afternoon and used in the paella tonight. You can see how deformed the okra is. I don't think it's getting enough heat and light. Put the four new plants in today while it was raining.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I used the slow slow relaxed method to paint them, only I didn't draw at all. I relaxed the brush into the puddle of paint, and then I draped it and pulled it across the paper. I broke in the middle of painting to go have dinner. It usually takes my eyes a long time to start really seeing more and more, but after the break they snapped right back into the seeing. I luckily have excellent close vision, no glasses needed; so it is pure pleasure to sink deeper and deeper into the spaces and levels and tones and shadows.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Looking at Jacob's recent photographs and especially watching him take his photographs has made me more interested in micro-drawing as well as really slow watching and looking. When Jacob stands in the middle of twenty or so ducks that are grooming and settling down for the evening, he hardly moves. He waits for a very long time before making careful, slow moves to lift his camera, bend down, or whatever he needs to do to get the shot. His camera makes a barely perceptible click, and then he moves in slow motion to the next shot. He seems to have an understanding of the principle of qualitative research that the research environment is affected and changed by the observer; and his quietness allows the air to settle before he attempts to take any photographs.
I, however, tend to rush in and flail around, disturbing not only air but bugs and birds and the very energy on site. So this morning I imitated Jacob and stood without moving for what to me felt like an excruciatingly long time before making a move. I wanted to draw the landscape of the zinnia in the vase in the kitchen, which I had drawn quickly yesterday, and I wanted to practice moving my eye in slow motion as well as my hand.
Then came the real test. I went outside wearing boots and long sleeves to fend off the mosquitoes that usually attack me immediately, and I started watching the large turk's cap-like lily that grows at the edge of one of our gardens. I wanted to learn what pollinates it, among other things. It took a while before any insects showed themselves, but eventually I saw the small sweat bees that seem to be pollinating it as well as some white leaf-hoppers that have recently emerged from white cocoons, the remnants of which are along the stem of the lily. I drew so slowly that the pen made no noise as it stroked the page. It was around 9 in the morning, cool, few birds, Jesse nowhere in sight, quiet except for the occasional buzz of a bumble bee in the nearby bee balm (which bee seemed to have no interest in the lilies). Oddly enough I was basically un-attacked by mosquitoes or gnats. I played yoga class and counted my breaths.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Step two is to flip the tracing over and burnish the traced lines onto the piece of rubber that will form the block. Then the next and most time-consuming part is to carve away everything that should not show up in the print. At the bottom right is the first proof of the carving.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Jacob Diehn Photographer to see the finished photographs.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Key to success is a pair of industrial strength scissors, in this case my trusty Cutco kitchen scissors that not only can cut through a penny as advertised, but can also easily slice through aluminum. Step 1: rinse out the can; then poke a hole in it by stabbing it with one blade of the scissors as close to the top as possible. Step 2 is to simply snip below the top to remove it. Step 3 : slice the can from the top to the bottom, and then cut around the bottom. Step 4 is to render the lethally sharp rectangle of aluminum harmless. Place a metal ruler about 1/4 inch below each edge and press the edge to be folded up against the ruler and then over, forming a hem. Do this on all four sides. Then you can either hammer the fold flat or burnish it flat with a bone folder or metal burnishing tool or even the bowl of a spoon.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
The little fox on the right is make of thick orange and white felt-like material. M says he looks "young" and smart, and I agree. We invented a way to make this fox stand up without falling over, as the first one we made does. The pattern doesn't call for a flat bottom, but we had the same idea at the same time when we saw the fox standing up on his flat stuffed bottom before we sewed the bottom seam. We cut out a circle of felt, turned under a hem, and sewed it to cover the flat circle of stuffing.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Update: the image eventually showed up, but it was oddly elongated. I removed it and replaced it. Have no idea what was wrong. Much prefer fixing the sewing machine.