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Archive for the ‘concepts’ Category

Pause #20

Editing.  Culling.  Selecting-  I’m curious: If you were to choose three of the strongest images to best represent contrasting nuances of expression, which would you choose?  OR  which of this grouping is the strongest image?  For the Pause Series.

Whats a Skullbunny?

A very dear young artist friend of mine, put out a request for artist renderings of a mythical creature she tagged Skullbunny*.

The only prompt for the creature depiction was some variation of a bunny skull attached to any sort of creature body.

Why?  These depictions of Skullbunnies became part of an imaginative multi-media gallery show resembling a museum display, dedicated to the infamous Skullbunny.

My friend Leah, created detailed evidence for the rarely seen (imagined?) creature, its habitat and its eery (campy) effects in our society, including Skullbunny puppets, fashion, and cinematic influence.  The show was a big success and lots of silliness and fun ensued.

*The image above was my contribution to the show.

BIG KIDS Magazine:Rachel and Me

My  artist friend Rachel is seventeen years old.  It’s difficult to assign a chronological age to this young woman because she is both wise beyond her years and as uninhibited in her creativity as a pre-schooler.  That’s how I knew she was the perfect candidate to collaborate with me on this illustration for BIG KIDS Magazine.

Tah Dah! Our collaboration is above.  The prompt for the illustration is “Treasure Maps”.  We’re mapping our creative journeys. Rachel created the left side, I worked on the right.  On my side the journey relates to Rachel, as her friend and mentor.  It helps to have an older artist friend, for encouragement and suggestions; that would be me.  I’m  in my skinny yellow house complete with family and cats and plants and that’s where Rachel comes to make art.  Rachel’s is more comprehensive… the journey so far.   Rachel wrote the beautiful poem.  The entire work is about being an artist; from play scribbles through adulthood.  Rachel, moves from scribbles scanned from an actual construction paper masterpiece she created as a very little girl, through growing pains, to near independence.

Rachel and I  decided to keep the tone or feel of the illustration light and full of kid inspiration.  After all, the inspiration was and is BIG KIDS Magazine-truly a work of collective art.

*The image accompanying the first post is a collaboration of Rachel’s work and mine. The second post, all Rachel and this post is our published collaboration in BIG KIDS Magazine.

Two New

Two new posts spotlighting creativity on  Portrait of a Girl.  Exciting artists from age seven to young adult.  Plus new young art on the ART SHARE page.

Interesting Artsy Interviews

Two more young artist interviews just a click away! (Click the click:)

New “Practical” Inspiration Page

I’ve just added a new page on my Portrait of a Girl and Her Art Blog, which supports my soon to be available book, of the same name.  I’ve included printable guides for your sketchbook and portrait work, along with some general basics about making art.  If you’ve never tried working in a sketchbook or drawing a portrait, now’s  the perfect time to start.  Just click here.

New Project Ideas!

Art teachers, parents, grandparents, uncles, friends and aunties, new projects with “how to’s” for artsy young people on

Portrait of a Girl and Her Art Blog.    Subscribe! Many more projects to come.

Sneak Peak/New Book- Cover!

VERY soon now, Portrait of a Girl and Her Art will be available in hardcover, paperback and PDF .

I’m working on additional electronic formats.

Very soon I’ll have purchase info ready for one step clicking.

Portrait of a Girl and Her Art  already has a dedicated blog where art tips, exciting interviews with young artists, and submissions of art by young artists will keep the inspiration momentum flowing!  Please visit soon.

ALMOST…My new book is COMING

My brandy new book, PORTRAIT OF A GIRL AND HER ART  is in the final stages of production!   Hopefully, all typos and misspellings have been identified, and the many gorgeous images have been perfectly  placed.

What’s it about?  Quite simply, it’s all about young female visual artists and their work.  It’s a labor of love that has taken me five years to complete.  In it, you’ll find portraits of fifteen featured artists, quotes from them about making art, and at least one featured work from each.  But wait, there’s more.  The book is chock full of vivid visual art of all kinds from even more girls and young women artists.  There’s also..a take-away guide for you, the reader, to inspire your artwork and/or a creative way of thinking.  And finally, “sketches” or  little bios of the featured fifteen artists from my point of view.  It’s eighty pages packed with awe and inspiration.

I couldn’t be prouder of this book!  You’ll be hearing lots more about it in the weeks to come. I’ve also created a blog for PORTRAIT OF A GIRL AND HER ART  to keep the inspiration flowing.   The blog will serve as an interactive art class filled with tips, concepts, interviews, ideas, heart, and of course, lots of ART!   I’m working on it as you read.  Everyone is welcome to visit and participate.

I just can’t wait!!!!

Summer Bug Series #2

A little different approach here, but this piece is also inspired by Microcosmos.  The color in the film is glorious, but  I wanted to concentrate on one element at a time, so I went with black and white.  The textures take over here.  I’ve allowed the tree to define the texture.  I made a rubbing with a charcoal pencil over the stone blocks that make up my patio.  The result is the grungy almost embossed feel of the trees juxtaposed with the flat smooth insects.  More to come.

Summer Bugs

As I scratched my first mosquito bite of the summer, I became entranced by the beauty of the buggy images on my tv screen…

I don’t remember what I was doing in 1996, but I missed the release of Microcosmos a gorgeous French film that certainly captured my imagination.  It dunked me right down into the clammy wild world of impossible looking and behaving insects.  The shapes, textures, and colors left me gaping while simultaneously making  me  aware that I needed to shut my mouth. I did NOT want to encourage squirmy flying things to find refuge anywhere near me.-Eww.

Anyway, the film sparked a “People Bug” series. Above is the first effort.

Another New Digital Painting

“The Rescue” also employs a scanned textural item. Obviously it’s the net.  The oranges that came wrapped in it were delicious.

Creative Kids

Were you the kid who  got lost in your paint, glue, and other art materials?   I mean it literally.   Maybe you know a child who sees her own body as an extension of her paper or canvas or sculpture.  While her peers are relatively neat and disciplined about their creative work, this child jumps right into the creative process in such an intuitive manner that she seems to lose the boundaries of her creation.

I’ve seen just about all methods of making art.  One is not “better” than the other, though there seems to be a common characteristic among most of the miniature mess machines  (and I mean that affectionately).  Kids that “jump right into” the work, all seem to have  a very strong sense of design.  They also seem to be less interested in figurative representations, and more interested in intuitively dividing space with expressive color, line, pattern, and or texture.  Most are pretty independent and let any adult in the room know that their particular process is necessary!  This immersion method, if you will, has nothing to do with impulsivity or lack of  attention span, rather it is more about spontaneity and self-satisfaction in building a few strong separate elements, not necessarily with the “finish” of the work in mind, though there is almost always a finished piece.

These assertions I have just made about this kind of artistic process are by no means scientific.  They are just observations gleaned  from  watching children,  create (my own included).  There are many different styles of visual art and there are just as many ways to go about learning to make it.  Therefore, if you know a child who needs a bath after an art project, celebrate her passion.  This child is little by little, building a joyfully solid artistic foundation by taking the process in on her own terms and essentially teaching herself.  A wonderful learning style.

I would like to thank Audrey.  She is an intuitive creator, and the artist who made the beautiful paintings above;her hand as well as the painting directly under her hand.  When she has finished the canvas painting, I hope that Audrey will allow me to publish a complete image of that piece as well:)

kIDS arT

Jonathan O. kept the energy flowing with this gorgeous triptych.   He began organically, and his imagination ruled the concept and design of the paintings.  Jonathan completed the “Bison”canvas first.  This painting set the design for the other two creatures and canvases.   I think they work almost as well separately as they do together.  But as a triptych, the piece truly speaks to the magical convergence of  inspiration, imagination, and skill.  Really exciting work Jonathan!

Author Margaret Atwood’s Keynote: “The Publisher’s Pie”

Enjoy reading?  Enjoy writing, illustrating, and seeing your work in print?  Take a few minutes and view Margaret Atwood’s rye, insightful look into the changing world of publishing.

This is a timely, funny, scary, informative talk.

Author Margaret Atwood’s Keynote: “The Publisher’s Pie”.

KIds aRT

The title of Callie’s piece is “Tortured Fruit”.   A really fine acrylic painting that beautifully depicts the actual unfortunate fruit.  Callie achieved the realistic effects in this work through a series of acrylic washes.  This is a time-honored technique of the “Old Masters” tweaked for the materials we use in 2011.   I think she created a fabulous painting.

KIds aRT

The essence of the sea.  The tumbling  foaming waves, seaweed, and glistening reflections of sky, are all here in Graces’s collage. So simple and so beautiful.  Good work Grace!

kIDS aRT

Presenting: From Audrey, a sweet, fluffy baby chic with a little bit of bite.  Very Audrey to name her chicken Omelette.   Although still a young artist, Audrey is all about the concept.  Very creative and self-assured, I can’t wait to see what’s next from Audrey!

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