Saturday, January 22, 2011

Excuses, Timesucks, and Drawings

In my initial post, oh, nearly two weeks ago, I said I'd aim for two blog entries a week. Then I joined the Bead Soup Blog Party and I found myself posting almost daily. This week, nuthin'. A few reasons for this:

  1. I had to go out of town a few days for a business trip, which in addition to keeping me busy, just wore me out. My hat is off to folks who travel for business a lot. It's not at all my (spinning-roller-wheeled, overhead-compartment-sized, stuffed-to-the-hilt) bag.
  2. My Bead Soup partner, the lovely Jenni C, is in Australia and I'm in Pennsylvania, so though we've both mailed our packages of beads, it's going to take about a week for them to arrive at their destinations. (I was surprised how little it cost to send my small parcel -- less than $4.) In the meantime, I've only made one very beady bracelet and haven't had a change to photograph it.
  3. While waiting to have a CT scan earlier this week (what I hope is the final step before planning my back surgery), I innocently downloaded a faux Scrabble app to my Android phone and immediately started playing with complete strangers. Good gravy, what a timesuck. I'm currently playing four games simultaneously. And when I say "currently," I mean I've stopped writing this post several times to take my turns against the two opponents who seem to be awake at the moment. One just played "QI" and earlier played "GEY." Another opponent used "QAT," later pluralized (or turned into a singular verb) as "QATS."  The heck? I realize these "words" are probably in the Scrabble dictionary, but they shouldn't be. If you can't define the term you're using, or at least say what part of speech it is, you shouldn't use it. (I just played "ACHOO" for 45 points. That's more like it.)

So those are my excuses for not posting. I have been thinking about my next "Last Summer" post though. Of the bad things that happened last year, this one probably affected me directly the least, but it was a big blow nonetheless, having a dreadful impact on a family I've known for decades, with ripples that go farther than I can even guess. I'm still thinking about it what to say about that occurrence though, so that post will have to wait a bit longer.

I thought today I'd share a bit from each of the first three assignments that I've done for Jewelry by Jeannie's Drawing Lab. For this lab, each Sunday Jeannie send her students an assignment and some instructions and guidance on how to do it. We then have about a week to do some drawing and post them to a private Flickr group to share and for comments. It's very enjoyable, not to mention humbling.

Lab #1. Draw cats from memory.

I have two cats, but I'll be darned if I could recall what they looked like without checking them out. In the partly circled area on the right is an eye I drew while looking at the cat. The rest are just weird.

Lab #2. Draw birds. 

Jeannie recommended a technique that involved using two different sized ovals, one as the body and one as the head, gently joining them and going from there. These are my first two attempts, left to right. The head oval was too small in the first one, making my bird look microcephalic, so I gave up on that one quick. The second one was better, cuter, clearly smarter.

Lab #3. Blind contour drawing

This was the most fun of all. Without looking at your paper or your hand, you look at your subject, running your eyes around the edges, or contours, of the things you're drawing, and try to have your hand follow the motion of your eyes. This picture may not look like much to you, but to me, it's a not unreasonable BLIND representation of two terrariums and an amaryllis bulb in a rounded bowl accompanied by a sprig of evergreen. The bulb isn't exactly in the bowl, and the thick glass bottom on the leftmost terrarium is too small, but otherwise, not bad. I wanted to go back and add the plants in the terrariums but since you have to keep your pencil on the paper and can't look to reposition it, I stuck with outlines and stones. Thanks, Jeannie, I think I'm getting somewhere!

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