art

Two Trees

Now that I’m doing a class again, my art has slowed down a bit but I’m still doing some here and there. So here’s a painting I started a week ago and just finished up today.

img_0147.jpgimg_0148

And lastly, I’ve been watching lots of Kat Blaque’s livestreams in the past couple weeks and I didn’t know what/who to draw so I ended up drawing her. She’s a really intelligent lady (and gorgeous and colourful!) and when I’m not sure where I stand on things, her videos often give me a new perspective so I have a lot of respect for her and her work.

Live well!
‘Till next post.

art

Art Meets Pop: Drawing Singers

An art update with some drawings from the past couple months.

For me, art of the visual sort and music have always gone together and can at times share a beautiful concept and help each other bring out certain elements of the central story or theme. I’ve always loved musicians who put loving attention into the visual aspect of their careers, such as music videos, album covers, style and live performances. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it does add that extra little care and attention to the art they are making. As a result of the marriage of the visual and sonic elements being so important to me, I have a tendency to focus my art on singers and musicians who I am listening to at that time. You’ll see this in many of my drawings. First, some drawings that aren’t related to artists:

The first drawing just kinda happened organically. I felt like drawing a person, then I decided to draw a girl, then I decided she should have green hair, that she should look distressed, etc. So drawing one is a tired girl with green hair and a smoke friend. Drawing two is a drawing of my dog with a third eye. I don’t really have a reason for this, I have no spiritual reason to take interest in third eyes but I guess I perceive the third eye as representing a sort of purity, which makes me think of the innocence of a dog or any animal. I love animals quite a lot, but rarely practice drawing them. Perhaps I’ll do more animal drawings in the future.

img_2333

Over the past while since the new Gorillaz album, Humanz, has been released I’ve been going back on their career and listening to a lot of their music, new and old. Gorillaz is obviously a band with a large visual art aspect. While Damon Albarn focuses on the music, Jamie Hewlett creates the characters and this combination makes an interesting combination for me to work with. I can listen to the songs, and I can draw the characters for fun. The character that stuck out the most to me immediately was 2-D, the tall, lanky blue-haired singer with hyphema, giving his eyes their trademark appearance.

The last drawing is the only one where I decided to try something different, and so I drew Noodle, the band’s guitar player, in her Phase 3 look. I’m thinking to draw Cyborg Noodle next, as I think the Cyborg also has a cool look. After these Gorillaz related drawings, I decided to draw some singers whose visual aspects I enjoy quite a lot.

I started off doing a full body shot of Lady Gaga during the Born This Way era. You might have guessed, from my drawings of 2-D and my drawing of Gaga, that I have a thing with blue hair. Gaga’s crazy outfits make it fun to draw her, even though fabric is something I still need a lot of practice drawing. The last drawing I’ve done in the past while is of Marina Diamandis, aka Marina and the Diamonds. I decided to take on her portrait from the cover of her album Froot, because I loved the way the colourful lights hit her dark hair and just overpowered it with their brightness. I’m not sure I tackled the lights hitting her hair all that well, but this was a very fun drawing to work on and colour and I’m quite proud of it regardless.

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking!

art

Happy Little (Palm) Trees

Painting and drawing aren’t mediums I tend to practice as often as writing and music, but nevertheless, I enjoy them and they are apart of my time at the moment. I only recently decided to get back into them since I’ve had the time and since my sister also wanted to dabble in painting, the opportunity just kinda arose. This post will only focus on painting and I will make a new post about my drawings later.

Armed with some episodes of Bob Ross and the plethora of paintbrushes which we bought last time we went through a painting phase, we started doing some landscapes. While my sister went for the scenic mountains and happy little trees approach – and she did well on them, they are very lovely – I decided to try out a seascape after finding a couple episodes of the Joy of Painting which took a break from the forest and mountain formula. I love the ocean, lakes, ponds, I just love water, the way it flows, the life that it holds, so if I was gonna paint nature, I was gonna make the ocean the star of the show. Here’s the first seascape I made about a month ago:

IMG_0010

There are some water droplets in the clouds, the trees are a bit rough and the pelicans are kinda awkward, but I decided to start off with a pacific kind of scene. I don’t care for how the waves in the water turned out, but I still just love the colour and how it gets lighter towards the bottom edge. Not bad for a first painting though. Next I went on to make these:

I attempted another seascape with a more tropical theme, and decided to mix with the colours a bit more, adding multiple colours to one line – this shows most in the clouds. I came upon an episode of the Joy of Painting in which Bob hosted artist Ben Stahl, who painted a beautiful portrait which I absolutely loved. Watching this episode is what got me interested in mixing colours around and layering up colours instead of going the realism route.

IMG_0026

After those, I found an old painting that I had started and never finished. I had attempted to do a kind of geometric abstract piece, so I decided to try using oil paints for the first time. I felt like oil paints might create a certain richness to what might otherwise be a boring painting. I enjoy painting abstracts, but I never know how I feel about them when I am finished. It’s hard to tell if they are good or not, but if richness is what I was going for, I think I accomplished that.

Lastly, we had a big canvas hanging around the house and I really wanted to paint another seascape with vibrant colours and a tropical feel, and so I went ahead and painted this next:

IMG_0047

It is definitely the piece I am most proud of. It has everything I love in a painting. This picture doesn’t display it in the best lighting, but I love the contrast between the colourful sky and the black shadowed palm trees, the reflections in the water, the sea turtles swimming at the bottom showing a hint of life. I love this piece a lot and I’m going to be hanging it up in my room in the near future.

So, this was the last piece I made. Now for inspirations:

I have long been inspired by the pop art, eye-catchiness and personalities surrounding the inimitable Andy Warhol. I think it is his work which has given me such a strong love of vibrancy, blocked colours, and a slight abstractism. Here are some works which I feel inspired some of my paintings.

  1. “Mick Jagger” (ca 1975)
  2. “Untitled (Pink Rose)” (ca 1955)
  3. “Heart” (ca 1982)

I think I related to Warhol because of the way celebrity culture inspired him. Though I’m not particularly fond of mainstream celebrity culture, something about idolizing someone and being inspired by their essence, their style, their beliefs – even if they are created or exaggerated as a persona – ┬ácan be so intoxicating. Especially when it comes to musicians, which Andy was no stranger to, because you begin to feel as if you know someone through their music. Sure, you may not know them personally but a lot of a person comes out in their art: their vibe, their way of thinking, of putting chords and notes together, the tone in the voice of a singer singing a sad song, or a happy, or angry song. It’s the perfect reference for art because it creates images in your head without showing you what to see.

It’s different with Warhol: it’s about being iconic. It’s about taking that recognizable face and letting it speak for itself. He doesn’t try to interpret anything, he just shows us the person as they are. It can seem superficial at first glance, but I think the superficiality is just to draw people in. It’s what the person represents and means to someone that will keep someone interested.

Anyways, I’d like to move on to another artist whose style broke the mold: Frida Kahlo. I think a lot of artists, of all sorts, relate so well to Frida’s art because, at its root, it is about loneliness. It is about the self, and about pain, but also loneliness. Often, Kahlo herself is the subject of her paintings and often they show her seemingly in the middle of nowhere, perhaps in a vast, empty desert of sorts. I think that alone demonstrates an immense solitude.

  1. “The Two Fridas” (ca 1939)
  2. Kahlo painting “The Two Fridas” in her studio
  3. “Henry Ford Hospital” (ca 1932)
  4. “The Broken Column” (ca 1944)

Kahlo’s paintings speak for themselves, and they do so very loudly – fitting for a woman who lived so unapologetically as herself. These paintings don’t just show you the pain in her life, they grab you and make you feel it. Though the paintings are very surreal, there is something very realistic about them. The pain is real. The loneliness is real. And those are the things illustrated. In a way, I find her paintings more real than even painters who spend a lifetime trying to paint photo-realistically.

I feel like her art is something I aspire to, to make others feel so strongly that they are nearly feeling the emotion in the art. It’s a long term goal for me, and I have no smaller steps to get there and achieve it really aside from just keep creating. Just keep making things. I don’t know how much painting I will do in the near future, but this is something I aspire to in all mediums I dabble in. This is a goal I have in my music and writing as well. I truly believe that this is the height of art and creativity: using our loneliness to help make others feel, perhaps, a little less lonely.

art, music, writing

Where I’m At and With What

I’ve been dabbling in visual art, music and writing all at once lately since I have no classes to keep busy with, and it’s been fun; however, in a week and a half, my class will start and I may have to cut back on my projects a bit. So, I’d like to offer a brief description of my current projects, and I will separate them by medium.

Most promising perhaps is the novel I have taken on along with a close friend. We’ve been sitting with the idea for about five years and we’ve decided to just go for it, since all these years later we are still in love with it. I am still trying to work out what my inspirations really are for the characters, but since it is a Young Adult novel I am trying to get back into reading a couple of those. I’m trying to avoid the more popular ones, however, such as the ones that now have movies based on them – ie, Paper Towns, the Perks of Being a Wallflower, or 13 Reasons Why. The themes in the novel most certainly will be similar, but I really don’t want to make something similar to any of these titles. They all have something about them that I really can’t stand, a sort of exaggerated quirkiness. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do have critiques of the way these were written in particular:

-Paper Towns, I find the premise and the plot somewhat hard to believe and it therefore makes it hard for me to play along with, so to speak. I also find the main character a bit boring, and I know this can be done on purpose sometimes but it’s not a path I want to follow in my own writing.

-13 Reasons Why, I find it hard to explain why but I cannot stand this story or its characters, although to be fair I’ve only seen the show. It was poorly written in the sense that there was not enough shown about Hannah’s mental space leading up to her suicide, and she doesn’t really seem depressed, although I may be trying to project my own experiences too much in a place where they don’t fit. Also, boring main character again.

-The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I actually quite like except I almost feel like the cultural references go overboard to the point where the hipsterism is stereotypical: they like the Smiths, they participate in Rocky Horror Picture Show every year, and the way the characters dress in the film, it’s all exactly the kind of quirkiness you can expect from a Tumblr user nowadays, not that that’s a bad thing. This one is more nit-picky and probably isn’t a real critique, but it was just an aspect of the story that I want to avoid recreating.

So, at its core, our novel – which for the time being is titled “Unravelled” although this may change as the book comes into existence – is another coming of age story, but written about the lives of three friends coming together and realizing that, though their lives were vastly different, they all dealt with some bad things in their past and had a lot in common and so they come together and form their own family. I’m very excited watching this story progress! I have a lot of editing and things that may need to be changed as we go on, but the fact that we’ve begun a first draft is still very exciting to me! Watching these characters come to life is honestly a privilege.

 

As for my music, I have finished one group of songs which I would consider an album I’ve lovingly called “Pluto in Scorpio.” I’ve already started writing lyrics for a new group of songs. I write lyrics first, since I’m not actually very musically inclined in terms of musical theory, although for my new group of songs I want to make them sound better. I feel like Pluto in Scorpio are the songs I just had to get off my chest, they’re very simple and a bit garage sounding. I had to make them to get them out of the way, and maybe now I’ll be able to put more effort into my next batch of songs.

The Pluto in Scorpio songs are currently set to private on my Bandcamp account as I wanted my favourites to hopefully premier in music videos, as part of a vision I have for the songs. Whether or not I get around to making videos, I’m not sure. If I do make videos or decide to release the album, I’ll make a post here to share them with my readers. I’ll also be making posts for what music I’m inspired by as I work on my songs, and maybe even one for what songs inspired Pluto in Scorpio.

 

Lastly, I have been doing some painting and drawing lately. I’d like to do a more in-depth post about my inspirations for my drawings and paintings in the future, so I won’t say too much now. I’ll just say I’m a big fan of Bob Ross’s the Joy of Painting, and of Frida Kahlo. Here’s a couple drawings and paintings from the past month though:

  1. Girl with green hair smoking with smoke friend
  2. Doodles for album cover of Pluto in Scorpio (these aren’t the final cuts, and may be the cover for the next album)
  3. Sunset with pelicans and island
  4. Caribbean sunset with palm trees and sea turtles

 

So, this is what I have going on at the moment. I’ll be updating my projects here as well as talking about my current inspirations for whatever I’m working on. My next post should be about inspirations, probably my drawing and painting ones will appear here first but I’ll have to see what I end up working on in the next few days.

Thanks for reading! Live well!

A-M