Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I cannot draw...

so...

When I started to think about the image for my next bead journal project, I was once again nervous that I wouldn't be able to illustrate the picture that was in my head.

Whenever I first get the idea for a project, I collect images and items that I squirrel away in an box of inspiration. Every time I come across something that strikes my fancy for a particular project, I add it to the box. I probably have more than 10 or so "collection boxes" -- quietly waiting for the day when I'll pick them up and create something from the treasures contained within...


Today was the day that I picked up the June BJP collection box and....began...

I wanted this piece to be a self-portrait, of sorts. I had visited the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. over the Summer and was struck by this self-portrait by Dutch painter Judith Leyster.


I loved that she's dressed in her finest while painting...as if, she's at her best when she's doing what she loves most. I love her hint of a smile and the fact that she holds 18 (!) paintbrushes in her hand. I love her confidence, her relaxed manner and the fact that she's looking out at the viewer as if she's delighted that you've chosen to look at her portrait. I love the lace and buttons at her cuff; and I love that she's painting the portrait of a happy fiddler...a stark contrast to many of the serious portraits of the day.

To me, it's clear that Judith Leyster loved her art and her painting, yet didn't take herself too seriously. I imagine she had quite a sense of humor and that...makes me smile. I think she had a mischievous streak and I believe we would have been friends if I had lived down the street from her in the 17th century.

OK. So, even though I cannot draw or paint like Judith Leyster, I have learned to collect images that I can use to help me illustrate the shapes I need. I found a picture of a girl standing in profile, a picture of Renoir's portrait of Monet painting, an artist's palette brooch, and even the music to Beethoven's Ode to Joy...all in my collection box...


Because of the ability to scan images and re-size them, I can often get the shapes and sizes I need by manipulating the images electronically. Then I make a collage of the shapes and trace the collage to eventually develop my picture. And I didn't really have to draw very much at all...only tweak things a little bit...

I was excited this time because I was able to take the opening line of music for Ode to Joy and use the Twirl filter in Photoshop to give me a music wave in the background of this piece.
It's just a beginning but I'm very grateful to my all-in-one scanner/printer/copier and my Photoshop program for helping me get started on this piece. And I just thought you should know that I didn't draw it on my own. I had a lot of help...

18 comments:

Cathy K said...

This is a great post. I love learning others' processes, and especially in this case because I collect inspirational images by theme, too. However, I never thought of using a photo editor tool to manipulate them as you have. Thanks! Hugs, Cathy

Judy S. said...

Love what you did with Beethoven's music, Susan, and sure wish you didn't live a whole maps-worth away. We could have some serious fun. I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

Marty52 said...

Great creative process, m'dear! After taking Robin's class my appreciation for the BJP has grown condsiderably... I may even join next year!

Dolores said...

Love that hat and it made me smile because I doodled one just like it on my little shopping lady.
Seems like you had fun playing.

Ati. said...

I am sure it becomes great, your plan is!

Dees said...

What does it matter that you had the help of your computer? It's a lovely post that gives a peak into you own process of creation. I love the pieces you have made so far and equally love your "inspiration boxes". Seems very fun to me to have those little chests full of treasures waiting for the right moment to be born.
I totally agree in music being a great source for inspiration. In fact spent 2 posts on it already! We are kindred spirits!
Keep on sharing Susan, you are an inspiration yourself.

pam T said...

oooo can't wait to see it done! and as for your previous post - Huge sigh of LOVE ....I love lace, lace and more lace! gorgeous pics, gorgeous post....

Carol said...

I found a lot of things about this post interesting.

First, your collection boxes. I have done this for years, but not nearly to the extent that you do.

And, that you have such a wonderful use of Photoshop which I have put on my Christmas list.

Of course, your thoughts on the self portrait.

BUT, a self portrait of an artist at an easel. Well, yes as far as creativity. But why not doing needle work. You are definitely a well rounded, multi-talented creative artist. Just a thought that crossed my mind when reading the post. And besides, isn't a self-portrait all about how you view a facet of your person. How are you going to show your humorous side?

This is definitely going to be a good page.

Rózsaszín pöttyök said...

Hello!

I think that You really can drive.
It might be different from the usual means of drawing but it doesn't matter...

Anyway, I started this: http://www.drawspace.com/lessons/level.php?id=1 and realized that I can draw things that I need. ;-)
If You are not certain in Yourself, it's worth trying.

I'm looking forward to Your project!
Bye, RP (Pink Dots)

Rózsaszín pöttyök said...

I mean draw...

Sorry.

Allison Ann Aller said...

I really like the collection boxes too.
And it seems to me that knowing what you want, having the image in your head, is the most important thing. Everything follows from that...electronially or graphite-ly...

Ingrid Mida said...

I can draw but I cannot embroider well enough to bring those pictures to life!
I cannot wait to see how this project progresses.

Sheila said...

Your sketches do a fine job of capturing the important details. Your materials take care of the rest. Don't worry about whether your fingers transmit the same lines your mind sees, for your final art pieces are lovely examples that carry more weight and meaning than pencil and ink. As an artist, you've already figured out how to get a masterful end result. I really like the stripey sock and the polka dots. What a fun touch of whimsy. I'll be looking forward to watching the next stages unfold.

Robin said...

What great fun is this!!!! OMG, I love looking at Judith's self-portrait and reading your impressions of it! Once again, PWN made my day! Love ya, R

Trouvais said...

Hi Susan. I'm passing the Kreative Blogger award over to you. The award rules are: you tell your readers 7 things they don't know about you, and pass the award and link to 7 more bloggers(if you want).Every time I pop over here you are up to something new and exciting. Trish

Wanda said...

Hi Susan! I've missed reading you! What great posts you've made since I've been gone. Some of those dresses with the sheer fabric? Well, I don't get them but that's okay....I don't have to get everything! The beading is great and I think you draw pretty good!! I tend to still do the stick-person thing!!

Lise Pederson said...

Thank you for sharing your talent with us. I always learn from your blogging. Your "studio" looks like a fun place to be. The colours the books,boxes, everything I see in the pictures makes me feel like I would like to be there exploring in all the boxes etc. Your next BJ 2008 project is going to be another favourite of mine!!!! Will have to try those glitters. I did look on them on the web. Did you use the transparent ones or opaque ones? Lise

Plays with Needles said...

The transparent ones!

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