STILL SNARKY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS…

July 4, 2015
Character sketch, AQUARIUS. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or PIN ON PINTEREST.

Character sketch, AQUARIUS. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or PIN ON PINTEREST.

The pleasure of the small drawing transformed by a weird caption.  Somehow this kind of work did not receive appreciation in high school during lecture. Though I did crack up one history teacher who had a righteous sense of humor.

These are quick conte sketches while watching AQUARIUS, a period drama. STYLISH. Great faces, hipster clothes and ridiculous hairdos. Even the boozer-losers look fabulous. All the junkies have the best jackets…( which was actually not true to my memory). Wish the writers would give Duchovny more zingers, though. Would also appreciate a little more GRACE SLICK in the soundtrack.

CHARACTER STUDY. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST.

Character sketch. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST.

The plot seems to find a template in Joan Didion’s THE WHITE ALBUM.

Character sketch. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST.

Character sketch. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST.

 

EVERYDAY ABSTRACTION

July 4, 2015
STUDY, this morning at the NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF ART. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST. CARAN D'ACHE NEOCOLOR 2 pastel.

STUDY, this morning at the NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF ART. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST. CARAN D’ACHE NEOCOLOR 2 pastel.

Painter after painter, since the beginning of the century, has tended toward abstraction. First, the Impressionists simplified the landscape in terms of color, and then the Fauves simplified it again by adding distortion, which, for some reason, is a characteristic of our century.
MARCEL DUCHAMP

5 minute warm-ups. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do  not reproduce or PIN ON PINTEREST.

5 minute warm-ups. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or PIN ON PINTEREST.

Early morning sketches at the NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF ART…

EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN through the known

July 2, 2015
Dad and Me. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERED. Do not reproduce, or PIN ON PINTEREST. CARAN D' ACHE NEOCOLOR 2 crayons on CANSON MI- TIENTES paper.

Dad and Me. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce, or PIN ON PINTEREST. CARAN D’ ACHE NEOCOLOR 2 crayons on CANSON MI- TIENTES paper.

There are things known
and there are things unknown,
and in between are the doors of perception.
ALDOUS HUXLEY
Presently engaged in a positive struggle with the medium.
This was a phrase a teacher wrote in my evaluation as an early art student.
Maddening and puzzling at the time,the comment confused me. Consulting a MAGIC EIGHT BALL would have been more useful. Or perhaps a basket of fortune cookies would have been more satisfying. At any rate, I probably responded with a snotty THANKS KRESKIN and moved on…continuing to positively struggle with the medium with no appreciation of what that actually meant.
Later years proved the brutal honesty of this assessment: experimentation IS a positive struggle with a medium. The only way we learn ANYTHING is through playful experimentation.
It is way too hot to sketch on location the past week, but I wanted to learn how to manipulate CARAN D’ACHE NEOCOLOR 2 PASTELS to get some specific effects. Selfies are a good way to manage a new medium. If results are heinous, adding a mustache and a gnome hat are viable options at the end of a session! Antlers are even better.
Pastel is like poetry: it is a short ride to SUPERBAD. Pastel needs to have a sense of immediacy,variation in mark-making, a measure of authenticity, and lack of artifice. One needs to know when to stop. Knowing when to stop is the hardest thing to learn and almost impossible to teach. We need to find the borderland between done and overdone on our own.
Refraining is the most potent meditation.

DRAWING MEMORY

June 24, 2015
THE LAST SWING. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTERST. Graphite.

THE LAST SWING. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not reproduce or PIN on PINTERST. Graphite.

I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love
a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
VLADIMIR NABOKOV

SELF PORTRAIT AS A BEAN COUNTER: NEOCOLOR CRAYONS

June 21, 2015
SELF PORTRAIT AS A BEAN COUNTER. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DO NOT REPRODUCE or PIN ON PINTEREST. CARAN D' ACHE NEOCOLOR WAX PASTELS  ON INGRES PAPER.

SELF PORTRAIT AS A BEAN COUNTER. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DO NOT REPRODUCE or PIN ON PINTEREST. CARAN D’ ACHE NEOCOLOR WAX PASTELS ON INGRES PAPER.

INSPIRATION… SHE NEVER VISITS THE LAZY
David Hockney

True dat.

Another round with  NEOCOLOR 1 and NEOCOLOR 2 wax pastels, applied dry to charcoal paper.

When in doubt do a selfie, it protects the innocent!

PAINTING WITH CRAYONS: Caran D’ Ache NEOCOLOR 2 + Stillman & Birn Zeta

June 19, 2015
BETTER PART OF SHADOW. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE or Pin on Pinterest.

BETTER PART OF SHADOW. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE or Pin on Pinterest.

Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic,
so what you see is not what you see.

PHILIP GUSTON
I really want to paint. In oil. In pastel.
But, it is sensible for me to avoid solvents and toxicity issues for health reasons and because there is not a dedicated ” work sink”. EXCUSES EXCUSES…CRY ME A RIVER….
So I have been muttering about exploring casein but slow to pull the pin on that grenade, when there are plenty of art supplies in studio. * {I still have a set of egg tempera in a drawer because at some point I realized I would have a better time dropping beans in a bottle with my nose rather than pick away stroke by stroke like a monk in the Middle Ages}.
Can I reinvent my process with existing materials, to get a painterly experience without fumes, pigment dust, or cruddy brushes? MAYBE. Let’s not give in to a failure of imagination before July.
The pastel yearning can be answered with Caran D’Ache NEOCOLOR 2 watersoluble wax pastels.
The painterly yearning can be addressed by starting with a toned ground which will allow me to manipulate surface paint into smudges and smears. I used Daniel Smith’s watercolor ground with a touch of M. Graham gouache for tint, based on a recommendation from my friend Janis ( a superior watercolorist and pigment poobah of the highest order ).
The need for a versatile surface can be answered by STILLMAN + BIRN’S ZETA mixed media paper.
Working alternately wet and dry with these crayons has opened up some new possibilities in life drawing sessions.  Just beginning to apply some ‘know- how’ to interpreting some other ideas to this method.
Just might be a painter’s summer yet!

INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH: WRAPPING IT ALL UP!

May 5, 2015
HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: behind the tree. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest : it will be a copyright violation! Do not reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: behind the tree. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest : it will be a copyright violation! Do not reproduce.

If you want a happy ending that depends , of course, on where you stop your story.
ORSON WELLES

The month of April is now over and my contribution to INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH is complete! You can travel through this image yourself HERE.

I spent this month wandering through Breugel’s Hunters in the Snow with some colored pencils and a bit of imagination. All the entries will not be posted online, but some have been chosen to make the journey obvious.

Hunters in the Snow can be viewed on Wikipedia commons, along with many other works of art. Using the zoom function, I noticed intimate details that were never apparent before. Inserting the character into each scene was amusing and made Breugel’s world a true mind-space. This month, I found a world within a world and some interesting facts through research.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: MAN DOWN! copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All Rights Reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest: This will violate copyright! Do not reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: MAN DOWN! copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All Rights Reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest: This will violate copyright! Do not reproduce.

THE LITTLE ICE AGE!
The winter of 1565 was particularly harsh. The LITTLE ICE AGE followed a period of global warming.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: along the path. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest. It will violate copyright. Do not reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW: along the path. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do Not Pin on Pinterest. It will violate copyright. Do not reproduce.

THE GREAT SEIGE OF MALTA!
“Nothing is better known that the Siege of Malta.VOLTAIRE
Sorry Voltaire, but I am pretty sure this event was not covered in my high school history class. Human heads were used as cannonballs according to some sources. I would have remembered that little fact for sure. YIPES.

THE PENCIL MAKES A STAND!
Apparently 1565 marked the documentation of the pencil by CONRAD GESNER! How fitting, given the choice of pencil to sketch!

PLAGUE, ANYONE?
Breugel and Gesner both died of plague. In 1565, 25% of the population in Bergen died of this illness or cluster of illnesses. Breugel lived for 4 years after this painting was completed.

THE GOVERNOR OF THE NETHERLANDS WAS A WOMAN!
Margaret of Parma prohibited the import of cloth from London to Antwerp based on concerns that plague would be imported from England. GO MARGARET! Too bad she was a little late to the game, since mortality was high. My reading made it clear that the plague or plagues bouncing around Europe at the time are still not well understood by scientists. Some theories pose the possibility that an ebola-like illness may well have been the source of the BLACK DEATH. Apparently fleas may not have to take the whole rap!

Spending a month in this painting was a strange and compelling way to travel without luggage. The tiny booklet I chose was perfect for the amount of free time available. It was filled to completion with little sketches and notes by the end of the month. Gifting myself with new supplies was an added incentive to dig deep fast, experimenting with layered colors and simple combinations. International Fake Journal Month has proved to be a creative way to spend another April!

INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH with ROZ STENDAHL: walking with the hunters

April 12, 2015
HUNTERS7.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

HUNTERS7.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

The theme of this year’s challenge is CONSIDERED TRUTHS.

The invented character/author of the journal participated in the STARGATE PROJECT for the government as a remote viewer in the early 1990’s. In the late 60’s, the character may also have served as a casual source for remote viewing references in the novel GRAVITY’S RAINBOW.

HUNTERS8.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

HUNTERS8.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

The character’s skill in rendering was seen as an asset to the program. She could easily prepare convincing schematics and maps. It is supposed that the character generated evidence to document that remote viewing was indeed possible in the late 60’s, spurring or supporting funding for the STARGATE PROJECT. The STARGATE PROJECT was disbanded in the mid-1990’s supposedly due to a lack of actual or reliable data. Bone up your X-files to follow this train of thought!

HUNTERS9.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

HUNTERS9.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

At this time the character lives off the grid for security purposes. Travel to major museums is not possible, so she is trying to use images on the INTERNET to travel without luggage as a remote viewer.

The painting HUNTERS IN THE SNOW by BREUGHEL displays a completely invented landscape. This place never existed, and at no time could a person have stood in position to view this scene in a literal sense.

 HUNTERS10copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.


HUNTERS10copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

The author manages to insert herself into this space and begins to join in the activities of the town.

 HUNTERS11.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.


HUNTERS11.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

Sometimes the clothing is a little big.

		 HUNTERS12.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.She walks around the countryside freely, wearing a coral scarf to prevent getting lost in the painting.

 HUNTERS13.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.


HUNTERS13.copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, or pin on PINTEREST: that is violating copyright.

You can see past IFJM experiments here and here.

INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH with ROZ STENDAHL

April 7, 2015
HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 1 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 1 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

If you have been itching for a creative challenge, INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH is your opportunity this APRIL. Visit the link to understand the particulars of this activity!

Thinking about April began in February. The specifics of my project involve a few guidelines that will keep me engaged and productive over the course of a month.

1. The materials have no set up or cleanup time required. The palette will be limited.
2. The idea behind the project is simple.
3. Progress can be made even if I only have fifteen minutes to devote to the journal in a given day.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 2 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 2 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

MATERIALS

I have been experimenting with colored pencils and decided it was time to test a new brand. This is a medium I have only used for preliminary drawings, and I generally use ink for sketching. Change keeps you present! Why haven’t I used pencil lately?

I decided to buy a set of LYRA REMBRANDT COLORED PENCILS. This product has a reputation for being highly lightfast in balance, economical, and well designed. I did a clean sweep of old fugitive pencils in my studio and realized my stock was pretty old and battered. Immediately identifying a palette of about 10 pencils will help unify the booklet through the use of color.

I chose a small FABRIANO ECO QUA pocket journal that has just enough pages to document the month. They come in sets of 4 tiny notebooks. This size will help me find a way to use my limited time effectively. The paper is thin and smooth, so heavily worked drawing would not really suit these books. My goal is not to create masterpieces. My goal is to have an experience.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL 3, copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL 3, copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

THE IDEA IS SIMPLE

The challenge requires that you develop an alter ego as the journal keeper. My character is like ZELIG, traveling into and around a famous painting for the occasional cameo moment in present time.

The painting HUNTERS IN THE SNOW by BREUGHEL was important to me in my childhood, so my plan is to take a few minutes each day and virtually walk around in that environment now, using an image found online. I figured out some of the basics of understanding landscape by looking at this image as a kid. Studying the picture first in a textbook and later in a postcard bought on a class field trip to the MET, I began to question how one creates an illusion of depth. Mental walks through snow, woods and fields years ago were important to me in the bigger scheme of things. It was part of my youthful research method as a designer.

I want to use this activity as a meditation and as a way to travel without too much luggage. Hopefully, public posting encourages people to visit the painting and figure out where my character might be wandering. It is a different way of looking at art, and maybe others will want to play the game too.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 4 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 4 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

PROGRESS
I am going to measure my progress simply through participation. I am not so sure there is really any other yardstick that bears up under scrutiny anyway. These projects tend to develop their own life after the first ten days.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 5 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL, 5 copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL6,copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW JOURNAL6,copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not Pin on Pinterest or reproduce.

You can see past IFJM experiments here and here.

TRAVEL LIGHT

February 8, 2015
OUR TOWN CINEMA, DAVIDSON NC. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will  be in copyright violation.

OUR TOWN CINEMA, DAVIDSON NC. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation.

I decided to travel light at the end of 2014, using a very small sketchbook that could fit in my coat pocket. Most of these sketches use a fountain pen and a few markers.

BRICKHOUSE TAVERN, DAVIDSON, NC. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will  be in copyright violation

BRICKHOUSE TAVERN, DAVIDSON, NC. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation

The journal is 4.25″ x 6.25″ in dimension. The reduction in size helped me to loosen up and simplify the drawings.

PANERA: CONCORD, NC.  Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation

PANERA: CONCORD, NC. Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation.

Rapid sketching is valuable because it reinforces the importance of gesture, and lets you eat your meal while it is still hot!

TOAST: DAVIDSON, NC  Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation

TOAST: DAVIDSON, NC Copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD, All Rights Reserved. Do not Pin on Pinterest: you will be in copyright violation


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 287 other followers