Remember those road trips you took with your gal pals in high school and college? I’ve been reminiscing lately about those adventures. I miss those days sometimes. There is always a soundtrack to those trips that can transport you back in time. It’s good to have memories!
I don’t know how or why, but for some reason my husband puts up with me. I just want to say right now, if you like a perfectly neat house, never marry an artist. I mean, I have taken over the little guest house we have and filled it with easels and paint and canvases. Everything is art, art, art up in there. It’s like sitting inside a rainbow. There is no color scheme unless you count all the colors as a color scheme. Not to mention, I keep collecting odds and ends that I might need someday in a collage or sculpture or to make a stamp out of. I have even saved the plastic netting my lemons came in because that netted plastic might make a really cool stencil on something…someday. If I can find it.
Anyway, over the winter I took over the dining room table because my studio was cold. It happened again. Last night I claimed the dining room table as all mine…ALL MINE. I had to paint, but I needed to be near Tiny-Small who was busy simultaneously watching Mulan, eating a snack, and playing with her imaginary friend Boo-Boo, who we found out is a dog, is brown, is big, and likes to pet Tiny-Small. He is also gender neutral because while she calls him a “him” she also says he is her girlfriend. It looks like dressing her only in green and yellow baby clothes finally paid off. Anyway, this morning my dining room table looks like this because I literally painted until two minutes before I went to bed. Best night ever!
I don’t know how Jim puts up with me. He never complains. Meanwhile, I am always annoyed that he leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor or keeps every scrap of paper he encounters in a day in a pile on the kitchen counter. I think he is probably going to win spouse of the year award for putting up with my bad habits. Unfortunately, I am totally losing for my ungracious nature and messy I-own-this-table year round behavior, but also winning because I married the spouse of the year award recipient. Yes, Jim is still getting the short end of the stick, but that probably happens a lot to people who get these type of awards, don’t ya think?
I have more than one bad habit when it comes to making art. I probably have too many to list here, but I will tell you I have an unhealthy obsession with art supplies. I want them all. One of each, at least, to be precise. As soon as I try something new I read about something else new and have to try it…right now! TODAY! I recently read that most women spend their extra money on their appearance. What does it mean that I spend my walking around money on Stabilo pencils and paint markers? It means I walk around looking like I bought my clothes off of the thrift store clearance rack…because I did. Yes, this is what happens when your spouse is an artist. You have to suffer their throw-back appearance, unkempt hair, and watch them spend your hard-earned money on pastel crayons and fancy papers.
I don’t know how Jim puts up with me and my obsessive nature. I paint face after face…three in one day yesterday, and he compliments every single one as if he has never seen it done before. When I day-dream about a new watercolor brush, he comes home with it to surprise me. When I apologize about the table being covered with all of my stuff he pretends he doesn’t even notice. When I don’t sell any paintings he reassures me that I will next week. He says he doesn’t care about having a neat house with perfectly clean and tidy everything. He’d rather be married to an artist. He’d rather be married to me.
I guess I can forgive him for leaving his shoes in the middle of the floor…at least this once, right? I mean, it’s the least I could do for this man who loves me enough to put up with my bad behavior. He even does it with a smile. He is totally winning that award this year, even if I have to make it myself…on the dining room table.
Over the weekend I downloaded this video The Whimsical Face by Jane Davenport. I’d seen the video go by on Pinterest about a week ago. I follow this magazine called Cloth Paper Scissors on Pinterest and they had pinned scenes from the video and I thought it just looked really fun. Jane Davenport promised to instruct us on how to draw and paint faces. Yay! Also, I could seriously use some help in that department.
I recommend following Cloth Paper Scissors or just subscribing to their magazine because they have really cool art and craft tutorials and excellent artist interviews too. Also, if you love crafts, but never get around to doing them, they have gorgeous pictures of other people’s work. It’s like you were there doing it yourself, I swear! Not to mention if you go to their website, you can get a bunch of free tutorials and e-books with instructions on all sorts of things, like how to do photo transfers and make art journals. Cool stuff!
Anyway, the video has been really helpful. I have drawn a bunch of faces using Jane Davenport’s instructions. Some have come out pretty good too. I showed one to Tiny-Small and she said, “That not a person, mom, that a gurl.” I showed her another face and she said, “That boootiful and scary.” I think she was spot on with that description because that particular woman-drawing looked like she’d undergone some serious plastic surgery and suffered from cat-like feature distortion.
About half way through it became clear that my people looked less whimsical and more like heroin addicts or, at the very least, manic-depressive teenagers. Well, the stereotype of manic-depressive teenagers. Whatever that means. I am probably just offending people left and right at this point. So, my whimsy wasn’t so whimsy. Instead, my drawings looked very serious which was probably just a reflection of my concentrating so hard to draw noses and eyes and whimsical chins. Faces are hard to draw. At least they are for me. I tend to make the eyes way to big, try not to add a nose at all (and hope nobody notices) and make mouths that look just like the Jokers…from Batman. So, yeah, this video was all sorts of awesome.
Jane Davenport walks you through the facial anatomy and then gives you permission to distort it all on purpose. The best part was learning how to make an easy nose. Since I am not going for photographic realism (I have a camera for that) this kind of drawing was right up my alley. I had a blast making faces. I’ve watched the video twice already. I think it’s appropriate for a beginner. She goes over the materials list at the beginning which is really helpful. I didn’t have all of the materials on hand, but was able to get what I needed at Wal-Mart. She uses professional art supplies, but tells you to go out and buy crayola colored pencils if that’s easier, so I did. They worked fine!
Anyway, I just wanted to share my little art adventure with you. I am working on faces because I want to add more people to my paintings. I also want to paint from my imagination more than I have in the past. Next I will be researching how to paint bodies with better proportion…then hands…then feet. Yikes! Maybe, instead, everyone in my paintings will just be wearing mittens and shoes. That would be so much easier. Winter scenes forever! We’ll see.
*I was not compensated in any way to write this. The artist, Jane Davenport, probably doesn’t even know I exist and neither does Craft Paper Scissors magazine. I just wanted to share my experience with you. I paid the full price to download the video. I get the magazine on my Nook.
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