Friday, December 24, 2010

Nyckelharpa Angel

Ridiculously, I was hoping that this week's topic would be "angel", since it was Christmas Eve and all and I was working on an angel picture, but I'm going to post an angel anyway, since they seem to go with winter. You make snow angels, and you sing about angels in Christmas carols, and angels are much more on your mind than in the muggy summer days.

This is a nyckelharpa angel. A friend of mind commented on an earlier picture ("Fiddle with the Devil") that the fiddle is always associated with the devil, and was banned in the churches of many European countries, the nyckelharpa is often depicted with angels. There are tapestries in old churches showing angels playing nyckelharpa. Of course my friend is a nyckelharpa player rather than a fiddler, so he might be a bit biased.

So this is my nyckelharpa angel. It brings to mind more lines, my favorite lines from "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"--about "the angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold", and :"the world in silent stillness lay, to hear the angels sing".....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Illustration Friday: Mail this one requires some explanation. Well, maybe not "requires" but I'm going to give it anyway. For the topic of "mail," I thought of angels sending messages down to earth, only people have to be open to receiving them, and so I started sketching what that might look like. And once I started sketching (in pen, because that's what I do--I was in the back seat of the car driving to Kansas City to shop for a coat for my son, who was driving), I immediately thought of my all-time favorite poem, "God's Grandeur" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and an image from the end about how the holy ghost is bent over the world with "warm breast, and ah! bright wings." So this is it. It's a doodle, done almost entirely in the car, and it is what it is.

Here's the whole poem:

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fiddle with the Devil

Nothing like being on vacation, where you STILL wake up at 5:15 (what's with that anyway? I was up watching a movie until 11:45....), but because you don't have to go to go running in the dark in order to get to work on time, you can spend three hours making a picture, and making gingerbread. Pretty luxurious, if you ask me.

This is the opposite of yesterday's fiddle picture, where the music is wafting all the stress away. This is musician as absolutely possessed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fiddle Bliss

***************The joys of pen and ink, and washes, and toothbrush spatters.....Last night the choice was a) grade Huck Finn exams or b) drink a Free State Brewery copperhead ale and make a picture. No contest, really.

The title comes from the total stress I'm feeling in my life. It's wreaking havoc with my body and state of mind. All that's keeping me sane is exercising, making art, and playing music. All three of those melt stress away....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Illustration Friday: Phenomenon

***************I am always loathe to make a new post after a post that I really really like, because anything else is always disappointing. But then I would never post again, and I can't have that.

So what these are is dream-sketches. Dreams are a phenomena that no one has ever been able to adequately explain. I'm taking them as mini-assignments. You have a dream, and the dream has images, but also has a feeling. So those primary images and that feeling is the starting place. How does one illustrate such a thing? Well. Here are three dreams from the past few weeks. I'm actually a little bit pleased with them, because they all capture the feeling I had in the dream. And the one about socializing under the stairs actually looks like the space under my stairs, even though I drew it at someone else's house. I guess I know what the space under my stairs looks like. It was in my dream!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Illustration Friday: Prehistoric

With the speed at which technology is changing, it makes the older people in our society seem prehistoric somehow. My grandmother and cell phones? Well....

Meeting Sketches

I'm so not a meeting person, yet alas, I have meetings I'm obligated to go to. Fortunately, no one seems to mind me drawing them. I'm discreet, I hope. I don't stare at their faces or anything, but I'm sure they know that I'm doing it. Occasionally someone will ask to look at one, but for the most part no one says anything. I wonder if they're humoring me like they might humor a child with no social skills....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Piano Jan

So...I've been thinking about "savour" pictures all week, and haven't made the "big" one that I'm wanting to make, but here's a smaller one in the meantime. I've been missing the messiness of my regular pens, so made some spatters first, but then when the stupid pen starts dripping blobs of ink, I wonder what in the world I'm thinking..... I added some additional blogs in hopes of evening things out, but I don't think that worked particularly well. So it is what it is, something squarely in the middle between like and detest. Something to put in a drawer and not do anything with....

So the Illustration Friday idea is that musicians SAVOUR the music they make. Always.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Skewed Sketch #5

I really need to find time to start some new pictures. I really want to do the Illustration Friday topic, savour, but need to to start. Here's another "skewed" sketch I did in school while my students were working on projects. These are gratifying, but not the projects I WANT to be working on....