clhollandwriter: (marchin)
Last week, we went to a local museum that was holding an exhibition of works by Alphonse Mucha, who was a Czech Art Nouveau painter. That's not the reason we went, but the museum holds different exhibitions a couple of times a year and this was the latest.

Art Nouveu's not really a style that's ever interested me, but I loved some of the works on show. It appears that Mucha did advertisment posters in the same way Benedict Cumberbatch does acting - he did everything. Biscuits, beer, cigarettes, you name it he did an advert with a pretty girl in. He also did various series of linked works, with the models embodying things like the arts, or precious stones. We came away with a print of The Seasons.


For some reason, the image in the gallery - and the print we bought - has Spring and Summer round the wrong way (as here), which bugs me a little. It's still very pretty though.

The one that really caught our attention, though, was the poster he did for Sarah Bernhardt's production of Lorenzaccio, which starred Sarah Bernhardt as Lorenzo de Medici. I didn't know she played male roles, but there was a poster for her Hamlet as well, Typically, we couldn't even find a postcard of Lorenzaccio. We've agreed that if we ever win the lottery we'll be buying a full-sized copy. At around two metres tall, it would look great at the top of the stairs.

Busy Sunday

Aug. 7th, 2011 10:43 pm
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
We got up early this morning to go and see Captain America - it's a good thing our local cinema does coffee. I enjoyed it more than I expected as it had a sense of humour about itself. In hindsight I don't know why I expected anything else, since the other Avengers lead-up movies have been the same. And, after a disappointing wait through the credits of Thor it was nice to see the Easter egg back, even if it is a bit of a cheeky cheat.

Plenty of things to do this afternoon, but I settled on doodling with pastels and tried out my new easel. It certainly made things easier, and I love having the sapce in the box to store all my bits and pieces. I did one of the tutorials from Jenny Keal's Painting With Pastels, and while it wasn't great (I had all the wrong colours and had to improvise) at least it showed me I don't suck as much as I think I do.

Then I spent this evening getting submissions back out the door. And now it's late so I should get to bed. Oops!
clhollandwriter: (moon)

Writing used to be something I did only for fun. Then I sold a couple of pieces and suddenly a whole lot of work got involved - planning and plotting, polishing, looking for markets, submitting, getting rejected and submitting again, contracts, rewrites, marketting...... Somewhere along the way it went from being the kind of hobby where you experiment in the kitchen with whatever's left in the fridge to the sort where you're putting on dinner parties for multiple guests.

With this in mind I went back to a hobby I'd only dabbled in before - art. In a frenzy of experimentation I bought different kinds of pads, sketching pencils, charcoal, granite sticks, soft pastels, oils pastels. I drew the line at paint, since I don't have the space for an easel or dozens of abandoned half-finished projects, but I certainly bought one of almost everything else from the local art store.

Now we come to the problem. Nothing ever looks on paper like it does in my head. In my head I know how I want it to look, but it always seems to manifest as something else. Pencil lines don't go where I want them to, colours turn out the wrong shade, or I just plain don't know how to make the darn thing look like I want, and belatedly I realise that this is the reason I gave up art in my teens.

Even if a picture starts out looking fine, one wrong stroke or an ill-applied spot of colour can ruin the whole thing. It's difficult to erase a huge blob of yellow sky that's actually supposed to be an arch of delicately flowering laburnam*, and it's disheartening to have to start again from scratch when you make a mistake.

Writing's not like this. In writing you do a first draft, and then you edit that into a pleasing shape. If you accidentally erase a chunk of text, or type with the Insert function on**, you can hit Undo. If you kill a story in a rewrite, you can always go back to an old save. With art you can go back to your composition sketch, but then you have to retrace your steps to get the effect you had before your picture started to go wrong. It would be like going back to your hand-written notes and a blank white page when you realised that your main character needed to be made less passive.

The thought of having put in all that work for nothing is the reason I have a tin of watercolour pencils I've never even taken the wrapper off. It's why I threw out the idea of making my boyfriend a portrait of his cat as an anniversary present. Because if I don't try I've got all these potential pictures to look at in my head, but if I try to make them real then I might actually have to look at them.

But, art is not writing. I'm not trying to sell my misbegotten creations to anyone so no one else has to see what I draw. Sometimes, it's fun to play even if it means you fail.
 

__________________________________________
* Yes, I have done this.
** And this.
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
Very busy day today - got up at 8 because of all the pesky daylight. Watered the plants, scrubbed the bin, tidied the living room, did some shopping, made sweet potato and red pepper soup, made lemonade, and did five lots of laundry.

I feel accomplished, but I haven't got a single word written. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Yesterday I bought some pastels and a pad, and also a book about drawing, pastels, and calligraphy. And discovered that pastels are scary! At least I understand drawing with pencils.
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
I did my usual Costa run this morning, plus it's lovely and sunny today so I'm thinking about trading in some overtime to leave early. That way I can go to the art shop on the way home as I'd like a putty eraser, an A4 pad, and a graphite stick. The drawing's going well, and I'm really enjoying it. So much so that I'm thinking about buying some pastels. The bf will despair. :D

The writing is going well, although I'm having some trouble with the MC of my current project. she's supposed to be....not feisty exactly, but certainly not as wet as she's being. My plan is to worry about it later. First drafts are allowed to suck!

The gardening is not going so well.  The aubergine started to die pretty much as soon as we put it in a bigger pot, and on Wednesday we had gale force winds and rain so a lot of the carrots don't look like they'll make it. The rest is doing OK for the moment, with the plants in hanging baskets looking the happiest - we'll have to try that again.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Everyday Weirdness has accepted "The Owl and Great Cthulhu" for publication! That and a payment of enough to fuel my next trip to Costa meant a good start to the day.

On the down side, it looks like the aubergine and some of the carrots aren't going to survive repotting. Oh well, it happens. As long as we get enough veg to make it worthwhile I'll be happy.

I sat down and did some drawing yesterday, for the first time in ages. The bf was quite surprised, as he'd never seen me do it before (yes, it's been that long!). It was good fun. Now, if only I could get the cats to sit still..... Getting back to it was actually spurred by our recent trip of one of the local castles, where they don't allow photography. The plan is to practice (or practise - I can never remember which is the verb and which is the noun!) and then to go back with a sketchbook. If they allow people to hang around drawing things, that is.

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