A few 5″ x 7″ doodles

These are a few 5″ x 7″ doodles on hard board. These works, among others, were presented to my brother in Texas as a Christmas present this year (we met them halfway in Oklahama City yesterday and drove all the way back last night getting home around 1:30 am – fyi – If you are looking for 435 in Kansas City, DO NOT TAKE 135 after the toll booth – take 35 instead! Also, there’s a nice little connector off of 435 that will let you hook over to just south of the Independence Mall that we found for the second time on accident last night – nicely done happy accident since that saved us some time – hard to miss that connector since it veers off to the right so it’s really an exit but seems to not be). Any work that is ‘from the imagination’ instead of depicting something like an illustration or drawing from life, I consider a “doodle.”

The color ones are mainly color pencil or color pencil sticks. The white one is china marker. There’s also a little China marker in some highlights on some of the color ones since I like to use china marker and prismacolor color pencils as top layers to add extra ‘punch’ to Crayola and Roseart (cheap color pencil) underlayers that get worked and reworked over and over. The white of the china marker can’t be beat nor can the pigment in the Prismacolor for the final touch.

Many artists use Prismacolor only and never use other brands. I think that’s just wasteful spending since Prismacolor color pencils average about a dollar a piece and on some really layered works I can rework an area enough to burn several pencils on one drawing sometimes. For underlayers expensive pigments in Prismacolor is not needed if you are going to work, re-work and then re-work again a few hundred times as I like. It is a nice touch for top layers, but for underlayers, it can get very expensive very fast for something that I’ll just essentially erase away and smudge to death so that the pigment itself isn’t visible anyways as it gets coated by layer upon layer of wax with more new layers on top.

In the upcoming year I plan to create many more 5″ x 7″ works. I love this size since it’s exactly twice the size of traditional “art cards”, exactly the same size needed for postcards or framed reproductions, and is just right for travel or hanging in a home vs larger works that work better in galleries that have tons of wall space.

I’m also starting to experiment a little bit with mixing color pencils and oil pastels with encaustic painting (wax painting that basically mixes oil color with a mixture of bees wax, paraffin wax and some manmade waxes to add more durability as bees wax and paraffin are both extremely brittle under certain conditions). I’m not sure I can do much with it since the encaustic doesn’t take the color pencils too well, but if the color pencils are the lower layers it might lead to some interesting potential as the encaustic can be layered three dimensionally much more than flat color pencils can by themselves.

I probably don’t have enough room for it now where we are currently located, nor will I for the next few years, but I’ve always wanted to experiment with mixing plaster sculpture and encaustic painting techniques someday. That’ll be many years down the road though. This upcoming year I really want to focus on the 5x7s and really ‘learn’ all the techniques and tricks I can about working on these small panels.

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New Years Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Exercise Regularly, and avoid setbacks like the stab wound, hernia surgery, Bursitis, etc. from this year. If a set back does come my way, get back on course and stay on it with a quick recovery. (no more weeks off at a time). I’ll probably start light with once a day workouts. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the twice a day like I was doing before the hernia (which wasn’t technically a hernia, but was close enough that they had to do a surgery). I probably won’t keep up the 1000 day tracker thing any more since that is ultimately still the goal, but tracking it puts too much stress on myself (might be part of the reason these set backs came about? The UNIVERSE/Subconscious/Collective Subconscious/Gut Feeling is telling me that’s not the right way to do it. I still will track things, just not exactly that way)…

I DO PLAN to still eventually get to my goal BMI weight over the course of roughly 1000 days or a little over 3 years, regardless of if I’m tracking it or not. I HOPE that it won’t take that long… but if I do things slowly and only workout 20 or 30 minutes a day, I suspect that it might take that long or longer… the two a day workouts exist basically to increase the calorie burn per day to get to goal faster. Time-wise though, I’m not sure 2 a day workouts are really feasible… I might try walking on breaks at work again to help with that, but am not sure about that or not. ‘breaks’ exist to take a break and center/calm… adding more stress in the form of physical activity at those time might not be the best thing to do?…

2. Get back in to creating art regularly. This includes drawing and painting at the moment, both digitally, and on paper/board/canvas, etc. It might eventually include creating 3d models too, and probably will include photography, but only time will tell if those will be main focuses or not. I will likely have to fire up the ol laptop to get the scanner running again since it doesn’t work with this computer… However, instead of scanning stuff, I might try shooting it with a camera instead?… I’ve never done a very good job of shooting my works with a camera, in part due to lack of practice. Might have to change that?

3. Learn to play music. I’ve had this midi keyboard for years, but have never really learned to master it yet. I’m not just going to do midi though. This includes some other stuff too probably. I found this learn to play music app/youtube thing the other day – and so far it’s taught me that I have been playing wrong up til now since all the beginner books teach you the wrong placement of fingers… 12312345 is better than 12345. I’ve read/heard some interesting info about studies on how music can help those with Alzheimer’s. It helps them increase verbal skills/patterns, etc. I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s, but I do think that the more I get in to visual art, the more tendency that I’ll have to get some symptoms that are similar somewhat. It has to do right/left brain usage. The more I dig in to the visual pattern thinking mode, the more I start loosing memory due to loosing connections verbal pattern thinking mode.

If I study music and visual art simultaneously I’m hoping to overcome that hurdle because even though I think having memory loss, etc. is not a ‘bad’ thing, it is an annoying thing. It’s never good when getting so deep in to creating a painting/drawing that you forget where your keys are, forget pieces of conversations you just had 2 hours or less ago, forget where you placed some tool you just had in your hands less than 10 minutes ago, etc. In the past I’ve overcome that sort of thing by mentally just telling myself it’s ok… When it first started happening many years ago, it would freak me out big time, and I’d go on crazy panic attack induced searches around the area for those lost keys, tools, etc. til they were found. I learned that it’s not as important to do that the more that I studied/learned the connection between that sort of thing and right/left brain connections. However, I’m hoping that learning music can help that sort of thing just get bypassed… also am hoping that maybe it can help me stop the eventual possibility that I’ll actually develop true Alzheimer’s down the road as it does run in my family a little.

Learning to play music will probably include learning to do some remixing type of stuff, and possibly writing some music, etc. I’d love to be able to integrate visual and musical arts sometime down the road… but only time will tell how that will happen. I don’t necessarily like animation since it takes so many hours of work to get just a few seconds of results. However, I’m not going to limit myself and say I won’t do animation/3d type stuff. I likely won’t upgrade Lightwave though since it’s expensive. I might possibly try to learn blender, but that seems like a difficult task. Only time will tell what I’m going to actually do. However, I do know that I want to try to set aside some time to learn to create music before I try to teach myself to manipulate it as background noise for visual arts since that’s a skill I’ve needed to learn for a long time but never took the time to really master yet.

4. Eat Right. I’m probably going to try to do more of the ‘No S’ Diet… “No snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes – on S day(s).’ I’ll probably try to check sugar more regularly too maybe. I’m say maybe because the Doctor says that if I keep on track I probably won’t have to check it but about once a week or so… the trick is staying on track… it’s so easy to fall off track…

5. Write things down. I’m going to try to do ‘morning pages’ from The Artist’s Way again. I’ll probably also blog some since that is sort of similar to doing that. I will likely burn through a lot of paper, and it won’t all be on acid free stuff that will still be around after I’m long gone for many years as it will age and turn yellow, but that’s ok. I might also try keeping multiple notebooks to notate various things like I’ve tried in past years some…. I might get in to using sketchbooks more too, but we’ll see. I’m not sure I can afford to buy a ton of sketchbooks regularly, at least until after Tekla graduates from Massage Therapy school in about 8 months.