Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seeing The Light

Seeing The Light
~9 x 13"
acrylic on watercolour paper
© Nicki Ault, 2001

Well, my dry spell continues; a visual artist's equivalent of writer's block. I am hoping to break this unfortunate streak this week. I am going to the studio for sure tomorrow and paint is hitting canvas no matter what... unless anyone wants to go for coffee, in which case I could probably be talked into it! But no! NO! I must focus and try to get a feel for my new studio space. I just need to start working and hopefully I will begin to feel like I am a painter again.

In the meantime I have been doing more work at my house; the renos are winding down and it feels great. With furniture finally being delivered and put into place the fun begins... where will I hang my art collection? I have some wonderful pieces- local, Canadian and international- and now it is time to proudly display them in my home. And of course I must hang the pieces of my own art that I have kept for myself. I've said it before and I will say it again, there is nothing like living with original art.

I had to go into the archives for the image you see today. This is my first successful acrylic painting (at least in my mind). I kept it and I still love how the thing looks! It will be hung somewhere in my house, but I might have to update the frame first.

I put this quote on my Facebook page earlier today and it is really helping to inspire me:

 "Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen."
~Robert Bresson

So on that note, wish me luck for a day of painting... it is going down tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bargue #3 Continues

Bargue #3 (in progress)
graphite on paper

I went to art class last Thursday with a fresh sheet of Stonehenge paper in hand thinking I would be transferring my drawing now that the light and dark shapes are separated. Nope. I kept finding errors and spent the day correcting them. Now as I study this on the computer screen I see a few more mistakes so, literally, back to the drawing board I go!

Monday, March 10, 2014

My New Home Sweet Home

Well, the news is good... the permanent studio has heat, insulation and electricity! Yes!!! These are shots from the end of moving day (Friday) and it is already looking a lot more settled after Saturday and Sunday. I am sharing the space with Bridget Aitken and it may take a little time to sort out how we will best work together in this space, but I know we will make it feel like a second home for both of us. "The Studio On 20th" that's where I'll be if you need me! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bargue #3

Bargue # 3
articulated construct
graphite on bond paper

In this next step of the Bargue drawing I am working out the "articulated construct". Once all of the outside lines are determined (and they may still change as more measurements and alignments take place) then it is time to hone in on the inside shapes. At this point all of the smaller shapes within the "envelope" of the larger shapes can be mapped out. Heights and widths within the big form are found using alignments and comparative measure. Fun and challenging!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Day of Barguing

Bargue #3
gestural construct
graphite on bond paper

About a month ago I began my third Bargue drawing (based on the Charles Bargue drawing course) at Atelier 2302. I absolutely love this plate and hope that I will be able to do it justice. The second Bargue I worked on increased in difficulty from the first Bargue and now this third one is upping the ante yet again. Basically I am now at the level where the horizontal and vertical grid used for measuring is gone, I am creating my own gestural construct as opposed to copying it and I am enlarging the image so it is no longer one-to-one measurement. Yowsie! 

In the image above I am working out the gestural construct which is the start of the drawing (the image I am showing you is slightly further along than the initial gestural construct). Everything is kept very simple at this initial stage- mostly finding the outside shapes and the essence of the subject in as few lines as possible. Here all of the big shapes are determined, these will then contain all of the smaller shapes that will be worked out in the articulated construct. Working from big to small- that's what I am doing. Comparative measure is used to get this work done. A unit of measurement is chosen on the plate- I chose the lower right-hand vertical section of the base on which the figure is sitting. I enlarged it by about 25-30% when I moved that measurement over to the bond paper and now all else will be compared to that as I move lines and shapes over. It is hard to describe- sorry I am not doing a great job. Also, sorry my drawing is rather light and hard to see at this point.

I never seem to have the time (or make the time) to work on my drawing at home so I have decided to add in the Thursday afternoon drawing class this way Thursday is now a full day dedicated to the Bargues and my learning at the Atelier. I am usually a fairly patient person, but I really want to progress a bit more rapidly as I make my way to painting the figure.

Next stage of the Bargue tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Place To Call Studio


As many of you know, it has been a bit of an uphill battle over the last three months while I have tried to produce work in a temporary studio space. I have tried to stay upbeat and I have definitely been thankful for a place to "be", but it has not been without its challenges. The hardest part has been how cold the space is- cinder block walls with no insulation and no heat ducts to be found. Brrrrrr. It hasn't helped that this has been one of the coldest winters in Saskatchewan history. Apparently on average there are about 13 days colder than -30 C from November 1st until now; this winter we have had about 42 days with these temperatures. A gal starts to lose her upbeatedness! (I made that word up)

Anyways, I write with good news! I am moving to a new permanent studio this week! Seven of the artists from my old studio will be at this location as well as five new artists. I am excited for this next chapter to begin. I will be sharing a space with a good friend and fellow artist, Bridget Aitken, and hopefully we will be able to stop eating chocolate and laughing long enough to get some work done. I will post some pictures of the new space once we are settled.

So farewell to the chilly, light-challenged temporary studio, farewell to the graffiti and the white powdery mold growing on the walls, farewell to the rickety stairs going down to the bathroom in the basement, farewell to the indescribable odour lurking at every turn, farewell to the place my son thinks has seen the apocalypse. Fare Thee Well.... it's been real.