Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays, Enhanced Poinsettia Painting, by Kim Blair

 Poinsettia Painting
16x20, photo enhanced on a mac 

The original oil painting called 'A Touch of Lime,' was painted and sold a couple of years ago, but the image is one I enjoy looking at anytime of year.  Hot sunny Mexico is the place of origin for this beautiful plant, a member of the euphorbia family so it seems odd that it has become an iconic symbol of the holiday season.

Utilizing the photo booth app on my mac I transformed the painting into a graphic looking cartoon image... for a bit of festive fun! 

Happy Holidays... Peace and Joy to everyone.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ochre toned Avocado, pen and ink, by Kim Blair

Avocado Sketch
pen and ink on paper
(color enhanced in iphoto) 

A few clicks of the mouse in iphoto allows you to manipulate an image... new can become old.

Crisp white paper magically transforms into a page from an antiquated book, adding a richness to the original drawing... allowing one to believe that the sketch may be from a different era.  

You can view the original by clicking here.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bedazzle, by Kim Blair

oil on canvas

This painting caught my eye while I was looking through my inventory today.  Poppies have always been a favourite subject matter for me to paint and they have been very popular with my collectors.

Since the holidays are just around the corner... I wanted to remind everyone that this large silky bloom is for sale and would make a stunning gift.

Happy Shopping...

16x20 oil on canvas

Friday, November 22, 2013

Andrea, Modigliani Style, by Kim Blair

Andrea, Modigliani Style
20x16 oil on canvas

Andrea is a professional model who works for many of the artists and art schools here in Edmonton and surrounding area.  She was the model during our in-class assignment for copying a famous artist.

The long neck, thin face and vacant eyes probably gave it away... another painting in the style of Modigliani.  Andrea's naturally delicate features and tiny frame seemed to be enhanced by this style of painting and I am pleased with the results.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ferdinand, Modigliani Style, by Kim Blair

Modigliani Style
12x9 oil on Canvas

Portrait painting after the style of Modigliani... another assignment from art class.   Amedeo Modigliani was a contemporary of Picasso, and like Picasso, Modigliani was influenced by African Art.  He started out as a sculptor, creating long necked busts with blank almond shaped eyes, which carried over into his paintings.  His recognizable style of elongated necks and vacant eyed sitters created memorable portraits that contained an essence of the model sitting before him, (it is suggested that he even painted from photographs.)

Although some of his portraits were painted with eyes, the majority were painted with the haunting vacant eye shapes... embedded into the long thin faces perched atop the rather giraffe looking necks.  After studying and viewing a number of his portraits I found that I did not notice the absence of eyes... my mind seemed to fill in the blanks.

Both Modigliani and Picasso were influenced by African art... each of them absorbing and utilizing this influence in their own way, creating very different and unique artistic visions.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yellow Glow, and sharing some fun news, by Kim Blair

Yellow Glow
 10x8 oil on canvas

A few years ago my garden was packed full of golden yellow rudbeckia flowers, but now most of them have disappeared.  I thought I did all the right things... such as letting them go to seed in the fall and allowing the dried seed heads to be tossed about in the wind in order to scatter their contents in the garden... but perhaps the wind scattered them in gardens beyond my own.  Next year I will plant more.

*On another note I wanted to share with you that I was so fortunate over the weekend... I won an ipad!
ipad, still in the box

Needless to say I was over the moon with excitement about my luck, especially since my plan was to  purchase one next month as a gift to myself to use in my art practice.  Here is a photo of it still in its packaging.

After pinching myself the next morning I carefully unwrapped it.  Now to learn how to use it...


Monday, October 28, 2013

Brown Velvet, Oil Painting by Kim Blair

Brown Velvet
8x10 oil on canvas
Photo reference for Brown Velvet

Brown Velvet is another creation inspired by the same mass planting of Rudbeckias as my last post. The perky center of this flower resembles a chocolate gum drop with radiating petals that look like slices of dried mango fruit.   Too bad this variety of flower is not edible (at least I do not think it is)... but I know for sure my painting is not!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brown Beauty, Oil Painting of a Rudbeckia, by Kim Blair

Brown Beauty
8x10 oil on canvas

Rudbeckia Photo

Brown Beauty was inspired by this reference photo I snapped of some gorgeous rudbeckia flowers that were lovingly planted near a business a few blocks from our home, here in the Highlands... a few summers ago.   You can see where I made use of my artistic license by enhancing and changing a few areas... which re-enforces the concept that the reference material/photo is purely for inspiration and guidance.

Named after the Swedish botanist Olaf Rudbeck (1660-1740), these vibrant beauties provide nectar for butterflies during the summer and seeds for overwintering birds.

They add whimsy and interest to a winter garden when their petals have dropped and snow collects on top of their bulbous centers making them look like upside down exclamation marks!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Golden Flags, Oil Painting of Iris, by Kim Blair

Golden Flags
Oil on Canvas

While cleaning up the garden this fall I realized that we are lacking this variety of iris.  For some reason I thought we had a clump of these rich yellow/burgundy specimens in the backyard... perhaps I gave the last clump away by accident thinking I had lots.  This older variety of iris offers a lovely display of summer color and can be found in most of the mature gardens here in the Highlands... except for ours.

So here is my request.  If any of my subscribers in Edmonton have an extra clump of this variety and would like to donate it to our garden I would be most grateful... in fact there would be a little gift of a few of my art greeting cards as a trade.

Any takers?

The first person to email me with an offer of a clump of these yellow/burgundy iris wins!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On the Easel, by Kim Blair

On the Easel
Blue Wings and Blue Wings Too

Easels come in all shapes and sizes... from a simple table tripod to an ultra deluxe studio version that can hold more canvas than you might know what to do with.  

I recently read that the word 'easel' comes from a 16th century dutch word 'ezel', meaning ass... and the word 'horse' in English is used in a similar way to denote a supporting frame, such as a 'saw-horse'... you know those wooden frames or trestles that support wood for sawing.

Just a little painting trivia on a warm August day...

* (The large painting 'Blue Wings Too' is sold and living in a gorgeous little home in Lethbridge, AB, while the smaller painting 'Blue Wings' is on temporary display in Toronto, ON.)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Pencil Sketches, by Kim Blair

Focus on Features
Colored Pencil on Toned Paper

More homework assignments for my portrait drawing class...

Focusing on drawing specific facial features demonstrates the variation between individuals.  We only have to think of a loved one, or favorite celebrity to realize just how important individual features are in defining the certain 'look' of a person.
But, when someone says they can pick someone out of a crowd because of their uniqueness it is often the overall shape and size of the person that our eye picks up on when scanning a large group of people. 

The facial features are more important to confirm the identity of the person once we locate the individual within the crowd and are able to have a closer look at their face.

How many times have you been sure the person coming towards you is someone you know... you start trying to make eye contact, smiling as they get closer... and just before you say their name, you realize it isn't them?

Just one of life's more awkward moments...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Marian, pen and ink sketch on paper, by Kim Blair

 pen and ink sketch on paper

It was time to do some quick sketches from life in pen and ink as part of the homework assignment for a portrait drawing workshop I am taking... so I headed to a coffee shop where I could find a spot to sit and draw some of the patrons while remaining fairly anonymous.  Marian happened to sit down in the comfy chair next to mine and I boldly asked if she would mind if I tried to quickly sketch her portrait while she read her book.   After looking a bit surprised she agreed and was an excellent model!

Although I could only spend 20 minutes on this sketch (my parking meter was running out) I am pleased with the spontaneity of the mark making.  Pen and ink is permanent and therefore you must live with every gestural line you create, which was the whole point of the exercise.

(Click on the image for a closer look at the mark making)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Citrus Fruit Painting, A Slice of Lime, by Kim Blair

A Slice of Lime
oil on canvas

I was having one of those 'fruity' summer drinks the other day, you know the ones with a slice of lime sitting pretty on the rim of the glass, and thought about the series of paintings I created of lime wedges.

All the paintings had the lime section(s) sitting on a piece of crinkled aluminum foil.
The reflective quality of the foil produced interesting shimmers of light that gave the whole setup a rather ethereal quality.  Perhaps it was my imagination running wild from the 'fortification' in the drink I was using to drown my sorrows about having a nasty summer cold... what do you think?

Anyway I am almost over my cold (hurray!) so time to think about picking of a brush again.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a new sheet of foil! 

Wonder what I'll place on it this time?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Life Drawing, Graphite and Ink Study on paper, by Kim Blair

Life Drawing Study 
Graphite and Ink 
on paper
Life Drawing Study
Graphite and Ink 
on paper

Life drawing is always an adventure... you never know what may show up in your sketch book by the end of the night.   Each of these twenty minute poses had me working uber fast in order to get something down before the model moved into the next pose.

It's funny how twenty minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting in traffic, but during a drawing session time collapses... and twenty minutes feels like twenty seconds.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Woad is Me, self-portrait, by Kim Blair

Woad is Me
12x9, oil on canvas

Every once in a while my Scottish heritage shows up... or perhaps some distant Celtic roots.  The Celts often painted their bodies with a bluish dye derived from the woad plant, and although this portrait leans more to the purple side it does have blue tones... the complement to my orange hair.  I like to think that my warrior princess alter ego is 'captured' in this painting...

Woad is said to have antiseptic qualities, which may be one of the reason the Celts liked to paint their bodies with it before heading out to war (although some sources say the blue woad painted bodies is a myth, but certainly makes for a colorful story and perhaps frightening sight to behold on the battle field.)   Like broccoli, caulifower and rape seed it belongs to the Cruciferae family and sports fragrant neon yellow flowers that appear in May.

The blue pigment from woad was the only light-fast blue dye available in Europe from before B.C.E. until the 1600's when Indigo was introduced from Asia.  I read that there is a resurgence of growing woad and perhaps this renewed interest in the plant is fueled by research suggesting that it contains 20 times more glucobrassicin ( a compound that is said to fight breast cancer) than broccoli.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I See You, Do You See Me?, Self-Portrait, by Kim Blair

'I See You, Do You See Me?'
oil on canvas

I must confess that I have been allowing Toulouse-Lautrec to influence my paintings lately... especially some self-portraits I have been exploring... but of course Van Gogh is still in the picture too (pun intended).  Creating a self-portrait is a fun adventurous experience because one never really knows where your brush will take you.  By choosing to utilize Vincent and Henri's influence I am able to play with reality... exaggerating color and perspective.

My portrait journey will include other people and each portrait will be an exploration... 

In 1886 Van Gogh became a fellow student with Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris at the Cormon atelier, and they participated in a group show at the Cafe du Tambourin.   This Cafe may be the setting for a portrait Toulouse-Lautrec painted of Van Gogh (pastel on board, 1887) in profile sitting at a table, perhaps caught unaware, deep in discussion.  Discovering that they studied together and perhaps (as some have written) they influenced each other's work makes their art all the more meaningful to my art practice.

Frank Milner's beautiful book, 'Toulouse-Lautrec,' has been entertaining me over the noon hour lately... and I was starting to feel a tad guilty.

Maybe today we can all have lunch together! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

After Van Gogh, Patience Escalier, by Kim Blair

After Van Gogh Patience Escalier
17x15 oil on canvas
by Kim Blair

This is the second copy of an Old Master that I created for the final project in my painting course at the university.  Vincent painted the original in August of 1888.  He wrote to his brother Theo about a new model he was going to use to portray a peasant... an old man named Patience Escalier who was formerly a cowherd in Camargue, and now a gardener in Arles.

Van Gogh was inspired to infuse his work with more symbolism and mystery through the arbitrary use of color and brush work.  He chose to render this portrait of Patience with deliberate crudeness in order to portray his ideal of a rustic rural peasant from southern France.

I encountered many interesting challenges trying to copy Van Gogh's Portrait of Patience Escalier.  Energetic brush strokes that seem random when you are experiencing the painting as a viewer, made more sense when attempting to follow the mark making trail with a loaded paint brush applying the pigment to the canvas.
As I tried to match his color choices I started to see the connections  within the hues... while attempting to replicate his brush work I began to achieve an understanding of the order within the seemingly chaotic marks... especially in the blue background/sky brush strokes surrounding the straw hat.

The crudely rendered paint application and brush work of Patience's weathered face is mirrored throughout the painting.  Via his deft mark making Vincent successfully portrayed how this peasant/gardener was completely integrated with his rural life/surroundings... he had essentially become one with his environment.

Symbolism at its best!


Friday, June 7, 2013

After Van Gogh, Armand Roulin, Oil Painting, by Kim Blair

 After Van Gogh, Armand Roulin
by Kim Blair
oil on canvas
After Van Gogh, Armand Roulin
 beginning drawing in black oil paint of my copy

One of the reasons (as many of you may already know) that I have been posting less often for the past couple of years is that I am taking classes at the University, so I need to conserve my painting time for mostly homework and assignments.

Our final assignment for the painting class this term was to copy an Old Master, so of course I chose Van Gogh... I know many of you are not surprised by my choice of artist but you might be interested to see that I chose to copy one of his Portraits (well actually I did two, but the other one I will post at a later date) rather than his sunflowers.

Van Gogh had a love of portraiture... 'modern portraiture' as he called it, and he wanted to capture the 'essence' of the sitter before him rather than a perfect likeness.

 Armand is the sixteen year old son of the postman Joseph Roulin ( Joseph's portrait with his heavy beard posed in his dark blue 'Postes' uniform is one of the more famous portraits by Van Gogh.)

Vincent chose to paint a portrait of each of the five Roulin family members using different colors and various poses in order to portray each individual within the family unit.  Always the fast painter, he completed the portraits during a fews days near the beginning of December in 1888.

One little tid-bit  of information from the book I used for my research (Van Gogh Face to Face) said that the Roulins were a poor family when compared to Van Gogh.  Joseph Roulin housed and fed a wife and three children on 135 francs a month, while Theo sent Vincent 250 francs a month to live on (Theo paid for and sent Vincent's paints and supplies on top of this amount.)  Vincent, a single man found it difficult to serve on 250 francs a month!

*I wonder what the equivalent of 250 francs would be today... anyone know?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birds of Paradise, Oil Painting, Flying to Mexico, by Kim Blair

 Sterlitzia I
Sterlitzia II

Bird of Paradise is the common name for this flower, but it are anything but common!  An exotic bloom with a regal pedigree the complementary color scheme of bluish purple and orange will add a touch of spice to the right decor.

These two paintings are off to a new home in Mexico... and it sounds like I will have visiting privileges!

Have you been wondering how to hang a group of paintings in your home?  If so then you might want to check out this blog posting I found on hanging your art.

Both are SOLD

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Perspective, oil painting of red peppers, by Kim Blair

New Perspective
oil on canvas

Your first impression of a glossy thick skinned red pepper is that he/she is pretty sure of themselves and their place in the vegetable kingdom.  Its bright red exterior usually takes center stage when mixed  with other veggies on a party tray... often the life of the party this colorful extrovert can be mild mannered or a bit hot.

The interior of a pepper is beautiful too, and while taking a closer look you notice that it has a soft vulnerable side as well.   Pliable reddish orange flesh surrounds a soft creamy white focal point accented with a multitude of little white lentil shaped seeds... the heart of a pepper reminds us that what we see on the outside is often no indication of what lies within.

Sometimes a new perspective is needed...

Like a book... you shouldn't judge a pepper by its cover.

11x14 oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Red Head, Figure drawing in pen and ink with watercolor wash, by Kim Blair

Red Head
pen & ink with watercolor wash

Red Head is from a Sunday afternoon figure drawing session.   This model is a natural at posing for life drawing... you can tell she really enjoys her work.

Next time I attend a life drawing session I must remember to take along a watercolor pad for the final drawing/painting so that I can be sure that the paper will not buckle when I add the watercolor.  But this piece is a colorful addition to my sketch book, adding a bit more interest to my collection of drawings within the confines of the book.

My life drawing journey continues...

Red Head in Black and White
pen & ink with graphite

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mayan Gold, Avocado Painting, by Kim Blair

Mayan Gold
9x12 oil on canvas

We just returned home from a lovely two week vacation in Mexico and while we were there I consumed lots of avocados... in the form of guacamole.  Lucky for me some of the other people on the trip were 'guacamole experts' whipping up fresh batches every few days for the group to consume with corn chips along with their other specialty... lime margaritas!  Another member of the group assumed guacamole duty (and fresh salsa duty) later on in the trip, making sure we were never without this rich buttery treat.

Besides being a staple in Mayan and Mexican cuisine my research revealed that through the centuries the avocado seed and skin were also utilized for numerous health and beauty treatments.  One source suggested blending the soft buttery flesh with some honey and lime juice to create a nourishing facial/mask.

Avocados are 'Mayan Gold' ... a national treasure.


9x12 oil on canvas


Monday, March 18, 2013

Jester Red
12x9 oil on canvas

During Medieval times the Jester held a special place at court.  He (or she) was allowed to poke fun at the Courtiers and the King... often pointing out the 'Pink Elephants' in the room.  The Jester was encouraged to speak the truth, and because of his lower social status his honesty did not usually pose a threat to the King.  Being the court clown was the Jester's job and his clothing reflected this station in life... often multicolored or striped breaches were worn, along with a floppy hat over their shaved heads   ... a comical character not bound by the social structure of court life. 

Often trained as a musician and/or acrobat they spent their days and nights entertaining the Monarch and his guests, freely offering advise or insights through the power of comedy.

As the saying goes, "Many a truth was said in jest!"

Or as Mr. Shakespeare  wrote in King Lear... "Jesters do oft prove prophets."

12x9 oil on canvas

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Suzanne, Life Drawing , by Kim Blair

 Suzanne Thinking
Life Drawing, Ink on Paper

Suzanne Side View
Life Drawing, Ink on Paper

One Minute Poses with Suzanne
7 poses on a 9x12 
Life Drawing, Ink on Paper

The spontaneity of drawing a live model with pen and ink allows me to create line work that I feel is more alive than when I use a graphite pencil.  Using a pencil gives you the option to erase any line that you are not completely happy with while trying to capture the pose of the live model before you.  

There is a certain freedom in knowing that the ink mark you make on the paper is permanent.  No chance for perfectionism to creep into the drawing by fussing with an eraser trying to eradicate any line that you think might be less than perfect.

For me there is real joy and a sense of freedom in laying down vibrant energetic marks trying to capture the essence of the model.

The beauty of each mark stays on the paper...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Van Gogh View, by Kim Blair

Van Gogh View
11x14 oil on canvas

Most of you know that Van Gogh's work is a huge source of inspiration for my art journey.  Most days I have lunch or coffee with him via whatever book on his life or work that happens to be in my possession.  Recently the book, 'Van Gogh Face to Face, The Portraits' has been following me around the house.  Almost every page has an image of one of his numerous portrait paintings...vibrant creamy strokes of luscious color meticulously yet energetically applied to his canvas.

Thick swirls and expressive lines of paint sculpted with his brush to portray his view of the model.  Never meant to be an exact likeness of the sitter, his work was more about capturing a certain essence he saw in the individual person posing for him.

That's how I feel about my work... I am striving to capture the energy and vitality of my subject matter, whether it be a portrait... or a pepper.

$200.00 (+ $18.00 S/H anywhere in Canada) contact me for USA S/H fees.
11x14 inches, oil on canvas

click here to purchase

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oscar Night

Ferdinand and Kim
Oscar Party 2013

The Oscar party theme at our friends annual Academy Awards night party last month was to wear something glittery and/or red...

Ferdinand was able to make use of a fun dark green glitter vest we found for him while shopping at a costume store one Halloween, and I finally had an occasion to wear the bargain-bin black and red chiffon dress that I purchased on a whim a few years ago from a rather nice dress store.

Oscar parties are always a good time... lots of delicious finger food, some good laughs and of course the best part is playing 'the fashion police' when it comes to celebrity attire.

I think there is a little bit of Joan Rivers in all of us!

What is said at our Oscar parties stays at our Oscar parties...

(more pepper paintings coming up next)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Paper Sun, Collage, by Kim Blair

Paper Sun
6x9 collage on acid free paper

Paper Sun is part of my ongoing collage/mixed media series.  I added a bit more definition with some black ink using a nib pen.  My shoe box of paper choices is starting to get a bit limited and I may have to incorporate other source materials for future collage pieces.

The brown seed centers of these sunflowers have multiple layers of paper creating a bit more texture and depth.

* (click on the image to see the texture of the paper)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carolyn and Darrel, Semi-Blind Contour Drawing, by Kim Blair

Semi-Blind Contour Drawing
Pen & Ink on paper, 12x9
Carolyn & Darrel posing/sitting

 Carolyn & Darrel
 Scribble Gesture

Scribble Gesture of Carolyn

Last night was my night for figure drawing, and you can see from this posting that we had a male and a female model.   Carolyn and Darrel are very experienced life drawing models and I throughly enjoyed all of their poses.
As you can see from the first photo I chose to do a Semi-Blind Contour drawing of them during their final pose of the evening.  This final pose was only 20 minutes in length... (usually the last pose is 30 minutes) but I still enjoyed trying my hand at this drawing technique.
When you do a Semi-Blind Contour drawing you get to look at your paper once in a while to reposition your pen to start in a new area, but as with Blind-Contour the expectation is that you will try to coordinate your eye and hand movements by slowly tracing the edges of the subject with your eyes while at the same time moving your drawing instrument at the same speed that your eyes are moving along the edge subject.

Like magic a whimsical image begins to appear on the paper as your pen slowly twists and turns while  you try to fuse a connection between your eye and hand movements.

The end result looks like a quirky fusion of a cartoon and a character drawing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Self Portrait
18x6 graphite on paper

A Self Portrait is something most artists tackle.  As the model we are always available and don't squirm (much) during the session, although a few deep exasperated sighs can be heard now and then.

So I decided it was about time I delved into an ongoing self portrait project.   It is fascinating what you discover as you look intensely in the mirror... studying the subtle nuances of light and shadow along with the 'character lines' that make up our appearance.  The project has its sobering moments when you come face to face with the person staring back at you in the mirror and realize that you have no choice but to acknowledge what you see.

As the session(s) progressed I started to enjoy the process of looking... appreciating the time for a closer examination of the person in the mirror and reflect on what I was seeing.  

Perhaps one of the interesting things about doing self portraits (or anyone's portrait for that matter) is knowing that the artist has the opportunity to discover and portray the multifaceted personality of the sitter.

We really are more complex than at first glance...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oil Portrait, Copy of Siri, by Kim Blair

(attempted) Copy of the Study/Siri
 9x12 oil on canvas
(attempted) Copy of the Study/Siri
9x12 colored pencil 

A few of years ago I purchased a number of older issues of some art magazines and was instantly captivated by a portrait I saw in the August 2000 issue of 'The Artist's Magazine'.  The american artist Jerry Rudquist ( 1934-2001) painted a colorful 'alla prima' portrait of a young woman... I immediately tore the page out of the magazine and kept it in a folder for a few years before I attempted to copy it for learning purposes.

I was very sad to discover that this talented artist passed away at the age of 67, just a year after the article was published.  It would have been an honor to have taken a workshop with him.  His expressive brush work and unique color choices inspired me to study his style by attempting to copy his 8x6 oil study of Siri.   The colored pencil sketch (see above) I created this past September is a better attempt at copying the likeness of his original, but I had the most fun creating the 9x12 oil color study last week.  

The excitement of exploring color choices took over my brain and I missed the mark on making a better likeness, but I will attempt another copy.  My color choices are not the same as in the original by Mr. Rudquist's, but by observing his study I was inspired to experiment.   

Here is an interesting youtube video of Jerry Rudquist painting his own eye...  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Female Figure Drawing Study, by Kim Blair

Female Figure Study I
12x9 ink with ink wash on acid free paper

Female Figure Study II
9x12 graphite with ink on acid free paper 

Female, Scribble Study
9x4 ink on acid free paper 

The female form offers smooth flowing curves which gives me more opportunity to utilize fluid line work and tonal washes in ink.
It's not an easy job being a figure drawing model... you need strength and stamina to hold your pose for 30 seconds... to 30 minutes.  The shorter 'warm up' poses are usually more dynamic and spontaneous which offers the artist a very short period of time to capture the energy of the model's stance.

Obviously the model chooses to pose in a comfortable position for the longer poses which makes complete sense.  But even these more comfortable longer poses can take quite a bit of energy and focus, as the model needs to stay as still as possible, yet not fall asleep... on the job.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Figure Drawing Studies of Shelby, by Kim Blair

12x9, graphite, pen & ink study 
4x3, close-up of scribble study
 Shelby Lying On Her Side
4x8, ink study
Shelby in OM Pose
9x6, felt marker study

The time slips by at the figure drawing sessions... from the first few 30 second poses to the final 30 minute pose... the time seems to condense, creating a feeling that the evening was only an hour long rather than 3 hours.

Being completely engaged in the creative process seems to be the key to activating this 'time warp'.  Focusing my attention on drawing the model shifts my brain into auto-pilot, which seems to remove most of my awareness from the conscious level that deals with the relativity of time.

Or at least that's what I think may be happening?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Red Diner I and Red Diner II, Abstract Collage, Mixed Media Painting, by Kim Blair

   Red Diner I
6x6 collage, mixed media
on acid free paper

Red Diner II
6x6 collage, mixed media
on acid free paper

Whether you enjoyed your hamburger, fries and milkshake perched at the counter on a red vinyl covered stool or were lucky enough to procure bench seating in a booth you experienced a piece of American history that began around 1872.   A horse drawn lunch wagon selling sandwiches and coffee to late night newspaper workers morphed into a fixed establishment through the repurposing of railroad dining cars, and acquired the name 'diner'.

What most of us remember and still get to experience is the classic version that first appeared after WWII... a stream-lined chrome beauty styled to express speed and mobility... a futuristic design updating the original box car.

Diner cuisine seems to be going a bit upscale these days thanks to all the cooking shows on The Food Network, but I bet most of us still think of diner cuisine as 'comfort food.'

Enjoy your carbs... and then head to the gym!