My first portrait commission is of Rocky, a Cairn Terrier and the beloved pet dog of Pat, one of my bookish friends on LibraryThing. I’d spent maybe 4 hours on prep work and initial drawing stages of Rocky on a Strathmore drawing board which had been highly recommended by professionals, but which I hadn’t used before, when I was considering maybe starting over (see gallery image #1). This board has a slightly heavier texture than what I’ve gotten used to with the very smooth high-quality sketch-pad paper I’ve been using for the Metro Series, and I wasn’t sure I liked the way it was taking the pencil. The difficulty with this particular project is it’s all about ever so slight variation in tone and tiny flecks of white here and there, with hardly any real contrast or major variations in between. I’d gotten used to really controlling my strokes and having them creating a kind of subtle pattern with the Metro series, but on this board these strokes become diffuse even when I’m using mechanical pencils. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing after all to convey the furriness of our critter.
I was completely blown away last night at the National Theatre Live presentation of A Streetcar Named Desire…
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr ★★★★
Source: Abe Books
Edition: NYRB Classics (2000), Paperback, 135 pages
Awards & Distinctions: Booker Prize Shortlist (1980), Guardian 1000 (Love)
Original publication date: 1980
In 1920, Tom Birkin, a young art restorer who’s fought in the great war and come out suffering from shell shock, is hired by a small village church in Oxgodby, Yorkshire to uncover…
Book #175: The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann ★★★½
Source: Amazon Daily Deal
Edition: Ecco (2012), Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Original publication date: 2012
A young man called Emil Larsson decides to seek for help when he is told by his boss of a new policy wherein he needs to find a wife in short order to keep his post as a bureaucrat. He puts his hopes in a French-born fortune-teller who…
From information I’m gathering on rights pertaining to using images of people without their consent, it’s looking like I probably won’t be able to show my work in a gallery setting, which is what I suspected from the start. I just refuse to become an administrator and have to take care of legal issues and try to obtain those permissions—almost a lost cause from the start considering where I’m photographing, i.e., the metro, where people are in a rush and weren’t expecting or necessarily desiring to be photographed unbeknownst to them so they’d appear most ‘natural’ while they were on their way somewhere—because of how ridiculously stringent these laws have become. I’m an artist. Period. People steal images from the internet and do whatever they want with them all the time. Things are out of control. I should be able to draw whoever the heck I want to, as long as I mean them no disrespect and am not trying to make millions of dollars off them. Celebrated photographers from the past, whose work now hangs in museums around the world would never still be recognized as brilliant masters of photography if those laws had been in place then, and if things continue, the great great great grandchildren of those subjects in those photos on the museum walls might petition for those images to be taken down and taken out of circulation, since those subjects weren’t asked for permission back then either. It’s all just totally ridiculous. I happen to be inspired by the dubious poetry of getting “intimate” with total strangers on the metro by spending hundreds of hours drawing them in a photorealistic manner. So sue me.
That’s my little war cry for today.
Many hours later, and many, many, MANY trials and errors after that, the tones (darks and lights) aren’t quite worked out as I want them yet, but the newspaper, the hand and watch, and some of the embroidery details on the bag are starting to come together.
Book #173: ♫ A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens ★★★½
Narrator: Nicolette McKenzie
Edition: Isis Publishing (2014), Unabridged MP3; 7h23
Awards & Distinctions: Booker Prize Shortlist (1978)
Original publication date: 1978
On the day of her retirement from the sweets factory where she has been working for over 40 years, Miss Jean Hawkins has resolved this to be the last day of her…
The Rat by Élise Gravel ★★★★
Read for: Early Reviewers
Series: Disgusting Critters
Edition: Tundra Books (2014), Hardcover, 32 pages
Original publication date: 2014
As the back cover informs us, Montreal writer and illustrator Élise Gravel has always been fascinated by disgusting little creatures. At three-and-a-half, she founded the Organization for the Defence of Disgusting Critters, of which she…
Book #172: La Nuit du carrefour / Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon ★★★★⅓ Source: Municipal Library…
Happy Labour Day everyone! We celebrate it here in Canada too; mostly it means the end of summer (sniff!) and the turning of a new leaf.
August Reading Stats
Total books: 28 (same as July)
Graphic Novels: 9
Mystery / thriller: 7
Historical fiction: 2
Series works: 17
Male : Female authors: 11 : 6
Off the shelf: 5