Although I will work from photos, I so enjoy working from life. The freshness and spontaneity, the connection with the subject, provide such delight. Here are a few recent works from life. All drawing freehand on my iPad Pro, Apple Pencil between my fingers, using the Sketch Club app, one of the underrated art apps, and one I truly like. Here are a few recent sketches, from life.
Wouldn't it be great if it healed into a Harry Potter scar?
Fell on a trail and hit my head SMACK on a tree stump. I was a lucky, lucky girl. No broken bones. No brain injury. Yes, I am a very lucky girl!
The bluebonnets came early to Central Texas this Spring, blooming in profusion, so many, I found a few of the uncommon mutations, as well as some maroon bluebonnets, developed at Texas A&M. Those I found blooming on the grass by the parking lot of a mall Most likely an Aggie came along and strew the seeds at just the right time of year. I took these photos with my iPhone 5S, the Schneider Optics iPro macro lens attached, shot and edited with the Camera+ app.
I continue to work on my series of women wearing the hijab. Almost all of the references come from the Sktchy app for iPhone/iPad. I began this series as my personal statement of solidarity with those that a certain segment of the Western populations consider Other and therefore Dangerous and Undesirable. I find myself baffled by what part of "Love they neighbor as thyself" is hard to understand. But, of course, some object, "Who is my neighbor?", trying to narrow down the field.
I continue to draw/paint freehand, on my iPad Pro, using the Sketch Club app and a stylus.
I have been working on a series featuring women wearing the hijab. Lately, I'm incorporating the hand gesture known as the Peace Sign. This series is my mild-mannered statement against xenophobia. All created on my iPad Pro, using the Sketch Club app. Freehand digital paintings. Here are a few recent examples.
All references from the Sktchy app. Find it at the App Store, or check out the website: http://sktchy.com
I have continued working on my series of women wearing the hijab. All but one have used references from the Sktchy app, where people from all over the world post selfies for artists to use as inspiration. I've had to do quite a bit of scrolling on that app to find the hijab! Here are a few of the most recent pieces.
And, one from life. A woman I met at the coffee shop. She agreed to pose for me after I showed her some of my work.
I love to work from the live model. The connection made between artist and model is part of the process of creating a portrait. We are, as it were, collaborating on the artwork. A photograph does not establish that kind of connection. However, sometimes, the artist must rely on photographs. And, we would be naive to assume that Michelangelo, da Vinci, et al would not have used photographs. They would no doubt be doing digital art today as well.
Lately, I have been using the Sktchy app to find photo references when I lack the appropriate model. Available on the App Store. The developer's description of the app is short and sweet: "Sktchy connects people through art. Share photos to inspire artists to draw you." The premise is quite simple. People post photos of themselves, making them available for artists to use as a reference. Then, the artist, if she wishes, posts the resulting work. I decided to use the app to find references for people that I would have a hard time finding to pose.
In this piece, I was given the challenge to fill 48 squares with anything, anything at all. Here is the result, my mild-mannered statement against xenophobia. I had to do quite a bit of scrolling to find that many women, wearing the hijab!
Centuries ago, after hearing the words, "Love your neighbor as yourself," a man, asked, "Who is my neighbor?" Presumably, he wished to narrow down the field. We can try our best to whittle that field down, until perhaps no one is left. Or, we can open our arms wide, seeing all people as Neighbor, instead of Other. Is the world made of Them and Us? Or, is the world simply made of Us?
48 Women Wearing the Hijab
Later, I decided to further develop a few of the faces as stand-alone works. I am including the photos (all screen shots from the Sktchy app) alongside the resulting sketch.
Besides posting the result on the Sktchy app, I also posted the piece on the Sketch Club website. I created the piece using the Sketch Club app on my iPad Pro. To view the sketch stats, and to read comments about the piece, click this link:
Most of the comments were positive; however, one artist did post that I was "pandering" and that "white guilt got this elevated." In our polarized political climate, the simple depiction of women wearing the hijab offended at least that one person.
#hijab #sketch club #sktchy #digital art #iPad art
I know a very Americanized Muslim woman, who does not wear the hijab. She has the slightest of accents; her daughter born here. Living in Texas, she has become cautious about letting people know she is Muslim. The mosque in one of the adjoining suburbs was vandalized last year, the torn pages of a Koran, covered in feces, thrown in front of the building. Altho many in the community came together in support of their Muslim neighbors, the incident heightened fears in the Muslim population. Once, a stranger driving by yelled at her, "Go back where you came from!!!!"
We, as human beings, seem to be hardwired to separate people into "Us" and "Them," to recognize those who are members of our own tribe as opposed to those who are "Other." This woman has become, to some at least, the possibly dangerous "Other." A conversation with her inspired this sketch.
In the sketch, titled "Exotic Plant," a woman, wearing a hijab, hides screened behind a large leaf. The word "exotic" from Dictionary.com: "of foreign origin or character; not native, introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized." The word "plant" refers most commonly to flora, but can also be used as a word of suspicion. Again, from Dictionary.com: "A person placed secretly in a group or organization as by a foreign government, to obtain internal or secret information, stir up discontent, etc." In the western world today, the broader culture has come to see every Muslim as an object of suspicion.
Long ago, a man asked Jesus the question, "Who is my neighbor?" This woman is not my enemy, she is my neighbor. And, even if she were my enemy, Jesus said on another occasion, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." In the King James version: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." Perhaps these are the hardest words He ever said.
I decided to do a take-off on Botticelli's famous "Birth of Venus" -- making her older, but still lovely. I also very loosely based some of her features on my own. Of course, as they say, every portrait is, to one degree or another, a self-portrait. Not a "finished" piece, but more in keeping with the freshness and spontaneity of a sketch.
I love surreptitiously sketching other customers at the local coffee shop. Perhaps it would be polite to ask them first, but people just become so self-conscious when they know they are being sketched. So, please don't let them in on my secret...
Here are a few recent sketches. all from life, done on my iPad Air 2, using the Sketch Club app.
This lady was in an intense conversation. The sketch clocks in at 41 minutes from start to finish.
This young lady was leading the singing at a college worship service, help every Sunday evening at the coffee shop.
And this young man was preparing a presentation.
Hashtags would be, let's see: Sketch Club, digital art, iPad art, coffee shop sketches. Any more suggestions?