Thursday, May 7, 2009

To paint or not to paint...

Last week was Ben's birthday. And he wants to go out to dinner. Since it's his birthday, his brother Matt, friend Dave and I give him free reign to chose a place to eat. I could have guessed ahead of time...he picks all you can eat sushi. This boy is a fiend for seafood...especially of the Asian persuasion. I personally have a strong dislike for seafood and Asian food (except for greasy mall Chinese) and I don't eat meat or fish anyway. So I ate falafel in the car on the way over.

You're probably wondering what that has to do with painting... Well...while the guys were eating mounds of colorful and artfully made sushi, I was inspired to do some sketches. I used the back of the order sheets and the red pens they provided us and did three handsome sketches with the idea to turn them into paintings.

I used to paint and draw a lot when I was in school. I would enter my work into art shows and contests and even the county fair and collected my fair share of prizes...but it's been years since I sat down and finished a real painting. But now I have a new breeze of inspiration and was dreaming up a whimsical series of paintings with my spun cotton characters as models. They'll be in fantasy land surroundings in soft colors with fun props and pretty borders within a border. You'll want to jump right into the painting and explore the crazy world yourself...or at least that's my aim.

The sketch above is my favorite out of the three. These birdies aren't gathering on the usual telephone wire, but on a series of perches in a vast field with a string of stars at the top.

I like this one too. A cat girl swings from a flying arbor while rabbits nibble on cabbage below her feet.

This is the first one I did while sitting at the sushi restaurant. It needs a little revising, but the main idea is there...a talented ballerina bear performing at the circus.

I want to show you some paintings I did a few years back. I plan to paint my new pieces in a similar style as the marriage of frog and bunny above and as George Washington below.

This painting I did while I was in college. My professor kept trying to push political view points and beliefs into our paintings while I just wanted to paint something pretty. This under water scene is called "Undoing Pollution". It's suppose to look like humans (the guy in the boat) are trying to replace the ocean they lost by abusing it. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the fish are fake and are tied to the ocean floor with string. One still even has a price tag on it. And someone got their facts mixed up and tied a seagull to the ocean floor as well. The seaweed is actually the plastic seaweed you buy for your fish tank with the plastic anchor at the bottom. The guy in the boat is dumping seashells into the water...even though there are no living animals in them. There's an old upholstered chair too. etc. etc. This was as close as I could come to a political painting...but at least it's a cause I believe in!

Some simple graphite and charcoal's been a while since I've done that too!

And photography...this is something I'll most likely never do again! While it was fun taking the photos, developing them in the dark room with the smelly chemicals and all the disappointment in the many terrible photos...I think I'll leave the picture taking to the pro's. These three are some of the few that turned out ok. My dad poses with his gun (he wouldn't let me take a photo of him without it...sheesh). Little Phil (a family friend) reaches to pet a cow. My sister Sara with a fake smile.

Well...what do think? Should I put down my cotton for just a bit and pick up a paint brush or would you rather see more figures? Be honest! :)


Heather - Speckled Egg said...

Um. Are you serious?!?!? LOVE your sketches... and older paintings too! The rabbit and frog are fabulous!

You are SO talented!!!! PLEASE keep painting! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree! Your paintings are beautiful and have the same qualities that make your figures so exceptional. Keep painting!!! ... but don't put the cotton down for too long!! Looks like you have one more thing you need to make time for in your already long list! J.

Mary said...

I really like your sketches also. I think it is fine to do whatever you choose, you are so talented!

BTW, just wondering if your decision to not eat meat or fish is a result of being raised on a farm?

laurie magpie ethel said...

You are one crazy talented gal Crystal. That painting of George Washington is great! Can you just not sleep and do both painting and your spun cotton. They are both amazing ways to communicate your artistic ways!

Judy said...

Beautiful paintings. I love the sketches. You are so talented.

Jennifer Sand said...

I LOVE all of the sketches especially the ocean. You are talented beyond words Crystal...keep shooting for the stars in all that you do! : )

Old World Primitives said...

You are an amazingly talented painter - I vote keep painting!