So, it has been awhile. The second half of 2016 became busy and crazy, filled with tremendous change – in my own life and in the world around me. I moved, simplified, and changed my name. (The official change is still in process, but soon…) My new name is Artemis, and with it I am starting a new blog. You may find it here: artemisoconnor.com.
I will still continue to post my art and my creative process, but I will also be writing more – philosophical musings, poetry, and even an occasional political rant. I have been too quiet for too long.
Above is my latest painting entitled “The Red Belt”. I found an image of a woman in the 1930s standing in this pose. It looks like one of those depression photographs that were done to document the hardships everyone was enduring. She looked so strong and intense. I was intrigued by her pose. Why do you think she is standing like this with the backs of her hands facing outward, looking somewhat defensive and resigned at the same time? Your interpretation is as good as mine…
Please follow me on my new blog,
I wonder if authors are surprised when a character flows out from their pen or keyboard a fully developed personality with a complete life history. I know the usual process is to agonize over every detail and change character traits until it gels into the person which fits the story. Sometimes, or so I hear, the character just flows, as if it wants to be born.
When I started drawing the girl below, I did not have a reference, nor did I have a vision of what I wanted her to look like. She just came to the paper, fully developed.
I look at her now and start to image the details of her life, her likes, her dreams, her personality. It is like having a baby (OK it is not really, but stay with me for a moment). You put something of yourself into the creation, but in the end, they are their own individual entity – marvelously unique. I wish all drawings flowed so easily!
I have some exciting changes going on in my world. I am downsizing from an 1100 square foot 3-bedroom house, to a tiny 500 square foot (or so) 1-bedroom apartment. Yes, I will officially be a tiny house dweller. I will also be renting an art studio in a building with other artists! I am sad to leave my home that I love, but I am looking forward to more financial freedom, less stuff to take care of, and my very own studio space! I will post pictures as I make the move.
It has been awhile since I last posted. Work and life has been busy, although that is not a very good excuse I know. I have often let life get in the way of my creative expression. I am currently taking steps to free up more of my time and energy to redirect towards my painting and creative work.
Since my last post I became a member of the Hyattsville Community Arts Alliance and have been exhibiting my work in my area. Currently, my newest painting, Light Spirit, is hanging in the Doctor’s Community Hospital in Lanham.
Light Spirit 12″x12″ Acrylic
A friend I met last year at Squam Into the Mystic has purchased the painting! It brings me so much joy to know others like my work enough to want to own a piece. This painting started as a much more controlled (and boring) figure. Then I started playing with blurring the edges between the figure and the landscape, as if they were part of each other. It became impressionistic and much lighter in mood. I may play with this method more in the future. I love the result and it felt a more open and freeing way to paint.
My wish is that more joy and lightness of spirit is brought into all our lives.
It seems as if I have become obsessed with the portrait. I continue to practice for the elusive likeness. This week, some success, I think.
March 18, 2016
This is me, but prettier! My eyes are not as large and my chin is larger. Still, this is cheaper than plastic surgery!
March 19, 2016
This is practice from an Craftsy class I am taking: Drawing Facial Features.
March 20, 2016
My sister’s sweet little dog, Mariposa, died this week. I think I put too much focus on the collar! I hope to give her better justice in a future effort.
March 21, 2016
March 22, 2016
I really like this one. Not an exact likeness of the person I was drawing, but I like the result – particularly the line work in the shadows.
March 23, 2016
Owl from a photograph on my calendar. I love owls, although they are not easy to draw.
March 24, 2016
Another one I like. Older faces have so much character. It may be hard to capture, but so much more interesting for practice.
March 25, 2016
Finally – a likeness! I think taking a famous face like Einstein may be easier to achieve a likeness, because of the great features.
March 26, 2016
Another self-portrait. I think I almost have it correct. My nose is a little bigger, otherwise this is by far the closest I have yet achieved to a likeness of myself.
March 27, 2016
I don’t wish to do portraits every day, and love natural elements. It is cherry blossom time here in the DC area, so these flowers were on my mind. It was nice to play with a little color by adding colored pencils.
I continue to practice drawing portraits. Finding myself drawn to the human face, I see it as endlessly fascinating! Ultimately, I want to create expressive drawings and paintings, but I also long to simply and accurately capture the essence of a face. Usually I use a reference for my drawings, but the first one below came directly from the act of drawing. I enjoyed watching the image develop without any preconceived ideas of who I was drawing.
March 10, 2016
The rest of the images are from references. I quite like some, although they don’t come close to representing the actual faces I was trying to draw. The one directly below has a lot of character which I love. I also am continuing to try to draw more birds, animals, and elements from nature.
March 11, 2016
March 12, 2016
March 13, 2016
March 14, 2016
March 15, 2016
March 16, 2016
I like the simplicity of this pen drawing above. Very stylized, but fun.
March 17, 2016
I continue to try and draw a self portrait. Here is today’s attempt. The face is too narrow and pinched. Maybe that is how I feel! I would really like to be able to get a likeness. It is hard to look in a mirror and draw because I keep moving, and that doesn’t help. Trying to get the relationships right is tough. I really admire people who can create a quick sketch that accurately captures a face so that it is instantly recognizable. I am learning that the slightest mistake can throw it completely off. I appreciate any suggestions on how to improve!
I love Spring. Who doesn’t? The birds are singing, the squirrels are chasing each other around the tree trunks, and everyone is sneezing. Ah well, we must take the good with the bad. This lesson been a recent one for me. I now know that even when difficult and even tragic events are touching my life, I can still find moments of joy. I just need to remind myself to slow down and pay attention.
Here are my recent daily drawings:
February 27 – pencil
I missed my first daily drawing (since January 1) on February 26, so the next day, I made two.
February 27 – pen and ink
February 28 – pen and ink
February 29 – pencil
From a drawing by Raphael – pencil
March 2 – pencil
March 3 – pencil
March 4 – pencil
March 5 – pen and ink
March 6 – watercolor pencil
March 7 – pen and ink
March 8 – charcoal
March 9 2016 – pencil
Working my way through Misty Mawn’s book, Unfurling, has been a wonderful opportunity for me to experiment with different mediums. I have been leading the Book Club on Art Journal Emporium throughout January and February using this book. This week is the last chapter, and it focuses on poetry.
I have been spending the last couple of years living with fear and this week I wrote a short poem about embracing fear to transform it. Then I included it in a journal page.
The poem reads:
Fear, an old enemy
Lock the doors –
Bar the windows –
All my time spent
waiting and watching…
ready to defend or to attack.
One day, I decided
to invite fear in.
I gave him tea.
We talked and cried.
I embraced fear and let him leave.
The door remains wide open –
He stops by now and again,
but not for long.
Here are my daily drawings:
February 21, 2016
February 22, 2016
February 23, 2016
February 24, 2016
February 25, 2016
I have been playing with scribble drawing this week, and I think I like the scribble hand best. I also tried drawing the planes of the face today. It was so much harder than I expected!