Trying the New

Oil Pastel Fruit Bowl

Fruit still life with oil pastels

This spring I’ve spent a lot of time learning new ways to do art. I learned the ins and outs of Adobe InDesign. I pushed myself to color outside of the lines with watercolor. The process to learn something new is exhausting at times. For some odd reason, I expect to be able to jump into a new activity with utter delight; that’s my adventurous side showing itself. I’m not expecting to butt heads with mediocrity. But, as Marilyn Scott-Waters describes on her blog, “to learn something new one must be willing to be mediocre for a while.”

I’ve been itching to learn pastels and to make them look good. Sometimes I think pastels remind me of cheesy elevator music. Lately, however, some artists have stretched my understanding of this medium, especially those who accomplish an impasto look. Here’s my first attempt at oil pastels.

2012-08-01T23:27:16+00:00 May 26th, 2011|Fine Art, Musings|0 Comments

A Sense of Wonder

Reindeer Sketch

A sketch leading up to an illustration of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen

My name is Eleanor, and it has been a long time since I blogged. When I used to write frequently, it was because I had much to write about. I studied abroad in France for a year, and of course, each day brought on a new adventure. Each day was a new flavor, a new color, a new intensity of light. I still relate much of my creative process to that time. It’s easy for me to say, “Oh, when I was in Aix, words came so easily.” “When I was there, imagination lulled me to sleep.” It all sounds so romantic. It was not all entirely true.

What I miss most of all from that time, and what was true to my core, was a sense of wonder. Oh, how I feel so asleep at times now. This is all so ordinary.

When sketching, however, I feel like I am on an expedition to discover the unusual twists and turns of the ordinary. Dining room chairs become thrones. Potted plants become jungles. People become trolls (occasionally). I draw not only to have a finished illusion or even to improve my skills, but also because I delight in the act of drawing. The act itself helps me remember the wonder.

2012-08-01T23:28:50+00:00 May 10th, 2011|Musings, Sketches, Travel|1 Comment