A language not our own…

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Listening to Radiohead’s Kid A album, Rigaud is awash with sleets of ice rain, bouts of rain and some snow… perfect temperature to stay warm inside and get back to some drawing. Are you like me? I tend to read many books at the same time and I am reading four at the moment… each book lives in a specific room, reflecting that rooms ruminations. One of the books that I am reading gives me peace and tranquillity and a deep longing for spring to finally arrive… after the icy winter that we have just endured.

“Braiding Sweetgrass, an Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer opens up a world for the mind, body, emotion & spirit and is a hymn to the world. Here is an excerpt:

“…I come here to listen, to nestle in the curve of the roots in a soft hollow of pine needles, to lean my bones against the column of whit pine, to turn off the voice in my head until I can hear the voices outside it: the shhh of wind in needles, water trickling over rock, nuthatch tapping, chipmunks digging, beechnut falling,  mosquito in my ear, and something more — something that is not me, for which we have no language, the wordless being of others in which we are never alone. After the drumbeat of my mother’s heart, this was my first language. Listening in wild places, we are audience to conversations in a language not our own…”.

Paper: Stillman & Birn, 9″ x 6″, Gamma series
Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Ring your own bell ::

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No reaction at all — extinction — wears away on the individual until the behaviour grinds to a halt. This is a danger for artists who struggle in a vacuum. Joining clubs, exhibiting online, sending work away to distant galleries, inviting trusted friends to come over and critique goes part of the way, but it doesn’t always ring the bell. Art is a rare pursuit where participants have to learn to ring their own bells.

In my Creative Workflow class, students need to draw a complex line art drawing, then convert it into a digital format using Adobe Illustrator then bring it into Photoshop to actually paint it in watercolour with the help of a Wacom Intuos Pro digital tablet. The end result is usually quite amazing! The students also seem to love it, as they seem to go into a very zen mood.

I use my watercolour painting palette, scan it in, bring it into Photoshop, and then use the eyedropper tool to extract the actual colours and then proceed to paint with the Mixer Brush… which actually does what the tool says that it does. It mixes the colours together. I have been playing with this tool and I have actually managed to use a limited palette for this flower. So I have screened-shot my Photoshop screen so that you can see how I work and see the result.

Medium: Adobe CC Photoshop

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