May 19, 2009

studio sprite

Aiki, the first of the studio sprites to make itself known; is a DoubtEater, whose unconditional loving gaze embodies the joyful Creative Spirit, and dispels all doubt in the face of the Void of the blank canvas.  

It's said that you can whisper into its ears an offering of your deepest held creative fears, doubts, self-criticisms, etc... and that you'll always be met with a wonderous, unwavering and loving gaze radiating compassion for your fears, and sparkling with a glimmer that flows from the Creative Spirit.  With the gentle giggling-like sounds of the rustling and fluttering of its shimmering irridescent plumes, Aiki takes the  sounds of your doubts in one ear and joyfully shakes them out the other, as if nothing, no more weighty than the last few drops of a warm summer rain.   Aiki playfully flits, nudges, and nestles the spaces around your head, heart and hands, reassuring you with an offering of the gift of an ever new moment within which you too can embody the Creative Spirit.....

Aiki spirit: unconditional unlimited, copyright free!
Image:  copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.   

May 18, 2009

copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712. 

Quick sketch exercises in pen and ink practicing skin tones and applying oil pastel with solvent washes.

May 17, 2009

Reflections: Journey of the Mind in Space (or the artists quantum quandary...where to paint that first rock?.....)

A creative and spiritual friend, remarked in response to seeing the top sketch in the previous post below that it reminded her of a Japanese zen garden. She explained..."look at the structure and colors from the Japanese garden in Portland and look at your top sketch. They speak the same language. The garden - it's just amazing and one of the most tranquil places to be in the city.

I'll forever be grateful for that comment.

Her words resonated deeply and clearly expressed a connection between studio efforts to explore the application of various mediums into
expressive visual form and an intuitive pre-verbal "story" behind it. Associations rippled and memories fired illuminating and connecting paths I'd searched in past contexts like martial arts kata competition and Aikido's "Dynamic Sphere" as an intuitive clairscentient practice. These were physical exercises in the effort to integrate mind and body, and develop an awareness and appreciation of "flow" while pursuing opportunities to embody it in the moment. The suggested context of the Japanese zen garden in response to the abstract sketch below connected this powerful pathway to the studio practice. Not with a resounding "click", though the fly on the wall may have jumped into flight just the same, but with a "vibrating flowing buzzing joyful silence" - in this light, the practice of contemplating, composing, and integrating line, form, structure and colors that speak "the same language" as the Japanese zen garden, becomes the joyful study and pursuit of opportunities to embody in the moment, the patterns of flow.
excerpt - Alan Watts | The Watercourse Way

The Tao is a certain kind of order, and this kind of order is not quite what we call order when we arrange everything geometrically in boxes, or in rows. That is a very crude kind of order, but when you look at a plant it is perfectly obvious that the plant has order. We recognize at once that is not a mess, but it is not symmetrical and it is not geometrical looking. The plant looks like a Chinese drawing, because they appreciated this kind of non-symmetrical order so much that it became an integral aspect of their painting. In the Chinese language this is called li, and the character for li means the markings in jade. It also means the grain in wood and the fiber in muscle. We could say, too, that clouds have li, marble has li, the human body has li. We all recognize it, and the artist copies it whether he is a landscape painter, a portrait painter, an abstract painter, or a non-objective painter. They all are trying to express the essence of li. The interesting thing is, that although we all know what it is, there is no way of defining it. Because Tao is the course, we can also call li the watercourse, and the patterns of li are also the patterns of flowing water. We see those patterns of flow memorialized, as it were, as sculpture in the grain in wood, which is the flow of sap, in marble, in bones, in muscles. All these things are patterned according to the basic principles of flow. --

A lifelong adventure map
ped in the i-ki dip of pen in ink, the scratch of point along ground, the flow of oil pastelled into life through the breadth of the wrist........a joyful way to live a making!

top image:
copyright Troy Kujala; Troy Kujala Photography
middle image: copyright Ron Cooper; Ron Cooper Photography
bottom image: copyright Yvonne Mestre ; Mesman Images

May 15, 2009

sketchbook;  ink and oil pastel; 4" x 4, Raffine paper

sketchbook;  ink and oil pastel; 4" x 4, Raffine paper
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712;  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Two abstract pen and ink and oil pastel technique exercise sketches. These 4 x 4 sketches are done purely to explore different drawing and painting techniques with the media.

I've discovered the joy of drawing with a dip/fountain pen. I'll be exploring sketching more with the dip pen rather than the illustration drawing pens since the range of expressive line from the nib pen is incomparable. There is something very meditative about the surface tension and adjustments to hand pressure that occur between the stylus nib and the paper that is missing with the continuous flow pens. Also the rhythm of drawing and pausing to dip and resuming the drawing is relaxing and gives time for taking a breath to fuel the next line. The Raffine sketch paper holds up beautifully to multiple wet washes, pen and ink nibs, and scrafitto drawing into the oil pastel layers for an etched line texture and scratchboard-like technique for revealing underlying layers of color in line...("Scraffito" from the Italian word “to scratch”).

May 8, 2009

In the process of cataloging reference color swatches on Raffine sketch book paper (100lb, off-white 25% cotton, archival sheets) that has a fast velvety feel to it, (even when writing text with a ballpoint pen)! Going to test this paper with Golden acrylic ground for pastels for doing general color chord and color layer build up experiments.  I'm also in the process of digitizing the color sets for use with Corel Painter for digital pastel color/composition experiments. In addition to the full 120 set, I'm making corresponding groups for the Landscape, Portrait, and Still Life oil pastel sets.  A few of the colors (pinks and light yellows) get washed out in the light of the scan so those will have to be digitized by eye.

Sennelier 120 ColorSet

Sennelier 24 Landscape ColorSet

This exercise is a fun, and surprising way to experience every color in the set and to begin internalizing the colors before exploring color schemes and specific compositions. The biggest surprise was the colors.  These sing out and shimmer and I'm eager to see how they play well with others.

May 6, 2009

Sennelier bliss....

Oh joy!! The Sennelier 120 Box set arrived today. I lost no time liberating them from their cozy wood storage/display box to center stage at the workstation. Like the starting line up at the Kentucky derby all 120 thoroughbreds are straining in the gate, shimmering at the ready for their rollicking color study furlongs.

I plan to explore each sumptuous stick with a swatch sample as well as creating an equivalent Corel Painter "Senellier 120" digital color swatch set. With the corresponding digital "Sonnelier" pastel palette, I'll employ Painter's wide array of natural media digital oil pastel "brushes" and with the expressive responsiveness of the Wacom pen tablet, will explore endless compositional and color study possibilities in preparation for putting Sennelier pastel to panel. I'll be documenting the work flow process here, as well as posting the pieces, for anyone else that may be interested in exploring this approach to color study and creativity in oil pastels.

Pure Bliss...!

This set of extraordinary pastels is a birthday gift from my parents, whose love and enthusiastic shared enjoyment of my artistic adventure is a joyous, priceless blessing... I dedicate all that flows from this gift to them.

May 4, 2009

Ongoing study of contemporary masters for color chords and theory, composition, transitions, phrasing and edge control, and media application techniques.

color study | chord theme: last light |
hard and soft pastel | 5 x 7 Ampersand pastelbord

oil pastel | 5 x 7 Ampersand pastelbord

oil pastel | 5 x 7 Ampersand gessobord
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.