Goodbye, love

Today I am going to put down my knitting and make paintings until school starts. So I thought I would start things out with a piece showing my mad passion for untangling yarn.

I promise the next thing I post will not be a self-portrait.

Hey, look! A finished object:

From Knitty's "fetching" pattern with my own accidentally graceful colorwork, in...um, I've lost the bands. The cream is Frog Tree alpaca and the teal is a different, super-dooper prettily heathered alpaca.

I know I should have more to show after an entire summer of obsessive knitting, but the rest of the projects are (a)in drastic need of alteration and repair, (b)unassembled, (c)in someone else's hands or (d)half finished. The ugly fact may be that I like knitting more than wearing.

I've also been sewing a new messenger bag these past few days. Having a quantifiable project that clearly has a beginning and end is a great way to deal with being frustrated about how very open and subjective illustration is.

Speaking of illustration and frustration, I've been relieving sketch-related tension by looking at blogs, specifically Vera Bee's and Craig Thompson's. His work makes me appreciate all the resources I do have, and every once in a while prompt me to go out and draw from life. And, of course, I want to be Vera Bee. She lives out west and knows that you should draw what you want to, not what other people expect. And her name is perfect.

I need to relax and sketch and perhaps accept the fact that in the six days I have before class starts I'm not going to have five perfect, finished illustrations. But I could have a whole lot of studies.


A grand return and shameless self-obsession

Summer is nearly over and this is what I look like.

(Credit to Fritz, my artistic anatomy teacher, for all the realistic bumps and veins and whatnot. The self-obsession and awkward tan-and-sunburn lines are mine.)

The blog neglect was caused by a number of things, most notably a full time job! and the exhaustion that comes with it, and sitting around reading really excellent blogs about knitting.

Which has, in turn, led to a flurry of work but no properly finished objects. My job ends in a week and a half, though, and then I'm going on a trip the next week, and then I'm going to come home and my friends are going to pry the knitting needles out of my hands. Which means that hopefully I will redo my final from Colorworks (that oh-so-adorable, oh-so-presently-completely-overworked bird-and-boy series) which will hopefully result in a nifty before and after series. And. I will finish some knitting projects.

First, a list, then a dump of finals that will not be redone. Immediately.

Upcoming and to-be-completed projects are:

  • this scarf, in red

  • a mystery hat

  • these mitts in grey, either in needlessly complicated colors as inspired by my roommate or with no ribs at all and just a cribbed fair isle pattern

  • this sweater, brutally modified so that I don't have to buy new yarn

I also have two sweaters in need of finishing. And possibly ripping out and redoing.

Rather than post the comic book final that I'm not all that crazy about, I'll just bookend the entry with another scantily clad self portrait. I'm lucky that no one reads this.

This was my final project for Artistic Anatomy, a piece on the the ideal physical specimen and what that means to us, to artists, to society. Fritz worded it with more genius, though. The piece is about control and precision and everything else I want from myself and the frustrating, inevitable failure of the body. Specifically, my body.

Basically, I gave myself robot parts. I'd do it for real if I didn't think that I would lose interest halfway through and be left with only one knee.

Here is the sketch, pencil on paper stretched over a canvas frame. It's something like 36" by 18". It was tremendous fun, although these pictures are awful.

And then things went horribly wrong. I killed my poor, delicate pencil drawing. I drowned it in acrylic and glaze. The same thing happened with my Colorworks final. I've learned this year that time does not necessarily equal great art.

There are tiny parts of this I like, but it's too, too far from what it could be. So, with a week to go (and then two days to go...I also learned that I work well under pressure) I started again, smaller and more carefully.

It's better in person, and again, the drawing was the fun part. I need to experiment with making the lines come forward. I keep meaning to play with colored inks.

Coming eventually:knitting, the redone Colorworks final, and, hopefully, all the design stuff I've been doing at work.