Mixed Media

Falling Leaves and Inchies

Whereas many people think of fall as time to discard and rake away liken fallen leaves, I am choosing this time to collect from the leaf pile. The leaves I am shedding are procrastination and self critique. In exchange, I am reconfirming my promise to make a mark daily with an art friend and to make creating art more accessible to me. I decided to start small.

Inchie Challenge Leaves

I wanted to start small so this was kismet. I make my art more consistently when I am involved in challenge. Then into my inbox, the “Inchie Challenge” arrived. The challenge is to slowly and mindfully draw/paint the day’s prompt on a small square of paper only 2″ x 2″!

The first day of Mindful Art Studio Inchie Challenge prompt was leaves. At first my brain stumbled. What could I do different about leaves? I looked at different examples on the Mindful Art Studio web site and discovered that some of the images that often intrigued me was when there was a pile of something. Ta Da I will draw a pile of leaves!

Want to get into a mindful state? Draw a pile of leaves. I started drawing very small, but detailed leaves on the bottom of the square. When I was deciding which leaf to draw, I wasn’t thinking of my overflowing inbox nor the dishes in the sink. My mind was completely focused on which type of leaf to draw, where to put the leaf and in what orientation. I enjoyed it so much that I had to do another one, and another one, etc.

When I started, I didn’t think I could come up with one representation of a leaf and I came up with four! It got me thinking of falling leaves and how many things that falling leaves can be a metaphor for. I thought it would be an intriguing prompt for the blog and presented it to the Ambassadors. I am looking forward to the writings, sounds and sights that this prompt evokes for you.

*Interested in the “Inchie Challenge”?
It is currently running from 9/6-9/16. You can start anytime during the challenge. If you didn’t get to join by 9/16, check out Mindful Art Studio’s weekly FREE slow drawing class.

Painting

Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville

Claude Monet’s painting The Church at Varengeville
Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville (1882)

The blazing Romanticism of this gold, green and purple visionary scene belies any misconception that Monet simply painted what he saw or was a relaxed celebrant of leisure. Even the morally fervent Victorian critic Ruskin might have been moved if he’d seen that medieval church glowing on its hilltop in the mystical sun. He would have seen this as a religious work, and perhaps it is. Monet steps out from behind his easel, to share deep emotions with us. He uses colour expressively, dives imaginatively into this spectacular piece of Normandy coastline where a deep gorge separates us from the church. Does that abyss symbolise a gulf between him and God, or between modern life and a simpler past? This is a sublime revelation of Monet’s inner turbulence.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

Drawing

Pastel on paper

Sailing, or Sailboats in a Harbor, pastel on paper attached to a board, by artist Jonas Lie (1880-1940)

Titled Sailing, or Sailboats in a Harbor, this is a pastel on paper attached to a board by artist Jonas Lie, who lived from 1880 to 1940. I love using pastel. You can do a lot with the medium, as evidenced in this beautiful work by Mr. Lie. I encourage anyone to give pastels a try. I prefer the “wet” ones with oil rather than the dry.

Printmaking

‘There’s always a way when you’re an artist to find your way’

”Mixing her father’s negatives from the Great Depression with pictures taken on her iPhone, the master printmaker created a series of photopolymer gravures that expand the concept of family memorabilia.”

I find this fascinating.

Photogravure belongs to the intaglio family of printmaking. It consists of capturing an image on a plate that is printed by pressure through an etching press. Deceptively simple in theory, it is a photomechanical process of tactile delicacy and painstaking craftsmanship.”

I love her enthusiasm.

“There’s all this digital work that I love, but I really missed the physicality of making a print. With photopolymer gravures, you’re getting your hands inky and with those big prints… Oh boy! It’s so incredible and physical! You have to keep moving in order for everything to not smudge. You have to do everything very gingerly.”

Read more about the artist, Vaune Trachtman, at The Justice, an independent student newspaper at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

Photography

An incredible reunion

A chance encounter brought a father and daughter back together again, sparking an extraordinarily moving journey of love and forgiveness in the face of mental illness, homelessness, and hardship.

While documenting homeless people on the streets of Honolulu, Diana Kim came across her own father. The man who she remembered abandoning her as a child was now homeless, unwashed, dressed in rags, and extremely thin.

Worst of all, he didn’t even recognize her. Read more about the emotional story to discover what happened next.