All I have left about current events and what's been happening.
How about we all take a break and welcome some new cats on my studio block?
The lovely at the top left is Moconi. She went home in January.
Maya is the lovely happy pup on the right. She also went home in January.
The first two cats were born during the Quarantine. The last one just came out of hiding, but had to share because it's sooooo appropriate!
All three are available and $80, 6x6 inches, acrylics on paper. If you'd like it have it ready to hang, $95 on 6x6 inch wood panel or $125 on 8x8 inch wood panel. Shipping and handling is extra.
Polchoir is French for "stencil." I just learned this while researching public domain Art Deco and Art Nouveau stencil designs!
Why public domain?
The good about buying stencils (or stamps):
When you purchase a stencil, you are supporting the artists and manufacturers that designed that stencil. Everyone wins.
The bad about using bought stencils (or stamps):
You are placing limitations on how many times you may use that stencil in designs for sale. I read the fine print on most things... I don't recall if it was a rubber stamp or a stencil but the item said "up to 10." If you're into scrapbooking and giving away your handmade cards, etc., you have no limits on how you use your purchased stencil (or stamp).
As much as possible, I seek to make my own. It's therapeutic making the cuts as well as freeing, lol. Cutting vinyl is sometimes better than drawing or sketching.
The photo shows one of my latest stencils, hand cut 10ml vinyl using an exacto knife and scissors. I used a slightly crumpled paper sheet to test it, with some "leftover" paint and a make up sponge. When I find a design I like, I manipulate it on my iPad, print, and then cut.
For me, it's day 58 of jobbing and staying home.
Like most of you, I can get bored. Sometimes, I actually enjoy feeling bored as it's been so rare the last few years. The bored feeling is like when I was 9 years old: forced to stay home and no resources to leave, nothing on TV and no Internet. These days, TV and Internet can be boring.
Am I the only one that finds most of these Zoom concerts and events boring? Like I'm watching TV and watching other people live?
Anyway. Back to drawing, and how you can continue or start, lol.
Most of us have pencils and paper. Our local Instacart uses a lot of paper bags. How about cutting some of the paper bags down and checking out the following links?
If you want to doodle with some kind of design, these are for you. The links are to tangelpatterns.com which is a fabulous site that started doing some tutorials last month. Here are only two links, but gets you there:
If you are trying to journal, or someone you know is trying to journal, Julie Balzar has kept up an art journal for YEARS. She might go page to page, but she does some back tracking and redesigning and adding of paint or papers. You can find her at https://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/2020/04/art-journal-every-day-abstract-page.html where she also shows an abstract page. Explore her site for more ideas.
Me? I'm not really journaling these days. I do more like Julie Balzar: add, subtract, glue, write, repeat.
My watercolor kit, two favorite pens (Pilot Decimos from 411pens.com), two waterbrushes, all sitting on my sketchbook.
"Everyone has the same look. We're all 'get this over with' and tired and 'done' and burned out with all this virus stuff," was what Andy yelled at me when I asked him the 1000th time if I was normal with how I feel.
Good to know, Andy. I needed that.
So...maybe YOU are one of those "taking advantage" of being home?
Maybe YOU are someone who needs help to entertain some kiddos?
I've been collecting stuff for you, posted by others.
Cathy Johnson is a superstar sketching artist. She has a seriously FUN website. She's an inspiration to me. I often thumb through her book that I bought years ago about Pocket Sketching. She has videos, gives workshops, and blogs. Her style is light, textured, and bright. She posts a few things you can try, FREE, during this time.
The following are links to Cathy's blog posts. She really has some great links in each, so please click over there! These are listed "in order" of how she posted the lessons. She's a seriously hard working lady artist and I know you'll enjoy all of these, with or without your children.
Collage of some of the sun designs made using my iPad, March, 2020, digital art, ©Angeline Marie Martinez
"Figure painting" is another way of saying "paintings or drawings of humans."
This find is really important, because most cave paintings show animals or hand prints, but not actual fully drawn humans or as more formally called, "figures."
Even if you consider that you can barely draw a stick figure, it's so cool that someone 44,000 years ago drew stick figures. You can see some photos here: http://hilltopmonitor.com/2019/12/oldest-cave-painting-in-world-suggests-religion-began-in/
Below is a page from one of my sketchbooks. I take paper and pen with me to every Marlins game that Andy and I attend. I make sure to get the Marlins Park date stamp, as you can tell. These are stick figures that help me get the gesture of each player. I love trying to get the movements of starting pitchers and batters, but I stick to just Marlins. Late in the 2019 season, I decided to add gestures of the in and out fielders once I'm "done" with the Marlins starting pitcher.
Oh, I'd love to get my hands on this Italian issue of Vogue, January, 2020!
The entire issue, probably not counting the advertisements, are of ILLUSTRATIONS!!! AKA drawings, sketches, paintings...by people.
According to the Italian Vogue Editor, the issue is to protest the environmental costs of taking fashion photographs. It's quite a staggering list in the brief article. The magazine knows that they have to use photographs...this is a "statement" magazine, much like the Art Basel Miami banana. The money saved is marked for charity.
We can argue that photography IS an art form...but since when have magazines used primarily drawings to show fashion? Since 1960s? 1950s?
I wonder if the USA issue would consider doing something like this?
Learn more about it by clicking on this sentence.
Sketches of deer heads in my last almost finished sketchbook. I do plan on adding photographs to my sketchbooks...but until then...drawings are fun! ©2019
Apparently, this little cat's selfie has bubbles in her photo. Oh, well. This one is at her forever home, anyway, lol.
In a world full of selfies, I take very few selfies.
In a world full of photos taken with our smart phones, I'm the one with my sketchbook open, pen in hand.
Andy & I have some spectacular vacation photos. Our trip to Alaska in 2018 was incredibly fun and exciting. I took about 1,200 photos compared to his 5,000(?). Not a single one has been printed. My sketchbook, however, has all sorts of drawings, colors, impressions. I open it and my memories come back like I'm in the Jeep, on the road.
Here's another article why it's better to BE in a space instead of taking yet another photo....
Or, let me invite you to draw? Or, the less scary way, let me invite you to sketch? Get your free copy of What to Gift a Drawing Artist by clicking on this paragraph. It's full of the simple supplies, and where to get them, to get you started to sketch.
The original article is below my signature.
Smiles, with paint on my hands,
COMMENTARY: Our obsession with taking photos is changing how we remember the past
Last year I visited the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia — one of the best art museums in the world. I was expecting to serenely experience its masterpieces, but my view was blocked by a wall of smartphones taking pictures of the paintings. And where I could find a bit of empty space, there were people taking selfies to create lasting memories of their visit.
For many people, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures is now a crucial part of going on holiday — documenting every last detail and posting it on social media. But how does that affect our actual memories of the past — and how we view ourselves? As an expert on memory, I was curious.
Unfortunately, psychological research on the topic is so far scant. But we do know a few things. We use smartphones and new technologies as memory repositories. This is nothing new — humans have always used external devices as an aid when acquiring knowledge and remembering.
Writing certainly serves this function. Historical records are collective external memories. Testimonies of migrations, settlement or battles help entire nations trace a lineage, a past and an identity. In the life of an individual, written diaries serve a similar function.
Nowadays we tend to commit very little to memory – we entrust a huge amount to the cloud. Not only is it almost unheard of to recite poems, even the most personal events are generally recorded on our cellphones. Rather than remembering what we ate at someone’s wedding, we scroll back to look at all the images we took of the food.
This has serious consequences. Taking photos of an event, rather than being immersed in it, has been shown to lead to poorer recall of the actual event — we get distracted in the process.
Relying on photos to remember has a similar effect. Memory needs to be exercised on a regular basis in order to function well. There are many studies documenting the importance of memory retrieval practice -- for example in university students. Memory is and will remain essential for learning. There is indeed some evidence showing that committing almost all knowledge and memories to the cloud might hinder the ability to remember.
However, there is a silver lining. Even if some studies claim that all this makes us more stupid, what happens is actually shifting skills from purely being able to remember to being able to manage the way we remember more efficiently. This is called metacognition, and it is an overarching skill that is also essential for students — for example when planning what and how to study. There is also substantial and reliable evidence that external memories, selfies included, can help individuals with memory impairments.
But while photos can in some instances help people to remember, the quality of the memories may be limited. We may remember what something looked like more clearly, but this could be at the expense of other types of information. One study showed that while photos could help people remember what they saw during some event, they reduced their memory of what was said.
There are some rather profound risks when it comes to personal memory. Our identity is a product of our life experiences, which can be easily accessed through our memories of the past. So, does constant photographic documentation of life experiences alter how we see ourselves? There is no substantial empirical evidence on this yet, but I would speculate that it does.
Too many images are likely to make us remember the past in a fixed way — blocking other memories. While it is not uncommon for early childhood memories to be based on photos rather than the actual events, these are not always true memories.
Another issue is the fact that research has uncovered a lack of spontaneity in selfiesand many other photos. They are planned, the poses are not natural and at times the image of the person is distorted. They also reflect a narcissistic tendency which shapes the face in unnatural mimics — artificial big smiles, sensual pouts, funny faces or offensive gestures.
Watch: selfies and the psyche
The connection between social media and plastic surgery
Importantly, selfies and many other photos are also public displays of specific attitudes, intentions and stances. In other words, they do not really reflect who we are, they reflect what we want to show to others about ourselves at the moment. If we rely heavily on photos when remembering our past, we may create a distorted self identity based on the image we wanted to promote to others.
That said, our natural memory isn’t actually perfectly accurate. Research shows that we often create false memories about the past. We do this in order to maintain the identity that we want to have over time — and avoid conflicting narratives about who we are. So if you have always been rather soft and kind — but through some significant life experience decide you are tough — you may dig up memories of being aggressive in the past or even completely make them up.
Having multiple daily memory reports on the phone of how we were in the past might therefore render our memory less malleable and less adaptable to the changes brought about by life — making our identity more stable and fixed.
But this can create problems if our present identity becomes different from our fixed, past one. That is an uncomfortable experience and exactly what the “normal” functioning of memory is aimed to avoid — it is malleable so that we can have a non-contradictory narrative about ourselves. We want to think of ourselves as having a certain unchanging “core”. If we feel unable to change how we see ourselves over time, this could seriously affect our sense of agency and mental health.
So our obsession with taking photos may be causing both memory loss and uncomfortable identity discrepancies.
COMMENTARY: How a decades-long hunt for a song led to a quick lesson in human memory
It is interesting to think about how technology changes the way we behave and function. As long as we are aware of the risks, we can probably mitigate harmful effects. The possibility that actually sends shivers to my spine is that we lose all those precious pictures because of some widespread malfunctioning of our smartphones.
So the next time you’re at a museum, do take a moment to look up and experience it all. Just in case those photos go missing.
Written by Angeline
With every intention to write about whatever might interest about art, making art, and paintings.