Friday, August 19, 2016

Went to the Color Shop

If you request it, they will likely mail you your own wickedly beautiful hand-painted color chart of what they sell. Sure beats trying to get excited from a printed sample or from a chip on a website.

Unsponsored, promise. I'm just insanely crazy about Nova Color paint, as readers here know. Every thing they sell can be ordered via their site but that would cut out the fun of going to the tiny shop in an alley in LA and touching all the jars and jugs and looking at all the deeply inspiring hand-painted swatches on boards hanging from hooks on the walls, and talking wonk chemical make up of different mediums they make with their expert staff, petting the shop cat, and watching all the other artists in LA get buzzed in to get MORE!
Whenever I get to go there I always feel like I've been to a magical shop where I could buy COLOR, like a shop that sells "color", not colored paint, but actual Color-Color. A Color Shop. And I try to pick up a new swatch sheet as I've usually given mine away during the interval between shopping trips. This trip's haul is mostly for more landscape set painting of earth and grasses.

Part of my Nova purchase ritual is to smear a circle of fresh paint on the top of each jar to cover the price marked there and to show me visually what the color does, thick and thin. Then I mark the color off with a green highlighter on an old swatch sheet to track every Nova item I've purchased since I first found them. I also make a little swipe on a journal page along with the color's number for fun. Then I crack a few jars and start mixing to see what they can do, what happens.

Nova is one of my creative secret weapons. Everything I do is made-with or excited-by them.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Queen

Today's sketch of the Queen Bee. She'll be built to fit an existing crown made several years back, from a jeweled top of a pomegranate, with a bright robe of flowers worn over her gold brocade bodice. Her ruff will be like the hairs on a bee's body and her compound eyes left enigmatically blank and metallic. Her scepter bejeweled with a cut emerald stone, tiny sapphires beneath gold fringes on her impressive abdomen.

A friend knows how I love Gardenias and always gives one from her garden to my husband to bring home to me when he visits. The last one had a little bud attached that became more of a gift than she could have known.

When it dried (below) I saw in its attitude and shape what I had been looking for for Halfland's Queen Bee puppet. There was something fabulously insectile about the way it had shaped itself. Even the gesture of the arm was regal. I'd found my Queen. A Halflandian Coronation.

The key element that had been missing was the way the flower bud had dried itself into what looked like a very tight >>>corset<<< over an extremely large bustle. Yes, it was a plant, my flower, but it suggested precisely everything I needed in order to visualize this particular insect with human characteristics better than anything else could.

The smallness of the head I never would have thought to do without it. Even the placement of the wings was there as was the start of a crown. This is another minor background vignette character and will be made at the level of the Twig Man. She'll need a small entourage of two attendants who will be made even more quickly and simply, being merely for symbols of the Queen's importance.
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