Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Drawing while breastfeeding :-)

Well, about those simple paintings I was talking about doing; I did one last night!
I knew, basically, that I wanted to attempt a really simple style -- a kind of "naive" childlike style of drawing with no worrying about perspective or realism. Just color and fun. The way I used to work was rewarding after the fact, but I'd spend days working on a drawing with reference photos and overlays, trying to get everything just right. It wasn't fun. Then I'd spend weeks oil painting it. That was kind of fun, but it took too long trying to achieve a degree of realism.

So yesterday I sat down to do some sketches, hoping to find some "naive" style that I would like -- but I couldn't really make my brain do it! It's harder than it looks! I wasn't getting anything I liked. Then Clementine woke up and wanted to be fed, so I had her in my lap, and I continued drawing, only this time I had a boppy and a baby on my lap, so I had the paper way out to the side of me on the sofa and I could barely see it. Still, I sketched, and . . . I liked those drawings! Something about the process encouraged looseness that is not my usual style! It was fun! So last night, after Clementine was put down to bed (though she woke up repeatedly and Jim and I took turns coaxing her back to sleep), I painted this. Here's a detail:
It's not a work of staggering genius or anything, but it was just what I wanted to do: a simple, colorful painting, quickly executed.

And since I spend a lot of time nursing, that's a lot of drawing time :-) I got to thinking about whether writing in that way might loosen me up the way it did with drawing. Maybe. I have some picture book ideas I might play with while nursing: notebook on the sofa beside me, messy writing. When you want to try a new style, it can help to change your set-up. If you write on a computer, try hand-writing, maybe with a purple pen. You know?

Oh, and I still had to fight my natural tendencies with the painting. When I got to my studio desk with the drawing and faced the decisions of turning it into a painting, I began in my usual old way, which was to painstakingly transfer the drawing onto a prepared canvas. Ugh. As soon as I started doing that, it wasn't fun anymore. So I stopped, and redrew the drawing on the canvas instead, knowing it wouldn't come out exactly the same, but encouraging any new wonkiness, because that's what I want, after all. And it was way more fun that way! So, as the painting expresses, I'm pretty HAPPY :-) It was nice to be putting color on a canvas again!

Oh yeah. One more thing . . .

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Awww . . .

29 comments:

silly little girl said...

I love the painting! I think that's a great thing that you'll be able to share with Clementime someday. I know I'd love to see artwork my mom created when she was holding me as a baby.

Jennifer D said...

Too me the painting and the baby are staggering genius.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I adore the colorful freshness of that art (and of Awww Baby, too). Baby is a Muse.

Tricia said...

I love the patterns in the sky and hills. This is really lovely for a quick piece. Happy indeed!

Sarah said...

That is one happy painting, and one adorable baby :D

I get what you mean about changing your set-up--last semester my drawing professor had us stand up and draw on pieces of paper on the floor with a piece of charcoal taped to a long stick. It started out annoying and became kind of liberating.

Q said...

Oh, she's growing so FAST! You can already see her individuality coming out strong. Aw.

This style is so...eclectic and fun. Love it.

liz elayne lamoreux said...

oh my she is some kind of cute!

and love your artwork here. love this "loosening up" and having fun with it. :)

tanita davis said...

It's hard to do "naive" when you're thinking about it, huh? I can only copy people's style, yet it's so ...sort of rustic and colorful and loose and cute. I really like how this turned out, and if having your attention divided by Ms. C. Cutie Pie while you work is what work, it works!

storyqueen said...

I really like the painting. I am trying to think of what it reminds me of, but I can't.....so it must be very unique and original.

Clementine seems to like it, too. Just look at that smile.

Shelley

brittany said...

you are such an amazingly talented girl. and your baby is so dang cute, too!

johanna said...

Love this painting! You are so a
amazing! And that smile! I can see you and Jim so perfectly in Clementine.

Marissa said...

Beautiful painting! Happy indeed ... that's oxytocin in action!

tracy.a.behr@gmail.com said...

Wow, you should be really proud of yourself, that’s a beautiful painting and your baby is gorgeous too. Congratulations on the books that you have published! I'm so jealous! ;-)

Amber said...

That thar baby just makes me giggle with her cute-tee-ness.

And look how teeny she is in her dad's hands! Oh *wistful sigh*

:)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Aw, I'm so happy for you! YOU DID IT! Congratulations. I love the painting. It's so colorful and cheerful. And I love how much the baby in her arms looks like your sweet Clementine Pie.

Curious question from someone who knows absolutely nothing about painting: How'd you do the print on mom's dress? Did you just . . . paint that? Because it looks so perfect, like . . . not a stencil exactly . . . but something . . .

Granny Smith said...

That looks spontaneous and free in a delightful way. It encourages me to get out my pastels (my quick-draw medium of choice). Of course I won't have a beautiful little girl in my arms while I do it!

myrna said...

I think this is my new favorite picture of Clementine - love the quirky little smile!

I'm glad you're painting again. My favorite part was the little girl peeking around her mom.

a. fortis said...

I think the paintings look great! Oh, and Clementine is adorable, too. :)

Liana said...

Clementine looks like she loves her Daddy!

I really like the painting, Laini! I think my absolute favorite part is the sticky-up hair on the baby. It's little details like that that add life - not to mention cuteness- to the painting. The eyes are also really interestingly done. I love the colors, too.

Yay!

Claudia said...

She is so cute, love that hair!

Sarah said...

Oh, geez! Dying from the cuteness.

And, a giant YES PLEASE to picture books. Integrating your beautiful artwork and lovely writing would be made of total win.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

You're a talented goyle...and a quality maker of darling babies too, at that.

Amber Lough said...

HOLY COW. Wow.

carolyn said...

Beautiful! It's simple, but there's a lot of energy and feeling, too. Love the colors.

tone almhjell said...

Love the paintings! Love the little girl! My first time on the internet since the birth. Miss you! Magnus says hi. He's going through an akward bizarro teenage phase, with milk rash covering his darling little face in lieu of acne, but without the angst filled time in front of the mirror. And an insatiable interest in boobs, but with full access. And he doesn't want to sleep. Okay, back to the nursing station. I feel like a milk bar.

Michelle Shopped said...

i came here specifically for that picture today -- congrats! (the wee one in pick with the sweet kewpie face)

Vijaya said...

You're some kind of amazing to do all that you do. What a lucky Clementine!

Vijaya said...

Happy indeed!

Loukia said...

What a wonderful artist you are! That is simply beautiful, and I can assure you if I saw that in a store, I would buy it up right away, since I'm a mom of two kids... it's just lovely!