Posted tagged ‘drawing’

Steveston Grand Prix of Art 2014

September 23, 2014

Plein Air competitions are not always easy for an artist who normally creates in the studio where they have lighting and climate control, and are (usually) uninterrupted. This was my second attempt at an outdoor painting competition, and again I learned a lot about composition, material choices, and speed.

Tiana at Steveston's Grand Prix of Art. Photo by Lisa Ernst.

Tiana at Steveston’s Grand Prix of Art. Photo by Lisa Ernst.

The Steveston Grand Prix of Art was held on Saturday September 20. Over 100 artists in 3 categories (adult, youth, and photographers) took part. At 10am we signed in and drew a slip of paper out of the prize cup to find out which location we’d be painting at. I had one of the volunteer drivers take me to my spot behind Prickly Pear garden centre. I had 25 minutes to set up and decide what I’d paint. It wasn’t easy. Trees behind me, a busy apartment block to the left and a road and river in front. I eventually chose the street scene with the whale watching business even though the sun was behind it and everything was in silhouette.

When the 11:00 whistle blew I decided to just start drawing with my Staedtler Mars professional pens. This was a great material choice. The ink drawing was very dramatic and people commented that they loved it. However not planning out the composition first in light pencil created problems later when I got too close to the bottom of the page, and when I had to put the mat on at the end of the competition I ended up covering up the top of my telephone pole and some trees along the river. Yes, words were said that I shall not repeat here.

Halfway through the competition I moved from the ink drawing to watercolour. I kept telling people that it’s easy, like a colouring book, just filling in my drawn areas. Ha! The backlighting on my subjects made the real life objects hard to see so that it was difficult for me to choose paint colours. Well, just wing it! I kept telling myself to go darker faster, but it still ended up being too light in the sky and some parts of the building. I didn’t have the time to layer the watercolours like I do in my studio when I take 8 to 10 hours for a painting.

Having to pause to wait for a car to pass so I could see my subjects on the other side of the road, or waiting for people to move, added to the trickiness of painting outside in public. Yet it was the many positive comments from people that spurred me on when I was doubting myself. Yes, I did hear you as you stood behind me and whispered to your friend “this one is great!”  Thank you. And a young boy’s “Wow!” was wonderful encouragement.

At 2:00 the whistle blew again and I had to put my paint brush down and grab my frame. Then it was a mad dash in my parent’s car back to the Britannia Heritage Shipyards to hand in my art for judging. A late lunch of delicious barbeque chicken from Bean and Beyond Cafe finally helped me relax back to normal speed.

This year I was also very happy that 3 of my youth students entered the competition. I’m very proud of what they accomplished.

You can view (and buy!) everyone’s art in the Seine Net Loft of Britannia Heritage Shipyards, 5180 Westwater Drive, Richmond, BC. until Sunday September 28 from 10am to 5pm each day. Closing ceremonies where they will award the Peoples Choice Award and the Photography Award are on Sunday at 3:00. Thanks to Phoenix Art Workshop for hosting yet another great painting challenge.

How to View The Show at Emily Carr

May 17, 2013

With over 300 Design, Media, and Visual Arts graduates this year, Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s grad exhibition offers something for everyone. I walked through the rooms for 2 hours on Monday but was disappointed with the first few rooms thinking that after 4 years of study shouldn’t there be some art that displays a little more skill and thought? But then I started finding a few artworks that made me laugh, or appreciate their technique, or think about their message.

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

There will be as many opinions about an art show as there are people who walk through it. Art is personal. What you like another person may hate. Some people like posters of puppies in their living room. Others would faint at that idea and thus spend hours at auctions trying to find the right Miro print to match their decor. I forget which artist said it, perhaps it was Christian Boltanski when he had a show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but I remember this idea and use it whenever I view art: the artist said “I don’t care whether they love my art or hate my art, just as long as they have some kind of reaction. If they feel nothing then my art has failed.”

The next step would be to ask yourself why you love it, or hate it, or are indifferent to it. Art is a form of communication. So what is it saying to you? Sometimes the answer doesn’t come right away. I like Shannon McKirgan’s “Parcel #1357”, but I still am not sure why. It’s not a style that I normally pick out. The subject is a little depressing – a lone box of a building. For now I think it’s just the quality of her brushstrokes and the positive versus negative space, as well as the framing presentation.

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

With the whale close ups in charcoal by Fiona Hawkes I immediately knew I liked them because I appreciate the skill in her realistic drawings. I draw realistically, and thus whenever I see other artworks in this style I am drawn (ha!) to them.

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Then there was the mini installation “Throwing” by Nolan Drew. It immediately put a smile to my face because as much as I love working on a wheel, it’s not easy to make a bowl or vase or anything round, and Nolan’s piece reminded me of that frustration. There have been times when it collapses, or flies off. I still remember the expression of surprise on one of my student’s faces when she had her clay go whizzing off the wheel and splat onto the classroom wall.

You have this weekend to catch “The Show”, which ends May 19th. There is also an online catalogue at ECUAD’s website. http://theshow2013.ecuad.ca/  Hope you find something you love or hate.

How to Draw from a Poor Photograph

January 4, 2013
"Riley and CJ" by Tiana Kaczor, Fall 2012, pastel and conte.

“Riley and CJ” by Tiana Kaczor, Fall 2012, pastel and conte.     Click on images to view larger.

I had a commission that was a Christmas present, so could not post it online until after the holiday. I am now at liberty to share this work with you.

“Riley and CJ” posed a problem for me as I usually work from photographs that show enough detail so that I can create quite a realistic art piece. However the photo that was provided to me was very pixelated. I am not an artist who usually draws from my imagination, except in my private sketchbook, so I would not want to take artistic licence with this commission and just “make up” the details. Instead I decided to try a different style, working like the Impressionists with dots and dashes of colour, and a different medium, chosing pastels and conte. The client agreed to my style change and I set off to create a realistic drawing of a pixelated photo.

Tiana's process of drawing Riley from photo and photocopy.

Tiana’s process of drawing Riley from photo and photocopy.

“Work with what you’ve got.” is a rule I follow a lot in my artmaking. Whether it’s taking whatever materials I can find to make an assemblage instead of buying special sculpture supplies, or using the qualities of a photograph to determine the detail and style of the image when put into a different medium like paint or pastel. Kind of a bit like that saying “When the world gives you lemons make lemonade,” isn’t it?

Grand Prix competition piece for sale

October 5, 2012
Tiana creates during Steveston's Grand Prix of Art 2012

Tiana creates during Steveston’s Grand Prix of Art 2012

A couple weekends ago I competed in Steveston’s Grand Prix of Art. We were told our location only minutes before the race, and then had 3 hours to complete a finished work of art, whether it be drawing or painting. http://grandprixofart.com/?p=890

This is the first time I’ve ever entered a plein air competition and decided to keep things less messy by using conte and pastels instead of paint. The weather was rather chilly and an hour into the race my fingers started to freeze up. Luckily my parents came by and brought me a hot chocolate. Thanks also to Eva at Cannery Cafe for offering to bring me something hot.

"Pieces and Points" conte and pastel, 8x12, for sale $200 framed, $170 mat only.

“Pieces and Points” conte and pastel, 8×12, for sale $200 framed, $170 mat only.

It was great creating on the streets of Steveston as it gave me direct contact with the public; art can be such a solitary activity a lot of the time, working away in ones studio. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to take a peek at my picture and encourage me to finish in the 3 hour time limit. It wasn’t easy working so fast with no break but I did finish “Pieces and Points” just as the Cannery horn blew to signal the stop of the race. The title was chosen because the store Pieces is in my drawing, and points refers to the pointillism style I used, which turned out to look a bit like snow falling. (Maybe that was subliminal because I was cold!)

Tiana at her station on Moncton for the Steveston Grand Prix

Tiana at her station on Moncton for the Steveston Grand Prix

My 8″ x 12″ pastel and conte drawing of Moncton Street titled “Pieces and Points”  is for sale at $200 framed, or $170 with just the mat.

The Value of Tiana’s Terracotta Warrior

May 14, 2012

Here are some facts about my process for painting my Terracotta Warrior “Wu Chang”.

I spent at least 135 hours painting the sculpture. There were days I’m sure when I was so tired I forgot to record the hours in my sketchbook. So, it might have even been 150+ hours of painting.

I spent approximately 10 hours of prep which included accepting the delivery, moving the sculpture upstairs and down, sanding and washing, and painting the 2 coats of gesso.

I spent about 6 hours at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Richmond Brighouse libraries doing research.

I spent an unknown number of hours reading, discussing, searching the internet, sketching and planning, and being interviewed for promotion in the local media (Thank you, Richmond News).

Grand total is a minimum of 175 hours.

I got paid $1000, and I bought my own supplies. This means I made about $5.71 an hour before expenses. Of course my labour is a donation to the BC Lions Society, but I think it’s important for those bidding on the sculpture this Fall to know what would be a good starting bid. If I base my pay scale on what I make as a teacher then the warrior should be sold for no less than $5075.00  ($29 per hour x 175). And this doesn’t even take into consideration the cost the sponsor (City of Richmond) put out to make the fibreglass sculpture and all the time and effort the BC Lions Society put into organizing this fundraising event.

Sketchbook Map of Back Textile Patterns

Sketchbook Map of Back Textile Patterns. click on image for bigger view.

Finished back of Wu Chang in Tiana's studio.

Finished back of Wu Chang in Tiana’s studio.

 

Tiana’s Eagle Has Landed at James Whiteside Elementary

December 1, 2008

Last Thursday The BC Lions Society delivered a white, 7 foot, fiberglass eagle to James Whiteside Elementary in Richmond. I was invited to meet the staff during lunch, and then was there to oversee the delivery. The eagle needed to be put on the gym stage, but there was an assembly in progress when the eagle arrived and we didn’t want the students to see it. Luckily, there was a blanket available to cover it, so the sculpture still remained a mystery to the students.

Friday afternoon I was at the school for the unveiling assembly. 480 students from kindergarten to grade 7 filled the gym, their excited eyes looking up to a power point image of one of my paintings. The principal, Carol-Lyn Sakata, gave me a wonderful introduction, and then I took the mic to talk about my art experiences and ask the students for their help in designing what to paint on the eagle. I was surprised by their enthusiastic responses to my questions, and their roar of “wow”s every time I clicked to a new picture of art examples on the big screen. When the stage curtains were finally drawn back and our eagle sculpture revealed the yells and clapping from the students was so loud you would have thought that a goal had been scored.

Sketch for student feather idea, by Tiana.

Sketch for student feather idea, by Tiana.

Thank you, students and staff of James Whiteside, for the enthusiastic welcome into your school. I look forward to working with you on this “Eagles in the City” project over the next few months.

Students will be drawing or painting a design onto a template in the shape of a feather. I will then copy their designs onto the sculpture. It will be like a giant puzzle for me to figure out how to get them all on!

Tiana at the R.A.G.

September 12, 2008
"Around The Corner"  2.5" x 3.5", pencil, 2008.
“Around the Corner” pencil 2.5″ x 3.5″
They may be small, but artist trading cards get the visual creativity flowing, and that’s just what I’ve been looking for after a year of intense musical production.
You can see an exhibition of these mini artworks at the Richmond Art Gallery from September 11 to November 16. I have 9 on display, and on the last night some lucky people will go home with them and I will have their artworks in trade. ATCs are intended to be a non-commercial and non-hierarchical avenue for artistic exchange. The gallery also holds monthly trading sessions if you want to get involved.