Friday, April 19, 2013

stress buster

With all the insanity that's been going on this week - the bombing in Boston, the ricin laden letters, the horrific explosion in Texas - it has been pretty impossible not to sit in front of the television and overdose on news or turn on the radio, blissing out on a buffet of all-day talk show buzzwords. At one point I thought my blood pressure was going to hit critical mass.

Worst was, I couldn't play my violin, we have peeps in the pantry Last week it was duck peeps, this week we are on chicken peeps - golden sonic and a variety of Chinese cuties that are simply darling, plus four Guineas. The ducklings have been moved to the bird barn, so no outdoor playing, I don't need to freak out the farm animals. Not yet at any rate.

So, here I was stressed like a kettle on boil with no way to let off steam and writing wasn't working. In a last ditch effort I called a friend who laughed and told me to "just make something crafty, you know, you are pretty creative..." Then it hit me, I could draw and do so many things! But I also had way too much energy to settle for that. Grabbing my Illustration Now! Portraits book I plunked down on the couch and dug in, looking for inspiration. Instead I found the peace I'd been looking for, and not a bit of inspiration as I filled some pages of a notebook with ideas with plotlines and characters and settings.

Tonight I thought to share with you some of the artists from the book in case you feel an urge to wander the 'net to have a look/see for yourself.

Lisel Ashlock has a wonderfully real texture to her work, the colors are vibrant, earthen, organic. Portraits always seem to have an element to them that an observer would see but dismiss until later when the nature of the symbol clicks with subject. Brilliant and beautiful.

In the work of Montse Bernal there are focal points within the portraits, highlighted by the mixed media: embroidery, pen, color pencils, collage. Lips are stained blood red, eyes kohl black, a shirt in vibrant hues, hair done in sausage curls - so many points of accent but never garishly so.

The pop surreal painting portraiture of Lesja Chernish - very much like Mark Ryden. My favorite in the book is that of the Sisters, the pair look so tranquil they'd be very much at home in a Verse Advice tale. Snaps to anyone who gets the reference.

When it comes to the portrait art of Alexandra Compain-Tissier, I have to admit a bit of a preference - in that for me, it is her pencil on paper art or nothing. She truly does seem to have a gift for capturing faces best in the media - at least to me, Infernal Affairs speaks for itself.

There are maybe five more artists in the book that can capture my attention for hours, but of those one of my favorites has to be Tomer Hanuka. If Hanuka has ever done an ink/digital combo that doesn't please the eye, I've yet to have see it. I can sit and marvel at The White Stripes and find something new to appreciate no matter how many times I return to it - it's outstanding. Kill Bill is just a work of freaking art.

When I'm not nearly mellow enough to create my own art, I seriously love to mellow out with these guys. Can't recommend getting to know them and their compatriots any higher. It's well worth your time.

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