Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Book Wrap Up

hmmm didn't read that much this month, had a bit of a reading slump for a few weeks, but now that its summer I should get a lot more reading done.


The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! Funny and suspenseful, I really started to care about the main character and how he was going to survive on Mars by himself. Some people did not like the writing style and the format of the book, but I thought the log format worked great. It really helped create a sense of suspense by having the dates written out, knowing that the date he will will run out of food is approaching.

If you want a light sci-fi read, this would be one to grab.

RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Beautifully written but really boring at the same time. I don't get the hype about this book, it was boring and predictable and I really didn't like any of the characters. I have read books before where I didn't like any of the characters and rated them higher but I can't here since I found the main character to be way too whiny, and the main male character to be...um how to put this politely, a dick. I know the main female character is written the way she is to try to put across how innocent she is, but after what she went through when younger and then things that happen before the big main event/ending in the book, no one is that innocent and naive. It become annoying to read and there is only so many times you can tell yourself a character is written for the time period before you roll your eyes.

I probably would have only given this book 1 star, but it is beautifully written and often the language does make a person feel like they are actually witnessing the story first hand.

HabibiHabibi by Craig Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm torn on rating this graphic novel. On the one hand the art is gorgeous, on the other its full of stereotypes and at times the story gets confusing. If it wasn't for the sexual themes, some of the characters would fit right in with the stereotypical drawn Disney characters. There is sex and rape in this, so avoid it if that is a trigger for you, and lots of naked women, not so many naked men.

If I was rating this novel on just the art, it would get 5 stars but the story is too convoluted and I think part of the reason is that you never really know where the story takes place or when it takes place. This sometimes makes reading this confusing.


The LuminariesThe Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally finished :p I actually found this pretty easy to read and it wasn't until the end did the book seem to lag. But at over 800 pages, unless a person has an interest in the gold rush they might find this book boring. There are a lot of characters in the story, but I didn't find that confusing since you are pretty much told at the begging of the chapters which are the main characters that will show up. The "mystery" wasn't much of a mystery tho, if it was supposed to be a surprise, it wasn't since it was pretty easy to figure out what was going on pretty early in the book.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lilies #1

Back to using coloured pencils for a change. This wont fit in my scanner,so its not the best photo since its getting dark out,  hopefully after trimming it when finished it will fit on the scanner.

So I tripped over one of the dog's toys and went for a flight 2 days ago, (too bad I can't collect air miles, I would be able to fly around the world since I'm always falling :p). My foot is killing me, so to the minor injuries clinic we went and thankfully the nurse doesn't think is broken. I probably sprained a lot of tendons since the pain is all over my foot and its not misshaped. Just rest and lots of time to heal :/ Glad college is done because even walking from the bedroom to the spare room, about 5 feet, is really painful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Never Ending Eagle....

Looks half done, but nope. After I put the main feathers in, I need to go back and add shading. I added a bit of shading already to the eye area, just to see what it might look like, and its looking OK so far.

I am very tempted to sandwich this between wood and have the car drive over it to print it :p I'm a bit impatient and can't wait to build the press :p I know some people have done that before and as long as the wood is thick enough it should work. My luck I would end up with 30 pieces of an eagle, which might actually look all right....

Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Finished Hawk


Finished hawk etching, so another plate to add to the pile for printing when I can. I could go and become a member of a printing studio in Dundee, but its going to be a lot cheaper in the long run to build my own press and buy my own supplies. And then if I feel like printing at 3am I could lol

Scottish Word of the Week

lochness 

This weeks word is,shoogle.

Last weeks word, jaggy means prickly or pointy.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Lovely Gift

Another etching but this time only tiny, and on a new type of plate for me. A lovely women and fellow artist, K Rolina, sent me a lot of unused plates so I could try them. They are the very thin,clear and flexible type.

After I figured out not to use the same amount of pressure I use when working on plexi-glass, the plate was easy to etch on but a little harder to get a good gradient on. But that could just be me and how I am use to working.

I am going to have so many different plates to print once I get a press built or can use the one at uni :p

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Orange

Trying out the chine colle technique with lino prints and without a press. It does work, just need more glue on the tissue paper. At least I know now I can do this without having to have the use of a printing press.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Scottish Word of the Week

water 

This week Scottish word is,jaggy.

The last word, scuddie, means naked.
scuddie
scuddie

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Better Get the Bandaids

Carving very slowly :p #art #printmaking #bird #lino 

Starting to carve a falcon on lino. I need to practice more with lino since I tend to mess up the carving. I find as long as I keep the image simple and just focus on the main shapes it works better for me.

I've been posting a lot on Instagram lately since I got my new phone it makes it easier to post art I am working on and other various things that catch my eye. My account is fuzzydragons if you want to take a look :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Windy Windy

eagle in progress 

Really wanted to finish this today, but my back is killing me. Hopefully I manage to get more done tomorrow.

Was really nice out today, summer is almost here :)

But it was a little bit windy on the hill :p

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bosse is Back

I figured I should really finish this drawing of one of the local boxers, so hopefully I will have it done this week *crosses fingers* I always forget how much I like using graphite until I pick my pencils back up. So the first things I drew/coloured with where crayons, but the first serious drawings,(laughable to look at now), where in graphite, so its always nice to go back to using simple pencils.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Looks Less Odd

Thankfully this is starting to look like a normal eagle now. For awhile there I thought I was going to have to give this up, but I think it was looking odd because the eagle has made all his/her head feathers go floof, (technical term), and its a bit of a comical site when they do that.

Music Monday

Its sad that I can't think of any more Canadian bands/singers at the moment to post, will have to look at a list :p but here is a video anyway :)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Coloured Eagles


I really like this look. I get to combine my love of detail and printmaking with my love of colour. Its very subtle colour, but I think subtle works best with this, I don't want any bright colour distracting from all the feather detail.

I really want to etch a peacock now and then add colour to the prints. Have most of the peacock black and white but colour the tail feathers. Going to have to go threw all my photos again to try to find a peacock photo that would work.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Mixed Media Work

Untitled 

More art made from my MRI. Kind of hard to get photos of this, looks better with a bright light behind it, but then that causes reflections on the plexi-glass.


Untitled 

I decided I wanted to paint one of the scans but paint different parts of my brain in different colours and on different sheets to try to give a better sense of the layers in a brain. This is def. a piece that look so much better in person lol and you do get a better sense of layers when viewed in front of you rather then in a photo.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Quick Little Sketch

Took about 5 minutes because I want to see how fast I could sketch a bird, and while this is from a photo I'm sure I could be just as quick from life, just need to take my sketchbook to a zoo or wildlife centre next time I go so I can try to get a few live bird sketches. I would put bird feeders in the yard so I could draw some garden birds, but I object to paying for bird food for the birds, just for the bird to end up as a snack for the many felines around here.

And besides having to finish writing my artist statement, I am done all my college work. yay! I can sleep in class for the last week (jk). Actually I will probably just try to use the press as much as I can while I can. Did manage to print  3 prints today, but none turned out perfect enough for me, so I plan on painting them to see how they look then.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Odd Looking Bird


This looks so odd right now. For awhile it was starting to look like a Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, but its starting to look a little more alive for the moment. That movie really freaked me out when I was a young kid lol


Wordless Wednesday

sky

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

All in the Eyes

Start of another bird, looks very odd right now :p #art #bird #printmaking 

With any live subject I draw or paint,the success of the painting relies on getting the eyes to look right. They need to look convincing or the drawing/painting just doesn't work. The same applies to etching, if the eyes don't work, there is no point finishing. Its a little more tricky with dry point since once you make a mark, its there for good, no erasing a mistake. Well at least that I know of.

I actually like that my marks are final, it makes me stop and think more about what I am doing. Slowing down can be good, and at the same time I am paying more attention to my subjects and learning more about them.

This eye is one of two, another bird, big surprise. Starting to look good, but does need some more shading to make it look more 3D.

Graded Unit


Finished! yay It is very hard to see the unicorn figurehead, but on a sunnier day it would show up better and the colours below should reflect into the room, (at least that is the idea). But it is done, and all I need to do now is write up a few things. Now back to etching a bird :p



Sunday, May 04, 2014

My Hand Hurts Now

One finished A3 size plate. Up next a plate not this big, but not that small, 30 by 28 cms. I like working big, but am limited by the size of the printing press. I think I would struggle to get anything bigger than this printed, but I don't know how big the press is at Uni in their printing room, so I might be able to work bigger then.

I think A0 might be a tad too big tho for an etching lol.

Scottish Word of the Week

gull 

This weeks word is,scuddie.

Last weeks word, kenspeckle, means familiar or well known. I had know idea about this word lol

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Flock of Birds

smallowl 

A few prints of the birds I have managed to finish so far :) I really need to get some more photos, so will probably go here, once college is done. Photos of the vulture to use would be great :D


stellereagle 

I have so many photos that I can use that are my own, except for the owl photo, that came from a site with photos for use, that I probably will never run out. But its always good to have more.

small2eagles 

And if all fails, I live near the sea. Getting more photos of all the different gulls in the area is easy. Of course there would be more to shows if one of the plates hadn't gotten melted, but I figure the more I practice, that faster I will get at making the plates.

Friday, May 02, 2014

3/4 Done

And another plate to go and then I am almost done everything for college.yay! lol

I don't know if I am even going to have time to print this, but I can once I get my press built, (sometime this summer hopefully *crosses fingers*).


Chine-collé

Added colour to these boats with a technique called Chine-collé.
 boat etching
First I did a test print of the little plate to see if it still needed work, but I thought it was fine for something that took about an hour to do. and yes, those are marks on the bottom from gloves, I like them tho. Looks like little aliens.

boat etching 
And added a small piece of tissue paper to an area and ran the plate through the press again. I really like how this technique adds colour, but you still see the etched lines, and I wish I had of done a bigger area and a few more colours. But now that I know how it works and how easy it is to actually do, I will def. being adding colour to prints in the future.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

April Book Wrap Up

Read 7 books in April, some were pretty good, other were pretty bad.


 Caliban's War (Expanse, #2)Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book, funny and fast paced. I thought this sequel was better then the first actually :)




The PenelopiadThe Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wish this was longer, it only took about 2 hours to read and I did feel like the story could have been expanded, not like there is a lack of source material. Was an interesting take on The Odyssey, and one of the characters from it. (haven't read The Odyssey, but like a lot of people know the story)


Sky on Fire (Monument 14, #2)Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I think I just read this for filler :p Very predictable and nothing special. Thought to give the series another chance, but not going to be continuing with it :/ Not worth it when there are better books out there.


Also read Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, but didn't manage to write a review, rated it 4 out of 5 stars tho.

Recovering from LifeRecovering from Life by Debra McKenna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story of a married women, who finds out her husband is back taking drugs and has completely ruined her financially and emotionally. The story is about her getting her life back on track.

Over all I enjoyed the book, there were some funny moments but also a few moments where I was shaking my head at the stupid things the main character did. Shaking my head and saying out loud why are you doing that?!


The secondary characters are well written and do not drag the story down, but instead help the story progress as the main character, Stephanie, tries to get her life in order. You do really get a sense of her struggles and how they effect her, and do start caring if things will work out for her in the end.

I really enjoyed the ending, while a bit predictable, you are glad it happens the way it does. The book was a fast read, and I didn't feel like the writing slowed down or became too boring to continue reading.

Worth a read if you like reading about a person overcoming their struggles in life, and want to also have a bit of a laugh while she does it.

12 Years A Slave12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How do you rate/review a book when its about such a touchy subject?? This is why I never read biographies, they are in the end, one person's account of events and can be so personnel its very hard to review. This book does have moments that can be hard to read, makes me really wonder why people thought it was okay to treat another human that way.

Really worth the read for anyone interested in the time period, and want to read a first hand account of slavery at the time.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional UniverseHow to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really tried to like this book since I do like books on time travel and paradoxes, but I found it really slow. I know you need to explain how time travel works in the world of the story, but I thought it took up so much of the book, there wasn't much of a story to read.

View all my reviews