Monday, August 11, 2014

Patterns and Fractals in Nature in "Growth II"

Trees.  Blood Vessels.  What these (and many other things in nature) have in common is they are fractal-like patterns.  There's mathematic equations involved that explain and predict the formation of branches, veins, crystals, river networks, and more.  It's a pattern found in so many living and non-living formations.  [Click these links to read more about fractals and patterns in nature.] I think these patterns are fascinating and beautiful and can illustrate just how inseparable we are from the rest of the natural world.  


"Growth II" pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth II" (detail) pencil, 22"x28",  by Heather Clements, 2014.


My latest drawing represents this pattern connection between tree branching and our own blood vessels.  From the bottom, it definitely feels like a tree, perhaps a tattoo on the skin, but as it follows her form up her arms they begin more to resemble veins, and as they grow up the hands and into the fingers, they begin to sprout new life from her finger tips.

"Growth II" is for sale for $825.  Contact me if you're interested (and payment plans are an option!)


Here is another drawing blended with the reference photo, for fun.



And this Flipogram video briefly illustrates a bit of the process:


video




Thank you for your time spent here on my blog.

-Heather 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Growth

Lines drawn on the skin follow the curves of form.  As they rise, they begin to lift off the skin into reality.  Has she caused this growth?  Have her drawings sprouted to life?  Whatever the reason for this coming-to-life, she seems to be enjoying it, elated by it.

Perhaps this piece is even more personal.  The drawings of the plants are literally coming to life.  Perhaps it is my hopes for the best outcome of my art.  For my art to inspire the conservation of nature, or planting new life, even in the smallest bits, would be reaching the pinnacle of my ambitions.  

Part of me feels like it's egotistical to even dream of such things.  But really, if I weren't trying to make a difference, (however small that may be) then why create art?

Here she is, "Growth."

"Growth" chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Growth" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

For some reason, two of the images above appear more yellowed than they are, once I uploaded them into blogger.  So, sorry about that.

Here is another one of my reference photos blended next to the drawing:



"Growth" is for sale for $975.  Payment plans with no interest or fees are very doable.  

Green Tip # 25: Butterfly Beauty.  Learn a bit about the importance of butterflies to our environment, and ways to help encourage them in your yard.



Thank you so much for reading my blog!

-Heather

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Native V" and the Studio Process Video


Cast finger shadows grow a life of their own in the form of tree branches, reaching across a woman's shoulder and back.  And she's diggin' it.


Perhaps there are tree branches that we cannot see, that are extending from her finger tips.  We cannot see them, but we can see their shadows.  We cannot see them, but we can see the evidence of their existence.  We cannot see them, but we feel their presence and their connection to her body.  They become a part of her.  Just as our shadows cast our form, the branching shadows cast her interconnectivity and oneness with the natural world.

Here she is, "Native V."

"Native V" chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native V" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native V" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native V" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

Again, I created a blend of the original reference photo with my drawing, just for fun.

"Native V" (photo blend), by Heather Clements, 2014.

For $635, "Native V" could be yours and live in your home.  Contact me if you're interested.

If you haven't seen it yet, I'm SUPER excited about this professional video that was created in my studio.  Evan Lanier of Theory Y Design created this beautifully shot glimpse into my process, thoughts, and studio atmosphere.  I'm working on the piece above in this video.  Watch it!




Inspiration Source #25: Embroidered Stop Motion Animation.  Really.  It's animated from 3,000 hand-drawn frames, 250 square meters of denim, 12 million stitches, 40 days of animation, 1,800 hours of digitizing, 3,500 hours of embroidering, and 500 hours of capturing.  And it's a story about mad science.  It's pretty much the most wicked thing you'll see in a long time.




Thank you for reading/looking/watching/visiting!

-Heather


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Identity II

Here is my latest drawing, "Identity II."  She is 18"x24" created with chalk and charcoal.  You may remember my drawing, "Identity" which had a young girl (my step-daughter, actually) and among the shadow pattern on her form there were leaves and branches.  In this new piece I am further exploring a similar visual concept.  In this one there is more of a direct juxtaposition between the human form and the natural form of the tree.  The trunk compares with the torso, the branches and leaves with arms and hair.  The branching out pattern of trees is also so similar to our circulatory system.

She is for sale for $475.  Payment plans with no interest or fees are available.  Contact me if you're interested.

"Identity II" chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Identity II" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Identity II" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

Here are a few images of the work in progress:



 





Thank you so much for the visit!



-Heather

Friday, May 9, 2014

Concepts and Benefits of Art in Series

Several times I have created work in a clear series.  For example, I had "Ecocide I" through "Ecocide VI" and "Embrace I" through "Embrace III."  Working in a series helps me to explore a very specific theme or idea in multiple pieces.  I also think it helps the viewer to further understand the concept.  Once they see that three or more pieces share the same title, they begin to think, "What do these all have in common?"  And that question alone can make someone re-examine the visual aspects that I was exploring, and the possible meaning behind them.

In my most recent "Native" series, I'm exploring the shadows created by plants cast on the human form.  The original plant itself is not pictured, but it's presence is alive and clear simply by the shadows it has cast.  The shadows are imprinted on the women's skin, following the curves of their form, and creating one image together.  Human and nature.  Body and plant.  Our natural world is where we come from and constantly has its impact on us.

My latest piece, "Native IV" features the shadows of pine needles instead of the branches of the previous ones.  Here she is!


"Native IV" chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native IV" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native IV" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native IV" (detail) chalk and charcoal, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

*Update: This piece is now SOLD.*  Thanks so much!

 And here are all 4 of the "Natives" together:

"Native" Series by Heather Clements, 2014.


Inspiration Source #24:  Finding Yourself in the Dance (and other arts.)  This short video features three amazing street dancers, showing their moves and talking about the nature of dance.  They make discoveries with their bodies and their minds follow.  Almost everything of what they say can be applied to any art form.  Be sure to make it to 3:42, when they really get into the concepts of fun, learning, improvisation, and the amazing benefits of dance (and all art forms.)



On a personal note, many of you may know how in my free time I have fallen in love with hoop dancing.  I have always loved to dance, but never before I have I become so immersed in it, using my body as my medium.  I have found that so many lessons I have learned through art, apply fully to dance.  Lessons of open-mindedness for learning, practice, improvisation, practice, inspiration from others without imitation, practice, finding my own voice, practice, and going in full force, giving it my everything.  The more you give, the more you get, right?


As always, I super appreciate that you have come to my little blog land to read my thoughts and see my art.  Thank you!

-Heather


Monday, April 28, 2014

Thoughts on How to Depict Women in My Art

Most of my art depicts women, and I am very conscious of how I portray them. Lately my art is in more detail, so it has been more prevalent in my thoughts. In the age of photoshop, when women are airbrushed, slimmed, sculpted and overall idealized, I know that I too, am creating images of women that can hold influence on how we view ourselves and others.

According to the Economist, beauty spending–on make-up, health clubs, diet pills, fragrances, skin care, hair products, and cosmetic surgery–adds up to $160 billion-a-year worldwide. I can't seem to go a single commercial break without multiple ads telling me how much I should weigh, how much bounce and shine my hair should have, how terrible wrinkles (and aging in general) are, how unsightly any hair on my body is, how boring my clothes are, and nameless other nit-pickings of my appearance. It seems every year the industry comes up with more things we didn't even KNOW was wrong with our bodies!

I'm fed up, and I have been for a long time. It saddens me how little most women think of themselves, just because greedy money-makers are trying to sell more crap. All this focus on external fake beauty takes away focus from building on our inner beauty, which keeps us down in life in general.

I could go on and on about this subject, but I'll bring it back to my art, since that's probably why you're here. I tread a wobbly line with depicting women in my art. I want to create art that is beautiful. I also care about how other women, especially little girls, could react to seeing images of the women in my art. As an artist, I know how much impact an image can hold. Even just one. Magazine covers hold great impact on a young girl. So my models don't wear makeup. Their hair is either natural, or interacting with nature. I don't leave out wrinkles or moles. I don't slim down waists or perk up breasts. I don't add body to hair, or remove hair from the body. I depict the natural beauty of an actual woman. I want to show how amazing we are as ourselves. To me, as an image, it is not only more honest and natural, but more interesting, beautiful, and powerful.

I don't want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. Be the change you want to see in the world. I don't depict idealized women in my art. I don't wear makeup but less than 5 times a year (which is very minimal when I do, and as I write this I'm starting to think perhaps never again.) I don't put product in my hair. I don't wear a bra that makes my breasts look larger or perkier. I've even stopped shaving my arm pits. (And yes, it's part of why I shaved my head before.) I am so over anybody telling me how I should look, and that my natural body is something to be ashamed of. Because I have rejected so many of these cultural norms for beauty, I am more confident in my own body now than I have ever been before.

I'm not perfect, I have been brain-washed just like every other girl in our culture, but I fight against it and slowly become more confident in myself as an individual, not as some version in comparison to some ideal, not as a ridiculous number on a scale.

I am very conscious of the decisions I make in my life and how they will affect others. I want my step-daughter to see that I can be extremely happy and confident as myself, in hopes that she, too, can be happy and confident in her own skin. In this culture, as a woman, that is so rare. Let's make it the norm.


Well, without further ado, here is my latest piece, "Native III."

"Native III" chalk, charcoal, colored pencil, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native III" (detail) chalk, charcoal, colored pencil, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native III" (detail) chalk, charcoal, colored pencil, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native III" (detail) chalk, charcoal, colored pencil, 18"x24", by Heather Clements, 2014.
*Update: This piece is now SOLD.*  Thanks so much!

Here is something I haven't done before: it's an image of my drawing blended into my reference photo.

"Native III" (detail) blended with reference photo.  Photo by Heather Clements.


Green Tip #24:  Go natural.  Makeups, hair-dyes, hair products, perfumes, skin products - so many of these are harmful for the environment, not to mention our bodies.  Learn to be comfortable with your natural self and go without, or at least cut back, on the 'beauty' products.  I can tell you from personal experience it feels great in so many ways!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog.  I would love to hear thoughts and comments from all you readers out there!

-Heather


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Native II" Light and Shadows and Form, Oh My!

My newest drawing is a sister piece to the one before.  Both reference photos were taken on the same day with two different models.  See my previous blog to read more about the process involved in that photo shoot, which lead to different results in my drawing.

These drawings are a bit of a love affair with shadows.  Tree branches are silhouetted on the figure as they climb over the form and fall off the other side.  The light imprints the surroundings on the bodies.  All of this expresses our bond with the world around us.  We are not isolated from, but a part of the natural world.  We are native to this land.

Here she is, "Native II"

"Native II" chalk and charcoal, 24"x30", by Heather Clements, 2014.

"Native II" chalk and charcoal, 24"x30", by Heather Clements, 2014.


"Native II"(detail) chalk and charcoal, 24"x30", by Heather Clements, 2014.


"Native II"(detail) chalk and charcoal, 24"x30", by Heather Clements, 2014.


And here's a shot taken from an angle while the drawing was still in progress:

Drawing progress, Heather Clements Art



"Native II" is for sale for $975.  Payment plans (with no interest, of course) are available.  Just contact me if you're interested.


Inspiration Source #23: Christoffer Relander's 'We Are Nature' series.  I recently discovered the work of this amazing photographer.  The similarities in themes between my work and Christoffer's is so obvious that I have to admit when I read the title I thought, "Damn!  I could have used that title for my work!"  He uses double exposure photography to beautifully blend humans and nature.  Click here to view more.


Christoffer Relander


Thank you for viewing my art and reading my blog.

-Heather