Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Let My Imagination Flow Freely, and This is What Happened

Lately I've made a lot of small-ish ink and watercolor pieces featuring the nude figure and aspects of nature. Of course, these pieces are all along the theme I have been involved in for the past few years. But there are a few things that make them different:

1. They are on the small side of my art as of late.

This puts less pressure on each piece, and less pressure means more freedom for creativity.

2. They are created more intuitively.

For my larger drawings and paper-cuts, I spend plenty of time brain-storming, inspiration-gathering, and sketching before starting a final piece. With these quicker pieces, that means I don't have a clear idea or expectation of what the final piece will look like.

The intuitive, and more creative approach leads to more ideas for future pieces, large and small.

Creativity runs free when we free ourselves of fears and let our imaginations roam. A little spark can eventually snowball into a larger idea, or even a whole new theme or direction for my work. I see these pieces as exploring new ideas.

3. They are in a different style and medium than I've been working in.

Watercolor is a medium that lends itself to unexpected and uncontrolled moments. That lack of complete control allows me to be looser and more free to play. And the results can be surprisingly great.

While I enjoy great detail, I also enjoy the style of looser works, where very few marks can say so much.  I often enjoy my sketchbook drawings as much if not more than my larger, more 'finished' pieces, so these watercolors allow me to work in my multiple styles.

4. They are created in much less time than most of my work, which is the main reason why they are so much more affordable.

As an artist of humble means myself, I completely understand the conundrum of loving an artist's work, but being unable to afford any of it. But sometimes those artists offer pieces that are more affordable, whether they are prints, or just smaller, quicker pieces. I super appreciate these options because without them, someone like me might never afford art by such awesome artists.

I've definitely heard over the years how people appreciate my art, but can't afford it. So I always try to price my all work for as little as possible, but while also trying to actually make a living.   And I also make art sometimes that is just able to be priced much lower.

I love working for hours and hours on a detailed paper cut, drawing, or painting. But I also sometimes love the freedom and expression of creating quicker, looser works as well. And those pieces that take so much less time, are also able to be priced so much lower. I'm happy to be able to say I have works that people from almost all incomes can take home.

5.  They keep me making art and coming up with new ideas in between the big ideas.

As a full-time artist, I spend a lot of hours per week making new art.  It's not always easy to constantly have the next idea for the next piece of art.  Working on these pieces allow me to create art when I don't have the next large piece figured out yet, and help to stir up new concepts for the next big piece.



I hope you enjoy these pieces close to as much as I have enjoyed creating them.  And I believe there will be more to come...

"Sprout" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. [SOLD]

"Sprout II" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $63 framed.

"Sprout" III 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. [SOLD]

"Rooted" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  [SOLD]
"Rooted II" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $63 framed.

"Braided Branches" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.

"Branching Out" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $63 framed.

"Branching Up" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.

"Encircled" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014.  $66 framed.
"Earth and Sky" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $63 framed.

"Field Within" 8"x10", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $58 framed.

"Natural" 11"x14", ink and watercolor, by Heather Clements, 2014. $66 framed.


*Note:  Some of the above images are zoomed in a little, only cropping out negative space (the white of the paper.)  If you're interested in prices of these pieces unframed, feel free to contact me and ask.  Some of these pieces have sold, some are currently for sale at CityArts Cooperative, and some have been made so recently they are still in my art studio.

Green Tip #26:  Donate stuff you don't want.  This is a pretty easy one, but it's one so many people are guilty of not doing.  I can't tell you how much of the furniture and useful things in our house came from the side of the road or an alley put out for trash.  Perfectly good items like 4 like-new matching beach chairs, hand-made small table, beach umbrellas, rain umbrellas, wood crates we transformed into book shelves, perfectly good clothes, and bicycles (that usually need a bit of work and a few parts.)  That's just to name a few off the top of my head.  While it's great we've gotten so much for free, think of all the stuff that doesn't get discovered, and ends up in a landfill.  Perfectly good, useful things, polluting our planet.  That's just too wasteful.  So the next time you are getting rid of stuff you don't want anymore, just make a pile for donations, and drop some off at a Goodwill, Catholic Charities, or other thrift shop.  You can feel good that you are not only helping those who can't afford to buy brand-new, but also the health of your planet.


As always, I thank you so much for your time here on my blog.

-Heather



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Backyard Love and Native VI

Right now I'm sitting on the porch of my art studio in my backyard. I'm in the cool breeze of the morning on a surprisingly not-humid day in Florida in August.  I hear cicadas and the sound of the leaves rustling against one another in the subtle wind.  Every now and then I hear a quick scuttle and then catch a glimpse of a tiny young lizard, quickly hopping or running, but scurrying so fast you can't possibly see the movement of his legs.

The long grass blades arch and bend to caress against one another.  Young bamboo shoots reach up sporadically and slightly branch out their long and graceful leaves.  Shadows of the rustling foliage dance on the ground.

Half of this euphoric experience is because of our decision not to interfere with the nature of our yard.  Really, it's only our yard legally, but much like the Native Americans and many other indigenous people, we don't believe in ownership of the land and the plants and animals that inhabit it.  But, we'll take the legal ownership if it means we can protect the plants.  I know how this may sound, if you're not used to this perspective.  But after just a few years here, this mini ecosystem has begun to flourish.  Some may consider it "unkempt" but we consider it natural and beautiful.  We have a neighbor a couple blocks away who raises bees.  He says he can watch them head straight for our yard, and is glad they have such a nourishing place to go to.  Butterflies, lizards, and birds, too, are drawn to the habitat we have let grow that houses so much more life than a trimmed and mowed lawn, which has roughly the biodiversity of a desert.

I heard a true story of an old man who lived most of his life on a few acres of young, beautiful forest.  He had new neighbors who moved in and worked many hours on the weekends to mow and landscape their yard.  Then when visiting their new neighbor they were taken aback by the beauty of his property and complimented him on it.  "Wow, you have such a gorgeous yard, how do you do it?"  they asked.  He said, "Don't mow for fifty years and it will become a forest."

We're pretty sure the plants know how to grow on their own, so we just let them.

So while many of our neighbors may assume we're just lazy, given some more years, our yard will become more and more appealing even to them.

Our little patch of backyard.



Aaaaaand that brings me to my latest drawing, "Native VI."  I drew from the grass in our yard for the shadows on her back.  The reference photos were even taken in our backyard.  So really, I guess this piece is also about my own personal experience letting the natural world grow and interact with me.  I even modeled for this one myself, as well as my previous drawing, "Growth II."

"Native VI" graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Native VI" (detail) graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Native VI" (detail) graphite, 22"x28", by Heather Clements, 2014.


Here are two different versions of this drawing blended with the reference photo.




Inspiration Source #26:  Swoon.   Swoon is a street artist who specializes in life-size wheat paste prints and paper cutouts of human figures.  She is among my favorite street artists and you should check out some of her beautiful work here, and follow her on Instagram!




So many thank you's for taking a gander at my blog.

-Heather


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