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.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

'Native': A Different Yet More Natural Journey to a Drawing

I'm so excited to show you my latest drawing. The process for this piece was different than any other, all because the reference photos were taken outside. Normally, I set up for a reference photo shoot in my studio. I block out the windows, and set up one strong spot light. I put up something blank as a background. I have a sketch of a specific pose for the model. The photo shoot is usually done well within 20 minutes. But this time was different, and not just because the photo shoot lasted all day.

A photographer friend and I set out with two models to another friend's property who has many acres of untouched nature. I couldn't decide if I wanted to sketch out specific ideas or not. It was hard to imagine a concrete plan when I would have less control of the set-up. Finally, I decided since we would be shooting on-location, with two models, and among nature, I would let the environment inspire me on the spot to envision a future drawing. I didn't want to limit myself and cut off new creative ideas that might spring up.

The models were outside, and they were nude. At first, that idea seems odd, and unusual. Many of us rarely, if ever, will be nude outside in our lifetime (aside from perhaps when we were babies, but we can't remember that.) But almost immediately it felt completely natural. Nude figures, completely bare and natural, among unaltered foliage and trees, made perfect sense. It reminded me of the story of Eve among all the beauty of Eden. It made me imagine our tribal ancestors, living outside, taking only food and leaving only footprints. All of this, of course, fit in with my artistic concepts I have been working with.

This piece was from a photograph of the model covered in shadows of branches. The forms of the dark and light patterns hugging the curves of her skin were beautiful and organic. The shadows reaching across her skin accentuated her form.

I had a wonderful experience drawing this. The most fun and interesting pieces to draw have a lot of individual abstract moments, and this one had plenty. This piece demanded to be large, so I would have room to play among her features, hair, and shadows. It is 24"x30".

Without further ado, here she is. Her name is "Native."

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

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

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

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

And here are some shots taken during the process:

"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.
"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.
"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.

"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.

"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.

"Native" drawing process, by Heather Clements.

P.S. "Native" is indeed for sale for $975.  Payment plans are definitely an option.  Contact me if you're interested.

Green Tip #23: 10 Vegetables and Herbs You Can Eat Once And Regrow Forever.  We all know gardening for ourselves can have huge impact for the benefit of the environment.  But sometimes gardening can be time-consuming and the idea overwhelming.  Well, here are some super easy things you can do without even having to buy anything extra at all.  Check out this article on 10 Vegetables and Herbs You Can Eat Once And Regrow Forever.

I can't thank you enough for taking the time to visit my world for a moment via this little art blog.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drawing "Identity"

For my latest drawing I decided to use my step-daughter, Madeline, as the model.  Using a child in my on-going art themed on the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature seems to make sense.  Kids are open, receptive, and with a sense of wonder about the world that many of us have lost.

I wanted to express the symbolism of nature in this piece as more IN the person, for lack of a better word.  I'm trying to express the lack of separation between ourselves and our natural world, so I wanted to try to blur the boundaries even more.  After being inspired by some double exposure photographs, I thought of the idea of showing leaves and branches in only the shadows of a portrait.  So here is what happened:

"Identity" 16"x20", chalk and charcoal, by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Identity" (detail) 16"x20", chalk and charcoal, by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Identity" (detail) 16"x20", chalk and charcoal, by Heather Clements, 2014.
"Identity" (detail) 16"x20", chalk and charcoal, by Heather Clements, 2014.
I've really enjoyed drawing again, as I'm kind of a glutton for details like eyes and hair.  Drawing has often felt like magic to me, and has ever since I was a kid.  You start with a blank sheet of paper, add a bunch of marks, and all of a sudden an image is there, sometimes seeming to jump off the page.  Now it's not just a piece of paper with some marks on it, it's a human staring back at you, or an environment that doesn't exist in real life.  Come on now, that's magic.

Here are a few images of the process.

Drawing progress for "Identity" by Heather Clements

Stages of process drawing "Identity" by Heather Clements

Of course, having Madeline in this piece does make it more special for me, and I'm going to make sure this one doesn't get stolen!  (Unlike a painting of her that was stolen a few years ago.)

In other news, the album featuring my art on the cover finally came out!  The amazing band from Oklahoma City, Honeylark, licensed an image of my art to use for the cover of their newest album, "Heavy."  Not only is it super cool to have my art on an album cover, but the band is awesome!  Check out some of their music on their website, www.honeylark.com.

Inspiration Source #22:  Rogan Brown's Paper Sculptures.
A-MAZ-ING.  Click here to see more.

Thank you, thank you, for spending some of your internet time with me.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

'Emerge II' - Emerging From Art Into Real Life

Not long ago I created 'Emerge I', in which leaves drawn on a woman's skin, perhaps tattoos, start to become real leaves.  Emerging from two dimensions to three dimensions and from representation to real life.  Nature has influenced so much of our design, clothing, decor, and more.  I think we can all acknowledge the awe-inspiring beauty nature creates.  Maybe our obsession with leaf-patterned things like sofas and skirts can transcend into an obsession with the origin of that inspiration.  We come from nature and we are nature.

I wanted to continue exploring this emergence theme.  In this piece, you'll see similar drawn leaves on a woman's skin.  In a couple places on her arms, they begin to peal off the skin, breaking free of the flat surface, unable to wait to become the real physical thing.  Once they leave her hands, they emerge as full, palpable leaves.  The woman is a part of it all, the catalyst for growth, allowing the natural life to flow in and out of her.

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

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

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

This piece of art sold faster than any other!  I don't think it's possible for a piece to sell any faster.  As soon as I finished it, I sent an iPhone photo to the model.  She immediately responded that she loved it and would like to purchase it!  The model for this piece is the lovely and talented, Olga Guy.  Her energy pours out of this piece, which is perhaps part of the reason why she would feel drawn to it.  Thanks, Olga!

Green Tip #22:  8 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle.  I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to knowing how to cut down on my carbon footprint.  But this list definitely had a few things on there that I didn't know, so I'm happy to be able to share this article with you!

 I am so thankful to you for giving my blog a little look-see.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back on 2013, and Lots of Hand-Made Gifts

It's the first day of a new year.  Nothing has changed but the number on the calendar, and yet we use this as a time to reflect and to look forward.  We use it to easily separate the memories and landmarks of our lives.  We use it as an opportunity for improvement.  However, I really don't think we need to wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar to make resolutions.  We are in control of ourselves the whole year round.  So I have no resolutions for this new year.  I'm currently embarking on a new and unknown path that brings me so many moments of joy, beauty, and good health.  Soon enough I hope to be able to share some of those experiences with others.

I will take this chance to reflect on my art life of this past year.  Note-worthy moments of 2013:

  • 'Cut It Out' solo exhibit at the Bay County Public Library
  • Published a book, "Heather Clements Art: Cut Paper'
  • Full-page article and images in Panama City Life Magazine
  • Artwork and article as the front page for 'First Cut' (international) magazine
  • 'Cut It Out' solo exhibit featured as an article in the News Herald
  • Gave an artist talk about my work at 'Cut It Out', with a professional video of it, too
  • Learned how to make paper out of my paper scraps, incorporated hand-made paper into my art
  • Started teaching adult semi-private art lessons
  • Taught a paper cutting workshop for Panama City Artists
  • Taught a paper cutting workshop for the Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton
  • Won 'Best of Show' for 'Embrace II' at the Central Panhandle Fair
  • Won a merit award and 2nd place in people's choice for 'Embrace I' at Central Panhandle Fair
  • My art was featured twice in the Guild of American Papercutters Annual
  • Won a cash merit award for 'Emerge' at the Visual Arts Center's Bay Annual
  • Volunteered for World Paddle for the Planet Day, held kids eco-art tent
  • More than doubled my Facebook page fans, now at 600
  • Made art that I am proud of

Now that the holidays are over, I think it's safe to share a couple of the commissions I was working on.

This is Charlie, (not my Charlie.)  He was commissioned by someone in Arizona who wanted a special gift of her best friend's dog to give to her for Christmas.

 This is Buddy.  He was a gift from a mother to a daughter, who is Buddy's owner.

This was a gift from a husband to his wife, of their two beautiful children, adorned with the things that they love.

And speaking of gifts, I thought I would share a few of the gifts that I made for the holidays.

This first one was actually for Madeline's birthday.  (Madeline is my step-daughter, for those of you who may not know.)

She loves little toys she can carry around, so I made her a little monster.  Look at that face when she opened it!  She soon named him 'Muscapeep' because he's purple like muscadine grapes, and peep because… he's small.

That wasn't the end of my monster sewing.  I made this guy below for my cousin's 2 1/2 year old son, Declan.  I couldn't have asked for a better reaction when he opened him, either.  He threw his arms up and said, "Pumpkin!" (because he's orange, duh) and then hugged and squeezed Pumpkin tight.

But wait, there's more sewing!  (All of which was done by hand, by the way.)  I saw on Pinterest a Harry Potter Kindle case and I knew Madeline was getting a Nook for Christmas… so I just had to make her this:

For my parents I made a drawing from our trip to Italy last year.  The reference was a photo I took from our hotel window in Florence.

And last, but not least, Mat and I both made several paper lanterns for gifts.  This is a photo of one that we made with a candle inside.  I didn't even need to edit the photo at all.

 Inspiration Source #21: You.  You're kind of amazing, aren't you?  You're awesome at one thing, at least.  If you're not awesome yet, I promise you, after enough hours of practice, you can be.  Be proud of that awesomeness.  Expand on it.  Share it.  It may sound corny, but it's important to recognize your own awesomeness.  Chances are, if you don't, nobody else will either.  If you love to do something, give it your all, including appreciating your own creations.  So write, draw, love, dance, fail, succeed, make something, sing, and play.  Be awesome!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.  Happy New Year!!!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Circle

Oops, it's been a month again since I blogged.  A few things that happened:

I won a $100 Merit Award for my piece "Emerge" at the Bay Annual at the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida!

I had two of my drawing/papercuts published in the GAP Annual.  (Guild of American Papercutters)  I was so honored to be included, and to be featured next to paper cutters that I've admired was amazing!

I created these two paper cut landscape commissions for a client in Virginia:

I drew a commissioned portrait of two pastors from their wedding photo from many years ago.  It was a gift from their church.  (And I did it from a very blurry photo!)

And last, but hopefully not least, I've combined my art with my hooping.  I've been hoop dancing for over 5 months, and it has brought me so much joy, with an added bonus of great exercise!  So I've made some little ink, watercolor, and paper cut pieces.  I've put all of them for sale on my Etsy:  www.etsy.com/shop/HeatherClementsArt


Green Tip #21:  Thoughtful gift-giving.  The holidays are coming, so make thoughtful choices on the items you buy, and how much you buy.  The mass hysteria from Black Friday sends shivers down my spine.  Consumerism is at such a high that people are willing to literally trample one another for a sale on some item possibly made by children at slave wages on the other side of the planet.  An item that will not bring anybody real happiness.  Because of the rough economy, the stress of buying gifts, and the over-consumerism of it all, many families have opted to have gift-free holidays.  They have expressed how wonderful it was not to stress about what to get who, and how much money they have to spend to do so.  They enjoyed gathering with loved ones and sharing experiences and food.  If you do want to give gifts, make wise choices.  Know where it was made, and what it's made of.  Or make gifts.  I make gifts all the time and people appreciate a hand-made gift SO much more than a store-bought one.  With the internet you can look up ideas on what to make and instructions on how to make it.

Thank you blog-visitors!!!