Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Fly On The Wall (Sees What We Don't)

A Fly On The Wall (Sees What We Don't)
Partly because I often paint visual puns, and partly because I was being bothered by a fly buzzing around my house one day, I came up with the idea for this painting.



To get the right scale - and re-create the world as seen by the fly - I first cut out a fly-sized shape and attached it to a chunk of concrete I found outside.

The detail in the painting is therefore drawn from this model.




I also used a microscope to look at a fly's eye close-up - yes, I used a fly that had conveniently died on the windowsill in my studio - with a view to as much accuracy as possible.

However, the eye of my fly is showing us what it sees  - although you need to get "up close and personal" with the painting to be able to catch this level of detail.
Details reflected in the fly's eye

(I've taken a photo using the macro feature, to bring this detail into focus for my blog.)

And what exactly is it that the fly sees that we miss? If you've ever said "I'd love to have been a fly on the wall while that was happening!", you'll have an idea of what I'm getting at. In this case, it's not the happy stuff - but events and unkind actions, such as crimes, that the police cannot solve - but likely could, if they could just be a fly on the wall!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Holidays! - 2013 version

"I must say, you've picked a fine time to get the 'flu!"
Against all the odds, I found time to create another drawing for my annual Xmas card, hard copies exchanged with a few and this electronic version sent to many!



The reason the odds were unfavorable is that I only started drawing on November 30 and managed to finish on December 1. Usually, I take a leisurely few weeks of working on the picture, on and off.




For once, I moved beyond using oil pastels and ventured into the territory known as "mixed media".

What this means for the current effort is that, due to time constraints, I used watercolor pencils for some sections and oil pastels for the rest.

I also shot the photo using the macro feature on my camera; I don't usually do this and am not sure it was the best idea; the resulting photo seems darker than I'm used to (see the posts from past years).

As for the subject matter, this idea came to me around the time I was drawing my 2012 picture; I usually have an idea or two in reserve.

I'll leave it up to you to decide if Santa is genuinely ill or just faking - because he wants the night off. (Although, he does have dark, purple circles under his eyes... I know, because I put them there!)

If you look closely, you'll see that even the reindeer are rolling their eyes at the events unfolding before them.

So...to one and all, Happy Holidays and all the best for 2014!


Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BRAce(s) Yourself! Artful Bra is back (2013)!

Hard to believe, but another year has come and gone, and it's time for the 2013 Artful Bra fund-raiser for cancer research.

This is my third year of participating in this event, which is held at the University at Buffalo, North (Amherst) Campus.

The show goes on at the Center for the Arts.



I actually planned to use my idea in 2012 - until I realized the type of braces I was thinking of are actually known as suspenders in North America.

So, I set the idea aside - and then I came up with the option I'm showing here in the photographs.

As you will see, there are tiny "aces" on the BRAces.

The bras for this yea'rs fund-raiser, plus unclaimed bras from past years, will be on display in the glass cases towards the rear of the atrium/lobby at the Center.

The opening reception is Wednesday, October 2, 2013, from 3-6 p.m.

To purchase the calendar or bid on one of the bras, go to the following link:

http://wings.buffalo.edu/org/artfulbra/


Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer


P.S. You'll find my entries for earlier years at the posts for 9/9/11 and 10/3/12.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Plant's Eye View of the World, Part 5

It's been quite a while since I posted one of the canvases from my series "Evil Greens: When Plants Get Mad...".

So, I'm back with Number 5 in the series. (All paintings in this series are the same size, 2 foot wide by 3 foot high)

In this one, I move away from plant life that is truly "green" and focus on a food plant, namely, wheat.


For those of you who haven't viewed the first four paintings in the series, one of the premises - in a world where some people assume there's a virtue in eating a non-animal product diet - is that plant life is compliant with this.

My view is: Plants are no less alive than animals and, in some cases, the whole plant is finished off to feed the hungry. (Interesting side note: All of human agriculture, for the last 10,000 years, has been based nearly 100% on annuals, not perennials. This is where the hideous costs of agriculture originate. There's a move afoot to develop perennial forms of grain and oilseed crops, to reduce the costs.)

I'm sure harvesting methods and equipment have improved in recent years, but my references to agriculture come from my childhood, when I lived far nearer to farmer's fields than I do today, so I'm showing an old fashioned combine-harvester in the background. It may not apply now but, there was a time, if the wheat was wet, it couldn't be harvested. Then again, it may still be true...

In this panel, the wheat is mad - and fighting back! It is making itself wet, in an act of defiance. The farmer is horrified.

The eagle-eyed among you will also notice other details... such as the little copses of trees on the horizon or the tails of little furry creatures scurrying out of the way. Plus, of course, the droplets of water.

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Monday, March 18, 2013

Artsphere Anniversary Show

From Above (Saturday Afternoon)
A few months ago, I was delighted to receive an invitation to participate in the 10th Anniverasary Show at Artsphere Studio & Gallery.

I had a one-woman show at this location back in 2006 and the gallery owner, Doreen Boyer DeBoth, invited all artists who had had shows at her gallery over the first ten years to submit one work for the anniversary show.







As a result, after much cogitation - plus consideration of the dimension limitations and advice from a friend! - I decided to show my work "From Above (Saturday Afternoon)" (See earlier March 5, 2011 blog post for additional details about this work).


The full canvas is shown at top. The other photos are excerpts from the full painting. This canvas is really all about the details which are best seen 'up close and personal'!



The 10th anniversary show is running from March 22, 2013 through April 27, 2013.

The gallery is at 447 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY, in the historic Black Rock district of town (near Amherst Street and Elmwood Avenue). It is also not far from Albright-Knox and Burchfield Penney, which are close by on Elmwood Avenue.


A total of 34 artists are taking part in the show. Artsphere Gallery is co-located in a building with a salon, meaning there is good exposure for the artists.

Gallery hours are Wed, Thurs and Fri: 12-5 and Sat. 11-3

Gallery phone is : 716-874-2863

More details at http://www.artspherestudio.com

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Monday, December 17, 2012

Season's Greetings 2012!

This year, it was nip and tuck if I would find the time to prepare a cartoon for my Christmas card. I started this tradition and then using the resulting drawing to make Christmas cards, several years ago, so I feel I must keep the tradition going!

"You can skip the 'James Bond' routine, Nick! I know it's already the 27th."
I did manage to pull it off; family members and some overseas contacts get the hard copy version and then I share online with everyone else.

This year's effort was rather inspired by all the old - read Sean Connery era - James Bond movies a friend and I rented. (We rather became purists and deemed those made after the original 4 or 5 to lack the sense of humor of the early films.) (Although we thoroughly enjoyed 'Skyfall'.)

As always, the art work was done in oil pastels on paper, then shot digitally and reproduced.

Oh, in case you're wondering about the decor in the Clauses home, you have to consider that it reflects the level of budget they have to work with, given that Santa only works one night a year!

Have a very merry holiday season!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BRA i.d. a.k.a. Hello! I'm Your Bosom Buddy!


After last year's entry in the UB Artful Bra fundraiser, I came up with several ideas for the 2012 event and eventually settled on the bra pictured. Much as with my 2011 entry, this one is a pun!


The title is: BRA i.d. - and, as the title suggests, the decorative elements are all made from braids.





In other words, it's a visual pun and I partly chose to go with this because braids are fairly easy to make and are also pliable. I had first thought I'd make the braids out of hair - artificial of course - but found that even artificial hair would be too soft for construction purposes.





Also, as I had a lot of wool in my treasure trove of supplies, I decided to make wool braids and multi-colored ones at that.



For the "i.d." of the title, I raided my copious collection of name tags from all the conferences I've attended over the years - see, it pays to keep stuff! - and made a tag saying "Hello! I'm Your Bosom Buddy!"

Along with some photos of my own entry and the artist herself (me), I'm also showing the display area and the location.












Once again, this year's bras are on display at the Center for the Arts at UB on Maple Road in Buffalo, NY. The Center for the Arts even comes equipped with its own lake out back!!

The final photo is of the calendar featuring this year's bras and sold to raise funds for cancer research. In a new development, we were offered the opportunity to dedicate pages in the calendar and so I've dedicated the month of June to my mother. June is her month of birth and she is a breast cancer survivor.

You can contribute by either bidding on one of the bras or by purchasing the calendar, which costs $10 each.


http://wings.buffalo.edu/org/artfulbra/

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer