unwrappingmommy

Archive for October 2013

(continued from Part 2)

After taking a few minutes to have a minor nervous breakdown over the fact that I would be creating a piece on the dark street I pulled myself together.  I still had plenty of time to practice and I knew I could successfully draw Rosie; the goal now was drawing her on the road and practicing with chalk pastels.  Luckily, we live on a cul-de-sac in a rural neighborhood.  The street that runs in front of my house is similar to the surface at Easton Town Center.  During the day we don’t get much traffic, so I was able to park my car on the street and draw on the road behind the car.  I went to a local art supply store and picked up a box of black chalk pastel sticks and a box of colored chalk pastels.  Again, my inexperience go the better of me!

If you’ve never used a chalk pastel, or you’re not really familiar with them, they are basically a stick of pressed pigment.  They are very densely colored, easy to draw with, and easy to blend.  Also a little goes a long LONG way.  And, when I say they are easy to blend, you should also read this as “easy to smear all over the place even when you aren’t trying to blend!”  On my first attempt on our back patio I tried to outline Rosie using the sticks of black pastel.  Before I had finished her shoulders the top of her head had started to smear from me moving around.  I was just doing a quick sketch so I could learn the properties of the pastels so I hadn’t intended to draw the full figure.  She looked AWFUL!!!  I then attempted to color her in and she went from bad to worse!  The chalk pastels don’t really come in a “flesh” tone.  Since they are used by trained artists, they are meant to be blended.  You’re supposed to know how to mix 2 (or more) of the colors available to make the new color you desire.  Well, I’m not a trained artist, and I’ve been very happy with my Crayola peach colored chalk!!  I attempted to color Rosie’s face with the pastels, but all of her black outline smeared, her face looked like a zombie corpse thing, and she was bad bad bad.  Her hair did turn out great though, so there was a glimmer of hope.  I gave up on this attempt and vowed that I would NOT be coloring Rosie’s face with the chalk pastels.  I would just take my Crayolas with me for her face.  I wasn’t going to botch the face of my piece just because my experience in color blending is limited to none.

My next hurdle was the road.  Now that I knew chalk pastels were out for doing my outline I went old school.  I dug around in my kitchen junk drawer and came up with about 2.5 sticks of regular old white school chalk.  I knew this would work.  It really had to because my homemade chalk would not show up on the road and the chalk pastels would not stay put once laid down.  With my black outline and school chalk in hand I got to work on another practice piece.  This time on the road.  I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of it, and happy with the white school chalk on the dark surface.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and focused on getting to know all about Rosie as the person and not just the girl in the painting (to be continued…)

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Street practice using basic white school chalk.

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(continued from Part 1)

When I confirmed with the Chalk-the-Block organizer and myself that, Yes, I was in fact going to attempt Rockwell’s Rosie I became intent on finding out all I could about this ginger beauty.  At first glance she just looks like a dirty girl eating her sandwich on her lunch break.  On second glance you may notice she has several buttons across her overalls.  On third glance you may notice there’s a little something in her pocket.  On fourth glance you may notice…well, there’s a lot to notice.  And I’ll get into that in a bit.

I really wanted to know all about the details of this painting, and tried all the tricks I could think of to dig up the meaning of the 7 visible buttons that adorn Rosie’s overalls.  My super Google skills brought up little as far as specifics, but I did hit the jack-pot when I came across an amazingly beautiful and photo-filled blog, the eff stop (there are also photos of the breathtaking Rosie tattoo recently acquired by the author).  Lorri had done a fantastic job capturing the beauty of the painting as she hung in her permanent home, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art located in Bentonville, Arkansas.  I commented on her post asking if she had any info on the buttons.  She graciously sent me a stunning photo she had taken on her visit of those buttons!

Between the time I made my original comment on the eff stop post and the time Lorri sent me the button photo, I also reached out to the director of education for Rosie’s home museum.  The director was extremely helpful, and shared with me a brochure that was passed out during an “Art Talk” Crystal Bridges had held on Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter painting.  It not only included the explanation of the buttons in question, but also links to historical sites that helped identify the buttons.

Armed with the knowledge of Rosie’s symbolism, I got to work practicing.  My first attempt was a complete F.L.O.P.  I attempted to draw from a black and white copy of the original painting, and that just did not work.  I needed the defined lines.  So, I reverted to my old school days, and made a carbon copy of Rosie.  By coloring heavily on the back of the picture with a pencil, placing a clean sheet of paper under the picture, and outlining Rosie with excess pressure I was able to transfer an outline to the clean sheet.  Then I traced that pencil outline with a fine tipped pen, and I had my solid black outline that I’m comfortable drawing from.

Here at home I make my own black sidewalk chalk.  It works great on the light color of the driveway and looks similar to a pencil.  I did a much better practice of Rosie with the outline as my guide, and I was more confident about recreating her at the festival.  I colored her in with my usual Crayola sidewalk chalk, she was looking good, and I was feeling good!  I should have known it couldn’t be that easy…

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The Chalk the Block festival was being held at Easton Town Center.  In my naivete, I figured we’d be drawing on the sidewalk.  The light, smooth, even sidewalk.  Oh friends, how wrong I was.  While looking through the gallery of the 2012 event, I quickly noticed that the artists were not drawing on the sidewalk, they were drawing on the road.  The dark, coarse, bumpy road!!!  *audible gasp*  A quick email to the organizer confirmed that, Yes, we would be chalking on the road.  It also informed me that we would all be given a large box of professional chalk pastels which they preferred we use, EXCLUSIVELY, to create our drawings.  Now, I’d never used a chalk pastel in my life.  I’d also never drawn on the road before, save for the quick Scooby I did for my son’s birthday on the school playground, but that was more crumbly black top than road.  Welcome back, freak-out mode!!  (to be continued…)


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@tcakes4u on Instagram

Kit-Cat has arrived :) #ticktock #kitcat #nostalgia #madeintheusa  #clock Cross-Post from @chalk_n_awe of these little cuties I paints yesterday to hide around our town 😍 Boxtop Collection Hack: Put a magnet inside a #Ziploc sandwich bag and hang it on the fridge. When it's time to take them into school, take the magnet out, zip the bag and throw it in your kid's backpack. #done #slackermom #ziplocbaggies #boxtops #easypeasy #youfancy #instamom #hack #lifehack #magnet #collect #school #backtoschool Hooked a Hugamonster for my Hugamonster 😍 Pattern from the beautiful @jensalittleloopy  #crochet #funfur #amigurumi #monster #hug #toy #love #cute #creepy #furry #fiberart About to get entertained by this bunch'a hooligans!! #improv #dayton #blackboximprov #hardsoda #orange #datenight When your kid asks for a lunchbox note 15 minutes before the bus come...
#lunchboxnote #firstdayofschool #groot #quick #freehand #instagram #instagood #gotg #iamgroot Movie night at the park, and I found this little sweetie. #WillyWonka #paintrocks #paintedrocks #imagination #rockdrop #artdrop #candy #candyshop #cwpdrocks #finderskeepers Hooking up some chevrons for a Bebe!! Love these poppy, fun colors 😍 
#crochet #baby #bright #fun #colorful #chevron #afghan #babyblanket #babycrochet #yarn #rhss Oh Happy Day!! #goldensnitch #fidgetspinner #harrypotter #quidditch  #seeker

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