Friday, November 14, 2014

Life-drawing at Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Nov 7th

I've been absent for a bit ...not off having fun, but working on a videopoem that I had on my list for 6 or 7 months and which I finally finished because I wanted to submit it somewhere and had a dead-line. I pushed myself through a gruelling week and a half of 18hr a days and towards the end found myself out every single night at different poetry, dance and drawing events. Sleep was less than minimum (2-3 hrs a night, I was approaching break down). However, I got a complex poem written and edited, edited the video footage, did about 6 readings of the poem before getting one I could live with, and created the soundtrack for the background with a small cheap keyboard and GarageBand - and also I did subtitles. The videopoem is about 7.5min, and was a feat. I am happy with the result, though I don't hold out too much hope for its finding acceptance where I sent it (this is the norm for me - my first choice never says yes, but if I keep submitting, where it is accepted is always better for my work and me).  So I will be sending it elsewhere, whenever it comes back. Due to the requirements of previously unpublished works, I can't publish it or share it with you now.

I have been drawing, though. And today finally had some sun and time to do the arduous task of photographing. One set is ready....

Life-drawing at Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Nov 7, 2014. Model: Obskyura; theme: 'Over the top, pop star decadence. Excessive glamour. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.' ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24", graphite, Inktense black (and sometimes red or pink) blocks with a water brush pen on Strathmore 70lb archival drawing paper.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween, spooks!

And a completely silly video that I threw together on a whim last night in an attempt to deal with my talking head syndrome...

direct link: On the talking head syndrome...

Testing some umbrella lights and neat video effects, I thought I'd take on my difficulty with doing the 'talking head' thing when I do video reviews of poets who have featured at my Poetry Salons at Urban Gallery in Toronto.

Ok I got a bit carried away....

(Maybe going to return this mask - the studs really aren't me, though it is a very comfortable mask otherwise.)

The titles in FCP X that looked best did not give me room to add the music credit: Collegium Musicum De Minas - Regina Caeli, Chiquitos (Anônimo jesuítico, séc. XVIII) found in free downloads on Last FM.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Out of the Closet

Gettin' ready for Halloween! And I did get a small black mask for the eyes. Oh hoho... way too much light in the iPhone photo and it washed away the years. Lol!

She wistfully remembers her vamp days.... (ok they were very short and a very long time ago. but.)

(got ma first corsets this year, or, properly, bustiers, which have resin or plastic stays and are very comfortable, unlike corsets proppa, which have bone or steel stays)

Leather lady!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Deep in the Cyanean Surf: for Nik Beat (videopoem 3:11min)

direct link: Deep in the Cyanean Surf

...cast myself in shadow in this video... for Nik Beat/aka Michael Barry... written within days of his death, in remembrance and love. Miss you!

There are subtitles that can be translated into many languages... just click on the CC.

Because the raw clip was not in focus, I cast myself in shadows in two different 'copies' or 'projects' with different approaches to the textures and focus of the poem. I kept trying this and that on each project to see what resonances with the poem might work - one, for instance, had a film noir effect; in the other I used a background generator. The editing took me to many mysterious places until one of the clips, the latter one, emerged more fully as a 'videopoem' and became what you see here. This is when video editing is like writing a visual poem or painting with the possibilities offered by multiple video effects. The background sounds, which are quite dimmed, are of waves lapping.

I rarely get into cutting of scenes and images, preferring the integrity of a single clip, the cleanness of it, and allow it to build like a painting around the poem.

Someone in film would be aghast at this, but it built as a series of carefully calibrated approaches to the raw video clip over a whole day and removing any of them changed the whole look. Only regret: I didn't de-interlace for the YouTube video, though did for the Vimeo edited upload.


Shadowed Poet - photos from a w-i-p videopoem

As I begin working on the video from my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery last Saturday, I thought, waiting for responses from some of the readers who were sent raw video clips for approval (even simple editing takes quite a bit of time, and I don't want to do it if that person will nix the final edited video as others occasionally have done), that I would work on the poem I did (the one I wrote for Nik Beat). Well, my. Many hours later I think it'll work. I blotted myself out altogether -


Monday, October 20, 2014

Posting the same sketch from a life-drawing session inked in.... #InkTober

Inked sketch of final pose (inked in studio after) - Life-drawing at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse - 19 Oct 2014 - ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24", 4mm 6B graphite in a Pilot Croquis lead holder, Derwent InkTense permanent ink and Prismacolor NuPastels on Canson 80lb archival cream drawing paper.

I pulled the knees and lower legs way back and inked the sketch in. After, I added a bit of NuPastel. At this point, I am quite satisfied with how it has turned out. The overall composition works for me and the elements are subsumed in it even as they create it.

Tinkering will continue, however... a few things I can already see. I'll include this drawing when I post all the sketches - this will be the most 'finished' one. It was roughly a 40 min pose.

The messy paper and grottiness? I love that! Seeing process as well as the final incantation makes a drawing or painting feel like it is part of the real world, that the artist's materials are still in flux as they flow together to make the image appear as a demarcation of a perception of a figure on the page.


Posting a sketch from a life-drawing session... when I add other media, it'll change for better or worse.

Original untouched sketch of last pose at Life-drawing at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse - 19 Oct 2014 - ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24", 4mm 4B or 6B graphite on Canson 80lb archival cream drawing paper.

When there's a nice sunny day and I have time, I'll photograph and post the rest of the sketches - it wasn't a terribly good session for me, though often my disappointment lifts when I view the sketches a few days or weeks later and can see they have saving graces and are not *all *that *bad (aren't we our own worst critics?).

This one was done with a Pilot Croquis lead holder and a gum eraser - I had no way to sharpen the lead, which surely made for a clumsier drawing. I am posting an 'as is' / 'before' photo (shot with fluorescent daylight bulbs) because I'm thinking of inking it and seeing where I can take it. The legs are too long and I am not sure how that happened and wonder if it was using a new tool, the Pilot Croquis lead holder, and trying a new technique, sketching in 4mm 6B pencil and blending to darken with an eraser, that threw me off. Or maybe it's just a drawing that didn't work - and is, therefore, to look on the positive side, a good one to play with.

Of course, I may need to crop those too-long legs off and make the drawing smaller. I'll have to see how it goes.

Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery Oct 25, 3-5pm

Please do come out on Oct 25th, 3-5pm, to Urban Gallery where I am hosting another beautiful Poetry Salon.

Ellen S. Jaffe's second poetry collection, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse, was published in May 2014 by Guernica Editions. Ellen's previous books include poetry, a young-adult novel, and a book about writing, all of which have won awards. Her work has been translated into Finnish and published in journals and anthologies. She grew up in New York, moved to Canada in 1979, and has lived in Hamilton for 15 years. Ellen is Hamilton Contributing Editor for Great Lakes Review, a journal for writers on both sides of the border. Her story "Night Lights of Kansas," published in the review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. Ellen teaches writing with Living for the Arts, and has received grants for writing and arts education from the Ontario Arts Council.

Pat Connors' chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press last year. He was also recently published in Belgium, India, and Timmins. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. He recently performed at the Austin International Poetry Festival, Stellar Literary Festival, Blue Coffee Reading Series, and, for the third time, at The Art Bar Poetry Series. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Niki Koulouris was born in Melbourne, Australia and lives in Toronto. A beer enthusiast, she’s been known to start spontaneous lists, on napkins, of her top India Pale Ales. Shortlisted for the 2014 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, the The sea with no one in it is her first book.

Up to eight Open Mic spots of 5 min each are also offered - sign-up at 3pm.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Drawings from Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Halloween theme, Oct 3, 2014. #InkTober

Life-drawing @ Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Halloween theme, Oct 3, 2014, ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24" Inktense black and red blocks with a water brush pen on Strathmore 70lb archival drawing paper. You've seen some of these already....

See photos from the evening at the Dr. Sketchy Blog.


(Zoominess and deepened shadows added for extra Halloween effect! I rather like.)

(the actual drawing)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little sketch of Norman Bethune Allan and Waleed Abdulhamid @ The Art Bar #InkTober

It was so dark at the Art Bar last night that I could not see what I was doing - literally, could not see pencil lines on the paper. The water-soluble ink I was using appeared so black there was hardly any detail. Would have been better, perhaps, if I had enough light to see the paper - so I'll have to take a small book light if I go and draw at The Black Swan Tavern again.

Norman Bethune Allan and Waleed Abdulhamid (where the ink wash drawing went later in the evening and the original sketch) @ArtBar-14Oct2014 ©BrendaClews, 11" x 15", Derwent InkTense black permanent ink blocks,  Faber-Castell Pitt India ink pens, Pentalic 130lb archival paper.