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Artfest workshop recap #2

Art colored pencil drawing Events illustration Misc. Creations! Personal theo ellsworth tyler larsen tyler larsen art

Long time no blog...that's what happens when the sun comes out in Seattle! I've been green thumbing it in the backyard, getting our veggie garden ready for the spring. I love this time of year, it's always lush and green, but something about all the flowers blooming just makes me smile.

This blog post is dedicated to Mr. Theo Ellsworth (my artfest workshop day 1 teacher) whom I not only admire for his amazing artwork but his genuine passion to share exploring our inner creative self and the connect he made (or should I say tried to make with me)...to just let go and let my hand take me where it wants to go.

Theo's workshop was a tough one. I jumped into the drawing exercise excited without hesitation and then suddenly after about a half an hour I just sat there staring at my paper, totally feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and not really knowing why. It was like all the excitement and preparation it takes to get to Artfest crept up and got the best of me. (not to mention some outside life stressors we're dealing with) Or the fact I stayed up until 4o'clock in the morning making my trades before we left for artfest! Theo was so thoughtful. He could tell I was struggling and he did his best to give me a pep talk. But lame-o me couldn't pull my head out of my butt and get to drawing....instead I walked out feeling like I let Theo and myself down. *Ugh*

I didn't touch my drawing the rest of Artfest, honestly, I almost threw it away...But somehow it made it home with me, and I never forgot about it. Most often if I don't complete a piece at Artfest, it never gets finished...however, something about this was different and I had to finish it somehow even if I didn't like it in the end, (which I'm not sure I do)...but I'm trying really hard lately to break out of my whole: it's not finished yet, it's not good enough, yada, yada, yada bad habits and just put it out there...so I can be done with it and on to the next.

So anyways....Theo's instructions were to draw on the front page in the center our "Imaginary Disbelief Suspension Suit" a suit you get in to find your inner creative self. After we drew the character we were suppose to draw as much detail as possible surrounding our character, then with an exacto knife carefully cut out our character/suit, open the 2 fold paper and on the right side page land your character by gluing it in the center of the page. Then draw an environment or place that your character/suit lands in...and on the opposite side draw the portal they came through as if they're looking back at it....I made it as far as cutting my character out and gluing her to the second page and then I stopped with just blank white space all around my creature with a box around her head?! was it a television...I don't know...and what was she? an alien?!

After finishing it, the front page...

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you open the page and she (now a bee with wings) lands in her happy place...

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Candy-land...she's sitting on a swing held up by an "it's all imaginary" floating banner being pulled by a plane...

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which is actually a statue airplane sitting on top of a retro television with an emergency announcement on the screen and with a naughty kitty dreaming away after helping himself to a box of kitty food....

some close up pics of the randomness...

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Arlin's managed to come up with more crafty stories while looking at this artwork than I have! Which is reason enough for me to be happy that I finished it. :)

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Colored pencils are growing on me....just a little. :) Thank you Theo!



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  • regina on

    I used to try to work with colored pencils a lot, but never felt I could get the dimension I wanted. Theo does it beautifully though (I bought one of his prints and my boys love it). Anyway, I still love what you did here. Sorry you were so frustrated by the process. It’s actually a whole lotta pressure to start and complete and totally new-to-you kind of art in one day (without sleep). I really enjoyed seeing your happy place :)

  • michelle allen on

    this really turned out amazing! glad you kept going on it. love the sugar land world. :)

  • Tammy on

    wow!! this is so cool Tyler! I had a day like your on day 2. I had the BEST teacher ever, but my brain just seemed to go…wha….t?? ouch I hurt. I cant do abstract, then the staring started. But seriously this turned out really amazing! good job!

  • Shelly Massey on

    I am seriously loving all the stories in this piece… I know how you were feeling about it, but I think you turned it into a success. Love all the interrelationships (big word, right?!)between the pages. Hope you’ve found your happy place with it. xoxo -Shelly

  • Shelly Massey on

    P.S. Me and colored pencils. We’re not really friends. I did see a Mary Engelbreit video today and sort of saw some light at the end of the colored pencil tunnel. She does her work with markers (looked like copic and a couple other kinds) and THEN does the colored pencils for shading. I might try that out and see if I can get on at least speaking terms with the pencils.


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