Wednesday, November 6, 2013

F is for French Curves

This post might also be called I is for Intuition. Instead I will write about a new favorite tool -

I love to garage sale, it is my form of hunting and gathering. I try to take some time on Friday mornings when the weather is good, to "go saling" around my neighborhood. I never know what I may find.

I am always on the lookout for art supplies, which usually (in my kid friendly area) take the form of piles of crayons or craft supplies. These are not the items I am looking for, but my method has occasionally reaped huge rewards. Once I found enough tempera paint and brushes for several painting classes, and once in a while I will be lucky enough to score something new - something really cool, something I have never worked with before. This is how I discovered Caran D'ache Neocolor Crayons, which I absolutely adore. also, I have a large collection of canvases that someone bought but never used. My inexpensive finds are a great way for me to reduce my guilt about a failed painting or wasted paper.

So, once sunny morning I was out driving around. A sign on a long messy driveway made my sensors go zing. I had a feeling about this place. When I asked my usual question, "Any art supplies?" an elegant woman stepped out of the shade and said - "follow me."

She, as it turns out, is an artist. She was moving to a new city and the garage sale was, in part, a way for her to get rid of materials she no longer wanted or used. Among the stash of great items I took away was a box of nine different French curves, a tool I had not used in many years. The box of varied curves was unique to me. I had always assumed that there was only one style and shape of this tool. So I started to play, drawing the curves, inner and outer, laying them together to create patterns, and finally creating a sketch of lines that called out for color.

I continue to play with this interesting set of tools, and plan to introduce them soon into a class for older kids. I think they will find them as interesting to play with as I do.

The image on this page is 9"x11" on watercolor paper. Done in sharpies and Caran D'ache.