Robert Serb's Other Artwork

NEW FOR JANUARY 2008

      I've been so focused on my pottery during the past year that I haven't had a chance to work on much else--occasional sketching and such. But there was one long, involved project that I finished this summer, after working on it for over a year.
      Two years ago I drew a sketch of a couple on a beach, (which you can see in the "drawings" section) and I liked it so much I resolved to embroider it onto a shirt. So for about 15 months whenever I was visiting Diane and she began working on her embroidery I would work on mine; and after many, many embroidery dates here's the result:

Lovers on the Beach shirt
Lovers on the Beach shirt

A different look at the Lovers on the Beach
Lovers on the Beach shirt

Yet another look at the Lovers on the Beach
Lovers on the Beach shirt




Here are some of my other artistic endeavors


What did you want to see?




MY DRAWINGS:
In the past year I've been learning how to draw. I took a short course on it, which was helpful, but mostly I've been learning from books on the subject, and through trial and error. (FYI: most of these are nudes, although most of the models I've drawn have been clothed. The Instructor insisted we draw them nude, in order to get the body proportions and positioning correct, and then we could add clothes to the drawing later. I'm usually so pleased if I get the body right that I don't bother to draw clothes on them; as a result some of my friends have concluded that I'm a pervert and don't want to model for me anymore.)
Here are some of the drawings I've done:


      My drawing teacher advised me to try drawing the same scene, from several different perspectives. Sounded like good advice, so I tried it; I think I did well from above her head and below her feet, but poorly from the side view.

Perspective study #1
Perspective Study #1


      I also drew a young lady named Alison that I met on the beach; she was wearing a bikini, but mindful of the advice I’d been given I used my imagination to draw her nude, thinking that I’d add the bikini later. I was pleased with her hands and feet, though I think her face looks two-dimensional instead of rounded:

Woman Figure #12
Woman Figure #12


Figure #1
You can see some of the teachers comments on this one
Figure 1

Figure #2
The teacher was less critical of this one because
her body proportions were much better
Figure #2




Woman drawing #4
I thought her feet and calves were very good,
her shoulders and back less so
Woman drawing #4

Woman drinking
I'm starting to put clothes on my drawings
but I don't think I got her torso angled right
Woman drinking


I'm also finally starting to draw in color; here are a couple of examples.

Woman and Tree
Woman and Tree

Couple on Beach
I liked the seagulls in the lower left
Couple on Beach



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SEWING:
I've also done some sewing; that began back in the Boy Scouts when I had to sew my own patches on to my uniforms, and progressed through mending my own torn-off buttons. I'll never be a real tailor or seamstress, but have been pleased at some of the things I've done. Here are photos of some of my sewing projects:


Blankets and comforters:
      In December of 2007 I kept asking my best friend what she wanted for Christmas, and after about four replies of "Nothing, I have everything I need." she finally admitted that she'd like a comforter that would fit her king-sized bed. So off I went to the stores, to return without a comforter but filled with "shock and awe". I'd only ever bought full-sized sheets and such, and had no idea of the price markups; king size is twice as big as full, but the accoutrements seem to cost 5-6 times as much. After a stiff shot of scotch I determined on a way to fulfill her desire without breaking my holiday budget—I'd make the thing myself.
      So off I went to the fabric store, where more cardiac-arrest-inducing price tags awaited me. However, I did find a place that had a big sale on polar fleece, in a pattern that I knew she liked, so I bought 8 yards, then another 8 yards of backing, then some fiberfill batting…all for about $120, still only a third the price of the finished product. How hard could it be to stitch a couple of big squares together, really?
      It turned out not to be hard…just very time-consuming. Having a background in wood-working I knew the importance of careful measurement and alignment, so rearranged the furniture and laid everything out on the floor. There followed a rapid search, followed by a quick trip to Walgreen's to buy safety pins, then a careful pinning of everything. Mom at this point offered some advice; like turning the thing inside out, stitching the edges but leaving one corner open, then turning it right-side out and finishing the last corner; that leaves most of the stitches on the inside. She also pointed out that this was a much bigger project than I'd imagined; the thing had to be "quilted" or all three layers stitched together every 4-6" in order to keep the layers from shifting and all the filling bunching up on one side. The upshot was that I spent about 20 hours at the sewing machine, but ended up with a nice, 10 foot square comforter for my friend’s Christmas present.
      After seeing how warm and soft her fleece comforter was I decided I had to have one of my own, so it was back to the fabric store. While there I found some nice fabric with a pattern of St. Jude's Children's Hospital for my sister-in-law, who's a big supporter. Also, some Elmo stuff for my 2-year old nephew, who's an Elmo fanatic….the upshot was that I ended up making 4 comforters that month; one for me and three for presents.

Here are photos of one of the comforters I made (for a full-sized bed):

Comforter #1
Comforter #1

Comforter #1
You can see some of the
quilting lines where I stitched
the three layers together Comforter #1




When I started drawing I hunted all over for a nice drawing bag to keep my pencils and sketchbook in; but everything was either not quite the right size or extremely overpriced, so I made my own:

My Art Bag, with pockets
for my sketchbook, pencils and eraser
Art Bag

My Art Bag drew so many positive comments
and envious glances that I had
to make another for my friend Diane
Diane's Art Bag


I've also sewn my own kilt, vest and shirt to wear to the Renaissance fair; The kilt was a 3 month project, since each of the pleats had to be sewn by hand.

My kilt and vest
My kilt and vest

The back of my kilt, showing the pleats
(which need to be ironed)
My kilt


Me in my kilt
Me in my kilt

I'm wearing my camera bag; I hope to make a leather sporan to add to the ensemble at some point.


I have several other sewing projects in the works, including a patchwork quilt (I didn't want to spend a fortune on a nice quilt, and figured I could make my own). For the moment, that remains a low-priority project--next fall when it gets colder I'll move it up on the priority list.


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BEADING:
My friend Li Raven, who is a very talented artist, beaded several vases I'd made (see the Ceramic Pieces section here or on the left for photos of those). I was so impressed that she gave me some lessons in how to bead, and here are a few of the things I've beaded:


A beaded Rainbow pouch
This is actually about 2 inches square, worn as a necklace
My kilt

A blue and green pouch
This one is bigger, about 2 inches by 4 inches
Blue and Green pouch





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