Sunday, January 22, 2017

Always Sketching

I belong to a group on Facebook called "In Your Sketchpad."  Then I started a group on Facebook I titled "Thirty Minutes (More or Less) Daily Drawing." There were too many illustrators in the first group who spent a lot of time making their sketchpads into charming, little books, art pieces on their own  useful, no doubt,  as sales material? 

Sketches are quick drawings.  Studies.  Fragments.  Exercises that serve to sharpen the eye, train the hand, get acquainted with the subject, study form, line and values.Sketches are where problems are spotted and solutions found before painting begins.   They are also beautiful, even if  rough and seemingly unsuccessful, for they reveal the artist's hand--the erasures, the corrections, the artist's state of mind. You can't do too much sketching.

Waiting  at Hospital Imaging, graphite, 6" x 4"

Syrian Refugee and His Kitten, graphite, 6" x 4"

Syrian Refugees Too Old To Start Over,  graphite 3" x 5"

The Artist's Eye, graphite, 4" x 6"

The Artist's Eye 2,  graphite, 4" x 6"

Getting Reacquainted With Gloria (Steinem), graphite 4 x 6"

Getting Better  Acquainted with Gloria (Steinem), graphite 4" x 6"

Of the sketches I did this week, The Artist's Eye #1 has a good chance of moving on to the easel.  I like the strength of that head.  I like the piercing eyes and the scowl, the scruffiness of his beard. Apparently when we're not squinting, we are scowling.  I still want to sketch that guy a bit more--not only his expression, but full figure.  His expression spoke to me, but so did his stance.  Another sketch or two will let me know which is more expressive.

There was a lot to be scowling about this last week.  But in spite of that, I did manage to have a milestone day when I walked back into the studio, picked up my brush and went back to work on my ladies Waiting At The Gate.  Evidently, I've relaxed a bit over our recent health problem--not mine, but my honey's.  My knees are back flexible and strong and able to stand at the easel and dance to BB, when I am not out cycling the neighborhood. 

I focused on the foreground in this week's session.  The print skirt and the details on the suitcase is what keeps this area alive, being that the darkest portion of the composition runs through the midground.  Gestural strokes in both areas will dominate.  While scumblng is the tradition with the Venetian Start Method, gestural allows me to soften details and simplify.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Catching Up On A Commitment

With Honey's biopsy done earlier last week, my attention turned back to drawing daily while we wait for the prognosis, (which I was told wouldn't  be as bad as we had been told it could be). 

Still catching my breath though,  my concentration is disrupted.  Serious painting is on hold.   Small drawings are just enough. Last week, they were glum; This week, they are much more upbeat.  If things keep going well, I might even do enough in January to  satisfy my self imposed commitment? I hope so. 

JUMP!,  graphite  4" x 6"

In Her Stride, graphite 4" x 6"

Close-Up, 4 x 6 graphite

Soaking In The Rays, 6 x 4 graphite

Chillin', 6 x 4 graphite

Toss It To Me, 6 x 4 graphite

Monday, January 9, 2017

Turning Life Into Art

Float Gently Down The Stream, graphite sketch, 6" x 4"

An ideal philosophy, but hardly doable in a world filled with unimaginable grief.

With Just The Clothes On Their Back, charcoal on canvas board,
Drawn from a photograph seen in Time magazine. I'm sorry I did not note the
photographer's name; I was too drawn to the harshness of his subject.

Street Person At the Recycle Plant, charcoal on canvas panel 9" x 12"

I've come out of the woods, but my heart is still heavy.  Charcoal suits my mood and my subject: those who are suffering loss. It's impossible to turn a blind eye, to hide from the truth of the human condition in a landscape or a bouquet of flowers even if the landscape is bleak ad the flowers wilted.