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Sunday, November 14, 2010


Speed drawing and paintings that is...not a quicky at some obscure motel before you pick up the kids from soccer practice--are the key to making better art. I call them get-acquainted sketches and studies.

And I believe in them whole heartedly. They're great exercises for training the eye to catch all the important points that make an object that object before you get out the expensive stuff. Do them regularly, and drawing skills soar. They are an aid for familiarizing yourself with the subject. They sharpen the eye. They train the hand. They don't give you time to think. You just react. Some come out great--light, fresh, full of life, keepsakes for your portfolio--so you're glad you never use crap paper. Others teach you that you really don't know what you're doing. The Elliptical trainer sketch, a twenty minute first attempt quicky, is a perfect example of not having a feel for my subject-- other than total repulsion at getting on the damn thing. I'm surprised I found it for you. It didn't end up a crumpled wad of paper on the studio floor as most quick sketches do.

I kept my onions growing in the backhall closet spur of the moment sketch. It had some merit, good color. But it's still not framable in my opinion because it's poorly placed on the paper.

Daisies, a thirty minute warm up with watercolor, didn't come out half bad. In fact, it would be a good candidate for mat, glass and frame--if you like that sort of picture. I do not. I was turned off the Still Life genre in art school painting classes.

They always had flowers in them and brick-a-brac. We never warmed up. We always jumped right onto the canvas with our paints;and I always came away with a mess, a waste of canvas and a feeling of failure. An example of such a painting hangs in my kitchen today. If I didn't like the eight pack of coke in it,(instead of flowers), I would have trashed it years ago. Instead, I framed it. I hung it. I promised never to fix it, but to keep it as a reminder to always stretch sketch before getting serious.

Fast sketches, no matter how well they came out, are not serious art to me. But I'm not sure I'm right with this opinion. It maybe because I'm a very slow painter when my subject is important to me? After a few get-acquainteds, I lay in the drawing fast, but I take my time with the finish--lots of stops and gos and sitting back with a critical eye. When my eye says "Bazinga," it's done. My "Bazinga" could come weeks or months after the get go. Any thoughts out there on this subject?


  1. I love your fast sketches.. The white daisies are so feminine and the one of the 6 pak of coke is so retro...btw that elliptical has changed up in looks.. doesn';t look as archaic any more.. I love that machine, its toned everything up on me..

  2. I love your coke bottles piece. Great composition.

    I think it's a matter of personal style. Fast or slow... I keep going back to see I love their sketches and I think it takes a lot of skill and talent to get good results.

    Love your painting - wish I have a little bit more patience to get into it...

    Hsve a nice day :)

  3. Dear Linda,
    I've loved your quickies so much.
    (Sorry, I had thought you were a so quick painter media that I'm not familiar with). Your time spent works, too, are lovely and very well organized. Regarding myself, I become either slow or quick, it depends on subjects and mood.
    (*m writing this from a public libarary!)
    Cheers, Sadami