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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Drawing Seconds

I got an idea while visiting Sharon's Pics. In case you've never visited her, Sharon is taking a life drawing class and was showing her ten minute, twenty minute and hour drawings.The timed drawings made me think that I should be able to get a recognizable drawing of a person in a lot less time than the shortest pose held in a life drawing class.

Think about it. When we're out on the street drawing. Speed is what we're really drawing. Life is going past us a hundred miles an hour (as Ray Bradbury described it). No one is going to stand still so we can capture their pose for ten seconds let alone ten minutes. We have to be able to draw faster. How to do that? We have the means at in the living room. By drawing the people we see in constant motion on TV.

I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately last night, the movie we selected wasn't conducive to the exercise. 127 Hours is hardly a film to draw by, you're so busy worrying for this guy whose cockiness got him stuck in a remote canyon crevice where he had to saw off his arm to survive. But I'm going to try it tonight. I began with Honey this morning. He was talking to me while I was doing a Suduko puzzle. The drawing is cartoonish--doesn't look at all like him--but then I wasn't looking at the drawing, I was looking and listening to him; I was drawing blind so as not to let him know I was drawing him. Likeness doesn't count in blind speed drawing exercises. pose does, expression does. I did catch his eyebrows and beady eyes as he talked about the housing situation in Michigan and Nevada.

Well there is a lot of expression in the drawing that never quit last week. I had trouble all week long walking past it without doing one more thing. I get this way every now and then when something fascinates/irritates me about a picture. I know there's something in the mess that I like and I just have to keep trying to pull it out.

I finally signed it yesterday-- but even that didn't go easy. I had so many layers of mediums on top of one another that the surface had become slick. A marker worked--(What's one more medium in the mix)? Then, I matted it. Looks okay. Lots of energy. Lots of turmoil in those dying flowers--wonder where it came from?--perhaps a week spent squeezing an over-sized frig and extra deep microwave into a eighty seven inch kitchen run? Sometimes your day job adversely affects your art.

My weekend cleared my head. It was a special time, an extremely rare time. Our number one son drove in to join us for lunch, an unplanned surprise. I love one on ones with my men. Talking life, sharing carrot cake, laughing about how what comes around goes around between the generations in family life. He's such a beautiful guy--not only handsome, but sensitive and extremely smart. A caring dad, husband, son, doctor. Over prime ribs with fries, I fell in love with the man my son had become. Precious hours, warm feelings, a great kick-off for the week ahead.


  1. Your drawings delight - and I love the descriptions of your process. What tender moments and realizations with your son. Life is good isn't it?

  2. That blind drawing is a hoot. I can't wait to try that method out tonight to see what weird strokes show up. I'm wondering if vanity is going to allow me to keep my eyes off of what my hand is doing? I wonder if drawing blind is possible? But it really is the same as contour drawing.

    It was a very special occasion--in the nineteen years he's been married, I only remember one other time when we saw him without family distractions. I do like to know how their lives are going unhindered by the complications of their relationships.

  3. Linda
    Such energy in the piece. I love how you dare to use the colours that you do. Very bold very confident.

  4. In the thumbnail, I thought your drawing looked a bit like your husband--maybe the eyebrows. For drawing blind, this is great.

  5. Thanks Evelyn. Watercolor makes me nervous. I really don't think it's my cup of tea. It wasn't until I thought I had screwed this one up that I got the nerve to be myself and throw whatever I thought I needed to salvage the thing.A vase of flowers is a fine art no brainer--there's trillions of these pictures. Why this one had to be saved I really can't say.

  6. Hi Hallie. Yes, the eyebrows--they fascinated me as he was talking full of conviction. I would never show him this thumbnail though.He's a nice guy, why turn him vicious? Thanks for visiting.

  7. Love "I fell in love with the man my son as become". Awe.

    Sketching is always good! And your paintings burst with life! Wow.