|Self Portrait in Black Hat, Pencil, 8 x 10|
This pose is not one you would ask a client to take. It is not complimentary. Strong back lighting and the model looking down at the camera lens intensifies the darks and washes out the lights. Worst of all, the wrinkles and sags of age--no matter the age the model--are magnified. The result is just plain unattractive. A drawing no one would want of themselves. So I used myself and got an interesting shot worthy of drawing. I liked the strong pattern of black and white and the angle that gave me a hard, matter of fact, this is me now look. --But will I like it next year? Probably not.
|Pistachio Nuts, Watercolor, 9 x 11|
When I cleaned out the studio just before my knee thing, I stacked all the drawings and paintings I did the last three years on the couch to go through later. Yesterday was later. Ellis had finally finished emptying my file cabinet of old design catalogues and client project files. I could now file the drawings I wanted to keep.
Problem was I didn't want to keep any of them. Not one amazed me that I had done it.
Scolding myself for being so tough on myself and totally negative about my work, I sorted the loose drawings into a trash pile, a save pile, a possibly sell pile. The trash pile is on the left. The save pile is
on the right. And on the floor are drawings that might make it to an Etsy Shop if I ever get so moved. Then I had to walk away. After sorting, I still didn't care about most of them. I'll save them all and let the kids decide, I decided climbing the stairs, where I chose to take a hard look at myself by doing this drawing from a reference photo I shot two summers ago. These are the thoughts I had while drawing myself in a most unfavorable pose only an artist could love.
I am not a watercolorist-- though I have done some respectable watercolors.
I am not a painter of flowers--though I have done some respectable florals.
Still lifes are okay if there's nothing more interesting to paint and as long as I love the subject. Pistachio Nuts is a favorite.
I'm at my best with a piece of charcoal in my hand and pretty okay with a pencil too.
Portraits are my preference. Portraits are what I should be concentrating on-- gestural, informal and unusual poses--just as I suspected last year thanks to my eldest son who shoved me in that direction.
I hate canvas panels. The cheapness of them, cheapen the art no matter how skillfully done. I don't like canvases stretched on 1/2" bars either; the tension is awful and the sagging surface cheapens the art painted on it as well. Buying little canvases in bulk for little money is a waste for the portrait artist. --Whatever happened to wood wedges?
When I put my pencil down, I ordered a box of 16 x 12 and 16 x 20 gallery stretched canvases from Blick. Those were the sizes I noted the most while reading Schmid and Paul this last week. They are common sizes for head and shoulder portraits.
|My Reluctant Son, Pencil, 5 x 7"|