Monday, July 29, 2013

Heads Up, A Little Sargent, A Little Oils, A Lot of Watering

Sargent Exercise
This Sargent exercise tells me I've been spending too much time working on The Cook's Meniere's Blog, (www.thecooksmenieresblog.blogspot.com), and not enough time drawing.  My eye is rusty.  But it was nice getting a pencil in my hand again. What I learned from copying the maestro's drawing was that drawing is like handwriting; everyone of us has a uniquely distinctive way of making our mark.This was a bad choice. Next copy, I'll go back to the ladies in their giant hats with lots of black and a minimal number of lights, charcoal. This one looks like it might have been done in pen? 

While searching for a Sargent to copy, I thought perhaps  copy one of his paintings?  I found this on online and got excited. I find it very unSargent. The painting's  informality and looseness is what makes it so.  I love informal and loose.



Better to jump back into JD, which I've been skirting for quite some time.  Today's work dictates tomorrow's. Quit letting the details distract from the larger shapes.  Meanwhile, I'm feeling a lot better with a lot less sodium in my diet. Knock on wood, I hope it stays that way.

JD with trepidation and self doubt steps forward

Another distraction from painting has been my entrance garden.  With all the rain we've been having it's lush, EXCEPT for the roses I decided to plant this year of all years.  Black spot and powdery mildew have wrecked havoc. Sprays for such have been helpful, but then there was caterpillers or something eating holes in all their leaves--so I got a spray for them too.  Ellis just sits there and smirks.  He hates roses; they have thorns.  So do I.

Garden Art.  In spite of all the rain, I water. New plantings need an inch a day for a week after they went into the ground.
When the rain is as hard as it has been this season, it doesn't sink in; it flows off down the walk into the driveway and on to the street.

18 comments:

  1. I just love the lush greenness of your beautiful garden! So different from my own high Sierra landscaping! I bought 3 new pink day lilies a few weeks ago but its been scorching hot so I have not had the urge to plant them. I have to put in drip irrigation to each plant and its so laborious. I may just leave them in their pots for another week or two until it cools off. Gardening should not be torture! I think your idea to copy the loose Sargent is a good one. I am sure it will be a worth while exercise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably torture. I'd love to know the size of Sargent's Mosquito Nets. --won't leaving them in the pots, make watering a day long chore? First light seems to be the way if inconvenient. --your drawing style reminds me of Degas. Did you ever copy his drawings?

      Delete
    2. Hi Linda. I found some information for you about Mosquito Nets - "Mosquito Nets
      John Singer Sargent -- American painter 1908
      Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan
      Oil on canvas
      56.5 x 71.8 cm (22 1/4 x 28 1/4 in.)

      The painting was done in Valdemosa, Majorca, where they were spending an autumn. Sargent's older sister Emily, is in the chair (foreground) reading a book, with their friend Eliza Wedgwood, a member of the famous porcelain manufacturing family, on the sofa (background), either reading or writing a letter. Eliza said of it, "Sargent painted in oils such an amusing picture of Emily and me--in what John called 'Garde Mangers,' Emily's invention for keeping out mosquitoes."


      I have never copied a Degas drawing, or actually any drawing that I can remember, but I have copied an oil portrait of Degas brother in law. I have also copied several Gauguin oil paintings and other Impressionist work. Yes, I water the lilies every morning and feed and pamper them until I can plant them permanently - perhaps this weekend.

      Delete
    3. Very interesting anecdote. I've never copied a painting. After attempting this drawing though. I have concluded that after one gets the idea of putting down the larger shapes/values and the importance of edges, (using charcoal or graphite sticks), linear, pencil/pen, drawings like this one, is a matter of "handwriting" or the personality of the artist. The flourish of Sargent's lines only he could do with such bravado. Each of us has our own bravado that is best developed via drawing from life till we've loosened up and achieved accuracy with lines that tell it all. I'm refering to the single line on the right that tells us exactly what that hat shape is and how it slouches. Marvelous.

      Delete
  2. Hi Linda,
    It's good news about the low-sodium diet working for you. Your garden is beautiful, too. Michele and I used to be avid gardeners, but since I was a "little" obsessed, it's best that we became hi-rise condo dwellers. There is ALWAYS something to do in a garden.
    I wouldn't say the hiatus from drawing hurt you at all, but then we tend to be our own worst critics. My favorite thing on the post today, was your comment about Ellis hating thorns...and you having them,too. That is hilarious! But, can it really be true?
    Have a pleasant evening.
    Sincerely,
    Gary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do tend to get obsessed--but isn't that a trait that comes from being an artist? I think so. --I do have thorns if I've had enough nonsense. I don't wear them on my sleeve like a rose does though.

      Delete
  3. Love the garden. Ellis has good taste in flowers. I am sick of dealing with thorns!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After several mishaps, maybe I'm sick of dealing with them too?

      Delete
  4. Hi Linda. I love the Sargent exercise. JD is looking good [how can avoid the temptation of details???] And your garden is exquisite - love the pinks and lavenders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sargent came out fair. My Sargent looks younger than Sargent's Sargent. --Thanks. A garden--even this little one is important to me. It seems I must come from farmer stock. I like to get my hands in the dirt.

      Delete
  5. Your Sargent exercise is fantastic, Linda. I wish I can produce portraits in a looser way...I really try but I end of with a portrait that is too stiff. I recognize it but I need to go to a workshop to loosen up!!! And of course ...love your garden! We lost so much because of Sandy but hope that next year everything will come up again! So glad you're feeling better because of the salt! I've cut down as well and started walking every morning!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just went back to painting a head a day for practice. I had a great time with the first and I'm sure what follows will get better with more practice. Looseness and accuracy of stroke does take a lot of practice. I've been negligent.

      Delete
  6. Linda!
    Great job on the Sargent exercise! Good for you!
    Your garden is so very nice!
    I am glad you are feeling better!
    Take care!
    Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael. Me too. It's been a long journey to figure out what feeling good takes. Unfortunately, it wasn't a pill, but a lifestyle change.

      Delete
  7. You really know how to spread it. You have a broad skill and interest, both classic and modern, nice work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roger. Being able to mix it up was my strong point during my designing years; it's a detriment in these art years. I like it all and find it difficult to choose a focus.

      Delete
  8. Your Sargent drawing is great--I love doing them too, they are so satisfying...His shapes and design are so gorgeous ...and his darks! Good going on the JD painting...Looking forward to the progress shots and your garden is beaaauuutiful !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. This Sargent was a tough one--more linear than shapes. Sticking with the shapes is more satisfying as far as getting a close copy. JD is on pause for a bit. I need some loosening up with the oils.

      Delete