“When you’re back-seat driving, don’t mumble.”
I’m at Journalfest the next few days… and already having fun! See you next week!
I have a beautiful daughter-in-law.
Four weeks ago today she gave birth to Liam!
But a week prior she was doing figure eights in my living room trying to induce labor.
So I pulled out the charcoal!
I like parts of all four drawings. I’m not sure which is my favorite.
I’m curious, which one do you like best? (#1-4)
(Note: NONE of them look like her, though all of them remind me of her!)
We’re in the middle of my online class, The Art of Silliness 1 (Redux), which is a repeat of the very first class held in April 2010. (The class has been tons of fun, as always! Thanks, Silly People!) As I’m going through the old worksheets and revamping them for this new session, I’m making decisions about which lessons to keep as part of the formal course, and which ones get relegated to “extra” worksheets.
Sometimes the decisions are tough. Here is part of yesterday’s worksheet, which almost became an “extra”:
Silly, huh? But in the end I decided that it was too important of a point to not be part of the formal course.
And then, digging in my garage this weekend, I found this wonderful book, “The Joy of Drawing” by Gerhard Gollwitzer, with the following as one of the chapters:
ALWAYS DRAW WITH YOUR EYES
Do not work out your exercises only on paper; practice with your eyes continually, wherever you are.
Another time you may trace along a graceful birch branch with your eyes or the tortured, jerky zigzag of an apple tree. You will notice tension and strength or fatigue and slackness in handwriting. You will have the experience that until now you had not known how the world looks even though you had believed that liar, photography. Your eye becomes creative again. It is always drawing-lesson time, even if you are not drawing.
I’m pretty sure I must have read this long, long ago, and it surfaced when I was creating The Art of Silliness (even though I thought I had made it up!). It’s amazing what our minds will remember, isn’t it?
(And just reinforces what Gollwitzer and the Silly Queen are trying to say!)
Recently I picked up a great out of print book titled, “The Art of the Artist: Theories and Techniques of Art by the Artists Themselves,” compiled by Arthur Zaidenberg. Published in 1951, there are over 40 short articles by mostly art professors. I read this today:
Landscapes by Eugene Ludins, Professor, Art Department, Iowa State University (in 1951), paraphrased.
“Painting landscapes directly and on the spot is tremendous fun. I couldn’t live without it…. Outdoors, the ideas and inventions and colors that couldn’t be dreamed up in a lifetime are waiting and obvious. The paintings don’t always turn out but that is not important, for in the process of looking I have supplied myself with new ammunition and vigor.
“I find it difficult to describe a method of approach that works more than just once. Whenever I believe I have developed such a method I find either myself or the conditions changed enough to ruin my set plan.
“I find I can lick this by starting out with a supply of various shaped canvases, all my materials ready and a completely open mind.
“Up to a certain point in the painting I am quite literal in putting down the objects and relationships as I see them, or at least those parts that I have decided to use. This is simply making use of these elements which originally excited me enough to draw me to a particular spot. In this phase of the painting the going is fairly calm and controlled, but at a later point — usually when the canvas has been well covered and all the main elements suggested — the real painting and fun begins. Here I let go. The landscape as it exists and as I first saw it no longer interests me — mountains and fields and buildings are moved or wiped out, and the canvas begins to exist as a thing of itself with a life of its own.
“In many cases [though,] I never reach the phase of the painting where I can be independent of the objects as they are.
“When it fails to happen I go home thoroughly beaten, carrying another dud to add to my collection.”
I just love that last sentence! Especially since I had written something along those same lines just this morning:
When working from abstract starts, you have to believe that “something” will appear. It might take a long time, but in the end, a creature almost always appears. Sometimes, rarely, you will cover the whole painting up in frustration and start fresh. (This is scary, because when a piece of art is “pretty good” it’s hard to destroy it. I don’t usually, which means I have a lot of mediocre paintings hanging around. Not bad enough to destroy; not good enough to show or sell.)
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I got permission from one of you yesterday that I could post photos of my new grandson Liam! So here are two, swiped from my son’s facebook page:
Happy Friday, everyone!!