Archive for June, 2009

Empty Fun

June 29, 2009

It was too windy to draw cows this weekend, but it is never too windy to draw sleeping babies.  I find myself in a very sort of empty place in regard to picture making right now.  I really am enjoying drawing from life.  It is fun to have sort of measurable things to compare and work on (right now I would put myself in the smudgy faking it group.)  And it is temporarily satisfying to have something look like something, and even more satisfying (although still temporary) to identify things that are uninteresting or do not make something look like something.


However it is a very empty thing and I am not sure where it will go: Man that looks just like that.  Hooray! (This is not to take anything away from realistic painting.  There are countless examples of wonderful realistic paintings, (There are terrible ones too, of course) and there are avariety of things people do to make them interesting, the word style comes to mind.  Style and subject matter.

Developing a style seems very un-fun , and I am not sure how I feel about subject matter.  Form and function come to mind as well.  I think I am just going to continue to draw and paint from life right now because I feel pretty confused.


I Pretend Objectively

June 25, 2009


I avoided some real muddiness in this one by rinsing the drawing under the tap before painting it.  This was a pretty terrible idea and washed away some of the subtlety of the lines (not that there was a whole lot, but I could tell.  Maybe it more transformed the lines and shades a bit rather than washed out some subtlety.)  I think I might go and try again with just watercolor or just charcoal, and leave them separate.


I am really enjoying drawing clouds and mountains.  For someone who struggles with, or at least worries about, figure ground relationships, it is very nice to draw something that sort of lacks a clear figure ground.  I guess mostly I am talking about the clouds, when they reach a certain point where the entire sky is cloud covered it negates the relationship.

Fun in Failure

June 22, 2009

I had a drawing 101 explosion this weekend.  Landscape, portrait, still life (to dismal to post, mostly because I tried to color them with watercolor, and watercolor plus charcoal equals mud).  I am not sure why I feel compelled to improve my technical drawing skills.  If I can draw better I don’t think it will make me a worse artist, but I do not necessarily think it will make me a better one.  I think I am hoping by bettering my drawing skills I will be able to see things better and move things better.  Maybe I will develop better seeing and thinking skills.  Even if nothing pans out I drawing the things in front of you is a lot of fun.

On an unrelated note, is it wrong to let your kids play longer video game sessions, just so that they will sit still for you to draw them?

Ism to end all Isms

June 17, 2009

For some reason I am compelled to join the ism to end all isms.  No I am not talking about “whimsical girls drawn on exposed wood-grainism” nor am I talking about “abstract painting with some autobiographic and/or humorous text thrown inism” I am not even talking about “nostalgic photomontageism” or “bad paintings of tabbo thingsism”.  No the “NOW” art movement that I find myself helplessly draw to is “generic observationalism”.

(We Generic Observationalists, if I may humbly begin to refer to myself as one, tend to wrap ourselves in a false word blanket of mean spirited irony in order to protect our developing skills.  Make no mistake that we are a hopelessly optimistic bunch, and with the seeds of our generic observational style will someday do great things.)

Behold! Jar round two.


Face!  Looking nothing like the sitter!


Why is Some Level of Realism so Satisfying?

June 15, 2009


I think the real strength to drawing from life is that it forces you to see subtle differences in line and light that you might normally gloss over when you are drawing from imagination (not everyone of course, but myself).  I find myself drawing much more complicated lines, and much more interesting lights and darks.  I think my next big challenge will be either A.) incorporating fully developed lines/lights and darks into my “important” work or B.) incorporating my “important” ideas into my more developed lines/lights and darks work, or of course C.) scrapping it all and doing something else, and hopefully D.) using color in some damn meaningful way.

All in all I am feeling fairly optimistic.  I think I will kind of continue for now in this sort of split way of working, alternating between drawing from life and making up imaginary scenes, with the hope of reconciling the two at a later date, or hoping something else great takes off.  As far as this drawing goes, I think it is OK.

Two Non-touching Rabbit Heaps

June 12, 2009


I am a little unsure of the shadows.  They seem a little false, but overall I think this one is OK.  Also I am not sure if heap is a good word.  It seems better than piles or mounds, but does not quite convey what I think it could.

Art Patients

June 9, 2009

The Magnificent Monkey Magnet.

This is just sort of a hodgepodge of drawings I did this weekend.  One thing I learned is I need to work on my art patients.  Being a patient artist is important.  I can easily draw for an hour or two, but if I do not feel I am moving fast enough I get frustrated.  I think my work really shines when the process can be broken down in to little modular cells.  For example I delight in drawing a thousand simple things, but dread one complex object.  Why would that be?  I can easily draw a picture of a thousand leaves, but struggle drawing a tree.  I can’t tell if this is holding me back, or just something to side step.


And lo, a face.




Feel the biting rage that is ‘drawing a jar’.

Passing By

June 3, 2009


I am a little unsure of the ghosts.

Easy to draw
Good stand in for people
Sort of funny
Sort of scary
Can float

Kind of lame
No real world visual equivalent
Do not have hands
Hanging ghosts pulled from car windows have a somewhat unfortunate look that I am well aware of but hope it is not too big of a deal

So you can see that I have not made up my mind yet on the ghosts.  Right now the pros outweigh the cons, but just by a little.  I think I will have to draw them a little more.

Plane Cows

June 2, 2009


Traditional fun, I even bought some absinthe and got sunburned.

I couldn’t get the paper to lie flat, so there is a slight distortion towards the middle.