Thursday, May 25, 2017

A New Friend

A New Friend, Portrait Study, Graphite Pencil

First get acquainted, free hand sketch of what could be a very lovely portrait.  There will be others, but before moving her to canvas: Telatively free hand warm ups with paint to getting back to serious painting,

 Wildfire is back on the easel being reconstructed-- and I'm about to attemp the 40 stroke alla prima challenge suggested by Anne Blair Brown, My format will be 9" x 12" canvas panels.  After all the pencil sketches, sketching in paint will be lovely.  

Vianna Szabo also suggests an interesting challenge worthy of a try:  Learn to Paint Color By Painting White on White.  
Vianna Szabo's Blog

Painting freely on a large surface is such a plasure after months of 6" x 8". Large surfaces allow the freedom to go full body wild.  

Wildfire is in the process of being reconstructed more tame. 

Detail of the  reconstruction of Wildfire upper left-hand corner of the 36" x 36" stretched canvas.
 Brushes and knives and fingers and palms celebrate color.

Returning to art in one's seventies is both wonderful and depressing.  Drawing, painting working in the studio is an uplifting joy.  Over the hill with regards to reaching others via marketing and/or teaching is inhibiting and depressing.  After coming down from the high that making art yields, I've thought what for? Why am I doing this?
The answer is longevity. At 103, this late life artist is still painting strong.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sketch, Sketch, Sketch


House guests, new grandchild, birth celebration, wedding celebration, conversations throughout the day and into the night, and a milestone walk down to the lake with strong knees and cancer free lungs.  Life returned to this house.  Is sketching over? Not on your life! Sketching wherever, whenever is basic.  Sketching kept me determined to make it back on two feet to the studio.

Sketches are not finished drawings.  They are not particularly polished.  They are the learning tools of points and planes.  They are thumbnails for possible paintings. They are introductions to the subject matter.  Erasures are expected, part of the process.  They sharpen the eye and synchronize the hand.  They are how we learn, how we visualize what could be on canvas or sculpted or constructed.  Only sketches are acceptable in the FaceBook Group I started last year:  Got A Minute? Sketch.

The group is casual.   The only rule is that the sketches are sketches--investigative works.  They  can be in whatever medium the artist favors on whatever surface that's handy. There are no format or size restrictions. The last four  years of unreliable health,  I've been favoring graphite pencils (mostly 6B Derwent or a 314 General) in a 6" x8" Strathmore drawing pad, but then I've also doodled with watercolor, oils, markers and charcoal that can be liquidated with water.  Pencil is my favorite.  It's accessible. It's fast.  It's clean and can be done in the parlor. 

Two prolific members of the group have been inspirational. Tim Orkins and Bob Henry's  daily posts kept  me reaching for my stuff next to my chair in the living room.  I owe them my gratitude.  Their lovely, loose, spontaneous sketches mostly in ink kept me sketching, keep me sketching--maybe down by the lake this summer?  


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sketching New Life




New baby on board!  A new drawing challenge with newborn features--button nose, no jaw line, puckered mouth with dominant suckling muscles,  no supercilious crest.  Her entrance into the world had been rough.  She was understandably angry.  Being cast out from the warmth and security of her home and poked, prodded, washed, cleaned and dried, her cries were strong--a joy to hear!  A nightmare to draw.  Once settled in her handmade caccoon though,  the newest Roth slept contentedly. I sketched her again cinching  our bond.  

Big brother number two, five years old, had his doubts. He had been the baby. His family really didn't need another one--but, as he looked around the hospital room, every one seemed soooooo happy.  Maybe he'd get used to this new little person?  Time will tell.  I sketched him a hug

Drawing infants doesn't come easy. You can't read about it; you have to do it.    No infants  were ever models in life drawing classes, nor were they included in one of my most treasured art books:  Figure Drawing For All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis where I learned all about body proportions, at the age of twelve--and copied every drawing in his book, until I could draw any person, male or female, at any age, free handed and blindfolded.  Mr. Loomis stopped his proportions chart at toddlers, between the age of one and four. I look forward to  my infant granddaughter rounding out my education.