Bookmark and Share

Oh, what a feeling!!

Creating art, whatever kind of art, takes volumes and volumes of energy and emotion. Anyone who doesnt think drawing takes much, obviously has never drawn before.

An artist that attempts to create without emotion is likened to a soldier attempting to do battle without his weapon. Yes, it can be done, however it will be badly done, and shortly lived.

When I attempt to produce a work, I attempt to take in the complete persona of what I am working with…if its a landscape, I try to travel there in an attempt to get a feel for it. If it is a tame animal, I will attempt to ask the owner or handler about it, such as what is its temperament? Does it play? Is it moody? What would be its favorite food? This allows me to get a rounded image of the animal. If it is a person, I attempt to query surrounding family and friends on what they are like, and there would be a similar battery of questions.

When Indians encountered white man with their fancy gadgets, specifically the camera, they refused to have their images taken…why? Because they felt that the camera captured their very souls on film. Now when an artist works, they are basically attempting to do the very same thing, they are trying to capture LIFE in their work. Capturing life on a canvas takes emotion, takes energy, and takes time.

After I am done a work, I feel both exhilarated and exhausted. I feel reborn and dead. I feel full and empty. Its a feeling like nothing else.

A Wee Bit of Background…

I spoke to an artist once, one who in my opinion was extremely good, and to my surprise, they made a comment that “Backgrounds were a waste of time!” After I picked my chin off the floor, wiped the drool of it, and placed in in close proximity to where it was originally, I couldn’t help but question that statement. Backgrounds, to this artist, play an interesting yet profound part in the development of the subject. The background lends to creating the ‘feeling’ around a subject, and also lends credence to the subject. The background also helps tie the subject to the surface, rather than having it floating around like some shipwrecked sailor. The background, in most cases, can be subtle and at times abstract, however if it is part of the overall story that is being portrayed, then it needs to detailed. I have often looked at some piece of fine art and all I saw was perhaps a field of wheat, or a farm with barn, and yet when I look at the title, it says something like “Owl at rest”, or “Red winged blackbird in flight”. I think to myself, “What?” and I go back and STUDY the work…and after some time, I locate the SUBJECT in the BACKGROUND. But initially, I assumed the background WAS the subject. However without the background, the subject would have been stark and out of place, without the softness of the background allowing the subject to melt into it. Having said this, I believe that the background really is necessary in most settings. They allow a subject to be truly 3D in a 2D world.

Wow, new year already? Landscape in Watercolor

Well, a new year. When I look back on the last year, I realize that many of the personal issues I had directly effected my ability to produce worthwhile drawings. Everytime I picked up a pencil was directly related to how well I was feeling. Finally I bit the bullet, and forced my way thru the webs of emotion and turmoil to find my way clear to put pencil to paper, and it felt great! I experimented with water colors, of which I am CERTAINLY NOT well versed in LOL. Here is an example of what I attempted… What did I learn from water colors?

  1. The amt of water you add effects the depth of color applied.
  2. Work on a flat level surface.
  3. Make sure your paper is held tight to prevent warping.
  4. Dont be concerned about using the exact right amt on your mixing board. Even if it dries, you can apply water and mix your brush back and forth to dissolve the leftovers.
  5. Underpainting is difficult to do, as the upper level will dissolve the lower pigments if you work them too long. I personally didnt try it, but maybe some fixative may help alleviate this issue.

Bearing it all? Wildlife in Graphite

Hey again, here is my newest attempt at a graphite dwg. This one has been a bit of an embarrassment (every pun intended) to me, as this commission is over a year old! Unfortunately, I got it during the “Time Of Madness And Darkness” so it got put aside and put aside. Finally, when I managed to break thru to the other side, I sat down and got it done. Im glad that my client was so understanding!
I was surprised at how quickly I was able to complete the bear, but spent so much time on the background. A comment was made about this dwg that maybe I should have tried to mute the background a bit to bring the bear fwd. I thought on that for a bit, but then decided that I WANTED the bear to be a part of the background, or the background to be a part of the bear…whichever way you want to look at it. Anyhow, it is done, and I took it in for the client yesterday. Im hoping to hear what he thought of it soon.

Titus – Bulldog in Pastels

The master of disaster.Bulldog In Pastel

My brother in law wanted a bulldog. Now I didnt realize before, but bulldogs are a prefab dog. Parts are ordered from all over the place, making me think that a bulldog would have been the perfect pet for Frankenstein. Which could explain the stitch marks around his neck, and his fetish with licking everything he sees.

But seriously, they ARE a prefab dog…they are not a natural byproduct of the coupling of two dogs. They have to be helped to breed, helped to give birth, then they are monitored constantly for birth defects. It was crazy what this poor dog had to go thru in order to get to my brother in laws doorstep.

From day one, I was convinced that someone in the lab missed a step and forgot to put in a brain. He was cute mind you, but that quickly gave way to a drooling mass of excess flatulence. He eats and/or mounts EVERYTHING. God forbid someone leaves a stuffed toy laying around. I wouldnt be able to fathom the psychiatric bills that would be needed for the poor bunny.

But for all his drool, stink, and ugliness, he is a wonderful dog. He loves to play and wrestle. He loves going to the barn. He loves going in the truck (but make sure the windows are rolled down, or take a gas mask). He loves to hog the bed. And for the most part he listens when spoken to, which I can say is more that some adolescent dogs I have known.

Anyhow, here is Titus, captured in all his Frankenstein glory, in pastel. The drawing is about 24 inches by 6 inches. I exercised a little artistic freedom, and removed the lug bolts from the sides of his head.