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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.


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