Sunday, June 29, 2014

Newfoundland Paintings

I am calling these "Newfoundland Paintings" only because I did them last week with my mind still swirling in the fog of Newfoundland (see previous post).  They are 22"x30", and come from the 9"x12" drawings I posted recently, blind and otherwise.

NFLD1, 22"x30", acrylic, graphite, ink, and crayon on paper

NFLD2, 22"x30", acrylic, graphite, ink, and crayon on paper
I will probably change the names of these pieces (I don't even know if they are finished yet) once I get to know them a bit better. "NFLD", or "Newfoundland" is much too general.

Thanks to those of you who commented on my previous post about the 100 Drawings class.  I will plan to offer that class early in 2015, as I have three online classes coming up in the fall.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back from Vacation

I've been away for a couple of weeks, visiting Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Fogo Island, off the north coast of Newfoundland, was one of our main destinations.  I will post about some of the artists, craftspeople, and inspiration I found there once I've had a chance to digest.  Meanwhile, back in the studio yesterday I encountered the familiar struggle of re-entry, so I decided to continue with the blind drawings.  It really is a great way to get something going.  Check out my previous post for links and suggestions, plus the video.  Here is the output:

This one has a depth and space that some of the others lack.  I want to pursue this today.

I am always thinking about teaching.  I get all enthusiastic about something that happens in the studio, and immediately my brain goes into Workshop Mode.  Anyone interested in doing this drawing thing as a workshop?  This is like Big Fat Art, only smaller.  "100 Drawings" in a six-week online class.  What do you think?

While on vacation, I found a few spaces that would be ideal for workshops.  One in La Have, Nova Scotia, one in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and one on Fogo Island in Newfoundland. 
Newfoundland, with Fogo Island circled.

La Have is on the South Shore; Wolfville is a university town on the Bay of Fundy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Drawing Blind

In some of my classes I use the technique of drawing blind to help people tune into the feel of drawing, the physical sensations of the drawing tool against the paper.  This helps get the focus away from What It Looks Like (which the Inner Critic loves to play with), and onto the physical/material process of drawing.  When you are not concerned with what it looks like, you often surprise yourself with new kinds of marks.  This is not "blind contour" drawing, in which you are looking at the object and drawing it without looking at the paper.  That is another very valuable exercise, but this "blind scribble" does not involve the object.  Just drawing.

These little 9"x12" drawings are like Big Fat Art, only they are small.  That is, they are meant to be drawing/painting explorations, and they can be sort of raw and unfinished looking.  Some may come to conclusion, but the point is to give myself a vast playground for mark making.  This works beautifully as a warm-up exercise, or it can be a regular part of your studio practice.

Because I know you will ask, here are the main materials I am using:
Cheap Drawing Paper (80#)
Paint Markers (for the black and the red)
High Flow Acrlylic, black and red
Paint markers already filled (I used white and turquoise)

See my Favorite Materials for more.

If you want to immerse yourself in this sort of process-oriented drawing and painting, come to Art and Soul in Virginia Beach this fall.  I'll be teaching (among other things):
See the whole line-up here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

More Work In Progress in June

Here are two more of the pieces I have in the works, both of which have left me a bit stumped.  I started these with no clear intention, and although I advocate letting go of the idea of a specific outcome, it's not a bad idea to start with a clear beginning.  It can be quite fruitful and also fun to begin with no particular set of parameters: let's just make marks and see where they lead.  That's where these started, but I'm not finding it very satisfying at this point because I had the idea that they would be Pieces, not just marks.  I've found some elements I'd like to work with - the white-on-white texture, the veiled lines, the incised marks, and to some extent the primary colors.  OK great.  I've discovered, perhaps, some new vocabulary.

Here is where I left off at the end of May.
The piece went here...

And then here, and it is very much unfinished.
 Another Piece in Process:
This is several steps/layers into the process.

Another couple of layers.  I liked the quality of the black lines in the upper right, made with High Flow acrylic in a fine line applicator

Emphasizing blue

Painting over the blue

At this point I think I will just take what I've learned from these and begin some fresh pieces.  Put them aside, and see if subsequent explorations suggest any further development on these.  I browsed Pinterest and made notes of specific things that resonate, which I might incorporate into these or subsequent pieces.  I'll see how that translates in the studio.  What To Do Next, I think, is to start another group of pieces and try to be specific about my Starting Points.  What issues do I want to explore?  What elements do I want to work with?  And then let the pieces develop from there.

This business of making art is such a balancing act between intention and spontaneity, between considered decision and intuitive response.  This is one of the things that makes art exciting and fresh, but also, at times, frustrating.  I will let you know how it goes.

Blind Drawing video up next.  Stay tuned.  Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Another Sequence of Work In Progress

I'm working on a few different things in the studio this week.  Here I am just showing you one piece that I started back in March, picked up on in April, and brought along further this morning.

This is where I left off at the end of April

This morning I wanted to put stenciled letters or numbers in there.

Dividing off the lower section with yellow and gold

And then painting over a bunch of it (this is several more steps down the line).

This is where the piece is now, and it may not need anything else.  I have to let it sit for a while and see if it calls for anything to be added or subtracted.
 Thanks for visiting.  More in the works I can share with you in the next few weeks.  Also, I have a video in the works about drawing blind, that is, without looking at the paper.