Sometimes I have a little drawing off to the side while I’m painting. It’s there so that I can talk to myself, as it were. I rehearse in thought — and with actual tools — aspects of the painting that I’m going to be changing. It’s like a visual “to do” list. Sometimes I have written notes too.
I go back and forth between these alternative versions and the actual painting. The purpose is not to spare me from making mistakes. The painting is fluid. It changes. I accept that readily enough. The cheat sheet is more a matter of discharging thoughts. I have these ideas about maybe this, maybe that, and the ideas are more quickly traced through more direct tools — these being my notions of immediacy — everyone is different.
As a river has little tributaries that pour into its current, these alternative tasks are just what they are. They are part of the enjoyment of the moment.
Drawings are vicarious experiences of nature. There’s the nature out there. Also there’s the nature in here. Nature from the inside is sometimes a landscape. And one of the landscapes that I particularly enjoy is the one that is spacious.
This one is doubly spacious because the water mirrors the sky so you get some sky twice. And actual sky and water are pretty similar anyway.
The favorite place is nice in real life, but it’s really marvelous in art — more particularly in the process of portrayal. As the picture of the favorite place unfolds and emerges, the sensation is different than being there walking and enjoying the open air. Imaginatively it’s keener than in life. Or, rather, the life experience that I find so arresting comes about from watching bits of pigment attach to paper. The smears, dabs, scratchings, the contours, hatchings and whatnot are all so lovely.
The materials are beautiful. The colors are beautiful. The experience is so immediate and so close at hand.
Above is a detail of a drawing. The whole drawing measures about 8 x 10 inches. I’m drawing with the marvelous Neocolor1 crayons. What wonderful tools these crayons are!
Rearranged my schedule today to take advantage of the amazing weather. Beautiful, clear, low humidity, mosquitoes somewhere else visiting relatives, only beautiful clouds above — I decided to make some drawings from life of the most local neighboring trees using the latest box of neocolor1 crayons.
The colors I’ve been putting into my paintings from memory and imagination were in full force, and I got a chance to study them directly.
Such a glorious day! Hope yours was wonderful too, wherever you are.
Intriguingly enough, since camera storage is so big now even a tiny drawing can be easily enlarged and turned into a monster of an image. This detail of one of the thumbnail drawings is many times larger than the original, probably even when viewed on a smart phone. And of course the drawing reproduced above is much larger than the original.