I found this sage advice at Andrew Gable’s post entitled Sketchbook Stories: I thought getting effective with drawing was much like fishing – Those who catch the most fish, I bet, have their hook in the water the most – thus, I am working on getting my pencil on the paper as much as possible.
Andrew you took the words right out of my mouth! Meanwhile, back to fishing ….
I’m heading south the next few days for a little R & R.
Don’t worry, I’ll be taking a koi notebook with me. (Mad Koi Artist on vacation.)
One thing I love about working on large paintings (or drawings) is that the details sometimes become little worlds into themselves. The painting Boo Dreaming pictured in the previous post has this slightly larger than life-size 17 year cicada sitting on the fence.
He’s looking right at you!
Sometimes you have to carve out new space for work. I had to reorganize my secret bunker studio a bit so that I could better protect my earlier drawing from the effects of sunlight, and while I was doing that it made sense to put the first drawing beside its successor (the new koi fishes on the block). Yeah, I just had to begin another large koi drawing since I am becoming the Mad Koi Artist. (It’s a very happy madness.)
Okay, so while I’m moving this and that around, I got a chance to look at another picture, Boo Dreaming, again for the first time in perhaps a year. At the top of the post is the imaginative landscape I began — oh, can’t remember when. With space at a premium, various pictures have to go face to the wall as the artist seeks other chances. This painting isn’t quite finished. So once I get the acres of koi painting/drawing moved out of the way, I’m looking forward to resuming the imaginative journey into this image.
I can’t get enough of these koi so, what the hey, I started another big drawing. My life is becoming a fish bowl.
Did a little reorganizing today so that I could move the big koi drawing to a different wall. It gets the drawing away from direct light and sets it beside the next big drawing in the series. I added some new fish at the bottom. So everybody’s in the pond now, I think.
Once everything that’s going to be in a picture is in it, work takes a new direction. Then it’s nuance time.
I like nuance time.
The one that I’m painting on the floor is coming along. I first pictured it here. It seems that these days I am constantly making pictures of koi, almost everywhere I go. Fortunately, I do not draw koi when I am standing out in the field looking at the field pen in hand. That, I think, might be bad.
So, let’s see. That’s koi at the regular studio. Koi at the secret bunker. Koi in the little library. Koi at the child’s violin rehearsals.
Well, somebody’s gotta do it.
You must spot your koi. Cannot just leave them a blurry haze of color when they have such intricate pattern to contemplate.
So I’m contemplating.
Along my morning walk this morning I decided to carve out imaginary space by drawing a corner of the tree horizon in my notebook. The white of the page is the field. A few shadows, I could not resist scribbling them in. But mostly I wondered to myself about the contours of the trees, analyzing their relationships to each other. The lines are like handwriting that asks questions. Who is taller? Which is fuller? What linear paths reveal these feathery silhouettes?
Took the walk before working today. The air was cool, the sky slightly overcast. My walk was still quite hot enough after an hour. Washington is humid this time of year. I managed not to wilt.
Passed my friends the koi, but we didn’t speak. They were being lazy, and I was preoccupied. We passed each other in friendly, understanding silence.
This is one of several fast drawings I made. Quick thoughts and impressions. Mentally to travel the zigzags of leaf and stem where their tops cross the sky with my pen like a finger pointing.
Every nook and corner in my life is filling with fish! Every room is becoming a studio and a koi pond!
Here I found an old canvas painted in acrylic that was crying out to be repainted. So I dash out the paints, got down on the floor, and started putting koi over — what used to be trees, I think …. And I’m still hard at it.
One thing I love about acrylic paint is that you can do this. You can go nuts and just start slattering paint on the canvas, correcting, thinking, moving things about. You can be direct and careless all in one gesture. You can make bold decisions, and you can change your mind as readily.