distraction

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I have a list of things to work on and I was supposed to be working my list.  But then I got an idea about this motif, and it seemed like something that I should do instead.

Sometimes I seem to be dreaming while awake.

This is a beginning of something or other.  Not sure where it’s going — only that it’s light.

keeping track

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If you’ve followed this blog a while, you’ve noticed a change in format.  I’m often now posting things in apparent series, sometimes following the trajectory of a specific motif.  And I’m also posting more frequently. If you’ve followed the post for a long time, you’ll notice that I’m not as long winded.  I have chosen to go lightly on words and rely more on the pictures alone.

Everybody who blogs knows how difficult it can be to keep a blog going consistently, and mine has had long periods when it went dark.  So I had wondered this year whether or not it was time perhaps to stop blogging.

Then I realized how even in its haphazard ways, the blog has helped me keep track of my art over time.  Moreover, I’ve been reading a lot about goal-setting during the last year and I realized that the blog could become my means of tracking my progress through various projects.  Indeed, it can be my spur to “get the lead out” and get projects done more quickly.

So the blog has a new purpose now.  It’s chiefly a personal tool with a narrow and specific mission.  But who knows, it might become more helpful and/or intriguing to outside observers.  I hope it will. By lightening its load, perhaps this blog will become more entertaining for my internet friends — past, present and future.

As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

My blog has a destination now — a place it wants to go!

 

On asking why

red-eyed-cicadaFor me art seems second nature.  Not to draw or paint — to give up those things would be for me like asking if I should give up thinking.  No need for thinking anymore so I’ll just stop.

I have trained my brain to do art.  I think of visual stuff in an off hand way all day whether I’m painting or not.  I have a hard time understanding how people cannot draw.

And why doesn’t everyone have a still life table?  What’s up with that?  Even when you’re not drawing the stuff it’s so nice to see it just sitting there.  And the spaces between the things look so intriguing —  they sit there in space in relationship to each other and gravity has them screwed to the table as the Earth blasts through space.

Isn’t it wonderful seeing an object through the hard clear surface of a glass jar? To see a thing behind the jar being distorted by the glass? Or seeing the patterns on a cloth from an oblique angle as the cloth recedes in space. How DO other people manage their day without these charms?

I want to draw as a cicada sings, or as a spider spins a web.

You may be closer to a similar relationship regarding the elements of your work — whatever it is that you do — than you’re aware!

my most definitive Gabrielle

I was drawing blogosphere Australian poet friend Gabrielle Bryden during her rainy days away from her blog, and this drawing was the culmination of several I made which, if you are my devoted reader, you have already encountered in the previous two posts!

Of the several this one, I think, most resembles the source photo (found here).  And I like it because it’s more realistic.  But I also like it because … because … well, just because.

Why ask why.

All the drawings were made in a small Moleskin notebook using my beloved blue ball point pens.

Compulsions

Regular readers know that I have certain motifs that I do over and over.  Happily in art, redoing the same things over and over demonstrates an artist’s artistic health (rather than the opposite).  One of my compulsions that I may have neglected to display finds an iteration above.  The landscape is based upon a favorite published photograph that, for some reason, I like to draw and redraw more times than I can keep track.  It’s not my published photo, either.  It’s someone else’s.  Perhaps I have alterred it sufficiently well to beat a court case should the photo’s owner ever magically recognize the source of the drawing.  Well, they say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and I have flattered this photographer (whoever he is) A LOT.

It used to be part of the artist’s career path — particularly in 19th century France — to first study law, then abandon that in a bohemian moment to take up painting.  Given the impulse one feels to make copies of other peoples’ work, perhaps we should bring that career trajectory back.  However, though I am not a lawyer, I do believe I could persuade a jury that the photographer only owns his image and not the scenery itself — and truly it is the scenery that I have explored — and transformed.

Well, enough about lawyers.  The salient point here is that sometimes you feel a deep attraction to a thing.  I cannot tell you what intrigues me about this favorite scene.  And distorting it and changing it interests me even more than merely drawing it.

But why ask why!  Sometimes you must just give way to these impulses.  Feel the pull of the thing, and let it captivate you.