"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Monday, November 9, 2009
I Have Nothing to Hide
Humming to myself and strolling among the blogs, I found the post of a frustrated art teacher, Suzanne Cabrera, of an open [sketch]book.
Why was she frustrated? She tried to show her students how to draw the interior of a restaurant and they couldn't do it. What she wanted was to have them look at the interior as a whole and simply draw the main parts of all they see without regard to person or object. What her students were doing instead was concentrating on drawing a single individual, and all of his or her details. They would get so involved in that, that they would not draw the scene. You can see her post here.
Wow, I thought, maybe I'm doing that!
So within a day or two, I found myself at Einstein Bagels. And I told myself as I drew, you are drawing the interior - you are drawing the interior - and found that I swept far more into my drawing than usual, and the above scene is the result.
It's amazing that how you think about a thing so influences the result. When a weightlifter feels strong that day he can lift the pounds; if he thinks he is weak, he can't. It's that simple.
The Jim Roan quote: "You can't change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight." It was that thought that created this blog and artistic voyage. A profound idea, and it still guides me today.
So that is all. That is the end of this post.
You're still here.
oh. You noticed the paper bag. You are wondering why that guy has a paper bag on his head.
Well, okay. I have nothing to hide.
Sitting in that very spot was a young woman. The body was drawn quite well, and the face was not bad, really, but was, well, a little off. Passable, but off.
She was an integral part of the scene when it was painted, and it all looked pretty good. And I should have scanned the picture then. But I did not.
I wanted to fix her. I wanted her to be perfect. So I began making changes. Soon she looked like a battered spouse. She wouldn't go in public like that - she'd put on some foundation or something! So I played some more and then she had a five o'clock shadow.
What could I do?
I stared at her for a little while, and then decided to give her a sex change operation. I drew a beard, and managed to draw the body you see here.
Then I showed it to a few people and their reaction was visceral - they hated him. Despised him.
They loathed him.
It wasn't that he looked bad; he looked okay. Only a bit out of place. The phrase "So Easy a Caveman Can Do It" comes to mind.
Hence the paper bag over the head. I cut a paper bag and pasted it over his head (cutting the eye holes, of course, so he can see). My first collage. And I must admit that he looks much better like that.
See? I have nothing to hide. I've told you everything. And if someday this guy removes the bag, then he will have nothing to hide either!
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!