|Ink and watercolor in moleskine|
Then, unexpectedly, I was returning a few weeks later, this time with my in-laws, and my sister-in-law, and my wife. And my wife told me before we went: "You can paint the page when you go!" "Wouldn't that be rude?" I asked. "Of course not," she said, "we're all family". I wasn't so sure. But excitement trumped manners, and they didn't seem to care. They were a bit amused by it, I think.
This time it was the weekend. This time again, good company, soft breezes, relaxing view. This time a guitarist playing tunes by Crosby Stills and Nash, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, and the like. Art and Good Music and Food at a dockside cafe'. And a chance to paint the scene on site. I was in paradise.
This page is not complete, but a few folks have told me they like it this way, so I decided to share it like this - playfully incomplete. Eventually I plan on filling in the faces though. I was observing (coincidentally) a bald man with his back to a plate glass window the other day. He had a penumbra of light at the edges of a face that was a bit darkened by the light backdrop. I want to paint that.
I have trouble leaving parts of pictures incomplete. And need to work on doing that, creatively. But at this stage the background is emphasized beyond the people, and the people are important to me.
|Graphite in sketchbook, approx. 7-3/4" x 6"|
During the first two minutes (and 25 seconds), Mr. Kascht sketches a woman, and for a short time, the video shows his model as the artist sees her. Well, that was enough for me. I had to pause the film and draw her myself in my sketchbook. I drew this fairly quickly. I could make slight adjustments to my final drawing to get a better likeness - to the nose, and to the chin, but have decided to let it go. I have portrayed a mood and don't want to destroy it. I note that John Kascht's caricature changes the shape of the nose as well - his nose bows in, while hers is flat with an ever-so-slight bump, so although her nose is more pointy than my drawing shows, I am not alone in letting some things pass, it seems. Watch the whole film and I am sure you will agree that John Kascht is brilliant. So if he can do it, why not me, right?
This is only my second post this month, so I want to catch you up a bit on my activities. I've been engaging in some research and development of late. If you've been reading my blog, you know that I want to improve my drawing of hands. So I've given myself a minimum daily quota on hands to draw. My hope is that I will one day be able to sketch hands just as I do faces and bodies at a public place, despite the shifting and movement. It is quite a challenge.
|ink and watercolor in moleskine|
|3-1/2" x 6-1/2", watercolor|
One exercise was to cover the paper with water and and let the watercolor spread. This is a basic exercise. We were also invited to play a little afterwards, which I did with the brush handle and in other ways. But what a reminder of the vividness and delightful unpredictability of watercolor! When I got home, I examined the page, and split it into two parts, and think the semi-random marks of this exercise are awfully fun to look at.
|7-1/2" x 1-1/2", watercolor|
I even named them. The tall one is "Sunspot", and the square one, "Amoeba Love." Why not?
But the most exciting part of the class was the large paper the instructor provided, 15" x 22". He said we should figure out what to draw. I had no clue, so I grabbed my moleskine and pretty successfully laid in color on a very large quick sketch of a man originally pocketsized! I had never painted in watercolor so large!
Then there is my sketchbook. Somehow in my moleskine I have restricted myself to these little ink and watercolor representational sketches. I find that my idle sketches on post-it notes and cheap paper are much more creative and free. So I've bought a sketchbook I take with me now, just to scribble, play with shapes or ideas, warm-up, or experiment. No self-imposed pressure to make a great picture. Like this sketch on the left - would make an interesting painting, don't you think? And it is more playful with line than when I stalk an image.
So there you go. This is my State of the Artist address. I see possibilities everywhere, and different directions to go. So much to learn. Much to experience. It is good to be restless, to be playfully incomplete. I strongly recommend it.