For a while I’ve wanted to create a work about seeking wisdom as described in the Book of Proverbs. Wisdom appears early on in the book and can be found throughout the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chapters. The scripture that inspired me was in Proverbs 2:4-5:
“If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.”
In this sketch, Wisdom who stands in the foreground, looks behind her after she hears someone coming through the heavy brush. She smiles (although unfortunately it doesn’t translate at all in this drawing) when she sees a man who happens to find her after a long, hard search. To me the connection between the two is key. The look on the man’s face should ask the rhetorical question, “Where have you been all my life?” Wisdom’s expression should imply a sign of relief and joy that someone finally found her.
The wardrobe for these two will be to be hardest for me to design because I want to fuse both African and Medieval styles. Right now Wisdom’s garb is simple and I don’t want her to look like the Lady-of-the-Lake. Also in the final work, I intend to have the man more in the open rather than peeking through the brush.
My medium will be either chalk pastel, charcoal or pencil. The colors will be more of a gray tone/black and white with a pop of color somewhere, most likely in the jewel around Wisdom’s neck.
Well, it’s a lot to do. Once I wrap up my other piece, “Still,” I’ll get started on this one. Can’t wait!
For me this year has been pretty static from an arts standpoint. I’ve participated in several arts markets and fairs but the results have been unsuccessful. Overall I am burnt out on participating in these things and it’s time to look at other venues.
Additional circumstances have kept me from really focusing on my art and blogging but I haven’t quit drawing altogether. I’ve just been doing it differently. Per my last post dated on “Let’s not talk about how long it’s been,” my phone has been serving as a canvas.
I have to admit, it’s a lot easier to create art digitally. I don’t need paints, drawing utensils, canvas or paper. It’s not messy and I can produce something in a relatively short amount of time. I doubt that I’ve spent more than an hour on the majority of my creations.
Here are a couple of images that I’ve produced – “He Blessed My Soul” and “Fall Day.” I’ve built quite a portfolio this year.
Mind you, I’m still eager to get back to watercolor pencils and acrylics. As a matter of fact, I still have a chalk pastel piece that I am aching to complete.
A few weeks ago, I recently upgraded to a new phone – a Samsung Galaxy S3. No, it’s not the latest model but it’s light years away from my old phone and it was $30. Who could turn that down?
So here’s what got me all excited about this phone. It has this feature called S-memo where you can jot down memos by either typing or handwriting (or more like finger writing). The handwriting option has different strokes including pencil, pen, brush and even highlighter. You can choose from many different colors and if a certain palette isn’t available, you can create one.
As an artist this is the coolest thing, and I don’t have to use an online app that would eat up my data usage. I truly have been amusing myself and it’s kind of changed the way I sketch. So much for scribbling on church bulletins. Now I can just scribble on the phone and upload my renderings to Facebook or Twitter!
Here are a couple of things I did. Mostly simple stuff.
I decided to look for an online editing program if I wanted to get really fancy, and lo and behold, I found the Pixlr application. The phone app is obviously more limited than the standard online program but it’s still pretty useful.
While this will never truly replace drawing utensils and a sketchpad, it’s still a convenient thing to have if you don’t want to carry around a lot of stuff. Pencils and pencils, don’t be jealous!
Charlotte actually got a bit of snow Saturday, but of course it didn’t stick. According to the groundhog, we’re supposed to have an early spring however lately, it’s been quite the opposite. I’m guessing that he probably showed his backside in addition to his shadow.
At any rate, I decided to take advantage of my time indoors and draw a preliminary sketch of my new piece called “Tree Dreams: The Promise of Spring.” Here is the sketch in ink that I did back in December as well as the actual photograph of the tree that sits near the lake at my parent’s house. I love its shape.
As I looked out the window, my mind wandered off to parts unknown and I imagined that the ice that covered the lake split open and exposed the water beneath it. The reflection in the lake showed that same tree filled with green leaves. It was as if the tree were looking into a mirror and seeing its future – the hope and promise of Spring.
Typically my sketches aren’t pretty and I will own up to that. To me sketches are working drafts to help me juxtapose the subject matter. Already I think that the tree needs to be larger and the houses in the background to be less visible. The houses look a hot mess anyway but then again I am referencing a photograph that I took from my phone and the clarity is less than stellar.
I want the overall look to be somber. The colors will be black, gray, and green. I think the tree’s green leaves against the murky lake will provide a nice contrast.
My medium of choice? Probably chalk pastels. I would love to see this as an oil painting but since I haven’t worked in oils I had better leave well enough alone.
I don’t do it often, but every now and then, I will make art specifically for a friend for a special occasion. In this case this piece was a birthday gift for one of my volleyball buddies whom I have known for years.
I started this drawing a few hours before the party, although I had been processing the idea in my mind for several weeks. I did a quick preliminary sketch and then went to work immediately on the final. Unfortunately I had no time to scan the final product after I was done, so in a mat and plastic sleeve it went.
There were just so many scenarios that I could draw from, and so many sarcastic one-liners that I could use. I couldn’t get the voices to stop talking. You would have to understand the personality types and day to day activities and conversations of all of the players, in order to really appreciate this. As a rule, Jim, the birthday boy, definitely does his share of trash-talking in a “I-like-to-toss-a-grenade-into-a-room-and-see-what-happens” kind of way. I will have to give him credit for earnestly taking as much crap as he gives.
On his Facebook post he announced he was having a birthday party and that he didn’t want any gifts, just money and some volleyball wins. There was no way I was gong to give him any volleyball wins. Historically, any victory that he has had over me and my partner (or anyone else for that matter) typically results in much trash talking via Facebook. Mostly the phrase, “I am awesome!” is often interjected into his bragadocious remarks. This prompted me to create the scenario with him napping at work, dreaming that he won while Jen, his longtime volleyball partner, best friend and coworker, hacks into his Facebook page.
I was told that I was spot on in my interpretation of everyone. There were the personal touches that we all could appreciate such as Jim’s ankle braces, Jen’s bandana, my big hair, and my partner Don’s seemingly permanent tanline above the ankles.
In the end Jim really loved the gift and it was passed around to everyone at the party generating lots of laughs. Even people at the party that didn’t play volleyball with us got the gist of it. Months later at Jen’s birthday party he made a copy of it, framed it and gave it to her for her birthday. And thankfully, he also made copies for me and Don as well which is why it is on this blog today.
Yep, I have just completely fallen away from the drawing table again. I’m ashamed to even write this post since I haven’t written anything in a while nor have I created any art since the end of July. You know it’s hard enough getting started but it’s even harder to start and continue on for a while, then completely stop, and THEN try to get back into it.
That old nagging inside voice from years ago returned telling me that I would have been much further ahead had I not stopped. It was telling me, “You’ve already wasted this much time, what’s the point in going back?” It is of course, the same old mental trap that used to plague me for years, that kept me from pursuing my art in the first place. Truth be told, it’s only been a couple of months, not six. It’s not the end of the world.
Funny how you don’t even see it coming, though. You miss a day here and there and then slowly but surely it starts to add up. Your schedule suddenly becomes overrun with activities, tasks and distractions. Since you are apprehensive about seizing the day and taking care of business, the unwanted visitor Procrastination makes itself at home and settles in for awhile.
The last project I was working on was one of my smaller ninja stars. This was the last shot that I posted where I was about three-quarters of the way through.
Shortly thereafter I painted the rest and drew some speed lines around it and this is what happened:
The speed lines around the star look like a black halo of tire tracks. I have an idea about how to make this better so I will continue to play with the same piece. This is when you come to the realization that there are just some art projects that are just meant for experimentation. I bought a total of three of these mini canvases figuring that I was going to jack up one or two of them en route to perfecting the final work. I’ve also drawn some smaller thumbnail sketches on notepads and sketchbooks so that I can achieve the right look. Let’s hope I can translate what I sketched in ink and pencil over to paint and canvas.
So, yes, now I am getting back to the drawing table because I won’t be going anywhere if I don’t do anything, right? Therefore I am making the decision today to get moving. By the way, it’s okay if you fall down, as long as you get back up. I thank God that He’s given me a new day, and another chance to make it right.
One thing that my blog and I both have in common is that this month we are one year older. I wrote my first post about a year ago as I was also frantically preparing for the Arts Market.
Stepping into the art scene has been an experience and I have learned a lot. Sometimes I think I should be further ahead than where I am now but I have to remind myself that it’s only been a year.
I still face a lot of the same issues such as:
- Time management
- Finding other venues to sell my work besides fairs and markets
- Dealing with insecurities and fear of rejection
- Learning how to effectively use social media for marketing purposes
On a more positive note I have no regrets. I will not have to ask myself the question, “What if?” Even if I fail, I will have won anyway because I tried.
One thing that also struck me was that you never know who’s watching you. I was surprised when a very good friend of mine told me that I inspired her. She admired that I was so determined to pursue my art in spite of my having a full-time job. Even as you go through trials your struggle can be a blessing to someone else. That was part of the reason why my friend, who is a very talented and creative person herself, started to apply to art schools.
Finally, it’s just nice to make art, period. We are creative beings and we need to nurture that side of us. It’s quite rewarding to be able to create something from start to finish. When it’s all done you can point to yourself and proudly say, ” I did that!”
Soooo with all that said, Happy Birthday Drawing Out Loud! Muuuaaahhh!! Looking forward to many more birthdays to come!