Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh, My, the Details

 student watercolor by Martha Smith

These are busy times for me. But it's good to be busy.  When I'm not, I do less.  I rationalize that I'm on vacation or hiatus.  But really, I get lazy and I take it easy when there are no deadlines or commitments. 

It's funny, because I didn't paint much at all for six weeks.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't idle. And it was always on my mind.  But it didn't use to be that way.  It almost haunts me now.  What's that about?

Now that there is less time, I seem to want to paint more.  Do I desire to do it because I have less time to devote to it?  I think my urge to create comes and goes.  But that doesn't mean my creativity comes and goes.  It needs the spark and sometimes all it takes is cleaning up the studio!  That simple act of being in the place where it all happens, reminds me of a painting I want to do.  Which leads me to just do a quick value sketch.  Which leads to a small color study.  And so it goes.  It's in me now.

student watercolor sketch by Lucy Kilbane

That's one reason I issued the sketch challenge.  I believe that your art and your creative energy gets into your soul.  Like any practiced skill, a sketch enables you to really look at something.  How often in the day do you really look at anything beyond a quick glance?  So by doing it daily, for weeks, I'm hoping to start a habit.  To make some addicts.  Yes, sketch addicts!  I want it to inhabit you and haunt you when you don't do it!

Recently I read something by Charles Reid that reminded me how much we miss and how childlike we become when we do our art.  It's because we are rediscovering the wonderment of a child in the world around us that we have seen so many times before but forget to look at closely anymore.  The colors and shapes.   The light and shadows.  The curve and line.  The details.  Oh my, the details.  To do your sketches, you must really look.  See what you've been missing?   

 If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.-- Dr. Seuss

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