Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Electric Hand Steps Out

Since my job requires a daily commute into New York, I have plenty of opportunity to observe my fellow commuters as they make their way to Work. I approach this daily grind with the attitude that, at any moment, I may see something which is absolutely astounding. The groundwork for this all came from another of my fathers' maxims, “ Every day is delicious”. So the world can be astounding and delicious if you let yourself be open to the possibility and fill your head with art. This all sounds very syrupy, new-agey kind of stuff, but if you look at it this way it may help…

At any moment I may come around a corner and see this..

Perhaps a young summer intern at one of the banks still in business.

or this...


A potential Bernard Madoff looking crusty, timeworn with a hint of subterranean deadliness.

or perhaps this...

Works as a Barrista at Starbucks while going to college at night. His mother is not happy with his hair and he is not sure what he's going to do with his life.

The art that fills your head can sneak into your life unannounced and its a wonderful experience to have it suddenly pop up in front of you. So gobble as much art as you can fill your head with and you will be well rewarded.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Part of the Process

Here is a section of a drawing called The Mad Hatter that was done from a photograph. Part of the process is trying to figure out what about the image attracted me in the first place. I was most certainly attracted to the intensity of the image and I wished to carry that through in the drawing. I felt, on looking at the photo, that a lot of energy was centered around the mouth and that his mouth was stuffed with the emotion, so I wanted to something other than teeth. I left a suggestion of teeth and let most of the lines on the face radiate out from that direction. I liked the explosive feel of the image and tried to bring this out more fully in the hat. (see the entire image on my flicker web page (Garden Sculptor).

I think most people underestimate the information that can be read from a drawing. It is usually the artists first blush with the subject matter, and the way the he uses the line can be a telltale sign of how he feels about it. It can also indicate how comfortable he is with his abilities. I see a lot of artists who cannot draw well enough to carry out their thoughts and feelings effectively, so it is a primary step that should not be given short shrift in ones artistic development. The act of drawing can be a very intimate encounter with ones feelings, failings or successes; so sometimes its avoided in the rush to get something on a canvas. The payoff, if you stick with it, is something that is extraordinary, and will color the way you interact with the world for the rest of your life.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Since I have been hanging out in flickr, I have admired some of the blogs by other artists and it’s a good way to know them better. I thought this might be a good forum to share my thoughts and feelings about creating art. I hope you enjoy these posts.

First and foremost for me, creating a drawing or painting is not about making an image. It is a way of exploring some of the wonderful emotions that pass through my brain as I look at people, places and things. The art is the act of touching the emotion, exploring its nuances, feeling it in my body, walking around with it like a delicate suit of clothes.

Learning to draw was a struggle like it is for all art students; it wasn't until I got older and more comfortable in my own skin that I could discovered what drawing actually meant to me. I realized that it was an act of touching something I could not touch; I could feel like I was touching the person as I drew, and not just the skin, but the electricity under it. My hand would move as I reacted to the person I was drawing, and it acted as a seismograph of what I was feeling. The pencil strokes registering the delicate electrical vibrations that I felt dancing below the surface

When I wasn't drawing I found that occasionally I would see a person and could feel a sort of hand memory like I was drawing them very fast; the seismograph would go off in my head and I would walk around with a big smile on my face. It’s an amazing feeling!

So now I have my sketchbook and my seismograph and I am set for the day.

I would welcome posts from fellow artists about what drawing does for them, what goes through your noggin as you draw?

Best regards to all