Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sketch For New Piece; Observations; Etc.

paper sketch for next piece
Since I don't have a finished piece for this week I thought I could share the above paper sketch. Paper sketches often help me to get ideas for new pieces. The above sketch was made from left over paper from my last piece. I try to use the cuttings that are leftover, leaving them as is. I generally don't have any ideas in mind when I start but I try to look for big pieces to begin with and work my way down to little pieces. The idea of this one really excites me so I think I will be working on this one in the coming week.

I'd like to share some observations too that I made this week. The first one deals with how I sketch and how I generate ideas. Maybe you do this too? I was really struggling with my sketching. It was really frustrating. There is a tendency to believe that you will never have another "good" idea. ("Oh ye of little faith...") When I stopped to analyze the reasons why I was struggling, I realized that when I try to have a specific theme or idea in mind, I generally don't do well. I find myself trying to draw that idea, trying to represent it. For some reason this tends to jam up my thinking. I am trying too hard to draw a specific image and it doesn't seem to work for me. It's like if I was thinking of a piece to do with cats and I was trying to draw a cat. It doesn't work for me. I think I do better when I start with a paper sketch, like the one above, or if I start with a non specific shape, one that doesn't have any meaning attached to it. That shape can suggest other shapes or lines or directions of things. The sketch grows much more organically rather than in a forced way. And it could end up being about cats but not with a specific cat image.

The other thing is something I observed with my sketching class. (The class went well by the way. People seemed excited.) I believe firmly that everyone can be creative: they can color, they can cut paper, glue things, put together patterns or colors or what have you. They can even draw using shapes and lines. But it takes a certain mindset to buy in to this; to settle for something that is less than perfect but maybe just as fun. And you can't force people to believe this. But, I think it is true. How do we lose this belief anyway? I know it has something to do with our development as a young child-how we start to self criticize when we see that our current skill set can't produce the results that we want. We give up because no one is there to encourage and teach us to learn more about drawing. What a shame.

Anyway, I set up a still life for people. I used some household objects that went together: a measuring cup, a few recipe books and some spoons and a canister of baking powder. People took one look at the books, which were angled, and groaned! Oh no! It never occurred to me for a second that it would be difficult to draw those books or that it would cause stress. What a disconnect on my part. It's form-dimension-and it's a problem. We all got through it but it made me really think about the learning curve. I think I really understand now why people don't delve into drawing. It's hard. Perspective drawing is difficult and requires constant attention. I had to go back through my materials to see what I understood and didn't understand. I encouraged everyone to draw shapes, to use colors, and to keep going. I gave tips that I thought would help. I know now what to do for next time.

So, that's all of my stuff. There is more but it would depress you! Suffice to say that this week was very hard for me artistically (and for other reasons). It sounds self absorbed but it's true. I should title that above piece Redemption. I hope everyone is doing well and having a nice weekend. Really. I really do.


  1. You have some nice repetition going on with positive, negative circles or parts of circles. I particularly like the placement of the larger white one.
    Glad your class went well. I was grinning and nodding my head reading about the perspective issue. Been through all that. I know you will solve it in a creative and positive manner and please fill us in how you do it. Have a great week.

    1. Julie,

      Thanks for the kind words on the sketch. I finished it up and was so excited. I like the circles and their renditions too. The exciting part was that if I sat down to draw it, the sketch probably wouldn't have materialized. It's the randomness of the pre cut shapes and lines. Very fun.

      I think for the next class that I am going to start with some warm up exercises (mark making and contour drawing) and then set up a still life example that is mostly just basic shapes: circles and squares, all facing you head on. No sense in going directly to two point perspective! And I am not sure that I want to tackle the perspective issue to begin with. I don't have a confidant way to explain things. But, I'll keep working on some basic explanations.

      Hope you are having a good weekend. Thank you as always for your visit.

  2. Dear Libby all these circles and forms look very exciting. I know you will put them together in a delightful way. So glad your drawing class went well. Perspective is so hard. I have played with it but sometimes it gets overwhelming. Understand about those books especially if they are angled. Hope things are better next week friend. Hugs!

  3. Debbie,

    Thank you for your comments. I hope that I will put the piece together shortly!

    I find perspective to be so difficult also. I keep coming back to it and each time I find that I understand one small thing a little better. I am not sure why I find it so hard though. The books certainly proved challenging! I have a few ideas though for the next class:)

    Hope that your weekend has gone well. I thank you for the visit!


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