“I drew 550 different shoes today, it almost made me faint.” – John Cale & Lou Reed, “Open House” from the album Songs for Drella

August 13, 2018

Before I committed to drawing shoes for the month of July, I counted how many different pairs I could find in the house and was a little surprised that we have so many. And I didn’t draw them all – instead I drew some of my favourites over and over (repetition is sort of my thing) and included one drawing from a photo sent to me. I had also committed to use at least colour in every drawing – possibly not the best plan considering how many pairs of black shoes I chose to draw. One lesson learned: early on I realized that although laces are interesting, they increase the time requirement of the drawing significantly. Most days 30-45 minutes is as much as I can put aside to draw, so that became a determining factor when I was picking my subject each day. As usual, most of these are 5″x7″ and this month I managed to use a wide variety of media. Overall, I enjoyed this challenge and I’m fairly pleased with the results.

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“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood

July 31, 2018

Warm Mineral Still Life, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Mineral Still Life, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Modern Still Life, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Modern Still Life, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Modern Still Life, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Modern Still Life, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Mineral Still Life, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Mineral Still Life, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Mineral Wheel, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Mineral Wheel, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Modern Wheel, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Modern Wheel, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Modern Wheel, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Modern Wheel, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Mineral Wheel, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Mineral Wheel, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

I have a tendency to paint with the same colours over and over. I use my favourites and I am not unhappy with the results, but I would definitely gain from expanding my horizons. These paintings are an attempt in that direction. Gamblin puts out a chart of their colours categorized by pigment type – Modern and Mineral Colours. I thought it would be interesting to create a series of paintings using colours in each group, choosing three warm primaries and three cool primaries from each category and mixing my secondary colours to produce four different paintings of the same subject matter. I started with a colour wheel for each to get a feel for the colours before I started working with them. I’ve discovered some new favourites in this process and I’m playing with a few more ideas for future work springing from this experiment.

“Art happens all the time, everywhere. All we have to do is keep our minds open.” – Jacek Tylicki

Here’s another selection of my favourite drawings from my sketchbook from May and June. Towards the end of June, with my focus on drawing faces, I started skipping my warm-up drawings. At the time it was due to time constraints – I had a lot going on and I wanted to be as quick a possible. This is a busy month as well, but I really think I need to get back to it and start using my sketchbook for quick drawing exercises prior to my daily drawings – blind contours and value maps of the subject I have chosen that will lead me to look at it differently. I will begin tonight and see where it leads.

“Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.” – John Singer Sargent

July 2, 2018

My experience before June in drawing faces was minimal. I find faces very difficult and would not take on a portrait of someone I know for fear of how they might interpret my lack of skill. I really enjoyed these drawings though – partially because I had such low expectations. I chose to draw faces created by other artists as the images would already be simplified and I would be able to draw on a wide variety of styles. I worked from images I found online mostly. The list below includes the details of the original images with links. (just to prove that not all of the crooked eyes were unintentional…)

“To depend entirely upon inspiration is as bad as waiting for a shipwreck to learn how to swim….”

“To depend entirely upon inspiration is as bad as waiting for a shipwreck to learn how to swim. To leave everything to natural spontaneity is as bad as to make everything the result of mechanical pre-determination… perfection is the harmonious blending of the two.” – Francois Delsarte

June 18, 2018

Skittles, Apr 28, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Skittles, Apr 28, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Four Cups, May 6, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Four Cups, May 6, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Balloon Dog, May 19, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Balloon Dog, May 19, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Cream Pitcher, May 27, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Cream Pitcher, May 27, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

It seems it’s been a while that I’ve felt torn between trying to finish as many of my old canvases as possible and starting something new and larger. And in the absence of a decision between the two, I’ve either been working on smaller pieces or not working at all. Being a collector of art supplies, I have quite a few small canvassers and panels that I’m filling in short sittings with images that are not all that special to me. Their completion almost amounts to putting in time – but the intention is not a negative connotation. It’s more about keeping at it and removing the expectation of a certain outcome beyond a surface covered with paint that I can call ‘done’. I do have some time set aside in the near future to play with cold wax techniques and that just might lead to something new…

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye…”

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans

June 5, 2018

 

May is over and so are my daily drawings for the month. I adopted the theme of corners in May. I had thought I’d try to focus on creating small spaces, or on the odd things that I might find in the corners of my house, but that wasn’t always that interesting to me, so I expanded it to include the corners of surfaces as well. I liked having a theme – even if it was sometimes only loosely applied and so I’ve taken up a new one for June. On July 2, I will post my daily face drawings and we’ll see how many of them appear to be human.

“Fear is the enemy of art. But it’s a misfortune to be in complete control and a gift to feel slightly lost.” – Melanie Peter

May 21, 2018

Still feeling a little lost and uninspired these days with my art. And that’s ok. I will continue and see what happens next. Here are a few of my warm-up drawings from March and April – complete with really inconsistent colour casts.