“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” – Robert Henri

March 12, 2018

Another month past and another 28 drawings completed. I think February went better than January. And now it’s March – the weather is warming up and spring is in the air. I hope to be a little more experimental again this month and loosen up a bit. In January and February I worked at 5”x7” and for March I’ve prepared a lot of paper at 8”x10”. I’ve added a few new papers to play with and plan to try working more with both vine and compressed charcoal. And maybe some paint… We’ll see how it goes.

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“The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.” – David Hockney

February 26, 2018

It’s been awhile since I posted sketchbook drawings, so here are my favourites from the end of last year. These are the drawings I do before my daily drawing as a warm up and they are often more experimental – and sometimes I end up with something I’m proud of and want to offer up to be seen.

“All the hand has to be…

February 12, 2018

“All the hand has to be is the unquestioning seismograph that notes down something, the meaning of which it knows not. The less the conscious ersonality of the artist interferes, the more truthful and personal the tracing becomes.“ -Frederick Frank

Here are the drawings from my January 2018 Art Every Day project.

This year I’ve started with a selection of 11 papers cut to 5”x7”. For January I limited my subject matter to a set of basic white shapes while I experimented with my favourite media on these papers. It has been interesting – by which I mean I’ve been very frustrated or very pleased, depending on the day. I’ve realized I need a little more consistency, so I will be restricting my choice of media for a while to a few I really like – unless I’m in a daring mood and decide to live on the edge.

And I need to push myself to develop my drawing skills. I usually come to my drawing at the end of my day feeling like I just need to get it done before winding down before bed – not the sort of headspace that nurtures experimentation or adventure. Last June I committed to spending more time drawing each day. Now I have to commit to taking on more difficult subject matter and focusing on drawing techniques that will help me build my skills, even when I don’t feel like it. I enjoy drawing, but I also feel a little anxious at the beginning of a new drawing, not sure if it’s going to work out how I want it to. I need to continue all the same and slow down a little, pay attention to what I’m actually seeing and stay curious to what appears on my page as I work.

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God,” – Sidney Sheldon

January 29, 2018

Today’s quote is courtesy of the latest letter on The Painter’s Keys. 

I haven’t been painting that much lately with all of the time I’m spending on my daily drawing project, but I am slowly working through a series of what I hope will be six paintings of the same still life in different styles. I posted the first two paintings in October. The latest two are here.

Wine & Pears Three, Jan 14, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Three, Jan 14, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Wine & Pears Four, Jan 28, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Four, Jan 28, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Back in September I took on a composition of spoons on the spur of the moment, but I wasn’t really impressed with how it went. It sat against the wall, rather unloved until a couple weeks ago when I decided to see if I could improve upon it. I haven’t decide which one I like better – not that it matters as I simply painted over the first version to reach the second one. I find the subject matter interesting and I may have to try it again down the road.

Spoons Round One, Sep 2, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Spoons Round One, Sep 2, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 12″ X 12″

Spoons Round Two, Jan 20, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Spoons Round Two, Jan 20, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 12″ X 12″

 

“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire. – Auguste Rodin

January 15, 2018

I’m a couple weeks into my 2018 Art Every Day Project and I’m still working things out. In the meantime, I’m looking back at last year’s sketchbooks and trying to find patterns and lessons that can help me understand how I can improve my skills. Somehow September was a good month for me and I found a lot of drawings I really liked. Here they are:

 

“Beauty will save the world.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

January 1, 2018

All Monthly Books

My 2017 Daily Drawing Project is complete! And here are the December drawings:

I estimate I spent about 150 hours drawing this year and in addition to the 13 books of drawings (12 Moleskines and a full sketchbook), I have come away with the following:
  1. I learned that, with a drawing habit established, it doesn’t matter how I feel when I sit down to draw. The drawing will start to appear and I will slide into the present moment.
  2. Sometimes drawing is about the subject, sometimes it is about materials and sometimes it is about playing.
  3. The actual subject of the drawing doesn’t matter much – it’s about the exercise of drawing.
  4. I remembered how much I love the feel of the pen or the pencil against the paper.
  5. I need to work on fitting my subject onto my page.
  6. I have a lot of opportunity to improve my technical drawing skills – foreshortening especially.
  7. If I stick with a medium for awhile, I eventually figure it out and may even come to love it.
  8. Apparently I like to draw white objects under harsh lighting.
  9. Shadows are immensely important.
  10. I really like water-based brush markers and working with grey.
Some of my favourite repeat subjects:

My favourite drawings of the year:

I’m prepped for my new 2018 Art Every Day project now and will post each image to Instagram daily and the accumulation of the month’s work each month. In 2018 I will continue to post every two weeks and will rotate between daily drawings, paintings I’m working on and other drawings that show up along the way. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

 

“You don’t save your soul just painting everything white.” – Ettore Sottsass

Lily, Nov 4, 2017, Mixed Media on Cradled Birch Panel, 8″ X 10″

Stacked Cups, Nov 11, 2017, Oil on Birch Panel, 10″ X 10″

I’m still not feeling like painting very much – it just seems like work when I think about it. I painted both of these more as ‘experiments’ than as paintings – which is what made them possible at all.