“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.

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“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.

“authorship is a dubious concept…” – Victor Pelevin

November 20, 2017
“I had never understood my own poetry particularly well, and had long suspected that authorship is a dubious concept, and all that is required from a person who takes a pen in hand is to line up the various keyholes scattered about his soul so that a ray of sunlight can shine through on to the paper set out in front of him.” – Victor Pelevin in Buddha’s Little Finger

August 12, 2017, 8″ X 5.5″

Still not feeling much like painting, so I’m posting more of my drawings from July and August.

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” – Robert Motherwell

November 6, 2017

October and 31 daily drawings complete. I followed a general theme in October – I set out to capture small spaces. In many cases, this amounted to adding a horizon line in some of the images. It changed my approach somewhat though, so I will count it as a success – even if it’s not obvious to anyone but me. I found myself consistently resorting to my favourite medium of a combination of a Copic pigment pen and the Koi Coloring Brush Pens in warm greys. I really do like the way they blend on the gessoed paper of my Moleskine books. I recently tried out another brand of the markers – the Zig Clean Colour Real Brush Markers. But after a bit of playing with them, I’m not enjoying how they behave. I will spend more time with them before I write them off.