“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…)

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“Practice by drawing things large… “

April 9, 2018

“Practice by drawing things large, as if equal in representation and reality. In small drawings every large weakness is easily hidden; in the large, the smallest weakness is easily seen.” – Leon Battista Alberti

I had great intentions at the beginning of March to draw larger and looser. Last year, all of my drawings were 3.5″ X 5.25″. This year I started out with all of my paper cut to 5″ X 7″. I now have paper cut to 8″ x 10″ as well and I did complete 12 larger drawings, but it is a bigger challenge than I had thought. Which could mean that it is exactly what I should work on, but it’s just not going to happen right now. I have too much else going on in my life and I’ve been struggling lately to just sit down and draw. So for April, I’ve retreated a bit and I’m focusing on drawing dishes and just keeping it up. I’m hoping when the spring weather arrives it will bring me more energy.

“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.

“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″

 

“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.

“We go forward, looking in the rearview mirror.”- Marshall McLuhan

September 25, 2017

July 8, 2017, 5.5” X 8”

I have just not felt like painting lately. I’ve done a bit here and there, but nothing that has amounted to anything. Instead of paintings, today I’m posting some of my favourite drawings from my current sketchbook. In January I started my daily drawing project in order to improve my drawing skills. In June I realized I was not seeing the improvement I had hoped to, so I started a fresh sketchbook with the intention of drawing 30 minutes a day minimum – including the time I put into my daily drawing. It’s gone well and I feel like I’ve been a bit more experimental and playful as a result. Here’s a small sampling.