“Just do your work…”

April 23, 2018

“Just do your work. And if the world needs your work it will come and get you. And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway. You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I’m given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one’s own vision.” – Kiki Smith

These are a few of my January and February sketchbook drawings. My sketchbook drawings are different from the daily drawings that I post to Instagram (and here, monthly) for a few reasons. I always begin in my sketchbook. Sometimes the drawing there is rough and really more of a warm-up, and sometimes it’s quick and more interesting as a result. I start in my sketchbook with less intention to produce something that I would call ‘finished’ and it changes how I approach the page and the subject. I try things that are more challenging – it’s less intimidating to take risks. I have committed to posting all of my daily drawings, but I have not committed to posting everything in my sketchbook. It also means that there are a lot more really questionable drawings in my sketchbook – and so I only have 12 that I’ve chosen to post for January and February.

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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.

“Everyone repeats themselves.” – Rachel Whiteread

March 26, 2018

Wine & Pears Five, Feb 19, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Five, Feb 19, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Wine & Pears Six, Mar 3, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Six, Mar 3, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

I finally finished the last two paintings in this six piece series I started last year. They’re all based on the same still life and my intention when I started was to work with the techniques introduced in the Craftsy class I had completed – I liked the subject matter and the idea of creating variations.

Below are all of the paintings together. I intend to hang them all on my living room wall to emphasize the differences and similarities between them. I will probably try another series similar to this, but I will use it to explore a variety of colour palettes. AFTER I finish at least some of the many paintings I have begun and am currently stuck on.

“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.

“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.

“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: