Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sketches from the Journey

I mentioned yesterday that I've signed up for the Sketchbook Challenge.  This is a structured challenge with a theme each month.  The January theme is "Highly Valued". I haven't gotten to that one yet unless you count the hand below (my left hand).  Karl & I celebrate our 43rd anniversary on Wed. so my ring is certainly a symbol of something I Highly Value.

My trip sketches are not finished works of art. I wasn't after perfection.  They were done as we moved along the highway so there is some license in creating what I saw. I was interested in the changing landscape across Texas & New Mexico and the exercise of pen on paper.

I don't remember a time when I didn't draw. As a child my drawings were mostly from imagination or copying from publications (a big NO-NO to me now). When I taught school I always insisted that practice was the key to success in drawing as it is in any skill. I worked to provide the students with interesting objects and surroundings to record and stressed that observation skills would help them in any endeavor they pursued.

I remember at around age 10 doing that drawing in magazines that predicts that you can be an artist. I had an early interest in art but as a child of the race to space era I decided I was going to medical school and even started college with that idea.  I don't know if it was laziness or ADD but I moved first toward medical illustrattion and finally ended up in Art Education.  ART as in a BFA was not an option to my parents; "How are you going to make a living?" was heard more than once in my house.  Truthfully, teaching suited my personality rather well and I had a pretty good run at it. 

In college I had the best and worst of drawing instructions.  The worst was actually no instruction but lots of criticism and sarcasm.  The best was the Art Ed. teacher who used a method similar to Betty Edwards' "Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain".  She called it Contour drawing - learning to draw what you see and not what you know.  Every week we were required to turn in at least 7 drawings.  I can say that they got better & better as the semester went along. If you're interested in learning to draw the Edwards book is a good guide but the real key is PRACTICE. Get some paper & pen and give it a try.

PS.  I just found a free workshop on Journaling from Stratmore.  Week one has some good ideas for using your old art work in new ways so take a look. 

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hurrah for taking up the 2011 challenge--you're inspiring others too...at least to take a break and look at your blog.