Friday, August 22, 2014

Pastel 6 - Trees

This one took more than 15 minutes.  I got into the drawing stage, in particular, and so this was more like 30 minutes.

Again, it started oriented one way and then was rotated 180 before I began with the Sharpie.

During the drawing the most fun was the loops, like crochet stitches, in the roots and bases of the trees.  That creates an unexpected abstract element at the bottom.

For me the most unexpected moment was when the rich sienna was applied so heavily in the upper middle, reaching out like wings.  After the first set of marks with that color, to the right of the tree trunk, I thought I had ruined the drawing (left brain talking) and then I calmly just pushed it even further, adding much more sienna, which worked better than anything my safe left brain would have wanted.  That kind of over-ride is precisely what I feel these drawings are slowly training my mind to do.

All of these are 18 x 24 inches, pastel on brown kraft paper.  Click any image for a closer view.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Church of the Great Outdoors

This is a pencil drawing I did back in 2006.  I have an itch to continue in this line.  This particular drawing was inspired by a conversation with my brother-in-law's father, who told me one day, "I feel closer to God standing here in these trees looking at my cows."  I had, myself, recently become unchurched when this drawing came to me gradually.

I see that in 2006 I was already sneaking fish into nearly every piece.  Click the image for a larger view.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Auto Drawings 7 and 8

 More automatic drawings.  #7 is called "Sensuous" and #8 is called "Yeti."  I'm finding that my mood is somewhat reflected in the end-of-day drawing exercise.  Calmer days tend to lead to calmer drawings.  My most energetic and frenetic days often result in drawings full of lines, diagonals, loops, and rapid movements, with little space or rest anywhere on the pages.

The next in this series go to two page drawings - the single sheet has seemed too small starting with #9.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pastels 4 and 5 - Less Control

Continuing the 15 minute pastel drawings in my garage...  What excites me about these is that they are not what I expect.  I do not know where these are going.  I watch and learn.  Click on the images below for a closer view.

#3 began inspired by a bucket full of gardening trowels.  Great shapes of handles and edges...  But the final pastel is exuberantly something else, (many something elses) so let's call that one private.

#4 and #5 appear below, starting with the pen drawings, then the Sharpie drawings in reaction to the ball-point, and finally the pastel image.  Both of these were rotated 180 degrees; #5 was rotated twice (second time midway through the pastel stage).

I don't like these.  Actually, I dislike these (except the colors).  But they excite me because they are breaking free.  We are traveling.  If you review the work in my gallery, you see a lot of work that is careful and planned looking (even though many of those works are also surprises and wandered their way to a final destination).  These, in contrast, are not careful or planned - at least not in comparison.  I can get much more free, and I hope I do.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Yellow Oxalis Sketch - NC Mountains Aug 014

Camping in the NC mountains this weekend - I had a chance to sit still long enough to sketch some "sour grass" (yellow oxalis).  We kayaked, hiked, drove deep into Ashe County to locate a population of the endangered spirea that our daughter studied for several years in college, and spent some time in Blowing Rock (including pizza at the newly relocated Mellow Mushroom - we miss the old funky location on Sunset - and ice cream at Kilwin's).  The weather was close to perfect.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pastels - 2 - I Think You Can Guess

As I said, I do these in the garage (pastels are a mess) and generally in under 15 minutes.  Sharpie and pastels on kraft paper.  As a kid I loved drawing and coloring on brown paper grocery store bags, cut open.  I tap into some of that child's energy and glee when I color on this brown kraft paper.

Here is the rapid Sharpie drawing that preceded the pastels.  Drawing time less than 2 minutes.  The speed is deliberate to prevent over-thinking (a major stumbling block for me).

So what do you see in the drawing?

I am really enjoying these.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pastels - 1 - Tithonia

As an extension of the auto drawings and blind contours, and to continue my effort to cut out the hesitant, verbal (and second guessing) part of my mind, I began a series of pastel drawings on kraft paper.  These are 18 x 24 inches, done with Sharpies and pastels.  They are drawn in less than 15 minutes, so there isn't time to freeze up.  They are done in the garage, because pastels are a mess.

This first one was inspired by tithonia I could see in the flower bed closest to the open garage door.  And some phlox.  The flowers here don't follow tithonia - they look like more like the way tithonia makes me feel, like birthday candles on bright orange cupcakes.  And to give you some idea of scale, our tithonia plants typically top seven feet tall.  This drawing is way too tame, and too predictable - but it's a start.  The second in the series is more to my purpose (but that's another post).

I have no idea where I'm going to keep these drawings.  Pastels are hard to store.