Arting People

Faces and bodies intimidate me, when it comes to art. So I decided to start simply, with this computerized sketch (featured) made from an old photograph of one of my girls.

I have found with my sketching that adhering to the original is not always necessary, as long as I get the general idea. This is art, after all.

I choose the colours that I want to introduce to the image – pink, blue, and burnt sienna. Wetting the paper, I dab in the colour, then decide to add some green.

I take pictures along the way, so that I can objectively consider the painting and what else it needs. At this point, I usually redo some of the sketch lines, but I don’t feel inclined to do that here. Instead, I think about highlighting areas of the piece by intensifying the colour. I paint the trees in the upper right hand corner, and then opt to do her hat.

Still not satisfied, I decide to sleep on it. In the morning, I realize that it is the snowball that is bothering me. I decide to introduce yellow, emphasizing her hair and the ball.

Now the painting has taken on a metaphorical aspect, telling a story.

To me, it is the light the emanates from this special child.

Self-Portrait and Mountains

Many moons ago, I won an award for my artistic talents and was immediately counselled to drop the art program. That same year, I wrote my first novel, and after it was graded, I burnt it. I wasn’t meant to be creative, I decided, and obediently signed up for advanced math and other academic subjects.

For decades following, I admired the creativity of others and bemoaned the fact that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. Now that I have put that nonsense behind me, and reconnected with that younger self, I am revelling in exploration.

And, still rolling in the mire of self-doubt.

I am very conscientious of the fact that I have not been a student of art – that I wouldn’t recognize a Gaugin from a Renoir without some prodding. I don’t know the technical terms and when I read artists’ blogs, I am often lost. Does this make me an imposter? I wonder.

Still, I plod along – my work station a permanent corner of our abode (we dine on our laps) – each day daring myself to try something new. Thus the self-portrait.

Mostly, I am focusing on sketching, and liking where the extensive pencil work is taking me. This mountain scene is inspired by the large rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park. Less focused on realism, I find I am more liberal with the watercolours.

Each new venture is a learning.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.