About Me

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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daffodils in the Rain

For a month now I have been doing black and white drawings of the ripples made by rain drops on a tiny pool of water that rises up by our miniature daffodils. None of the sketches really helped in the way I paint wet into wet oil.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the grid is an imperfect drawing tool

I am making a Power Point slide show about inventions for my grandchildren who are now teen- agers. One of the most important historic inventions is the grid according to my grandfather Emile Widler. He used to draw a grid over his photographs and then enlarge them for watercolors. Searching the Internet for a match for one of his paintings of Chinese Emperors, I found a photo that matched his painting especially in the eyes ears and general shape of the face. Then I drew a grid over a copy of the photo and made an enlargement. I was amazed at how closely the lines matched my grandfather's except for purposeful changes like removing the mustache and making baby doll lips.

I usually do not like copying photos because there is no need to understand the volumes and the lighting. It is a mathematical exercise. However, in the case of my grandfather's portraits, he deviated enough to communicate his feelings on this emperor with tiny lips and a high forehead. It is alittle humorous.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Drawing Preparations for Painting

Traditionally drawing is the recommended foundation for painting. Yet, I always yearn to have paintings that are direct and fresh and alive. If I do a drawing first the painting is likely to loose life and spontaneity. I am so anxious to have the thrilling experience of getting a painting that comes together without being overworked, I neglect drawing.
Day before yesterday I painted daffodils outside in the cold. My first oil painting of the season. It didn't work.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drawing Kissed by the Sun's Promise of Spring

At mid-afernoon the clouds were spreading and dissapearing. I could feel a faint warmth on my cheek as I marveled at the angle of the sun kissing them as they kept dispersing.

Drawing Faint and Ephemeral Clouds

March 2nd marked the beginning to an at home journey to viewing the spectacular without leaving my doorstep. I have my eyes on the sky all day and into the twilight hours. I make quick pen and ink drawings just a few inches on a side. Usually nine to a page.

There are some difficulties on my journey in the skies overhead. Some mornings on first glance I see a flat gray sky. But looking a few minutes at the undefined fluff, I am surprised to see subtle changes between the horizon and zenith. I record them in greater contrast.I also see differences between clouds looking at them from different windows on different sides of the house.

This month the clouds move into new formations before I can fully plot the volumes of clouds and their relationships to one another. That is OK, I just strive to get as much as I can down. Often I follow a line in the sky with my eye as a I draw without looking at the paper until I have an area plotted and I go back to shade always in greater contrast.

As I draw I look at the dark lines and judge that my drawing is too defined to be clouds. The spidery lines look unreal when judgement creeps in on me prematurely. I ignore my shock. I continue being too bold because I know I am in a foreign area to my previous work. I am stretching new compositions and expressiveness.

I have a new plan to draw the ephemeral. I have always been sad that wet into wet paintings look so wonderful before they dry. Now I will begin drawing ink sketches of drying paint at its most dramatic. The drying is slower moving than clouds in March.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Drawings Versus Sketches, and Cartoons,

My drawing efforts are tacked up on a board where I can look at them every day.
" draw-ing n. 2: the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines" 3: Something drawn... b) a representation formed by a drawing

"sketch n. 1: a) a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study"

"cartoon n. 1: a preparatory design, drawing or painting ( as for a fresco) 2: a) a satirical drawing commenting on public or usu. political matters b) comic strip

All three, drawings, sketches and cartoons require the act of drawing to produce them. As an artist in the process of making art, I hope when I am drawing that I accomplish my aim of making something I can be proud to say is a drawing. When I fall short of my intentions I call it not a failure but a sketch in preparation for a drawing I can call art.

This month I am drawing every day. At the beginning of the month I said I would do a drawing a-day but that goal may be highly optimistic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Drawing challenge in March leading to color and Paintings in April

These are quick sketches from pigeons watching us at Mo's Restaurant in Newport and the fish were in aquariums at the Hatfield Marine Center.