Thursday, July 23, 2009

Promise 66: Nose 4

Ok, I did sketch yesterday, a nose from the cast we have. But I'm not posting it because I need to talk...

I'm feeling like I'm flailing about, just all over the place. Sketching legs, eyes, lemons, faces, seemingly random 'items' with no real direction other than this nebulous goal to 'learn'--whatever that means. There seems to be no real direction or coherence to what I'm doing.

Originally I was thinking along the lines that if I want to paint still life, then I should learn each part of that still life, i.e. the bowl, the cherries, the cloth, etc. then draw them all together. So that was somewhat of a start, thus the lemons, limes, bowls. Then I grew tired of those and felt limited and bored. And setting up a still life where I like the composition is so difficult that then I think I need to study composition before setting something up. Then I always feel rushed so I just sit down and sketch whatever is available or that I have easiest access to. I know, I even sound flailing as I write this...

So, I just don't know what to do. Which book to read, which 'thing' to draw, which part to focus on....lost and floundering...again. I know, I know, you're thinking 'why doesn't she just enroll in a class?' Well, cause I am lazy and scared and do not want to be in a group with others and I know I am just plain not going to do that. So any other ideas?

My idea is to think more, rethink more, establish some direction, and to not be so focused on posting sketches but on posting LEARNINGS. Bill and I were talking about my problem this morning and he helped me see that whatever I sketch, leg, arm, eye, that I LEARN something from that sketch.

So here for a while, I am going to keep track of what I learned each day. I think I'll be sharing that with you, because this blog is like my 'art journal' and I enjoy having it to look back on.

Thanks for reading all this rambling. You know if you click on the WORD 'comments' below this post you can leave a comment, signed or anonymous. I appreciate all your input and opinions and ideas.

I'll be back later, but maybe tomorrow. Company for dinner tonight.


Karen Appleton said...

Super Susan!! What you sound like is aTRUE ARTIST! You recognize the need for purpose and direction in your art!! Unfortunately, floundering as uncomfortable as it is, is part of the journey when the artist is truly trying to discover the vague 'more' of what they want to learn or express.

Learning and practicing technique is part of the process, and initially we just search about aimlessly painting/drawing whatever looks good. Eventually, as you are discovering now, not just any object will do. That is your artist voice wanting to express something. There is only one you, with one set of life experiences that no one else has experienced, so keep floundering and eventually you will hear what that voice is saying.

I don't think you necessarily need to take a class unless you want to. You could take specific classes in areas you think you need help, or continue reading books and looking to master artists for guidance. For instance, compare a variety of artists, like say Vermeer, Degas, Klimt, and Thiebaud, and ask yourself what their artistic ideals are, how they each use/used composition, are/were they attempting new directions, how is Van Gogh's landscape, still life, and portrait, different than Monet's? Balthus, Caillebotte, and Euan Uglow all use extreme mathematical approaches to composition, and so on, you get my drift? :)

If you totally need to feel more focused, you could pick a specific area you want to learn more about (comp, edges, color, light, style, personal expression) and let every drawing or painting you do, be done with that topic in mind.

You have done a ton of work since you started this sketching promise, look again at your first sketches to realize how far you have really come. I like your idea about posting what you've learned. Just remember it is not only okay to flounder, but necessary if you are pushing yourself. Instead of calling it floundering, call it experimenting :)

Susan and Bill Bonnell said...

Karen, you are always so incredibly helpful. Thank you. I think I am 'better' today...talking helped and thinking helped too! So I am going to continue to 'experiment' and stop this floundering. LOL