Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Life Drawing and other things.

16 Minute drawing of something?
A 15 Minute, highly inaccurate, drawing of Angel Island
     Nearly all of the artists I know personally are rather diffident about their skills in the craft. Most at some level, will admit to feeling fraudulent, inept, or inadequate some or even most of the time. While there are, in stark contrast, a relative few godly ones that I know, who approach their art with undying self-assurance. I am, with certainty, not one of their class; I'm relatively uncertain if I will ever be able to be one of them. I don't know if that is a potentiality within my character... but what I do want, more than anything, is to be as good as they are.
Whether I even know it or not, but to make art as masterfully as they do... as any artist in such ranks. I know that a lifetime of diligent effort is required to even hope for such an accomplishment. And I have so far, been worse than lazy in this pursuit, my only excuse is that the fear of failure is a powerful force. So in an attempt to thwart the fear of failure, I am confronting it. (or at least I think I am)

A 40 Minute drawing from a photograph
A 20 minute incomplete drawing of trees
    All of the artists who I admire claim that drawing from life is the most powerful foundational skill in their repertoire. I hate life drawing; it has always been a miserable pursuit for me. I do not enjoy any aspect of it: I dread being timed, I get overwhelmed by the detail in my subject, by the looming inevitability of failure at every pencil stroke, and then there are the the god awful results I get every time I do it. Even in school after doing months of life drawings in class after class, I still made nothing but awful drawings. while I watched every student around me improve I seemed to not. But with that said, I love so very much what real, talented artists do with life drawing. Whenever I see good life drawing or an artist who is skilled in life drawing draw from their mind's eye: I am awestruck and inspired, and I want so desperately to be capable of what they do. So I am trying to face my fear, address my deficit, and draw from life. It is little surprise then, that the last few weeks of drawing from life every day has put me in a very dark mood.
A 30 Minute wobbly drawing of Burlingame
Each exercise reinforces in my mind just how awful I am, when in the time provided I often fail to even sketch the entire frame of view... and what little does make it onto the page seems to somehow be done with less proficiency than the day before. But I tell myself to keep trying, and now I have a sketchbook almost filled entirely with false starts and wonky, childish scribblings. Even the drawings I try to do just for myself, as therapy from doing life drawings seem to be getting worse. I'm not giving up... but I'm not getting any better either, and I likely won't for a long while yet, if I ever do, lord knows I've seen lots of artists just stagnate and never improve or change at all.
30 Minutes of graphite diarrhea
A 30 Minute perfect rendering of another dimension
I'm trying to disabuse myself from the quick-results-based mindset that I have and learn to enjoy the long, tracts of artistic plateau that await me. I hope that one day, sooner than I expect now, I will rediscover this blog entry, and remember the scared, petulant little shit-bag who wrote it as a distant fever-dream memory... That then I will be a better artist, able to draw and render more, and to do it quickly, confidently, and prolifically. Until then, here are some bizarre scrawlings from the clumsy hands of an idiot... a twenty-six year old who has been making art his whole life but possesses the abilities of a neophyte.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Sketch Update

So here are a bunch of tiny watercolor passes I did for the stone face paintings. Trying to find a color scheme that I liked. I had a much harder time of this with the fiery one. But eventually it paid off. I like this process... it's kind of like a warm-up for the actual painting.

Here are some random drawings I was doing last week too, some rivers and stones. Nothing profound, just doodles. That's all for this week! Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

God of Rage

Another Gouache Painting
So this theme is so much fun I may do a few of them. I do have a bunch of these little 5x5 claybords. The last painting was supposed to be a sort of "God of Despair", depicting a melancholic stone face: overgrown with vines, weathered, and forgotten. In contrast, this one is a stone face depicting rage or hate: a stone face illuminated by a swirling banner of flames. I figured it would be fun to break the ideas into two visual elements: the stone face, and some kind of analog element to parallel the theme. I say it's not a bad way to get into a style of painting mostly new to me.