|Ranunculus 8x10 Watercolor on paper|
I'm experimenting in the studio again. Meandering in the art supplies is fine if I have no upcoming shows or commissions. Enthusiasm to try this-and-that, and then a-couple-of-those is both the blessing and the curse of a creative mind, in my case.
I have artist friends who are awe-inspiringly focused. I've written more than a few posts over the past eight years while spewing on this blog about my envy of straight-as-a-snapped-chalk-line approach to art making. I can stick with a plan in short bursts, but my creative train gets derailed by un-scheduled life, or opportunities for spontaneity - like an invitation last week to go whale watching.
I went. (See a couple of photos below.) And that day on the Pacific - watching whales breathe and breach, and thousands of dolphins racing the boat so close, you could touch them, and sea lions leaping a foot above the surface of the sea - was incredible, beautiful, inspiring and mind-expanding. I don't have words to explain my face-achingly-extreme-grinning all day.
When I got back in the studio, I researched whales and dolphins for two days and made no art. See what I mean? My train left the station of unfinished projects, and it's chugging along the coast, doodling kelp and sea lions. But, that's not the plan for this summer's output, and upcoming shows. If I was on a production line to get inventory re-stocked, I'd fire myself this week. Sigh.
But, I know two things; 1) I'll get back on track, and 2) I'd rather be overwhelmed by beauty than numb to it. So, I'll continue the attempts to reign my wild sea horses in, and get back to the tasks at hand. Is any of this familiar to you?
How do you curtail un-mapped, creative urges? Or do you just go with it, and let the unfinished projects pile up? What methods work for you when life bumps your studio time, or studio time gets spent more frivolously than you'd planned? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
|Common Dolphins, racing the boat|
|Hello, Mr. Humpback. Nice to meet you.|
|Kelp Forests have beautifully repetitive patterns that make me want to draw|
|Shell of a baby red abalone - the largest species of abalone in the world. |
Adults can grow to be 12 inches wide.
I'm listening to this book in the studio. It's helping. And its pretty fascinating. :)
I had previously been taught to paint the head in three separate stages - each one repeating - [first] in charcoal, [then] in thin color-wash and [finally] in paint - the same things. By Sargent's method, the head developed by one process. Until almost at the end there were no features or accents - simply a solid shape growing out of and into a background with which it was one. When at last he did put them in, each accent was studied with an intensity that kept his brush poised in mid-air until the eye and hand had steadied to one purpose, and then.... bling!. The stroke resounded almost like a note of music. It annoyed him very much if the accents were carelessly indicated, without accurate consideration of their comparative importance. They were, in a way, the nails upon which the whole structure depended for solidity. ~J. H. Heyneman