Sunday, May 4, 2014

Refilling the Well


Contour drawing of Duke Ellington. Charcoal on paper.
I've been busy lately. Incredibly busy. Months and months painting, then preparing to show. Four shows in a month. It's been pretty crazy. And I'm tired. Maybe would feel less run down if I'd sold more, but that's how it goes. I got lots of feedback, so that's good. That helps. But.... what now? That's the question. I'm tired, I'm empty, and I need to refill my inspiration well. Best way to do that.... for me it's to take a class. It always works. It gets me thinking in a different way, approaching the image from a different angle. And I get to meet new people and be social, while creating in a judgement free zone. Every artist needs that from time to time, in order to get somewhere new. 

The class I decided on is "Experimental Portraiture", taught by Kim Lee Kho. We're 3 weeks into it, and so far, so good. We've worked with masks, done some collage, and this week we tackled continuous contour drawing. I haven't done that in a long time, and i had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It was fun. We were working from a photo of an "interesting face". I brought in Duke Ellington... there are some wonderful photos of him online, and his face is most certainly interesting. The exercise was to do an initial drawing from the photo, then draw from the drawing until you got to the essence of the person. How do you know when you get there? Well.... I guess you just know. 


 

Progression of drawings, 2 through 6. At #3 I switched
hands to try to stop being so analytical. I think its funny
that while none of these really look like him, they all kind of look
like him... if you know what i mean.

Next week we're taking the drawing and working it in wire. It was explained that we would be doing this before we started drawing... and it's kind of a difficult thing to imagine if you've never done it. I tried to simplify so I didn't end up with an unmanageable project. We were looking at the sculptures done  by Alexander Calder as an example. I don't know how that's going to work, and that's good. Nothing like trying something new and different to really get the brain going.