Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Do You Get Your Ideas?

The other day I was waiting in line for a free movie screening. Someone noticed me drawing in my sketchbook and wanted to see my other sketches. She asked me how I got my ideas. I answered that I just start drawing and ideas come as I draw.

There are times when I have a general idea about what I am going to do. But what’s in my head is often a hindrance to what I work out on the page. Most of the time I change my mind along the way.

Eventually a drawing emerges with a particular personality. There’s a certain innate direction the image wants to go. I still keep my options open for finishing. But after a certain point, I stop. I’m ready for the next image.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Self-Editing

For the last several years I have kept a list of ideas for my dot paintings. I decided that I wanted to be more thorough in my process. When I go back to my list I edit down my long list of themes. With time I find that it is easier to decide which ones are less important and which ones do not inspire imagery. By the time I get around to an actual piece the visual representation may change, but I do see it through.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Detours

Recently I started a new sketchbook. I wanted to see what I might draw differently from some other recent artworks. As I sketched, I thought about an earlier piece in which I drew irregular rock shapes. But as I went forward I wasn’t satisfied with what was happening. So, then I made the shapes interlock. Hmmm, I thought to myself. I like these new shapes more than the old ones. Well, then I added on, but I didn’t want to constrict my drawing from changing.

And so the piece began to evolve in other directions. As I continued I attempted to imitate the way I began at first. However the more I tried, the more I found myself veering away from the original idea. Several times more I tried to return to style of the initial drawing. Again and again I found myself off in another direction.

In all I worked on this sketch for about nine different sessions of varying lengths. Along the way someone asked me for a business card. Some servers at a Chinese buffet asked if the piece was a Chinese dragon. Well, here is the sketch below. Given the responses from folks, who waked by me while I working and who saw this image posted online, I will be doing some more sketches and maybe some final works based on this – if I don’t’ do something else first.



Eclectic Connections, graphite on paper, 8.5" x 11"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Simplify

Sometimes I get so carried away with a piece that I get bogged down when it comes to finishing. It is best if I just stop and put it aside. Later on it will hit me how to simplify what I’m doing and complete the piece.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Change

As the year begins I am wondering about the word “change” and what it will mean. This is not just because of a new administration in Washington that constantly emphasizes the word nor is it the dramatic economic events that are taking place. With a “9” at the end of the year, a decade is ending.

As an artist, I’m very curious to see what will define the next few years visually. What I see now are the products of decisions already made. In past decades, there have been certain characteristics that helped define them differently from previous ones.

In the twenty-two years since graduating from college I have traveled various artistic paths. Where might I want to go this time? What imagery might I want to try? Is there a current idea I will want incorporate into my art?

When I turned forty I was forced to use reading glasses in order to see detail. I’m finding myself not as loose in my artwork process now. Will I go back to a more expressive style? Will my age affect my work? Should it matter?

Sure I’ll keep my eyes peeled for clues of what’s coming. In the meantime I really need to make some more art. If a show opportunity presents itself, I better have some work to exhibit.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Against the Grain

Once in a while I have to make art in a way that is contrary or unlike what I normally do. On Sunday, May 18th, I was invited to participate in an art show June 1 – 13 in Baton Rouge. That gave me two weeks to have art ready to hang. Whatever I did had to be a quick process. In conjuring up ideas I decided I wanted to try more masculine colors. By that I mean more browns.

As I started arranging my compositions, I found myself going back to grids in order to structure my works. Only this time, I made them less uniform. As I rendered the pieces, I soon found myself annoyed at the most extreme of these works, a gouache painting. Gee, I reached the total other end of the spectrum from my earlier days of splattered paintings. Oh, I did make one non-grid piece with masculine colors.

Having vowed to go as speedily as possible, I ended up more anal in the way I worked. My process this time was more like working a jigsaw puzzle. I used to love solving those, too. As for what next, I’m not sure. It was a rush to push myself like that, but I prefer to go slower and take some time to work through a piece.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Groove

Following my return home after Hurricane Katrina, I have been painting
and selling my dot artwork. But what about my other work created during
the first half of 2005? Dot art is not the only type of art I make. For the last two years I have been a little unsure of where I wanted to go next with my other artwork.

The pieces I completed for an abstract art show, in Baton Rouge, August of 2005, received a lot of enthusiastic praise from my peers. I recently completed one piece I did not finish for that show. It is with that effort that I now have sense of what to do next. I now have a groove.