Saturday, January 5, 2013

Faster, Faster, Faster!

(As of yet, unidentified Polyporales Mushroom) on a Beech Log Graphite on Paper 2012

I am working on these mushrooms...

my favorite things to run around and hunt in the woods... mushrooms. How I miss them this time of year. 

I am an amateur mycologist. I love to say that, sounds so formal and makes me feel like a scientist. Even though I did lousy in school chemistry, I did very well in biology. I know most of my local mushrooms, though this one has me stumped, pardon the pun. I will figure it out when I have a chance. 

I did this specimen after taking a master botanical drawing class with Wendy Brockman this summer. I had a whole week to learn from her. It was a dream come true. This I feel is my calling! I get to combine my love of mushrooms with my love of detailed drawing and painting! 

Best part is the subject matter. I chose mushrooms in the fall that preserve very well, looking as they did when they were alive. In fact, they dry out, and if I wet them again, they just continue on their merry way in their life-cycle. It's how these are used to being.

Academy Drawing is Not Dead, the 'shrooms Are

I pick these particular 'shrooms because I know I can't work faster... yet. I have never had such a challenging... wait... I have. Sight-size method. Takes FOREVER to finish a drawing but you will be the best at drawing a figure or object EXACTLY as you see it.

I took a class with Philip Salamone who taught me how to do something like sight-size. This is how it was taught in the academies and was almost a lost art. It's making a comeback and was very helpful.

Anyway, I still have to draw faster because time is short and fleeting! Mushrooms don't last forever and neither does my time without people around! Having someone around does make a difference. I sure get a lot less done.

So, back to the drawing board with me. I will post some more later...

Friday, January 4, 2013

No Go


Well, didn't get to go to Mexico. :(  Maybe the artist's statement didn't do it. Maybe my artwork didn't do it. I am bummed out, but like all artists, we just persevere. Why are we like that? It's in our blood. We have no choice really. That's how we are made.
Artists are a different breed of human. I believe it's a compulsion to create, to just go on.

I found a quote that made me chuckle. It was from a book called "Taking the Leap – Building a Career as a Visual Artist" by Cay Lang. A great book by the way. I had it forever and finally while cleaning out a room, I decided to read it.

"There is nothing fiercer than a failed artist. The energy remains, but, having no outlet, it implodes in a great black fart of rage which smokes up all the inner windows of the soul."

~Erica Jong

This is about right, if I don't have some kind of creative outlet, be it graphic design, playing 'cello or fine art, even teaching art, I just about implode! I can't function, I get ornery. It's not a choice.

Vincent Van Gogh had the same problem (no, I'm not comparing myself to him, except the crazy) and was prescribed to paint by Dr. Gachet. Nowadays, It's a common prescription as art therapy. So, there is something to it!

We must go on, even if we don't get into the show, or the artist's retreat or whatever it might be. It's just part of the game.

I never shed a tear, we all have to have thick skins or we just will fail as artists and will implode. Being told something we create is not good enough, even though we sweat to make it. We fell in love with our baby and then someone else says, no, not good enough. It's our work! No, we have to be tough, building up that shell over the years.

I credit my first art professor Dick Dahle with helping build that up, the blister, the callous to not cry, even though he sure made a lot of girls cry and quit!