Still hot, no paint today

I did stop at the local lake/reservoir and did a very fast sketch because folks 11:15 am on a day that it is 90F and there’s no real shade… let’s just say it was hot. Later at work I did an iPad cloud study.

Here’s the whole view, with clouds

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fooling around digitally

Not as welcoming a surface to work on, glass, but when given the opportunity I try to learn more about sketching etc on an iPad. Here was yesterday’s quick “pencil” sketch. I think it was with the 6B setting. Brush, pencil? It’s all software.

Maybe it’s just been a sort of black and white week.

My Day with Art

I went to The Clark today, having asked for a day off so I could go to the lecture opening the new exhibit there – Drawn from Greatness. There were drawings from the 15th century and up to current times (Pollack, Picasso, Kelly etc). Big selection of the impressionists – two pages of Van Gogh letters (with drawings) and a drawing. Sketchbooks which had belonged to Cezanne and Degas. Lots of ink and wash, watercolor, gouache, chalk, graphite, different papers, techniques. Part of the exhibit was in a different part of the building, So I wandered over.

First couple very interesting. The one behind me, lovely. Next one… hmmm quite interesting. Strangely familiar, a little cartoonish but very skilled and unique style… freaking William Blake. Around the corner from that was a, as the curator noted, “showstopper” by Victor Hugo. Yes THAT Victor Hugo.

I saved getting the catalogue for another visit and perusal. It’s about big enough to be made into a coffee table but it does look very complete. I did come home with this, thinking it would be a good read and good company for my copy of The Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Remember that this time of year The Clark is closed on Mondays! If you end up there by mistake you can wander over to the Williams College Museum of Art and see other interesting things. (Ask me how I know that!)

What I Did Today

Got to work too early so I sat in my car and admired the really big gulls up on the mall roof for a little bit and when that had gone on too long I did this:

Not sure why the gnome looks so crazy-eyed. Looks like he’s coming home with a bag of stuff after a wild night out.

Voice? Style?

I remember, when I belonged to SAQA, a lot of people asked how they could “find their voice” and there were workshops and other opportunities to help find one’s voice. (OK, I also remember thinking, did I lose my voice that I have to find it?)

Tonight I was reading this. Emphasis of last line is from the original.

It is only when a painter consciously chooses a manner not his own, which he does not comprehend and is incapable of firing with his own personality, that his picture is ridiculous and conventional in the dead sense.

But every age differs in its temperament, and the artistic conventions of one age seldom fit another. The artist has to discover a convention for himself, one that fits his particular individuality. But this is done simply and naturally—not by starting out with the intention of flouting all traditional conventions on principle; nor, on the other hand, by accepting them all on principle, but by simply following his own bent and selecting what appeals to him in anything and everything that comes within the range of his vision. The result is likely to be something very different from the violent exploits in peculiarity that have been masquerading as originality lately. Originality is more concerned with sincerity than with peculiarity.

The Practice & Science of Drawing — Harold Speed (via Project Gutenberg)

I myself would have emphasized the middle sentence:

But this is done simply and naturally—not by starting out with the intention of flouting all traditional conventions on principle; nor, on the other hand, by accepting them all on principle, but by simply following his own bent and selecting what appeals to him in anything and everything that comes within the range of his vision.

and I’m willing to read it all over a few times, nodding my head in agreement. I might nail it to my workroom’s wall.

Drawings of Cats – for Watercolor Class

Not very watercolorish – yet! Cat drawings which will soon become cat paintings. Click the photo below for Flickr album of class work.

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There were no live cats visible at all in fact but they all returned the moment I got up to head off for the scanner… go figure. Maybe they figured I couldn’t afford their modeling fees.