I'm a bit startled by the date. Mid-July. Mid-summer. Still so many things I want to do before the Fall semester begins. . . I started my sketchbook art class this week. We are a good size class (13 people), and our instructor Marilyn Feinberg gave us an assignment similar to the one Karen W. was given at Chautauqua. To make the list of things we are attracted to, then another list of things we're repelled by, and another list of things that are attractive, but make us nervous. I had more things listed in the attracted to and attracted to but nervous columns. Certainly this was a reflection of my mood and stamina. We created mandalas, using symbols and design. Went into the gallery and did gesture sketches of images, designs, then came back to the classroom to take those captured images and work them into a mandala of our own. Looking back, I'm intrigued by the country/time periods that caught my attention. There was a lot of spirit energy in this work.
The gesture drawing is very quick. It capture the essence of subject. So it's line and shape contains energy, whereas the actual drawing enters time, and once the lines and shapes take hold, value (shading) determines its dimension (depth, breadth, and so on). This is where I want to improve my drawing. Actually, the sketchbook is all about ways of "seeing" and I know I have to see from many angles. This sounds a lot like creating a poem, doesn't it.
I have a "light" or airy stroke, which my sister Karen, who is an exceptional visual artist, says is my strength (insert: praise from Caesar is praise indeed), but I need to to learn values. (Ha! still learning values.) I use watercolors, pen and ink. The paintings I've done, especially post
word overload(my degrees), I made into notecards and gave them to a lot of people who are writers and write letters. I had this fantasy that they would send my drawings to friends and family, and my drawings would travel the world. Well, my friends didn't do this. They framed the notecards. They said, if you wanted us to send these out, you should have given us two sets!
It just made me laugh. Moral: don't have fantasies.
The sketchbook is all about ideas and images. I like the set up of this one. I want to do a bunch of gesture drawings before the next class and see if my new skills improve.
I'll keep you posted.