Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don’t Be Afraid

No, it’s not the title of the picture. That, as yet, it untitled. It’s a statement about making art (and maybe other endeavors). I got off to a great re-start with the Blue Stag (at least I think so), but it took a good measure of nit-picking to fill in the holes, and unfortunately, that set a precedent. I’ve since begun two coloured pencils of the same size and both of them got bogged down in the details.  The first one was an attempt to go strong and unplanned, and I basically cornered myself. Those familiar with coloured pencil may know what I mean, but the short of it is that by the time I knew where I was going, I had too many lines in the wrong place, and nothing was going to fix it, but I spent a long time trying. So, next, I thought I’d play it safe, and work from a photo. That one got bogged down into far to many details. I should know that the moment I feel the need to sharpen a pencil to complete an 11'”x14” piece, that I’ve strayed a long way from my personal style.
Lately, I’ve changed my habits, and so I drive to the woods less often, and walk my neighbourhood more. It gains me fifteen more minutes of time, and I’ve come to truly appreciate the place where I live. I would love to brag about how environmentally friendly this is (fewer greenhouse gasses thrust into the atmosphere), but the real impetus was the overwarm winter and the subsequently dangerously icy forest trails. Which is still all about greenhouse gasses, but in this case, my behaviour was forced to change. And so I find myself walking around the lake, dodging traffic and the occasional dead fish, adding to my beer can collection (which magically turns itself into an ice cream sundae) and getting to see a much larger portion of the sky. One part of my walk is pretty boring (at least I thought so) as it is a long straightaway along a paved road. To the north and the south is a big empty field and the trees are far away.  But last nights stormy skies made things interesting.
So today, I started and finished my latest coloured pencil. I did not use the photo reference, as it would tempt me into nit-picking again, and so I started in with my fat red prismacolor stick, and every time I hesitated, I reminded myself to ‘not be afraid’ and just go. I’m not sure why I would be afraid, paper is cheap, but I often am, but that fear translates onto the page in the form of timid art. It also translates to many hours of lost time, as I usually end up procrastinating the next stroke in some mindless way. (like racking up 89 posts since joining ravelry, yikes!). So I will try to be less so in the future. Which may be soon, as I really like the composition in the photo. When I took it, I had no idea that the cloud made a mirror symmetry with the tree line. I almost regret not viewing and printing the photo, but I think doing without was a valuable lesson in making art.  I think I’m ready for round two.
And a scrumptious little close-up. More on coloured pencil technique; this piece is completely burnished, that means that every bit of paper is saturated with either coloured pencil, or the clear wax of the burnishing stick. It’s smooth and shiny, and a lot of fun to work with.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

love the red :D its very vibrant

kaslkaos said...

Thanks. We've had some stormy skies (no storms though) in the past few days.


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