Next Work in Progress, Freedom Tower in Spring, and an artist’s frustrations

Just to let those of you know who might be interested,  the 5×7 sketch of “Freedom Tower”, is now on Ebay:http://www.ebay.com/itm/140966258541?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

I have continued on with the larger version.  Here’s where it is now.

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I’m having fun with this.  There was a time when art wasn’t fun for me.

I probably did my best work in the 1980’s, but, boy, did I sweat bullets doing it.  You see, after all my success in high school, I felt sure the art world would welcome  me with open arms, only to find thousands of competitors with the same idea.  My first experience sending out slides was a failure.  So, I decided to try harder.

I sharpened my drawing skills, thanks to the book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”, a book I wholeheartedly recommend.  Then I decided I would do work that was IMPORTANT.  It was very detailed, and if the least thing went wrong, I would discard it.  Many times I would repeat the same work five or more times.

So the time came to send those slides out, this time to juried shows.  Again failure, except for one acceptance.  Each time I sent in an entry, too, it cost money.  The fees started piling up.

I got discouraged, and eventually the work I was doing suffered.  So, in a fit of rage at the art world, I decided to quit art altogether.

Come some years later, I decided to play with acrylics.  I decided to concentrate on the process, instead of the subject.  The result was the Namaste series.  I still don’t know how I feel about the results of that.  Here’s an example.

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Finally, once again I got involved in colored pencils.  Subject matter once again appealed to me.   So here I am.

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Freedom Tower, work in progress 2

I’ve gotten the foreground of “Freedom Tower” pretty much done.  I may go back and look at it with a fresh, but I think that’s it.

While I was doing this, it occurred to me that visual arts are a lot like music.  You’ve got compositions, rhythms, and harmonies.  I tried, here, to get a lively harmony and rhythm going.

As for healing art, maybe this piece is for me.  I was not directly affected by 9/11, except for being a New Yorker.  Some people lost loved ones and friends, some people’s health was horribly affected by the smoke at Ground Zero, but all of us in New York felt something.  In the morning, I’d wake up thinking I had a nightmare, only to realize  that the nightmare was true.

So, it’s very hopeful and healing to see the Freedom Tower rising on the horizon.

 

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Freedom Tower, 1st work in progress

Here’s the stage where I am in doing the large version of “Freedom Tower”.  As I usually find, when you translate something small into something much larger, you run into difficulties in detail and composition.  Here I’m finding I need more trees to fill up the foreground.

In reality, the foreground is actually a cemetery. I may include some headstones, as a tribute to those who died in 9/11.   Still thinking about it.Image

No Place Like Home…..

I’ve started work on the large “Freedom Tower”, but so far, don’t really have enough to show a work in progress.

So here’s something I did a little earlier.  It’s one of the Paradise series.  It’s an interior, for I know some for some people, paradise is their own home.  That is, especially if it is beautiful.  I would have copied one of the photos of the Plaza Condos, but that would be a copyright issue.

I never really had a beautiful home.  My childhood home was a fixer-upper my parents bought while their income was generous.  Then my father lost his biggest client, and my parents’ financial situation tumbled.  The fixer-upper never got fixed up, and with no money to repair the house as other things fell apart.  It fell into terrible disrepair.

I probably should have been grateful just to have a roof over my head, but I was ashamed of the house.  As I grew older, I saw other houses in equal disrepair, but in those days, I felt very alone.  I was not allowed to invite friends over.   I felt embarrassed whenever anyone came to the door.

As I became older, and had my own places, I care less.  I still don’t live in a Plaza Suite.  My house is cluttered with art supplies and electronics belonging to my partner, but it’s home.  And I’m not embarrassed anymore.livingroom72002

I don’t have a title for this yet.  It has kind of a children’s book feel to it, I think because I made it up almost entirely.

That was fast….

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As usual, I did a 5×7 sketch before working on the full size version of “Freedom Tower”, the working title. Once I’ve gotten finished using this to work from, I may put it up on Ebay, someone might want it. Anyway, I still have to work on getting the verticals and horizontals right. But I do think I captured this special, but fleeting time of year, before it was too late.

Freedom Tower

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My next piece won’t be part of the paradise series.  It’s going to be a full-size drawing of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, as seen from my window.  Here’s a quick sketch….of course I have to work on those verticals.

The bombings in Boston reminded me so much of the atmosphere around NYC after 9/11.  It’s both a personal, and a community metaphor of rebirth.  I don’t want to go into any patriotic mumbo-jumbo, but nations can rebuild and be stronger.   So can people, I’ve seen it in myself, and many others.   So, here’s to rebirth.

An Urban Paradise

I have concentrated on natural beauty as paradise. The truth is, though, some of us have found our paradise in a big city. What can be paradise among t he noise, bad smells, crowds and dirt? It’s a matter of being part of a community. For some of us, that’s paradise..

Here I am featuring the lower Manhattan skyline as it is, now. The tall building is the Freedom Tower, the new World Trade Center. I also played a lot with types of pencil strokes…scribbles, parallel lines, and more in order to create a more atmospheric effect.

Okay, doing non-profit landscapes is all well and good…..but how do I get them out to people? I don’t have money to promote them, and most art shows cost plenty to participate. The internet of course, but I’m among how many billions of websites? It’s a miracle anyone finds me.

In NYC,it’s legal for artists to set up their work in certain places, as long as they have a business license. Despite that, artists do get harassed by the police. I’m not sure I’d want to deal with that. It would also take away from my precious weekend time off. So, I’m still thinking, and open to suggestions.nycatdusk72