The Devil is in the Details

My father was a detail man.  He was a commercial artist, and his specialty was filling in the designs on the fabric of shirts, pants, diamonds, and just about anything else that was advertised.  I can’t imagine how he had the patience to do such a thing, but, perhaps it’s just that it was income, and you do what you can do.

So, I think I’ve started channeling my father, the detail man.

I really, really used to think detail was boring.  I would do drawing with large flat spaces, and details, as a touch.  After all, that’s what I was taught was good composition.

I’ve switched to loving detail.

And letting the details lead the story…..

 

KITTEN

 

Can you find the kitten?

So, at that point, I took a loose idea…..and just let the detail flow.

As my drawing progressed, I realized I enjoyed detail. No longer boring, just put on some music and dance. Or, in this case, detail, detail, detail.

 

More recently, I’ve kept spaces for detail.

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Yes, I filled around each clover blossom on this.  I didn’t mind it.  A few  years ago, it would have driven me out of my already somewhat insane mind.

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A few years ago, this is when I really details really took off…or dragged me down to earth as the case may be.  I wanted to make my artwork more painterly, but I was fighting, tooth and nail, against the medium,

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However, the details started sneaking in. Thanks, Dad.

So, I’ve taken a new direction, in my work.  Let the details rule! Or rock and roll, if you prefer.

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PEEKINGTHROUGH

My motto in life has become, “Let It Flow”, both in my dealings with life, and in my artwork.

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Looking at the Bigger Picture

The picture above started with a small sketch.

EPSON MFP image

 

As you can see, the lines are messier, and the detail unclear.  That’s what the problem with working small is.

So partially, it’s my lack of physical stability that’s making me work so small.  Also, having the long, tired out, idea that small pictures would sell better, and damn…..presto, I would be making a living as an artist.  I have sold a couple, but mostly greeting cards below a reasonable wage to make them.

So, the quandary is: Do I try once again to tie myself in pretzels to find something that sells?  Or do I stay the path and do my the work I enjoy doing and people seem to like, even when they’re not buyers?

I can’t put the love and details into something as small as a 5×7.  Here are some examples.

This:

EPSON MFP image

 

Became this:

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This:

EPSON MFP image

 

Became this:

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True, there have been a couple of small ones that sold on EBay:

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So, the question is, do I sell out or do I keep authentic?  Since no one seems to be buying when I try to sell out….

I do have the ability to sit and brace my hand at larger than 5×7, and and get into those tasty details I love so much.

So, one last try at getting small:

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Soon to come to a larger picture near you.

And this from last week.

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And What I Mean by That is..

I guess I didn’t make that very clear.  I certainly would have understood what I meant, and I”m me.  Start with what you know, indeed.

What I mean, is that when starting out a piece of artwork, there are some areas that you already know how you’re going to handle them.   For instance, in the new drawing above, I knew how I was going to draw the people.  Started there.  Which gave me an idea of how to handle the branch, which gave me an idea of how to handle the middle ground, and so forth, so on, and blah, blah, blah, etc.

The drawing may look a little weird the way it looks here.  It’s a small drawing, that the WordPress format blew up in size.  Every little stroke of the pencil is visible here, whereas it really looks muted.

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Just a personal note about my life at the moment, my tremor has gotten to the point that I can no longer control the pencil well enough to stand at my easel to draw.  So, I’ve made a different approach, working smaller and in a way to brace my hand better.  True, it’s a little dull doing small pieces, but I tell myself if there’s something I really like, when I figure out how to do it, I’ll make a statement piece out of it.  Also, I’ll have a lot of little accent pieces.  See if that’s any better for sales.

But thinking about it, I wondered what of the drawings I have already would make a good accent piece.  My first choice is an unassuming sketch of mine which I am now naming “Mind Games”.  That’s firstly because it resembles the intricate working of a person’s mind and also, I was listening to John Lennon a lot when I drew it.  Okay, to refresh your memory:

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Yes, it needs a little tweaking, but with figures of children added to it, I think it would me a damn good huge, huge, I’m telling you, piece.

But there are others that I think would make a good statement piece.  For instance, this:

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It’s actually a nameless little piece that I did as a label for a friend’s line of natural products.  But can you see this 5 feet, by 5?

And then there’s this:

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My old logo, Cheshire Cat like.

Going back to my small, paradise works:

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Now, I’ve gotten so many statement piece ideas, I can’t make up my mind.  Mind?  Mind Games again?

I’m going to bed.

 

 

Start with what you know….

It’s winter yet again.  Okay, it’s really still fall by the calendar, but who am I to split hairs?  It’s barren, cold, with short days.  Somehow, I feel my artist block melting.

I’ve been prolific in the winter time.  Summer and spring are almost too pretty to come up with something interesting and moody.20170606_212810522996978.jpg

One of my favorites in the past winter:
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And some from previous years,

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I seem to like crows.

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So, here I am, raring to go, but not a clue.  How did I come up with so may ideas in the past?  What do I do now?

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So, I remembered my old rule of thumb.  Start with what you know. So, then, I will.

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Just a memory for all of you who like cats:  this is the third anniversary of capturing Pumpkin, bringing him to a prettier environment.  A chance to be a domestic cat again, and all the perks that come with it.  Pumpkin, it’s been good.

THECATFROMNEWYORKCITY

Bricks

A little background info….

I’ve been away for a while, in case you haven’t noticed. I needed some time to reflect, think about where I’ve been, where I’m going and most importantly, where I am.

And it all comes down to bricks…well, sort of.

When I first really got going working in colored pencil, I lived in Greenwich, CT. Somehow, and for what reason I can’t figure out, I became drawn to drawing (Ha) buildings with bricks. I sweated tears over each individual rectangle, making sure it was perfect.

Then I landed quite happily but totally unexpectedly in Manhattan. Again, loads and loads of bricks to be drawn! I still was sweating over each and every single detail.

 

PREWAR

So, then due to circumstances which are beyond explaining.  I landed in Queens, a little community called Sunnyside.  And much to my delight, I found bricks!  By now, I was taking those little rectangles in stride.

GUARDIANS, BY ROXANNE BALDWIN

Then after 20 years of ups and downs and all arounds in NYC, I ended up back in Connecticut in a small city called Danbury.  It’s as a large of a city as I want to deal with for a while.

And whaddya think I found there?  My first picture there, bricks.

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And bricks and cats.

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After this much needed break, guess what I start with?

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And a familiar door.  Yes, I know it’s October, I started this pic in May.

And Poof, it was gone

I’m talking about the post I just wrote, and lost.

Ah, well.  Facebook keeps reminding me that I haven’t posted in a while.  I apologize for my absence.  The truth is, I’ve run straight into a brick wall of an artist’s block. I’m as stuck as  a car in a muddy ditch.

This has happened before.  I’d lose the excitement of my work, and come up with some horrid pieces.  That’s exactly what has happened now.

I thought the change in seasons would revive me, but no.  It’s time to take a break and play around with other creative outlets.  But I’ll be back.  Ready to start fresh again.

So, in the meantime, I’m leaving you with a drawing I did many years ago, of a season like this….spring easing into summer.  It was a fruitful time artistically for me, going back many years to when I lived in Greenwich.  Goodbye, but only for a while.

All in a Day’s Work

I’m kind of struggling here.  I’m trying to catch the excitement that I had for the artwork I did in New York, but have yet to capture in Connecticut.  Most of my work here, has come out boringly representational.  I kind of realize the elements I’m missing…

I did put human objects as subject matter, and work heavily on a design with them.  Abstract them, to a certain point.  Here are some NYC that show my focus.

The closest thing I’ve done like that in Connecticut is this.  It leans too far the the pure representational side.

Anyway, I think I know what I have to do to get back on the road!