Tag Archives: Art

Help Wanted: An Inventor

For sometime, I’ve been looking for the perfect art supply.  It can take images in my mind, project them directly from my eyes, and develop the picture on the paper, with absolutely no handiwork from me.  If you can come up with it, I guarantee you’ll make a fortune.

But since that doesn’t exist at the moment, I drag my way doing hand drawing.

On this piece, I’m going to be taking it slow.  Remember, I’m throwing out the rules on this one.  Remember what happened last time I took a risk?  Right, disaster.

So, easy does it.  Or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, here’s the beginning of “Construction”.  I’m starting with a detail and working outwards:

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Breaking the Rules

Sometimes, in both life and in art, you have to say “screw it” to all the rules you know.

Actually, I can’t think of a good example of life, at the moment, but I’m sure others have.

I have always relied on a limited palette to hold together a composition.  Then I was faced with this:

 

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I took this photo with my cellphone.  I was looking to capture the cliché of paradise of being in the sky with clouds.

As I looked at it, I saw a wide variety of colors…..and just using a limited palette won’t work.

Another rule I broke was never to draw a sunset, too cliché.  I think though, that the urban foreground with the construction and crane makes it original.

Here’s the initial sketch…got a lot to do before I do the big one.

 

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Art Career and the Day Job

Sometimes, at work, I feel like shouting “Quick!  Go back to school and become an accountant before it’s too late!”

 

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No, I lie.  I spent many years trying to come to terms with working a menial job, when I wanted to be an artist.  Spent many years in frustration, thinking, “I’m better than this”.

But the truth is, for anyone in creative fields, unless you’re really lucky, you’re going to have to deal with the Day Job.

It’s all in attitude.  You can use the experience to give you ideas for your art

Or you can look at it as a form of art in and of itself.

 

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You can do things well, and take pride in your work no matter what you do.  You can relate to other workers, and make their days happy.  And so on.

Sometime ago, I came up with the idea that your life is your greatest creation.  If you’re the new-agey type, you can think of all the positive work you’re doing as creating an aura of beauty around you.   If you’re not new-agey, at least you can see your life as the memories you will create of you for other people.

So, in a little while, I’ll be going into work and selling pastries.  But I’ll be having the time of my life doing it.

 

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Stick a fork in it

Sometimes, the hardest thing in art is calling it quits.  I don’t mean art totally, but each piece has to have an ending, and it’s usually far short of the perfection that you intended.

So it is with Sunny Chair Paradise.  I like it, but it doesn’t live up to what I’d like it to be.  It’s a quandary that effects all creative people, I think…when is good enough, good enough?

I know if I tried to do another version of this, I would be so bored with it, I’d ruin it.

As for calling it quits, I’m running out of ideas for the paradise series, and getting a lot of ideas, otherwise.  So,while I will revisit paradise in the future, it won’t be my main focus.

So, here, without further ado, is Sunny Chair Paradise.

 

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For those of you in NYC, I will be having a show in the month of September at the Birch Coffee House, at 5 East 27th Street, Manhattan.  There will be a reception Thursday, September 6, from 7:00-10:00 pm, and I welcome all my readers to come./

Hope I see you there!

Where’s my Mauve pencil?

No one will ever accuse me of being a neat freak.  Messiness seems to run in the family.  Here’s a photo of my studio.

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Somehow, the disorganization hasn’t kept me from efficiently doing art…in fact, I think it helps.  I’ve seen studios where the colored pencils are meticulously kept in color coordinated containers.  I think it would be very inefficient to have to stop one’s creative train of thought, to think of finding the exact spot where the pencil goes.

I keep the pencils out that I need.  There are not too many, I use a a limited palette in order to create a cohesive color scheme.

Just in general, I think creativity is a messy process.  I know some people plan carefully the work they’re going to do.  The work before the planning has got to be messy, and experimental, or else you’re going to end up with a pretty unimaginative work of art.

Even during the times one is not working, one’s creative mind is not turned off.  Creative thoughts intrude on the most organized thought process. I often see ideas for pictures during my off time from artwork.  It’s not compartmentalized.  Sometimes I use the ideas, sometimes not, but they’re always there.

So, welcome to my studio.  I have a friend who also has a messy place and says, “You came to visit me,not inspect my housekeeping”.  So there you go, I hope you come to see my artwork.

The Comfort Zone, and taking risks

I get the impression that many artists from experience know pretty well what each pencil or brushstroke will do.  They’ve mastered their particular medium, and they can create without too many surprises.

Every so often,in the artist forum, I read about artists talking about the Comfort Zone.  This mastery is what I think they mean by it.  Very little surprise, a perfect drawing or painting every time.

Sometimes I see people advocated to leave the Comfort Zone, take risks, and see the results.  Most of the time people are thrilled with the results.

For me, I don’t think I’ve ever found the Comfort Zone.  I still experiment, and maybe at this stage of my career that’s wrong….I should be working for a more consistent style. Most of the time, anyway, I’m pleased with the results.

However, not being in the Comfort Zone,experimenting and taking risks can also lead to failure.  Learning to accept this is hard, one wants to succeed all the time.

So it is with the large version of “Sunny Chair Paradise”.  I plan to do it over, more consistent with what the small sketch looked like.  As for this piece, I’ve put it aside, to see if I look at it later, I can salvage it, or that I like it better.  For now,it’s a dud, and it’s not worth the effort to photograph it.

Such is life.

Here is an example of another time I took big risks, and wasn’t sure I liked the results. I still don’t know if I do.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s called “Creativity”.

 

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Lazy Day

Been a busy week, and now I’m having a restful day.  Did a little work on Sunny Chair, but I’ve put a hold on it for a while.  I’m too tired to really do a good job.

So, I thought I’d show some odds and ends of work I’ve done but never featured. 

As usual, you can see more of my work at http://www.roxannebaldwin.com

 

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This was a sketch for the window reflection in “Sentinel”.

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Here’s a commission I did for a young man.  It’s designed to go on a black t-shirt.

 

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Another commission for that young man.  This is for a white T-shirt.

 

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An ACEO (art card) of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

 

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And a quick-sketch portrait of Richard, my bf.

Will post more, some other tired, lazy day.