Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Barbara B., about 7 x 9

This drawing from yesterday....

.....at the Port Townsend shipyards gives me a good opportunity to talk about some things.  I showed this to some people and mentioned I was dissatisfied with it and they told me I was crazy....again.

First let me point out some stuff.  This is a Sharpie with tones of cool gray Copic markers added on toned card stock.  The gouache washes were put in last.  The gouache can add sparkle, help to focus the viewer. and soften some of the darker marks where I might want a easier edge.

In general, I like the drawing.  Shapes and lines are repeated, such as the verticals in the various posts and masts and the angle of the large cloud is mirrored in the bottom line coming forward.  Horizontals in the clouds and white marks on the pavement repeat each other.  I like the placement of the boat, the tendency for detail to decrease as the drawing goes out and back from the boat, and for some of the 'I made it up' marks such as the two perspective lines that come out toward the viewer.....most all that is intuitive.  But there is something that bothers me.

I think it's the difference between visual accuracy and intuitive expression.  Sitting there I had the feeling of more looming immensity and power than I got down on paper.  There was a dimensionality that got lost and buried in my need for accuracy.

Don't get me wrong, accuracy of dimensions and relationships are important but sometimes a slight exaggeration is necessary to convey the 'feeling' of what we are painting or drawing.

This brings to mind Ron Lukas whose work I've been posting on FB and here for a bit.  No matter what I saw him draw or paint, there was always a sense of what I call 'dignity' in his work.  Everything was slightly and artistically altered to make that happen.  I asked him about it several times and he would look at me as if I were bizzaro....again.  Perhaps it was something unintentional that was just him....but I don't think so.  I think it was how he intuitively felt about things and he conveyed it through his drawing, his color selection and orchestration of values.  Others who are reading this and know his work would agree, I think, but many artists have done similar things.  Just look at the paintings and the photos of the subjects of Frank Benson....one of my heroes.

OK.  After all that I want to announce a new workshop, Drawing with Valued Markers, Level II, to be held May 20th, 2015.  It will be on the Winslow Art Center schedule sometime this week but wanted to give you an early 'heads up'.  It is a one day workshop sketching in the field (or coffee house) in which we will play around with gouache on toned paper, white markers and the usual variety of toned markers.  It really gets into the 'painting with markers' concepts.  More later.

Thanks for looking.  Have yourself a fine day.

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