Saturday, March 1, 2014

sketch dump: 2/23 - 3/1/2014

Happy March! I tend to think of March as the unofficial start of spring, even though we usually get some harsh winter weather, as predicted in the next few days. Still, I've been seeing and hearing a lot more birds these past few mornings, and buds on trees are starting to appear again. It's exciting for me, though I've come to appreciate and accept all weather and seasons these past few years. My mood elevates and I begin to feel a little more awake and ready to greet the day. I think this feeling is best exemplified in the bottom image of this post - the drawing I did this morning of the beautiful tree in our front yard. The photo was taken in natural sunlight, upstairs in our kitchen, looking outside. I hope we are in for a decent, comfortable spring, allowing more outdoor sketching to commence.

I've used the black china marker in all of these drawings, allowing for a faster, looser approach. I enjoy the china marker but feel it can be too easy to get heavy-handed, and I'm hoping to purchase some pencils this weekend that allow for more subtle lines and gradations. Then again my wife just got me a cool new drawing pen for my I-pad to work with, which I might try as well. Then again, there are the watercolor pencils and pen and ink. Ahhh, decisions! They're good to have though, and maybe I'll just mix it all up this week, or maybe not.

 It's interesting when I feed these photos through Instagram. Sometimes I'll get a young, eager artist say my art is "amazing" in a spammy, generic fashion, then ask me to like or follow their feed, followed by a thousand hashtags. This happened last night, when I posted a rather quick sketch I made of an alpaca (or llama?). It was the only one I made this week, based on a photo (I took a few years back), and it was probably my weakest of the week. I love great comments, but "amazing" seemed a bit insincere. She was in her tweens (hate that word) and had some ways to go, and was looking for approval. Not surprised. Then, for the same sketch, another young artist, probably in her twenties, comments "not bad". OK then, a new approach to getting people to "like" your work? I checked it out, and she was definitely a skilled, photorealistic artist, with some arrogant little quote posted next to her name. It's great to be able to draw things, but the aim should never be to duplicate a photograph. Cameras made that obsolete years ago, plus, where's the creativity in that anyways? Regardless, I happily deleted both comments. People shouldn't take such measures to get someone to look at or "like" their work, or "follow" them. Both approaches were somewhat on the opposite end of the spectrum, and didn't work, at least for me. Why should we be so concerned if people "like" something? Honestly, who cares? Sure, I do my "likes" and "favorites" and whatever else to support folks, but people shouldn't be so desperate to have to have others justify their work in a somewhat superficial manner. Just do what you do, put it out there, and carry on.