This past weekend was very uneventful for me, as far as going out to look at what’s happening with the arts. It also happened to be my second wedding anniversary, so my husband and I celebrated our time together, and I left my art world behind for a little while.
One thing I did do this weekend was tend to my garden. When you have a garden you can’t leave town for weekend without having someone to water your plants for you, just like the need to find some pet sitters for our cat and dog. By the way, if you have seen my recent posts, On Passion and When Motivation And Timing Don’t Meet, you probably saw sketches of my cat and dog. Here’s an actual pictures of them so that you may compare them to my sketches:
As I weed my garden, in the hot sun most days, I cannot help seeing the delightful beauty that nature is. Yes, it’s a little mushy, but the older I get I find more beauty in my garden than I do in a glittery, too expensive, pretty dress at the mall.
Even seeing the bees in my garden make me happy. This is why [this weekend] I started to sketch in my garden. What I have so far is only the initial sketch. I am hoping I get some time today to color it, I want to try using gouache as a medium rather than watercolor pencils as I have been using for my everyday sketching. I have seen some sketches by a CT Sketcher posted online and her results are always triumphant. This decision came easy as I already own some tubes of gouache that haven’t been used in years, so it’s time to put them to use.
I’ll be posting the finished piece soon but until then, here is the unfinished sketch of my garden:
The other day somebody asked me “why are you so passionate about everything?” I didn’t know how to respond. Partially because I didn’t know I came across so intense and passionate as he so told me.
Thinking back, I suppose I can sometimes be a bit over-spirited and emotional about some topics, not everything. Of course I am passionate about art. Other things I’m passionate about? Music, politics, healthy clean (green) living, and of course my friends and family. This is what comprises my world and I have yet to integrate all of that in to my work. It’s also the toughest part which only comes with lots of practice and experience. Sometimes, as I have experienced it, your passions come to be your inspiration.
It is an inevitability that an artist’s reality and perspective come to play a major role in his artwork. Having an artist show his personality and the conflicts of his mind within his artwork, and showing how that individual relates to the world is what makes a composition meaningful. This is, I believe, why art is so important and part of the human condition, it’s an expression of our own individual reality which becomes part of the whole human experience.
I suppose I am at an age at which I am becoming aware of so much and I am still deciding what is really important in life, and that has been a hard road to travel.
Of course I cherish my friends and family, each and everyone of them has made my life much more fun and interesting, and I could not have made it to where I am today without their support, their time and advice, or their love. But when it comes to living a fulfilling life, each person has a different goal, and my romantic side shows when I say ‘I want to change the world.’ Yes, that may sound a bit idealistic, but by thinking big I can hope to achieve some sort of change for the better. It’s like that quote that gets thrown around a lot by the motivational speaker Les Brown, “aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.” I believe that change is good, for example, one must change to achieve progress and keep moving forward.
As an artist I am still in a period of discovery, with my ceramic art I am exploring the sculptural and non-objective forms in which my ideas and perspective may find a home. When it comes to my photography, I shoot much more instinctively, and my subject varies from nature to instances, and even inspirational textures/materials/colors. I am an artist still in the beginnings of exploration as I have concentrated mostly on technique and aesthetics.
What is your passion? What drives you to keep going? Do you have crazy/hopeful goals like mine? I would be interested to hear from other creative people out there on what inspires them most in life?
By the way, I have been keeping up with sketching more often, something that comes hard to do because I am 2 dimensionally challenged. But I keep at it. I know that practice will pay off. Since I joined the group CT Sketchers I have made it a point to sketch often, though I need to look at some other sketchers’ techniques. I am a very visual learner, I know that I can pick up a few tricks if I find some tutorial type videos. Check out my latest sketches (from the past 2 weeks) below.
Maybe it’s because my doctor recommended me some supplements and I’ve gotten this great boost of energy lately. Or maybe it’s motivation from having a successful CAFA annual show. Whatever the reason, I am feeling good and I want to do more and I want to do it better.
After my visit to Artwell Gallery last week for a sketch session, I have tried hard to keep up with the sketching. While at the beach, I made a couple of sketches using only a pen. Yesterday I went out and bought myself a small watercolor sketchbook and a Niji waterbrush which is awesome! Then I went home and organized my watercolor pencils, along with the fine tip pens, and a sharpener, ready to hit the road and find a spot to sketch.
Yesterday I wanted to go to Hartford’s Bushnell Park because they have Monday Night Free Jazz series for the next six weeks or so. Here I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to capture on my new sketchbook. But then the gray clouds finally decided to discharge their heavy load of rain water. Today I wanted to go out elsewhere to sketch some cool architectural detail but by the time I get out there it will again be raining.
Instead I made this sketch of my cat as practice. Of course she moved before I finished so some might be imagined. Also, I made a deliberate decision to paint the couch blue instead of the true brown it is, the cat (being mostly brown) would have gotten lost, I needed a bit more contrast.
let me know what you think, I hope you like it.
There will definitely be more post of sketches coming your way.
Sometimes I forget how inspiringly beautiful Connecticut is. Last week I was in the Mystic/Stonington area and every glimpse of sea water or downtown community made eager for a spot to be part of it. Last night I ventured out to Torrington, CT for an event in a gallery I had wanted to visit. Part of the Torrington downtown happened to be blocked off for the start of their weekly summer Main Street Marketplace and it allowed me to walk slowly and admire the stunning architectural details. It was a street full of vendors, and families with great local music playing in the background and yummy smelling food getting served.
Recently I have noticed a trend, or maybe more like a revival of downtowns in CT, it’s very uplifting. Each community is doing their part to become closer and stronger. What are some of the things I have noticed? A bigger art community everywhere, more local restaurants (even farm to table ones), community gardens, etc. These are all great elements to engage a community and create a sense of solidarity of which the world could use more.
Moving on…The gallery was Artwell Gallery, a small space intending to show art from artists all across the country. As it were, they were preparing for an opening reception tonight for a national juried photo show. It was nice to get a sneak preview of the show since I won’t be able to attend tonight. However, I must make plans for their next reception because I hear they are a fun time.
So what was this ‘Marketplace Sketchers’ event they were advertising on FB and their website? I had yet to find out. As we sat and waited for any other artists that might show up, I met and spoke to the artist instructor Janet Galasso. She happens to be an art teacher at Berlin High School with a background in graphic design. As she introduced herself she also explained the sketch session was inspired by the group “Urban Sketchers,” a group of artists who have started a movement of quick, live, in the moment sketching on a regular basis, and then blogging about it.
Janet’s goal is to captivate a group of artists with the idea of coming together in a culturally interesting scene so that they can start sketching. Another important aspect of this exercise is to also collaborate with each other and constructively criticize each others’ work. Opening a platform for dialogue among artists is one of the utmost important elements to grow and feed off each other. Only then, I believe, can we start to form a world perspective that will inspire us to create world-changing art.
As an artist the idea of putting your skills to the test is a must so that you don’t lose motivation but also you may discover bigger and better potential you never thought you had. Janet Galasso is on a quest to keep sketching. Her goal? She wants to do a live sketch of the 169 towns in Connecticut. What an amazing objective, so check out her website and check out what she has so far.
Today’s event was centered on the marketplace sketching. Why? Because you can easily find many interesting things and people at a town event like the one happening in Torrington last night. A quick doodle with as much detail as you can fit in a well-defined and thought-out composition was the goal. She explained about the purpose and I became more enthused about idea of quick sketches everywhere and anywhere. It was a great exercise in skill, a conversation starter, and a great self-marketing tool for an artist because, as she explains, there’s always somebody that will approach you with curiosity about what you’re sketching or why.
So we went out on the field and started sketching. We thought it might be easier to start sketching architectural components than people. We sketched for about 10 minutes and I already wanted to start my drawing over. As artists sometimes we get caught up in trying to get perfection, and perhaps that is why I never went further in drawing/painting because I could not get it to look photorealistic. Janet’s response to that was the same as her advice to her students: artwork does not have to be photorealistic to be good. In quick sketching, especially, you can quickly and easily (if you’re committed) find a style that is your own.
Here’s an image of the three artists’ (including Galasso’s) sketches done last night. You can tell who has done it longer than a day.
As I reflect back on last night, I am still very enthused with the idea and I will try to keep up with the sketching, however, last night I did not feel ready. Low confidence issues? Perhaps a little, but only enough to keep me grounded. I did feel ready because it is not the medium I am accustomed to using. My sketch book was also too big and intrusive for the type of sketching. Next time I will be ready. Today I will go into an art store and buy a few items that will be helpful like a smaller sketch book, and Janet’s Niji waterbrush that will make a great team with my watercolor pencils, what a great little tool!
Things I learned? Sketches don’t have to be perfect. A loose painterly sketch can be just as successful, if not more interesting, as any photorealistic piece.