Sunday, October 7, 2007

ArtPact #5

(Originally published on December 24, 2006).

Quick, before the week ends and I become a delinquent with my art pact!!

It was a real challenge to meet my commitment this week.
The winter blues has arrived, plus extreme tiredness, plus pre-Christmas feverishness, plus many more other lame excuses.

Another reason for my lack of enthusiasm was the fact that this week, I decided to actually start working on what I've been postponing for a while.
Here's the deal:
Several months ago, we (as in the critique group that I belong to), were offered to have an exhibit at the city hall of one of the fancier towns around here.
Obviously, we agreed.
Great opportunity, visibility and all.
You never say no to an opportunity to show your work.

But then came the catch: the subject is - - - pomegranates!

"Pomegranates", we all groaned in disbelief, "Why??".
'cause that's kinda the symbol of the town.
(OK, now... pomegranates, may I point out, grow all around, even in lesser towns, but that town has decided that they represent it. Oh well...).

Now, two issues with that:
1. The best way to drive any artist into a creative block combined with a huge sense of anti, is to dictate what to paint. Kinda collides with the whole point of art, which is to paint what your heart dictates.
2. Most of us in the group are anything but still-life painters. We have figure painters, portrait painters, and a lot of abstract non-objective painters. Still-life just doesn't do it to us.

So, for a few months, we all excelled at ignoring this commitment that we agreed to do.
Still, it's due in a couple of months...

WebbyM was the first one who started to work on pomegranates, and came up with some incredible paintings, and we all started envying her, as she was done, and is now painting cheerfully what she really wants to.
JaneyF and JaneyP have followed suit, with some real fun stuff, and then came GlazieM, with a wonderful painting dominated by countless hues of rich-reds. (She really didn't like it, though, exclaiming it looks like those Flemish shcool paintings, and needs a dead rabbit to be complete... Hmm... some artists just tend to be too harsh on temselves!).

So I decided it's time to face reality.

A couple of months ago, I picked some pomegranates from ShimmiR's backyard.
Beautiful they were.
Pink and smooth and plump and juicy and gorgeous.
Just like
Nitzku's cheeks.

But unlike those glorious cheeks, these pomegranates totally did not cause me any desire to paint them. So they stayed on the kitchen table, rotting and drying and cracking, and developing character.

Last week we went to ShimmiR for Hanukka candle-kindling.
The JohnnyB went out for a smoke, and I joined him in the freezing backyard, and saw the very last remains of the pomegranates hanging on to a couple of the branches. The JohnnyB was appalled (what a lovely understatement) when I started picking them.
Can't really blame him.
They were quite, well, y'know, half dried, half rotten, cracked and filled with hideous-looking growths and and partly pecked by birds . . .
. . . I picked 3 - to his dismay and to ShimmiR's astonishment (she generously offered me to help myself to the rest of their garbage...).

But I ingored them non-artistic infidels.

I took my creative loot home.
In a double bag.
They were dripping, kinda...

And so, last night I got hold of my winter-bluesy-self, got my act together - and started a drawing, which I completed just now.

Quite rough and preliminary, and pretty much done as a basis for the paintings that shall follow - but hey, I met the ArtPact deadline! The week is not yet over!

Plus, I got my brush-mileage for the week.
(more accurately, pencil-mileage, but it still counts).

So, here's my very first attempt at them:

"Outcasts #1", Graphite pencil on paper, 8.5x11.

Yes, they do not look very appetizing, but they have so much character, that I finally felt a tiny inclination to actually capture what I saw in them, and put it on paper.

Time to go help The JohnnyB in the kitchen. TexieD, his better 95% and their kids are arriving in less than 2 hours, and the level of crankiness is starting to rise...


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