Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fast-Food Art

"So, am I really not going to draw or paint for the next 3 weeks?", I whined.

Our annual show reception is coming up on Sunday, then a board meeting, then our Annual Meeting - - - Whoa!!

When you are a painter, and do not have the proper time to do it, or your head is too busy with other stuff, it starts to get to you at some point. You really Really REALLY want to paint, but you simply can't dedicate the appropriate bandwidth for it.

In that case, to relieve the urge, you grab whatever you have nearby, do a quick drawing, sketch or doodle. It's a bit like going for fast-food when you are extremely hungry but don't have time for a decent meal.

Luckily, WackieM had yet another challenge on her blog: Phonebook drawing. You take an old phonebook, and draw with ink on its pages. As she says. "This is such a liberating surface because you really aren't worried about messing up an expensive piece of paper...and...look how many pages you have to work with! "

To be honest, I wasn't thrilled about it at all, as I thought it's just like drawing on any paper, so what's the big deal about it?

Still, today I got so sick and tired of doing all the stuff for the reception, that I decided to put everything aside for an hour or two. After dealing with an endless ToDo list that seems to keep getting longer, I wanted to just do careless drawing, not work on a future painting or anything that will feel like yet another commitment. Y'know, some artistic fast-food.

I turned the TV on, and chose a British crime drama ("Waking The Dead" - GREAT series, by the way!) that features some incredible faces. Grabbed a phonebook, different kinds of ink, some bamboo brushes and twigs, and set myself in front of the TV in the living room (yes, The JohnnyB, of course I laid a protective sheet over the new laminate floor - what do you take me for?). Whenever I saw an interesting and expressive face, I paused and drew it (TiVo is a wonderful thing!).

And then I understood.


I think it really does have a lot to do with the fact I was not working on precious drawing paper.

Like, pfffffffffrrrrrrrrr, it's a phonebook, who cares? If it doesn't come out right, just toss it, and do another, get very loose and experimental. Of course, I cannot just follow instructions - I have to explore what's beyond... so I also used some of The JohnnyB's old beer-brewing magazines, which have this neat sleek paper that makes a very fun surface to work on.

I experimented with Sumi Ink, Shellac-Based Ink and my all-time favorite: Walnut Ink, alternating between bamboo brushes, twigs (yes, twigs), and the eye-dropper-like lid of the shellac ink jar.

I'll probably do more and more such sketches, but I am posting these now, before the week gets even busier.

(Click to enlarge)


WackieM said...

Way cool!! I love how you took the idea and then added one of your own by using the television for information and trying different magazine surfaces, etc. Great!

Mike said...

All I have to say is you are both (Wackiem, too) whacky! Secretly, just between me n you, you made my day! (You do that a lot!)

Valerie said...

Hang in there - do you realize that after those three commitments are over you'll have whole DAYS for yourself - and anyway all that pent up energy will produce some out of this world results, I bet!!

Hmmmm? Telephone books - that may be good for the terminally blocked moi!!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Just finished reading your blog. What fun ... and soooo inspiring. Love the phone book art ... I may give it a try.