Friday, July 11, 2008


One of my favorite art sites, "The Painter's Keys", who's originator (Robert Genn) sends a bi-weekly email, has finally addressed the mood I am in recently, of more casual art, or as he calls it: "Lapworking".

Among other things, he says "You might find that the 'hobby-horse' feel of lapwork generates the languid ease that helps get you into the "zone." While it appears nonconforming and casual, ideas and motifs flow remarkably well. Further, when the work is already in your hand, it becomes easier to put it down and pick up another. In lapwork there's a feeling of embrace as you move lovingly here and there, following whims".


Great minds, eh?

And why am I so joyous about this?

'cause I am still clinging to the convenient excuse of my studio being too messy to actually paint in it, and am trying to find validation for this mood. Plus, when one is recovering from a long stressful period, and is getting ready for vacation, it's hard to start something serious.

Ah, if only I was as good in painting as in making excuses...

But hey, at least I am keeping my hand going, and my brush wet. Sketching from TV is fun, and I keep pausing whenever I see a compelling image. Obviously, being me, most of the images are faces.

This time I was glued to the British movie "Breaking The Waves" - a very unique, emotional and quite bleak movie. I watched and paused and sketched and paused again.

I have to say that this way, parts of the movie really stay with you. Especailly those that you drew.

Rather than using a pen, pencil or marker, I limited myself to drawing with a brush. It's somehow more committing, but also providing a big spectrum of strokes, so I can play with edges and shapes rather than use lines only.

Pushed by my figure drawing teacher comments, I am working on getting out of my comfort zone, That means using line as an accent and a final touch rather than as the underlying structure. I decided to give this a try for a while, and see where it takes me.

These sketches are done on smooth surface Bristol paper (which shows every brush stroke you make), using the Daniel Smith's Graphite Gray watercolor paint. While this paint doesn't always go well in a wateroclor painting, it's perfect for drawing, allowing for great control of the value while keeping the graphite hue, which I like.

Oh, and if you think the mood of these sketches is a bit on the dark side, well, watch the movie.


singleforareason said...

Oh, hello, isn't this someething this world? One comment leads to another. I so loved that first sketch, the person by the bed. Immediately evocative in such a simply, heartbreaking, beautiful way. Saw "Breaking the Waves" years ago. Am not sure I have fully recovered from it, yet.

Can't draw a lick but want to try after reading this post.

RHCarpenter said...

Yes, that movie is very moving and touching and confusing, too. Love that you're keeping your hand in even though you have other things on your mind. I should do the same, but - well I am pretty good at excuses, too!

Tracy Wandling said...

I love getting Robert Genn's letters too! They so often just hit the spot.
So, where are you going to be in British Columbia?! Probably down south right? If you get into my neck of the woods (north), send an email!! How cool would that be?!

W. K. Moore said...

Nice drawings these portraits of yours. Expressions are artfully rendered!