Sunday, January 25, 2009

In my own backyard

Jack Haley (Tin Man): What have you learned, Dorothy?
Judy Garland (Dorothy): Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?

Do you remember that part, in the final scene? Other than it being a bit weird to me now that they talk about back yards on a farm (WTHeck??? Farms have backyards???), this speech by Dorothy describes exactly how I feel right now about my art.


Today's sketch is sort of a break-through for me. It may look pitiful or like nothing special to the majority of the world, but to me it's mesmerizing and beautiful.

I sat down in front of a photo that my friend Paula took, of a cemetery angel. I'd seen it on her blog and couldn't take my eyes off her. I can sketch her, I thought.

And, I proceeded to. I am so grateful to Milliande and her Creativity Club, for her 2-part video on mixed media face drawing. Creativity Club is one of the art communities I belong to. Milliande's videos gave me some really good sketching advice, and I took copious notes. And I am doubly grateful to Paula, who graciously lent her angel to me. I titled my sketch "Paula's Angel" in commemoration of this thoughtful kindness.

I was able to let go a little of the anal need to sketch literally, and instead be a tiny bit whimsical...just a wee bit. Baby steps will get me there (repeat after me). I made the face too small, the neck too thin and long, the eyes too far apart, and the hair without detail, on purpose. I think I captured her essence of beauty, too, and to me that is the beauty of a cemetery statue, the essence of life emanating out from within all of that stone.

Anyway, my apologies if I seem to be bragging, but I am quite pleased with myself. I just might be one step closer to drawing whimsical art, which is something that should fit me since there is little hope of me ever mastering realistic sketch portraits...I mean, let's be honest. ;-))) Whimsical is fine and will give me plenty of challenge enough. I have always been in love with the art of Flavia Weedn, who I always think of when I see any whimsical art. I consider her the mother of it all.

Here's hoping I can continue to like what I sketch. But I know these kinds of successes are hit and miss, so I can at least go back to my blog and re-read my posts about the ones that all came together and made me feel good about creating.

I know that I have talked about my Composition Art Journal group, but I just realized that I should mention that I also belong to the Gluebooks group on yahoo. I just became active, so I don't know for sure, but it looks like this group may be the most fun in terms of the art. The only rules are to find a book, find some cutouts, and glue away. Everything else is left up to me.

Note to file: When I say magazine collage, I also mean junk mail collage. Whatever is modern and timely and easily discarded.

I have always enjoyed the low standards of magazine collage. Not to imply one bit that it's easy to do. Au contraire! A good, intelligent piece takes as much smarts as anything. It's just that anything goes, and consequently there's an absence of hoi polloi critics. It does enjoy a certain bad-boy rep in the art world, perhaps more exactly, illegitimate child status maybe, but magazine collagists generally get left alone and hence, it is naturally freeing to create in this genre. I am not limited to magazine collage, but I want to explore it more this year, as a therapy, so many of my gluebook pages will hopefully have this type of collage on them.

Until next time,
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