Our life drawing group began again this past Saturday and it was so good to draw from the model again. I had to miss several Saturdays in the last part of last year so I felt very disconnected. I believe that drawing from life whether it is a figure, animal or a vase of flowers is a good thing to do. It forces you to use your mind and to work out problems and plan on the fly without giving you the luxury of putting parts off to do later. I am the first to admit that it is like any exercise, and that when you don’t do it regularly the mental and technical aspects of drawing tend to get a bit rusty and it is very humbling. The beauty of drawing is that much like riding a bicycle; you don’t forget how to do it.
I am posting above a photo of my painting that was awarded the Arts in Mississippi Award in the MSWS Grand National Watercolor Exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Ms. I have been awarded this top prize twice in the last 3 years. I am deeply pleased to have been in the exhibition and honored to have won the awards. I will share a bit about this painting and the thoughts I used to create the piece. This painting is one in the series of figures and birds that I have painted in the past 2 years. The premise of this series is the knowledge we can attain if we pay close attention to nature and the interaction that occurs when this happens. The girl and the bird appear to be looking at each other in some form of communication; one might wonder whether the bird is learning from the girl or vice versa, this is the bit of mystery for this piece. The title of the piece is, Glancing Patterns. I relied heavily on the design elements of color and pattern in this painting. Using each of the elements to unify and harmonize the piece. I kept the girl’s face and the birds face next to the white of the paper which in turn gave it the most attention, by virtue of faces always drawing attention and the value of the faces against the white of the paper reinforces the attention. Always use your lightest light against your darkest dark to get maximum impact in your painting.
Meanwhile a lot has been going on in the studio now that the holidays are officially over. I have put in some new fresh work at Jackson Street Gallery, in Ridgeland, Ms and I am about to put some work in a gallery in Leland, Ms. I will be taking part in an exhibit at this gallery later this month.
I have been reading and trying to more fully understand non objective art. The books I am reading are “Abstract and Colour Techniques in Painting by Claire Harrigan and Painting Abstracts by Rolina Van Vliet. I have not finished either of them but I am enjoying both of them. I am a firm believer in the power of knowledge and continual study. I do not paint non- objectively as a usual practice but I find some of the non objective work by other artists, really touches me and I want to more fully understand this emotional response by studying it further.
I am meanwhile still working on portraying in paint the emotional ties that bind us as humans to each other, and the aspects of letting go , grasping, trusting, entrusting, and gaining our own personal freedom in a world of labels and rules, as in last blog entry, Red Line. I painted a Diptych, two panels 48 inches by 24 inches each titled Red Line II and it is currently in the Jackson Street Gallery in Ridgeland, Ms. I am working on three more in this series and I hope to keep going as I am finding more and more ways to represent this challenging subject. I will post the photos as they are finished.
I also had a deep conversation with one of my children over the holidays about wikis and how to use them. I have been looking for art wikis on the net but have not come up with very many. If any of you reading this entry know of any art or painting wikis give me a comment or email me the web address. For those who do not know what the heck a wiki is, here is a very helpful YouTube video on wikis and what they are.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY