Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Flying Girl and No Landmarks, or Unknown

Flying Girl and No Landmarks, or Unknown 10/7
Golden Liquid Acrylics, Holbein Gouache

When I started this painting, I asked myself, "Do you trust yourself enough?"

I was going in without sketches, without a grand concept, without a color scheme. Just a vague idea of storytelling with those aborigine journey/dream paintings. I hesitated with the blank page, jittering nerves, not wanting to screw it up, knowing I'd have to post it. Then I jumped in and I just painted.

Also in my mind was the vague idea of being underwater, or being in space. Or perhaps it's an internal, dream journey, not an external one at all.

Maybe there's a lesson in here, after all?

What do we do when we don't have landmarks to clearly guide us in our journeys? When we are off the grid of the life we have expected? What happens when we step off that ledge of security and take the leap into the unknown?

Do we trust ourselves to be able to handle what happens? Do we trust our own ability to make choices?

The unknown is scary. Are you saying yes and leaping? Or backing down, looking to the known, the safe, the understood. There's a choice here. Neither are bad choices. Safe isn't bad. It's a valid choice. We don't all have to leap as if we have wings. But safe doesn't take us out of our comfort zone. Safe can lead to a world of happiness and ease. But the unknown... it can challenge us to reach new heights, and get farther still on our path to the future.
The Big Draw #7, 10/7/08
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

To change the subject, I don't know if there can be anything safer... a sketch of the flowers on my bedside table.

What? You don't see it?

Oh that's right. It's a blind contour drawing, where you draw on the page without looking at what you are drawing, only at the object. Actually, this kind of fits with the Unknown, No Landmark theme. Because when you're drawing blind, you don't know how this line is laying next to the last one, or where this line is in relation to the other. That is probably why I drew the top of the flowers on one side of the page, and the vase that held them on the other side. Well, I did look before I did that, and maybe twice before, when my pen fell off the paper or I finished a section of flowers.

I like blind contour drawings. They are fun to do. You just have to get rid of the belief that art has to look like what you're drawing, or that it has to be perfect. You have to practice drawing with a bold hand and make decisive choices, even if you can't see what these choices look like.

That's a lot like life, sometimes, huh?

And when you go back to drawing with your eyes open, you can take what you learned through your blindness, and create your next piece with the same bold decisive line, the same attention to detail and contour, the same expression. It's a very cool exercises, and often the results make you laugh.

7 comments:

Lynn said...

Wow, I actually thought at first sight that the top piece was a piece of batik fabric you painted your woman figure on. Beautiful!!!!
I thought the white dots were part of the fabric design.

Love the blind drawing too. I will try this. I remember being assigned to do this in the little art class I took last year about this time. Yours looks wonderful.
Yes, we all fall off the paper edge of life sometimes. Luckily we can climb back on and continue. ;-)

sukipoet said...

I like the blind drawing very much, the way the shapes bleed into each other. The touch of color. What you say is interesting. Choices, always choices, to stay or to leap. Maybe a t different times in our lives we are brave enough to leap and other times brave enough to not leap

fiorobbo said...

I need to try the blind drawing, it looks great!

differenceayearmakes said...

I must try that blind contour drawing - actually it is a kindof abstract of the actual. Once I knew what it was, I could see it.

And I LOVE your dreamtime flygirl - you captured everything you had floating in your head.

steviewren said...

I love the painting. And the concept of just jumping in and being brave. And getting started with it all.

mapelba said...

You ask about being scared. Well, I've got my first show coming up in a few days and I'm terrified. I mean, my stuff good enough for public walls? What? Like should I have the audacity to put a price tag on my work? Huh? Am I crazy?

Sometimes I don't have time to read your posts but I love zipping by to see the art. (And I always come back later to read because that's good too.)

Robynsart said...

I love the painting and the questions you pose... I will be asking myself throughout the week "Do I trust myself enough..."

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