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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feral Art


You never know when that inspiration will hit. Are you prepared?

I sleep with my favourite art supplies. There are always sketchbooks close by. I adore Neo-Colour water soluble crayons for their accessibility in their two level folding tin, and also because I can paint with them using a Japanese fountain pen brush. 

Sometimes I dream that I am making art. If I wake during such a dream, I have my tools right at hand to take advantage of that uncanny dream state. 

The painting above is of my service dog Vito. We were engaged in an energetic game of fetch. He got this frenzied look in his eyes, and a smile, and I knew I had to capture it. I continued the game of fetch as I pulled my art supplies closer, and set to work. The result was very different from a carefully controlled study using a photograph. It was spontaneous and full of bounce. Not anatomically correct, but it thoroughly portrayed the playful moment. 

This sort of work requires the ability to work quickly and without too much editorializing. If I stopped to analyze the work, I  would have lost the immediacy of the moment, the urgency of the movement.

Many of my book illustrations are painted from life and also from photographs. Well, Vito will sit and stay, but that was not what I was after. I could have taken video of our game, and selected a still shot from it, but I think that what I ultimately captured was a compilation of several moments. Draw, draw, throw the toy, draw, throw, paint, paint, throw, paint. It was all about movement and fun.

Yes, I sleep with my art supplies. I am a feral artist. I paint wildly. I forage for inspiration.  Coyote Dreams.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Moment of Done.

I sit in my quiet studio, painting.

I am way beyond the thinking, planning, sketching, drawing stages. I am painting. I am in The Zone.

Time stands still. Pain is irrelevant here, although I know that later I will pay the price for this. Outside noises are hushed. Nothing exists here except for brushes, paint and water. I have no hands, I have no eyes,I have no thoughts. I am the brush, I am the paint, I am the water. These things are myself.

I paint. And at some point invention becomes revision. So I sit, revising and revising until...there it is. The Moment of Done.

It is a Mystery. It is beyond talent and training. This is the Gift. Understandng the map of my art. Knowing when to start and knowing when to stop.