Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Step Forward, A Step Back

It often seems like every step or two forward means a step back, and sometimes a slide down, far down. Or it could just be me and how I see things, like my pursuit of art. All the videos in the world merely show me how much I have to learn and how far away I am from adequacy. My view of my own adequacy. At least I keep plugging away, trying more things, being as daring as time allows, and often resenting the demands that being an adult make on me.

And then there is art.

Trying different media, different colors, different paper, and learning that I need to put down a shield when working with certain pencils, pastels, and charcoal. 

Quick sketches  to see if I still have it. I really should use clean paper instead of sketching (scratching) on paper (newsprint) where I've sketched other faces, body parts, interesting objects. Cropping can only eliminate so much and newsprint is especially smooth and erasing intruding lines would damage the sketch. I rather like this one, not only because it is nearly accurate, but because it didn't take me long at all. 

The photo on a new box of colored pencils. That pugnacious chin and unusual angle were all it took to interest me. Not bad for another quick sketch. 

An older drawing that I keep refining and working on. A touch here, a new technique there. I'll finish it one day . . . or maybe I'll paint this one. Yes, I know the right (left actually) eye is less vivid than the left (to the viewer), but it -- and I -- is still evolving. For now. 

Another drawing of one of my granddaughters. This one is Savannah. It is also when I began to toy with the idea that less is more. The original photo was posted on its side and I maneuvered it into a full frontal straight up and down image. Computers are wonderful and I'm getting better with PhotoShop -- barely. 

Another sketch, and the most recent in this collection, of Mahesh Jadu. The actor is currently portraying Ahmad (heavy on the ACH as if you're clearing a hairball) on Marco Polo. Mahesh is one of the villains of the show. His long, pointed nose interested me first and that is where I began the sketch, all done in sanguine hard pastel. Another not quite right sketch, but I do find his face and this sketch fascinating. 

It didn't dawn on me until I searched for the name of the actor playing Ahmad that his face was familiar because I had enjoyed his portrayal of Ophir from I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhardt. He does have a very interesting face and demeanor and he's from Australia. I would've thought India or the Middle East, or even the USA would be more likely. Wherever he was born, raised, or lives, I still find his face interesting and will definitely draw him again. I do that with faces that intrigue me. 

I am toying with the thought of reducing faces to basic elements to see how much of the person is recognizable. Not so much body parts, or facial features, although faces are part of the exercise, but light and shadow. Can I sketch a face and make it recognizable by just sketching the light -- or the shadow? I sketched two eyes, the hint of a nose, and the mouth but nothing of the light or shadow or rest of the face and it was instantly recognized as Sharon Stone -- which it was. I did that sketch in colored pencil more than 20 years ago on a piece of printer paper because the minimalist style intrigued me. I have it somewhere, likely in a folder in an old filing cabinet in storage in Ohio.  Asking for someone to go looking for it will be futile. Oh, well. Someday.  

There you have it, some of my recent forays into art as I exercise my artistic muscles and try new media. Some are good, some are less than good, and one or two are approaching mediocrity. Art is a process, a journey, and I am still on the path. 

That is all. Disperse. 

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