I’m starting a new drawing that seems to resemble currency.
Looking at a Blank Canvas
Lately, thank goodness, that is not a problem at the moment. I am working between two, probably multiple. This one promises to be fun. Trust me, I have had those moments. What to do?
Do something else if you are stuck. Yes, it distracts you and lets your brain refresh. The new else might help the old else find a solution.
One of our students at MCTC(Minneapolis College) was in a class my mentor and friend, Felix Ampah, taught. I was told the student sat in front of a canvas, and Felix went over and asked if something was wrong. The student blurted out, “I don’t want to ruin it.”
Felix Ahpah asked to have her brush. He took it and made a swash on the canvas, probably not big. Gave his wonderful smile that beamed and said, “Now it is ruined.” Then smiled, and they laughed, and he moved on.“
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
~ “If” – Rudyard Kipling
I can tell you 101 things that have kept me away from this blog, but with the help of people and, most recently, the Mighty Mo helped with a few more adjustments, I will begin to post more frequently.
I have been organizing the images I can post for the last few days. I have been drawing, exploring various tactile media, and focusing on 3D software for the past two years. I am at the point where I can start showing my work. So my last push is to get the blog up and running again.
Bear with me; you will see more of my work and other posts soon.
Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul. — Edvard Munch (Virtual Art Academy)
A few days ago, I visited the Contemporary Museum of Los Angeles (MOCA) and saw and enjoyed Henry Taylor Side B show. The exhibition was a retrospective of Henry Taylor’s work—primarily portraits. The work, The Screaming Head, 1999, stopped me. Similar to Edvard Munch’s work The Scream, where I felt fear, panic, and anxiety down in my soul. Taylor’s screaming head, I got the absolute frustration and angst the artist must have experienced as a black man.
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
~ William Blake (Art Quotes)
I keep bouncing between enjoying and learning and sometimes teaching, but at the moment, learning is taking precedence. Over the past two years, I have worked in Blender, creating models for Second Life. It is satisfying, but I don’t know how or why it informs my work.
Drawing currently is taking two forms—first, the multi-media small works.
Most drawings are about 5″ x 5″, some a bit larger. I also find 5″ x 7″ a good size to work with. They primarily are drawings using ink and colored pencils. I am becoming aware that these inked drawings are really paintings. The two elements I am paying attention to are texture and color. The substrate is another element I am experimenting with as well. I worked with found paper for a long while, which expanded my knowledge of my media’s response to the surface.
Digitally I am working with Procreate. This is a process and program I have spent time learning. The process starts with a doodle on paper. I am then photographing it. Next, I import the drawing directly into Procreate and then traced it manually. Found that method very unsatisfying. The surface of the iPad is so slick, and slowing down to trace accurately the lines looked slow. So finally, I fell on a method that seemed to do the job. First, I photograph. Then import them into Affinity Photo 2, create a file with an alpha, and export them as a png. Then bring the drawing into Procreate. It seems to work better for me.
The reason I like this method is that it allows me to concentrate on color. I can apply color and experience color combinations quickly. I knew that color exists and reacts with its environment or relative to the surroundings and background. But working and being able to apply color quickly and easily replacing color with another underscores for me how dynamic color is.
As I work, I am finding a spiritual connection with the known-unknown. I am sure that sounds strange to some. It is a meditative practice, not intentional, but it seems more of a by-product that I welcome.
In order to experience a poem, we must understand it; in order to understand it; we must hear it, see it, contemplate it—convert it into an echo, a shadow, nothingness. Comprehension is a spiritual exercise.
Octavio Paz, Alternating Current, p. 49
I don’t think I am creating anything as profound as Paz describes, but as I said many times in this blog—I am on a path, which is not totally visible to me. I get glimpses, but never too sure what I see. I do want to say that just because I post works of art, I do not think they are grand, that the technique is refined, or the lines sure and sharp. I know they are not. However, as I do and study my ideas, my voice and path will clarify. There is one thing I want readers and friends to know, and that is that I believe in a power greater than ourselves, and there is a piece, a bit, of that power, that Light within each of us. I don’t know if I am a theist, non-theist, pantheist, or panentheist. Whatever I am, I seek to reach, connect, and engage with that Light that exists within me… and you. I am saying this partly because I have avoided saying it in the public eye of art critics and peers. OH MY GOD! I just came out again. 😆