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.