Thursday, April 14, 2011

Litmus test?

Well... getting work done on this thing but at this point my usual anticipation of success in a work usually sets in by now. A couple of things are at play here as I try to decide if this is going to pass my own criteria for a quality work. As I have written I look for certain things to happen with a piece and so far this one is not sparking my imagination. There is no boldness, no strong lines or interesting light. Yet...

Perhaps one thing to consider is my history with this subject and it's design changes. I have drawn a few variations already and maybe I'm just tired of the whole thing. Perhaps I'm just in a funk about recent events in my life and career. Maybe the damned thing is just not worth the effort. Perhaps I'm just not clear in my mind just what I'm looking for or expecting from this piece to count it successful.

I have decided it is not worthy of submission to it's intended exhibition jury that I had planned it for. At least not at this point. Having let go of that deadline has taken the pressure off and I do have every intention of completing it. I just have to step back, focus, and forge ahead. I've faced greater challenges with works in progress so I'm determined to persevere.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Give and Take

So far, so good. I have struggled a bit getting into my groove on this work but things are starting to come together. I blame that on being rusty and the fact that I've been pushing the boundaries of my technique over the last several drawings. Sometimes I'm in control and sometimes I'm not. I've written quite a bit on the battle that occurs during the course of my drawings. I'm trying to maintain my grip on the work while at the same moment trying to let go. Go figure?

I call this carefully planned spontaneity. I attempt to create a drawing that looks like it is created with effortless freedom but in order to achieve that I feel I need to keep an iron grasp. Yin Yang? Contradiction equals balance? Good thing my wife is getting her Psychology degree. By the way, I agree with her that "The Suitor" is a better choice for title.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Suitor

The female is nearly complete and I wanted to get started on the male while I was in the groove. This suitor is presenting gifts to his prospective mate. While I was observing and photographing this pair he would bring nest materials and finally a nice trout. "The Gift" is the intended title. Planning to work out his head next, a second critical aspect. Once that is in as well as the fish the most difficult part will be accomplished.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Critical Aspect

The face of a bird or animal is always the most important aspect of a successful wildlife artwork. I handle this area with a great deal of precision and detail compared to the rest of the drawing. A few blog entries ago I posted the abandoned drawing of this subject. I reversed the orientation for this new version. I was very pleased with the earlier results of the females face so I'm attempting to capture the same look.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A New Project... Finally.

I can finally get back to what's important. I have been faced with many challenges over the past few months and I'm pleased to get back into my work. This is an osprey drawing I've attempted before in a variety of ways. I've done a number of different studies and drawn a few variations on the design. All of which were not completely pleasing to me. I need to have the composition engage me. I need it to be dynamic enough that I will not lose interest no matter how many times I view the piece. The drawing itself needs to be exciting in the way the strokes appear, the lines need to be strong and decisive, the light unique... everything needs to be powerful! I'm fairly demanding on myself. "Myself".

I have always wanted to work full time on my artwork. I've spoken about that a number of times on this blog. I've made a decision about that. I've decided to get part-time work enough to support myself that will leave me the freedom to focus the majority of my time on artwork. (That's the silver lining). Therefore I will not need to completely rely on selling art to survive. That's the important part. I draw to please myself, first and foremost. Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks of it. I've lived by that philosophy for the past twenty years and I feel that's why my work has developed the way it has. I've never drawn to sell. Why start now?