Okay….yes, I know….the summer is not yet over. But I’ll still be doing this Project right up until Labor Day and I wanted you to know how busy (Ha Ha!) I’ve been. That’s when summer is officially over, isn’t it? I remember when we didn’t start back to school until the day after Labor Day. Long, long ago!
Back to What I Did Last Summer; For the past few years I’ve focused almost entirely on painting in acrylics and it’s accurate to say I’ve done more in acrylics than any other medium through the years. However, being the personality that I am, I get bored. I begin thinking how much fun oil painting is, how neat it is to paint with watercolors, how immediate and easy to paint with pastels or fine art markers, or even just draw….with pen and ink, or pencils. Conventional wisdom in the art world says the artist should select ONE medium and stick with it. Boring! I’ve never been accused of being conventional and I rationalize that the great masters of the past could create art in many mediums and with any tool at their disposal, even quick sketches on napkins at restaurants, every now and then. And sell that sketch for thousands of dollars right during dinner! Sigh!
All this deep art thinking led me to the inescapable truth that in every artistic discipline……one must practice. Dancers dance every day, instrumentalists practice constantly, pianists play scales over and over and over, singers exercise their voices on a regular basis. We visual artists are no different…or should not be different. The painter needs to practice the fundamentals just like any other artist. But wait! Can you sell that quick sketch? Aren’t I wasting valuable time sketching..which would be better spent on my next masterpiece? *I giggle here*.
I’ve had enough art classes, workshops, and even lectures in art school…to know the answer; visual artists MUST practice the basics and on a regular basis. Yikes! There it is. The truth.
Therefore, having dredged up great art truths from my past and facing them squarely, I committed myself to my “Summer 2014 Art Project”; sketch every day or as often as possible….in watercolor, ink, charcoal or regular drawing pencil. So far, I’ve done thirteen watercolor/ink sketches and numerous pencil sketches. And it has been great fun!
I bore my Facebook friends with sketch after sketch on my page and store them in my Facebook Albums, “My Watercolor/Ink Sketches” and “My Daily Sketchbook”. Take a look when you want to raise your cultural awareness level.
Since I paint or draw exclusively from three sources; life, photos I have taken, photos friends or family have taken and given me permission to use, or my imagination, the need for day trips with camera in hand occurs…which is not a bad way to spend a summer day in Texas.
I’ll carry on with this plan until the last day of August, because on September 1, I’ll leap right into my next “30 Paintings in 30 Day Challenge”………but I haven’t decided which medium…watercolor, acrylics?
“Civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully
responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when
a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet”.____Arnold Toynbee
Wow! Now I’m smarter!