Didn’t work: still not a good morning. But maybe things will improve. Sketch is tempera paint sticks on paper, unfinished because I lost interest in it once the eyes looked back at me.
When you’re educated for or work in a field, you learn the terminology associated with it. You know: the words that all the other people know but you didn’t know until you knew you needed to know them? Jargon, lingo – the words with special meaning for the people who use them. THOSE words.
I’m still skating around the edges of an art education so I try to use my limited “art vocabulary” carefully. I don’t want to insult anyone or make myself look even more uninformed than I am. One of the first words I picked up was “mark.” It’s a good word! Short, right to the art point, and clear in its meaning.
Or is it? See that goofy doodle up there? I drew it with a ballpoint pen in one long – very, very long – movement. It’s a crop. There’s a body attached to the head; the entire doodle’s about 12 inches high. I started at one point, then twisted and curved and doubled back and turned around and went forward and backward and…done. ::whew::
So, here’s my question, for those of you who know more art terminology than I do: Was that ONE LONG MARK?
In honor of the asteroid that’s supposed to pass by Earth today I posted “Tap Dancing in Space” for sale on Redbubble. It’s from a couple of years ago and is a “digital mashup” of an acrylic painting, an acrylic ink sketch, and a fractal image (digital). It’s also the first time I did any asemic writing on a piece for sale. Like so many of the digitally compiled modern mixed media things I do it began from nowhere, wandered around in confusion for a few minutes, and then suddenly transformed itself into what you see above. Is that good luck? Or art magic? 🙃
Here’s info about that asteroid, if you’re wondering: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/31/nasa-warns-asteroid-expecting-pass-earth-june-1/5281064001/
Also, asemic writing: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asemic_writing
Volcanos: often fatal, frequently destructive, usually unpredictable, and, as far as I’m concerned, terrifying. There’s been an uptick in significant volcanic activity lately so I “painted out” some of my fears.
Current activity: https://volcano.si.edu/gvp_currenteruptions.cfm
We’ve always worn masks. That’s what we do. Some are truly reflective of our emotions and our identities. Some aren’t.
One reason I make faces is because of those masks. When we roam through our worlds we rarely see our own masks – we’re too busy trying to understand the ones other humans wear.
My particular pleasure comes from creating and cataloging the masks I see. Sometimes, when I’m lucky, I recognize the ones I’ve worn.
Several years ago my work was being “stolen” (ripped off, infringed upon, misappropriated, orphaned, and then sold by others) with such frequency that I nearly stopped making anything new. Then I had the “brilliant” idea of incorporating my name into the work. The image above is an early example. Can’t miss that name! But why is it there? Because I considered it an organic watermark, so fundamental to the composition that it would destroy the work if removed. I’d solved the problem!
The faces I made that way were immediate failures. “Why’s your name there? Take it out and maybe I’ll buy it!” – that was what I heard from one potential customer. “Get famous, then I’ll want to look at your name.” – another comment.
My name didn’t do well as a copyright identifier, either. “Where’s the copyright symbol? Either it’s a copyright mark or it isn’t. This way’s just stupid.” Yes, OK. Got it.
I still struggle with copyright issues but I’ve given up on this particular idea. Someday I may try to rework the images but until then they act as salient reminders of how very ridiculous some ideas can be when implemented by the wrong people. I couldn’t pull it off. The work was – simply – not strong enough.
Live and learn? Every day. :)
Ten years ago I decided it was time to practice drawing “the human form.” I already had one of those wooden models with articulated joints, and a bendable wire one, too. I bought several books and got to work. The basics went well.
But everyone told me that to truly be an artist I absolutely HAD TO practice life drawing. The reasoning behind that made some sense to me even though I wasn’t entirely convinced. One problem got in my way: I rarely see people. That’s by choice and it’s non-negotiable. So I tried drawing figures I saw on television. That didn’t go well, mainly because they’re two-dimensional. I might as well just draw pictures of people from pictures of people.
One day, when I was packing up some old clothes to donate, I decided to delay their journey. I stuffed a top and ancient sweatpants with the rest of the old clothes and found a plastic mask and wig, and made a body. Then I posed it, added a plastic hand and sunglasses, and the “person” in the photo above appeared.
I dressed and decorated it several ways and posed it on chairs, etc. It routinely scared the cats. Weeks later, when I realized that the legs needed “bones” to look right I assembled a skeleton out of old paper towel rolls. But I never re-made the model.
Because I had so much fun fussing with it, making it look increasingly realistic, taking silly photos of it, that I drew it only once. Its original purpose was to help me teach myself how to draw a person. But I didn’t want to.
I took it all apart, put away the hand, the mask, the hats, and the hairpieces. The old clothes went on to living people who needed them more than I needed to learn how to draw people.
I draw faces.
If I had a thousand years of life ahead of me I’d never tire of exploring faces.
No bodies needed.
One of these days I’ll track down the other photos and that drawing, and share them. And, yes, I know that the hand is on the wrong side. 🙃