Monday, December 10, 2012

Speak through Art, Make Someone Smile.

For some reason, people think that art is magical. That you are born with the "artistic bones" in your body. I think that art is a language skill that you can learn, like learning Spanish or French. It's learning how to speak pictorially, a language that is universally understood.It takes time, effort, practice, dedication, much like learning another language - or anything for that matter. And like any second language, you can learn basic conversation, or strive for fluency. I'm striving for that fluency, and eventually, hopefully I'll have something worth saying. Otherwise, what's the point? (other than a steady job drawing what others tell me to draw.)

Because a lot of people think that drawing ability is a magical god-given talent, it never ceases to thrill and amaze people when I draw them or their pets when I go out and do observational drawings. I love making people happy through art. It makes me feel that what I'm doing is worth while. I did these sketches while at the dog park. I gave the two ladies who owned this dog this sketch and portraits I did of them. One of the girls said "This is why I love Austin. Meet a total stranger and get your portrait done!... This is a day to remember!"

Sorry for the blurry picture, these were taken on the spot because I gave away the drawings so I couldn't scan them.

If you're an artist, go make someone smile with your art! You'll love the way you feel.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Arizona Sketching / Desiderata

These sketches are from the Desert Museum in Tuscon, where my husband and I spent our Thanksgiving. I like observational sketching. Artists are different. I know some artists find it boring but necessary. I actually enjoy it very much. I'm learning, and practicing and I can make lots of mistakes. At work, drawing is a performance. My boss says, draw me this, and I have to conjure up something from nothing that's pleasing and on schedule - that's a lot of pressure! Observational sketching is relaxing by comparison.

 We also went to Kitt Peak. It was actually my most favorite part of my trip. I love science-y stuff. I loved learning about the different telescopes there. It's actually a simple device. It's the engineering of it that's incredibly hard. Learning about materials that are worthy of a lens, overcoming the earth's rotation, high winds, etc... lots to learn. I think that if I didn't become an artist, I would have become a scientist. My dad always said that I had a mind for it, and my dad is a very smart guy :)

Then it was on to the Reid Park Zoo. It's a very well put-together zoo, although they didn't have many animals. Luckily they had different animals from that of my local zoo, so it was still worth going to. Most people can probably breeze through the zoo in an hour, but for an artist that loves to really observe and really watch and draw, I spent a good 5 hours there.

Back in Austin, I sketched at the Austin Zoo. It's always a treat for me if the foxes are out playing. A lot of the times I want to come see them but they're sleeping. When they're out my heart melts. They're so playful and happy. They make the CUTEST sounds. No drawing I've ever done of a fox has done it justice.

 Piggehs are always fun to draw. Just a bunch of spheres jammed together

Fox says bye!Goodbye!

I'm sorry I haven't been updating my blog. Life is getting in my way. Doesn't it always? I met a guy named Tell Hicks once on my way to Bisbee, and he was an increidbly focused arist. He gives himself short, midterm and long term goals that he always acheives. I think that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to plan out a calendar of my goals, especially that the new year is coming. I will really try to hit those goals even if I have to skip work days.
In life, you don't know what will hit you next, but you can always count on your own skill.
My father was a fan of Desiderata. Here is a quote from it.
"Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time"
I am but a humble artist now, but I know, because I work hard, my time will come someday to shine.

Also, I'm copying the full text of Desiderata here. My dad often recited it to me from memory. And it calms me every time.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy