Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old School

Freesia with a little artist's license

Inked the top two (from life drawings) the birds are from photos--prefer the .005 to a .01 pen tip

On the morning train

On the bus (.01 pen)

A little collage and a little acrylic
I am disappointed. I recently found out that some of my favorite journal artists don't do all of their drawing freehand. When it comes to drawing faces, they trace a photograph onto the substrate and then work it in their style. I was so impressed by their talent and drawing ability. I know that some of them do both, trace and draw freehand, and I am not implying that these artists ever kept the tracing a secret. In fact, they show everyone how it is done. I am still impressed with their talent to make beautiful art, but, I don't know how to explain it... I was brought up thinking that is "cheating." I went to art school for a year and a half back in '79-'80. I was one of the least talented when it came to drawing. I dropped out, but returned three and a half years later to the Fibers program. Still being one of the least talented in making art and thinking I wanted to design knitwear, I transferred to another school--not an art school--and was considered one of the most talented when it came to drawing models for my clothing designs. Why? Because the Fashion Design major was a really new program and it didn't have a big number of students yet. The school was filled with business majors--in my classes that meant Fashion Merchandising students who couldn't draw. It was great! I was the best, finally!

I am a big fan of the Tommy Kane/Danny Gregory genre who do all of their drawing freehand and in ink! No pencil first like me. They are old school. They don't prepare backgrounds while doing housework, in an almost assembly line sort of way. I understand the need for art on the run--to fulfill your creative desire when your full-time gig is non-creative and time is short. I also get that so many people love to create but can't draw and it is so frustrating that it defeats the purpose of being creative. I get it! But I still think there is something to be said for those who can draw beautifully.

It is a little like the abstract artist who sells paintings for 6 figures, but can't draw. I'm not talking about artist like Picasso, who did abstract art, but could draw beautifully, but the artists who don't learn the basics before they start swirling paint on a canvas and call it art. It was the same when I was trying to sell my hand-loomed sweaters. The designers who sold these simple rectangular, drop-shoulder baby sweaters for oodles of money in the boutiques--no surface design or anything. They didn't even know how to knit, let alone use the knitting machine, but made a name for themselves and money. Urgggh! It was so frustrating.

All in all, I learn something from everyone and am influenced by them all, but if I aspire to be most like any artist, it would be the old-timer type that really has a grip on drawing.

Stepping off (the soapbox) and putting on a little makeup (to cover up the green tinge I am showing).