There’s no doubt about it – the process I go through to complete my oil paintings is laborious. I like the final result, but is sure takes time. About a week ago, I was sitting in a Starbucks, and checking Instagram. I had posted an old ink drawing of a Rhino, with the comment, “I used to do a lot of pen and ink drawings”. A comment under this simply asked, “And you stopped? Why?”
This was a question I couldn’t answer, so thought about it. They are far faster than oils, I don’t have to change into old clothes, I can work on them just about anywhere, except in the rain. And finally, if I get any interest in the finished drawing, I can certainly charge a much more reasonable, and accessible, price.
Then it hit me, why not start this up again, and make it a complete portable form of art? I purchased a 12×12 inch pad of watercolour paper, a couple of pens, and the very next day, I started working on a drawing. I am starting small, and there are a few techniques to work out, but now I have something to do at a Starbucks or a park bench, or possibly even the subway – other that checking my smart phone!
I find myself in the middle of a very strange project, and at times, wondering why I’m here. I keep wanting to follow my instinct of correcting and balancing the shapes before me, but I soon remind myself of the premise: to take an original child’s drawing, and make it as real as possible without significantly altering the content.
Although I have mixed feelings about this project, and it is nothing like my usual paintings, I have decided to give it my all. The Whole World is going to take at least another month, but as they say, “In for a penny, in for a pound!”
Most of my work is done from my own photo compositions. This playful experiment is another matter. I looked at some pictures of skies and clouds, but for the most part, I am making it up as I go. It’s a liberating feeling in some ways.
This is also a back to basics proposition for me. How will a particular shadow fall, given the lighting conditions? What, exactly, will be reflected on this metal surface? These are good mental exercises for any kind of artist. My art is based upon deconstructing, and then reconstructing the world around me. This painting can only expand my horizons, and as it stands, there are already four of them in the composition…