Sunday, 23 October 2011
Drawing on nature
I had a lovely time browsing around a wonderful used bookstore, it's one of those places where books are wedged in at every angle and the cashier's desk is surrounded by more piles. I have found wonderful treasures there. Today, the Great Find was a beautiful book on animal anatomy for artists which will be under the tree for Caroline at Christmas. Shhh, don't tell her.
You haven posted here in a bit but I know you've been traveling and then returned to work and home and studio renovation ... So, knowing full well how life sometimes gets in the way of blogging, I am forging ahead. I do hope at some point that you'll reply to the post I did last time, about creative process. I'm interested to hear what you think.
But I should get back to the subject of creativity and show you what I have been doing.
This is the 12-inch quilt I made as my entry to Midsomer Quilting's fruit challenge. I've not used this technique for a long time (since my Labikeet portrait of Gemma for Twelve by Twelve, I think.). I enjoyed it tremendously and infound myself thinking of the fabric as paints. That is something fiber people say at times and I've understood the analogy, but I've never really had that specific sense while I was working. Maybe the connection felt more immediate because I am doing a bot of drawing and painting each day.
And speaking of that, I am still surprised by how very much I am loving the process of drawing and painting, I'm reminded of how much I liked playing with watercolors when I took some classes years ago. This past week, our assignment was to choose something from nature, draw and paint it, and then develop some stylized designs inspired by our work with the subject. It was very fun -- and you know, I felt immediately gratified because my usual sketchbook style is drawing lots of stylized designs, one leading to the next to see how many design ideas one inspiration can spawn. I had a brand time with this and here are some of the pages I did:
In fact, I liked this assignment so much I had a hard time moving on to this week's assignment which is to paint backgrounds for new pages using various media. I find the process of just making a background, without making it in the context of what is is for, to be rather boring. But in the interests of learning and trusting the course process, I have been good and done a bunch of different backgrounds. We'll see where they go.
This leads me to a new question: when you take a class, what can a teacher do that inspires you or helps you? What makes a good teacher for creative pursuits, I guess is what I'm asking. I have various thoughts and this online workshop has got me thinking because I'm somewhat disappointed at the instruction that is not happening. But I'm wondering whether some people most like to be left alone with no feedback but lots of "yay! Keep going" sorts of encouragement. Maybe I'm unusual in wanting to be told what isn't right and could be better?
I'll go now and look forward to your update.