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Saturday, January 26, 2008

No Pain, No Gain

Cliche, yes. But it's cliche for a reason.

I enjoy working intuitively, and I love abstracts for their ability to directly convey my intent, but I want to be able to work figuratively as well so I am not limited by my skills--or the lack thereof. So I keep pushing, trying to get my head and my hands around new skills.

My friend Pascale and I were talking about sketching the other day. She's a great sketcher and a smashing tapestry artist. Me, not so much with the sketching (and not at all with the tapestries), but I have to develop the will to go there.

I told her how I surprised myself with the sketch in the "Inspiration in Strange Places" post. I didn't do such a bad job, even though I wasn't actually trying too hard. (Perhaps that's why it wasn't bad.)

She assured me that I'd be able to repeat my success. I was dubious but hopeful. I'm sure she didn't think I'd take the "repeat" part of her statement literally, but . . .

I did the first sketch with a ball-point pen. I did this one with an 8B artist's pencil. Other than the fact that I can't draw a straight line to save my life, it's not bad again. Even has some believable "reflections." I plan to do one in brush-tip pens from the sketch rather than from the photo. I think it will be interesting to see if that "abstracts" it a little.

So this confirms the advice my friend Gwyned gives her students all the time--pick the thing you fear the most or like the least and do it--it's the thing you'll learn the most from.

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