Hello July

Here it is already… the first Sunday Monday of July.   I started this post late Saturday night, scanning the ATC size practice art to upload, and clicked “Save Draft” when familiar voices out on the porch said, “Where’s Nancy?”  So, I wandered outside as it is kind of rude to be in the house with people hanging out on the porch, even though the mayor was out there busy painting his flag for YSU’s Festival of the Arts.  (My flags are done… festival is next weekend.  I will snap photos.)  My porch is becoming the “art porch” next to the communal back yard, which is cool by me… it is nice to have other people out there making art and/or socializing at the same time.  Besides, I like hanging out with the neighbors here – we talk and laugh a lot.  Sunday was more of the same… the mayor was still painting and the girl next door was making posters when I first went out.  I did not draw today.  But here is an ATC practice drawing made earlier in the week.

This is another hidden face drawing.  Life sure spun on a dime when I moved here.  I haven’t had this much human interaction in years.  This is a very social, neighbor orientated community.  I think it is good for me, but there are some things that I’m still not used to.  Like hearing someone outside my open window say “good morning Nancy” as I am waking up, not yet even out of bed.  It kind of freaks me out a bit but I’m still debating which is worse – someone silently listening to me wake up or saying something to let me know they are there if the hear me yawn or something.  It is not like they are lurking outside my window – all they are doing is quietly enjoying their morning coffee at the chess game table while their dogs do their thing.  My shades are drawn and the window is high, not like anyone can see in, but what if I wake up to one of THOSE dreams?

The next ATC is a kitty cat sketch drawn to amuse the young ones…  there are several families with young children here.  I have to smile.  There is a six-year-old girl who likes to come sit on the porch and draw pictures for her mommy whenever she sees me out with the colored pencils.   She amazes me – not in what she draws but in her curiosity about color interactions.  That little kid knows more about color than some college students.  She may not know what things are called, but she is using it…  the day she handed me a “Caput Mortuum Violet” pencil and said, “I think you should try this pencil with that” and it laid down like the perfect complimentary color for the darker shades of yellow that I was blending, it just blew my mind.   I have been watching her draw without letting on that I’m paying that much attention and she’s been watching me at the same time, learning my techniques and trying things out on her own, usually on scrap paper but one day, she took home an abstract instead of her usual typical kid type drawings.  That made me smile, wonder what her mama thought about that.  Oh,  I never suggest what to draw or how to draw… I give her a choice of paper (she’s tried several, prefers the 9 x 12 sketch pad) and type of pencils (she likes the Prismacolors, loves the colorless blender) and give her the plastic-contained pencil sharpener so she can sharpen her pencils without risk of cutting a finger.  That’s it… what she does is her own thing.

So anyway, I sketched this kitty because if she can try an abstract, I can try something almost semi-whatever realistic.

Straight up, my realism skills are primitive and downright rusty from lack of use. I’m toying with the idea of giving myself a little drawing course, use this ATC size practice art to improve myself, partly because I feel like I am drawing the same thing over and over again, using the same techniques and kind of like I’ve reached a plateau. It’s become very comfy, like old shoes, not much of a challenge anymore. I can almost draw them with my eyes shut. I don’t want to do 677 more of the same… maybe I need a breather, to step back for a bit, but use the break productively. It has been oh… a good 20 years? Longer, as I’m turning 52 here soon. It’s been a long time since I had to draw realistically for an art class. No… I am not going to draw my left hand repeatedly and I’m not going to pick a tree to draw again with every season change, but it might be fun to set up stupid little still life things and try to draw them. So boring… but I never tried it with colored pencils. Oh well, that is where my mind is going. If I am going to master the colored pencils, I need to be able to draw more than these abstracts.

Okay, now I am just rambling… thinking out loud on virtual paper.

Thank you for viewing my art! I’m not sure when I’ll blog next, perhaps I need to learn a bit of time management, too? Like designate time to go online. Oh, life sure has spun on a dime. There was a time when this machine was like my lifeline to the outside world. Not so much at the last apartment as in the one before, where I spent most of my days in quiet solitude. I kind of shock myself when days go by between even turning this computer on. So much for a daily blog… but oh well. Maybe what is better for me right now is a weekly blog? At least for the summer months.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summers… live happy, make art! Peace out blog friends. :)

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10 Responses

  1. A lovely warm post Nancy – it has added to the glow I still feel from being out for most of a so rare sunny day in Vancouver. I do envy your new neighborly home – I’m an urban condo cave dweller and hardly ever see my neighbors let alone draw kitties for them or have them greet me in the morning. Our art comes from interacting with the world, and especially with others – I think that your choice of less computer and more socializing is a healthy one. Can’t wait to see your flag – Peace out to you too…

    • Rare sunny days, eh? I never thought about Vancouver’s summer weather lacking much in sunshine; just imagined lush evergreens and your winters to be quite harsh. Yes, I think this place is good for me… in time, we will see what effect it will have on the art. Take care… and thank you for commenting!

  2. I think I really like your realism. I’ve always enjoyed realism, and I don’t find yours rusty at all. It actually reminds me of folk art. Would love to see you do more of these! :)

    • Oh thank you Monica! My confidence in drawing realism is so lacking that I may need encouragement to avoid feeling embarrassed when I post. :)

      • Keep at it. Practice, my friend, and you’ll gain confidence in no time!

  3. I like your kitty and would love to see more realism from you. :)

  4. I just sketched my way through Paris in pen and ink because it was faster to get the basic lines down than to do my usual watercolor compositions. I color them in later. Sometimes it is nice to change up what you usually do — ink is scary for me because it is harder to correct mistakes. I like your kitty, though, and will enjoy seeing your experiments.

    • I love the way you phrased “sketched my way through Paris” as it sounds like you had a wonderfully creative experience. Yes, it is good to change things up. Thanks! :)

  5. Hi Nancy, I am chiming in late, as is usual for me lately. I am so happy you are enjoying your new community! I enjoy all of your art. sometimes the more abstract the better, and other times having some recognizable elements make the piece more memeorable. The kitty is a wonderful departure from your norm! When I saw it, before I read your words about your being out of practice with realism, I would not have guessed it had been a while. Sweet kitty exploring a kitty world.

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