Monthly Archives: September 2019

Post-it Note 9/28

I’m not asking for a trade of your resources or judgments, I’m asking you to be open to pushing against what I push forward.

Every Style is a means for insisting something, what are you insisting?

I’ve found this week that I’m far more comfortable sharing work that feels awkward and haptic rather than work that’s leans towards formalized representation. While I’m working towards being able to convincingly visually represent the character of an individual, I’d prefer to steer away from mimemic accuracy, the world is already filled with people running themselves through that particular funnel, and I’m pretty sure the world wouldn’t be any better served by my choice to follow suit, so I choose not to.

Engagement in the Absence of Reason

The recognition of a single element, a hand or a foot, can be enough to lead a viewer into a play of line and color, a tempting tease to puzzle reason from.

It’s the hint of possibly that tempts the eye to move through color and line, slowing, searching for clues to meaning.

To be sure, being told what’s there in front of the viewer will instantly end the game. The exercise of “engaged seeing” abruptly ends, turning quickly to assessment and disengagement.

The assertion, reason kills the power of a work of art.

Post-it Note 9/22

I respect others that can excape their filters. As far as I can tell, we all have filters that we live our lives through. We pick a role to play or an expectation to meet… maybe a script or a personality trait that helps us survive. I enjoy meeting people that are comfortable exploring themselves and are open to share the experience. It’s a rare delight. I find myself cheering for those that can step away from their filters to enthusiastically feed their curiosity and make intuitive leaps in directions that result as responses to their own personal experiences. 

I feel that I’m continually writing myself a permission note by restating that it’s ok to make work that isn’t necessarily for anyone’s taste other than myself. I’m not even sure what filters I’m operating with, (obvious more than I’m aware of), but I’m working on shaking a persistent and unwanted need for affirmation. Unfortunately I suspect it’s a integral piece of my makeup that drives my development. I kind of wonder what would happen if I actually got it.

Question of Meaning

Is a work any more or less valid in the absence of meaning?

Is the opposite true?
Is a work any more or less valid in the presence of meaning?

To answer, “it depends of the qualities of meaning, and the qualities of its absence” Effectively rendering the point moot. It turns the issue into a subjective exercise for both the artist themself, and likewise, each viewer independently.

Recognition of a Challenge 

I’m struggling with thinking that I’m overthinking what I’m drawing. I’m know that I’m confusing myself with the idea that by practicing creating work infused with meaning I’d be creating better work, an idea which is obviously both true and false at the same time. Layering meaning into a drawing can make a better design, but it’s not a given. Still, giving work meaning is far easier than what I really want to learn to do, practice creating drawings that can elicit a feeling. The difficulty being that triggering a feeling is an entirely a different kind of challenge, reason can be reasoned out by most, triggering a feeling is much more selective of its audience.

Apparently it looks like there’s no shortcuts, a whole language of design needs to be discovered, explored, practiced, critiqued, and internalized if any hope to gain ground on this. If there are any lesson plans or exsercizes somewhere out there that shares stradegies to achieve this, (and I’m sure that there is) I haven’t found them yet. 

This isn’t a complaint, it’s just the recognition of a challenge.

But I do enjoy the play of the color and the nod to the suggestion of a narrative. 


What are some of the general criticisms and suggestions for the current work?

The compositions are fundamentally derivative of the aesthetics of portrait photography. (Source your own elements and build your own compositions.)
Key proportions are off. (Keep practicing)

Drawings need more story elements. (Move towards more still lives that include a figure rather than a figure that includes a still live.)

Figures don’t have context. (See previous)

I don’t feel pulled into the drawings. (Use color massing, conscious use of tonal variation, balance, simplicity from a distance) (possibly begin with a general compositional map before adding in the individual elements)

Colors are muddied. (Switch medium to painting)

The figure tends to get lost in the interior of the drawing. Explore enlarging to the point of abstraction and cropping while maintaining the still life.

Bring more rhythm into the drawings by using pattern (wall paper, fabric)

Create and use elements (cups, vases of flowers, food)

Use mirrors, windows, doorways.

Play operator more often by drawing from resource drawings as a method to distance and detach from the subject.

Otherwise, just keep playing, practicing, and enjoying what you are doing. Make sure to continue to create challenges and opportunities for yourself and the drawings will develop… but they’ll go in a direction that is more specifically and authentically yours if the suggested changes are put into place.