stuff and things

05 February 2011

Saturday's Sketchbook Challenge

Lotus nestled in Love Blankies, 2011
Behold, my first submission for The Sketchbook Challenge, an ongoing stimulus to art that my friend and mentor Barbara told me about. I really love to draw, and haven't done any for too long, so I thought this would be a good way to practice. I started this one in the dark: Andy was still asleep, and Lotus sleeps between his legs. (Andy calls her the "hot spot.") I fleshed out the main shapes, and once cat and Andy left the scene, I played with some water soluable crayons to add color.

Because I felt so out of practice, I used my "everyday" sketchbook, which doesn't take water with very good results. Sure, I had just treated myself to a beautiful Moleskin watercolor paper sketchbook, but I didn't think I'd be "good enough" to use it for my first sketch in, literally, years.

Does this sound familiar? I went to an art critique group the other day, and almost every one who showed their work apologized in some way or another. I'm not immune: If I'd had something new to show I probably would have offered up apologies as well. What is it with us?

Yesterday, the artists of the new Counterpoint exhibit at the Visions Art Museum spoke to us volunteers about their work. Jeanne Lyons Butler recounted a great story about how we tend to let our artist materials become too "precious." As a young art student, her professor told the relatively poor students to go out and purchase the most expensive paper they could afford. Back in the classroom, holding her gorgeous bamboo paper, she was shocked to hear the prof ask them to throw the papers on the floor and step on them. Even wipe their feet on them. A great lesson!

Maybe I'll do a little series and get up enough courage to use the nice, watercolor sketchbook to actually be able to wet these lovely patches of Love Blankies. Sigh.