Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Drawing practice

Not much painting going in my studio recently or for several months really. Lots going on and much of it just daily responsibilities and duties. I've also had a fair amount of company which is always good and I always put people before painting. Not that I don't miss the painting but it's hard to pick up the thread of previous work and so after each long absence from painting requires a new start. Which leads to some introspection and much thought as to which direction to take.

I have a new book by Steven Aimone called "Expressive Drawing" which is full of exercises and photos of art work created in classes he teaches. Since he teaches mainly in Maine and Florida I probably won't be taking a class any time soon but the book is very clear so maybe the class isn't necessary in this case. The reason I like the book is because it's something I don't usually do and is helping me bust out of a rut and gives me some refreshing new ideas.

I had a recent email from a friend who said I was a fine painter and really didn't need any more instruction and why did I want to attend more workshops? Good question. I learn something new even from a bad art class but mainly I go for the time away from home to concentrate on my art and my thought processes without any distractions. I also enjoy being with people who want to talk about art all the time! What a luxury.

Right now I'm thinking about two classes in New Mexico in September. The first one is in Taos and taught by Gwen Fox. And the following week is a class near Santa Fe taught by Virginia Cobb. And I could spend the week end between classes looking at the art in Santa Fe. Well, I wouldn't want to waste any time since I would already be there. Sort of my duty to look at lots of amazing abstract art in one small place. Right?

Below is painting #1 from Aimone's book which is automatic drawing. Hold the brush on the end, step away so you have to lean into the painting and take a fencing stance. Add an adjective.

Number 2 is use your non-dominate hand and attach your brush to a long stick. I used a yard stick.
Number 3 below is working flux non-objectively and is done quickly with instructions to draw, veil with white paint, obliterate, draw and back and forth until you're satisfied. I used some old papers and some house paint.
Number 4 below is doing the same instructions as above but use narrative and symbols.
Number 5 is a conversation between orientations-horizontal, vertical and diagonal. I enjoyed this one very much because you start all three at the same time with mainly straight lines in all three orientations. Then step back and decide which ones will be which orientation.


Jo Reimer said...

I'll have to look for that book, Jan. It looks good, based on your examples. I thought I had it but had it confused with Experimental Drawing, another good book.

Jan Heigh said...

Hi Jo;

I'm enjoying the book. It also has parts devoted to other well known artists.


Leslie said...

I've been eyeing that book, but there's not a preview online and I haven't had a chance to flip through an actual copy. So I'm happy to hear what you have to say about it. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Seems like a really interesting book! If you do take the Virginia Cobb class have a great time! I got to hang out with Virginia while she filmed her DVD with us and she's kind of incredible. Her approach sort of liberating. (At least it was for me.) She talks a lot about creating design problems so that she *has* to fix them, which then leads to innovative problem solving and freshness in her art. I use to see problems as proof of my failure. I like her approach better :)

Nance said...

Thank you for your kind comment at my blog. I am not a visual artist, but I aspire to be an artist with words. And, as a psychologist, I was very interested in Drawing On The Right Side of The Brain and studies on stimulating the creative right brain in all of us. The exercises look like fun!

Anonymous said...

great to see your executions of these exercises, Jan. and thanks for the kind words about the book. Very best, Steve Aimone