Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's Have a Drawing!

No, no, no...not that kind of drawing. No pulling numbered tickets out of a hat to see who wins the prize!

I mean art drawings -- making an image with graphite or colored pencils!

While I can render pictures of objects using a pencil, it tends to be a utilitarian image...unlike many artists whose drawings are works of art unto themselves. There's something about the way they make lines and shading that are beautiful. I make just ... lines!

I'd like to fix that if I can. Following are some examples of drawings I'd like to be able make. Note: these drawings are NOT of my creation. The titles and creators' names appear under each image.

The Find, Charlene Brown

Barbara Palvin, Malwina Kozak

Natalie, Casey Childs

Head of a Muse, Raphael

I'd love to be able to make drawings like these! of course, I'd love to be good at drawing the face and human figure, too, but honestly: I don't have enough years of life left to learn that skill. One of these artists suggested copying master drawings to learn how to make the lines I want -- good idea. Copying the works of masters, both in drawing and in painting, used to be part of the learning curve for aspiring artists. One can learn SO much by doing that.

Maybe during this slow period of no sales and few paintings produced, THIS will keep me out of trouble!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vent: Art competitions and Shows

I prefer to write about the more positive things in an artist's life, but -- as you might expect -- there are aspects that pull artists down. I guess that's true of all things, isn't it?

One my Facebook Friends who is also an extremely capable artist posted his opinions about art competitions. I hope he won't mind if I feature it here:

"In art competitions, the only valid criteria for judging should be the quality of the artwork, viewed with total objectivity and assessed impartially, solely on the basis of artistic merit. The identity of the respective artists competing should not be a factor, nor should the number of friends any entrant might have or how much effort he or she might have put into lobbying for votes. If I'm going to vote at all, it will be for the artwork that I see as the most worthy, no matter whose it is. Nothing personal."

I understand exactly how he feels. I've felt the same way about certain art exhibits/sales and posted my own comment:

"IMO, western art shows must be the worst when it comes to judging criteria. They often include "masters" in the show titles, but in reality, when you submit entries, they want lists of all the shows you've been in, or a list of articles that have been written about you,or a list of awards you've won -- stuff like that. In other words, they want to know how likely you are to be well-known and, thus, a good seller. Quality has little to do with it. It's popularity/fame/history of sales that they're looking for. "

It's something we artists have to put up with -- "adapt or die," as least as far as making it in the art biz is concerned. It's quite unfair and shouldn't be this way. But it is.

I really haven't decided how I want to deal with it all. I don't know that I have enough years of life left to accumulate the "stuff" that the competition/show sponsors ask for. But I know it's a part -- just one part -- of the reason why I've slowed down considerably in art: not only in creating it, but in selling it. It's far from being a level playing field, and maybe I'm getting too old to play this sport in a meaningful way anymore. (This pathetic economy doesn't help, either).

OK -- that's enough venting for now. On to more positive stuff.