Archives for November 2017

Sunshine Teapot

Acrylic, 12 x 12

Expressions of Life

Acrylic, 10 x 15

Dream Girl

Acrylic, 12 x 12

Carmel

Acrylic Painting, 10 x 12

Simonne

Acrylic Painting, 20 x 20

Artistic Talent-Debatable

Deborah Babin

I had a profound conversation recently with someone who expressed a deep life long yearning to BE an ARTIST. This person was convinced she would never attain a level of artistic confidence because she had defined herself as having NO artistic talent or skills.

Without hesitation,my immediate response was: Being an Artist is NOT about

This bold statement flew out of my mouth and hung in the stillness.

This prompted a search on this topic today. I found this article which I am totally aligned with.

Please leave a comment about this debatable topic. What is your take?


PERSONAL REFLECTION

When I ask myself: Do I have artistic talent?

Answer: What I have is: Visual awareness

I learn through visual experiences.

It feels natural to express myself visually, thus art forms are my language. Consequently, utilizing my language builds my skills and enriches the quality of my art and production. When I make art I am proud of, it all makes sense. When I make art that is not up to PAR I have learned that this art experience is just as important, if not more so. As, I will learn and realize the depth of the challenge and strengthen my determination OR I may choose take a side step and evolve.

CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE A DETAIL VIEW

Drawing 1 Ink drawing, watercolor, below PAR

Drawing 2 Ink drawing, watercolor, on PAR

These two examples are rated below PAR an above PAR by myself. The assessment is based on the effectiveness of the shading with fine ink marks.

Pen is unforgiving. No erasing!

Drawing 1

I consider this drawing as under PAR because: 1. The eyes are not positioned properly. The left eye is too close to the nose. 2. The shading under the nose is too dense and sort of looks like a mustache.

Is this a failure? No. I enjoyed drawing it. I remember where I was and how good the travel experience was. What will become of this drawing? It is now an example here and I can always paint over it.

Drawing 2

I consider this drawing (as compared to the previous drawing) to be on PAR. The results are overall pleasingly balanced. The shading has various tones, which effectively describe the contours of the face. The details of the hat and blouse add nice contrast.


I have been told that my verbal descriptions are vivid; I like knowing that. Being able to describe aspects of (art) various things is another way to connect and paint a verbal picture.

Talent is a vague concept. We all have strengths. It depends on the opportunities we have in our lifetime or make happen that give us the time and access to sources where we can develop those strengths. And, the SOURCES…well, the quality of the sources is vital. In addition, timing. WHEN we have this opportunity and with whom. We may encounter a prime opportunity but not at the optimal time in our life.

The timing within our journey is not within our control; unscheduled stops and starts.

Control: Only we can set the goals and then, set out to achieve them. Many times, life gets in the way. But, that is the nature of the uncharted path….it meanders.

Can you relate to this?


The people we meet along our journey are components. Whether they are validating, enriching and positive for our growth. They may be (and many times are) detractors. Depending on where we are on our journey this encounter can be devastating and derailing.

My favorite line:

The JOURNEY IS THE DESTINY

We are destined to seek. Some of us pursue consistently, others, off and on, and some give up too soon. Some people get side tracked. And, unfortunately, some succumb to the pressure of competition…and end up questioning (doubt) their abilities (talent). They might set the bar too high, with unrealistic expectations; self defeating.

I say: There is ALWAYS time to make an attempt to follow your dream. If your dream is to be an artist….THEN BEGIN. So the question is WHEN?

If you are serious and make a sincere effort all will work out. Remember the movie THE FIELD OF DREAMS? Build it and they will come.

What is the worst that can happen?


Are you willing to take a step forward now? Make a plan to BEGIN.

Make a commitment to yourself:

Suggestions:

Commit to 1 hour 1 day per week

Commit to any day, any number of days.

Find a spot that is serene and special pleasantly tucked away from distractions without a clock.

Use:

  • A clip board or firm surface that is easy to hold on your lap or table
  • A piece of plain white paper any size (several pieces is best) or a tablet
  • A regular lead pencil
  • Make marks
  • Observe…

Write the date on each page, maybe include the location. Make notes that about what you are thinking, seeing, feeling, realizing.

Don’t expect anything….just observe.

MARKS-Are ANY type of stoke, line, scribble, etc. that leaves a deposit of lead on the paper.

Approach: fill an entire sheet of paper with one mark making tool

  1. Make a random grid and fill the spaces, no ruler.
  2. Randomly fill the page without concern of the space.
  3. Start in various spots not just the center.
  4. Extend the marks out and over the outer edges of the paper.
  5. Experiment with various mark making tools.

MAKE MARKS UNTIL YOU FEEL LIKE STOPPING AND SIT BACK AND OBSERVE. YO

You are communicating in YOUR (language) of marks.

EXAMPLES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF MARKS

Options:

Switch mediums:

  • a color pencil
  • a watercolor pencil
  • charcoal
  • pen/ink

Fill page after page. Enjoy this PRIVATE EXPLORATION. Your personal diary of marks.

NOTE: THIS IS AN EXCELLENT METHOD TO DO WHILE PASSING TIME LIKE IN A WAITING ROOM, ON A FERRY or BUS RIDE, ANY TIME WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE TIME TO YOURSELF. YOU MAY GET INTERRUPTED; STOP AND RESUME AT ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY.  REALIZE THAT YOU MAY LIKE CERTAIN PARTS OF THE PAGE MORE THAN OTHERS. THIS IS OK. I LIKE TO TEAR THE PAGE INTO SECTIONS. AVOID ERASING! TRY TO GO WITH THE MARKS. SEE WHERE THEY TAKE YOU. 

Keep your tools, paper and drawing surface in a bag, carrying it with you where ever you go.

Art Supply Store Nice, France

When I travel I prepare a bag with various tools. I clip pictures of subjects from magazines for inspiration. I might buy a new tablet or better yet, I love to find an art store (say in Europe) to explore new tools that I aren’t available at home. I have a small back pack that is perfect for this purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Design, Rothschild Museum, VilleFranche, France

 

 

My established INTENT: to be prepared to record my experiences with drawing is in my conscious mind. My visual “feelers” are on alert. I am more likely to see more than I would otherwise.

Photos as inspiration reference:

This photo was taken at the Rothschild Museum in the lobby of the mansion. The vaulted ceiling was decorated with meticulously hand drawn lines.

 

 

Stones, Antibes, Frances, inspiration

This photo was taken on the grounds of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France. I consider this inspiration.

 


REVEAL

Optional!!

Reveal (share) your experience with someone ONLY if you are compelled. Listen to the reactions, comments. Realize how others SEE and respond to your MARKS. Take away what you want, dispose of the remaining. Some of the reactions may surprise (delight) you and some may not.

More about marks: As you make mark after mark (accumulation) you MAY notice a cluster (pattern) that resembles something realistic or interesting. How you interpret, respond to your marks is particularly notable. Don’t ignore this observation…instead…go with it!

Our Marks may communicate something completely different to another person. This is natural and to be embraced.

If you want to share your pages here PLEASE feel free to do so! If you want input….let me know.


 

MAKING ART IS ULTIMATE DISPLAY OF VULNERABILITY

When we present our art (mark making), we open ourselves to the world (universe); we are at our most vulnerable.

Vulnerability is when we are the MOST OPEN possible; no guard walls for protection, boundary or conditions.  We are bold enough (confident) to take the stand to be viewed (judged) to the core of our NAKED being.

Did I know this when I began to make art? NO!

Being an artist is WHO I am; I am hard wired to make art. Making art makes me happy. It feels natural and healthy.

I do not think about being judged. It is only natural to “hope” to measure up. But, who is doing the measuring? And, in any given situation (juried competition) who are you being compared to?

Listen to Brene Brown, TED talk topic: Vulnerability

The bottom line:

JUST MAKE YOUR ART AND OBSERVE

 

 

 

 

Visions Art Museum-Interpretations/Conversations

IN CROWD

has been accepted to:

VISIONS ART MUSEUM, SAN DIEGO, CA.
Exhibit: Interpretations-Conversations

Oct 25, 2017-Jan 2018

What an honor it is to be in this exhibit!

 

IN CROWD tells a personal story.

What a treat it was to be able to drive to San Diego to attend the opening of this exhibit. Not only did we enjoy the exhibit but also a bit of the town. I grew up in San Diego, got married in Coronado and then was redirected to the EAST Coast for most of my adult life, thanks to the Navy. So, when I do get a chance to visit San Diego, I become very nostalgic. It is still a fabulous town…sans traffic.


IN CROWD tells a personal story:

This story developed over my lifetime. I had no idea all of this was in my head or that this content needed to be extracted and brought to life.

I began the piece with one goal: to see if I could free hand stitch (no preliminary drawing on the fabric) the faces. This endeavor lead to a magnificent unfolding of dynamics between the “faces”. One in which I could not have predicted or halted; the energy that developed was unstoppable.

Telling a story made my work come to life.

DIVERSITY, 2013

Telling a Story wasn’t my focus until I made a piece titled: Diversity in 2013.  Diversity was a theme I came across and mentally connected with. The concept unfolded and was very successful; the piece sold before the gallery opening. However, the theme was NOT my personal story. The story was literally spelled out on the art quilt. It captured people and pulled them in. They were intrigued and this was my first realization of how art can be compelling. I realized that many people cannot relate to art for “art sake” as say purely as a composition. They want to (I think) but they often times are perplexed, confused or just lost. IF they can read text (don’t we all read text these days?) and have a way to connect, then they stop, linger, read and ponder and best of all –“get it”.

Prior to this time, I made art that had pure ART forms: A good composition, color, values, design. I was not comfortable to reveal personal things YET. I kept my life experiences to myself.

What I realized about IN CROWD was that MY story is EVERYONE’S story.

I now realize (even more) that this reveal was me being VULNERABLE. Wow!

This suddenly became obvious to me at the exhibit. When the microphone was handed to me to speak about my piece…I froze! (Thank you to the person who whispered…”take a deep breath”!)

I had no idea that I had stripped myself in public! And, it was all OK! Many people related and congratulated me. I had emotions I didn’t realize were brewing. So what does this mean for my future work?

Well now I have new found confidence and I intend to make another version of DIVERSITY. Only this version will have a personal story. I have more stories to tell! Once I crossed over the caution line…I can now be free and open.

If you want to listen to THEE best TED talk on Vulnerablity by Brene Brown, follow this link.


The faces of the people “came through me”.

While traveling, I always bring drawing materials, watercolor pencils and a water brush. I hope to capture my observations and record the views personally (rather than relying on a camera). Occasionally, there is little to see or nothing catches my attention. If this is the case, I challenge myself to conceptualize. Usually I default to random designs like a logo, a sign, a motif on a stair rail, etc.

I LOVE FACES

Travel-Drawing Preparation

I began to collect photos in magazines of faces. I keep a packet of these in my drawing tools bag. My tendency is to draw very exact and detailed, requiring a lot of time and attention; using a pencil, defining with fine shading lines.

To switch it up and relax I decided to challenge myself to conceptualize faces. I used black pen and white paper; which lead to a completely different result. Once I began one face lead to another until I had several pages filled with multiple faces with various scales.

 

 

The faces that emerged were intriguing…they had a unique gaze; avoiding eye contact. They multiplied; gather They marched right  onto my paper, direct from my imagination; I was fascinated. I did not know the m and they seemed to be lost and searching, yearning; I had to make sense of this presence.

BLACK PEN/WHITE PAPER
CONTINUOUS LINES

 What were they thinking? Where were they headed? Are they aware of the each other? Are  they trying to communicate? If so, to whom? If so, what was the message?
I love black pen on white paper- pure and clean LINES.

I love the immediacy of pen/ink….no erasing. What if a line or mark is not so good? Well, after a brief hesitation… it must be made to work. This leads to unplanned new lines, evolving, meandering. This is similar to free motion stitching.


LINES

Drawing is about seeing. How we see and what we see and how we interpret our world. A drawing is developed with a series of LINES. The graphite is deposited on the paper according to the application:

  • How dark or light
  • How close or far apart
  • How delicate or heavy
This can be attributed to stitching as well.
  • The spacing in between the rows of stitches-How close or far apart?
  • The weight of the thread-How heavy or fine?
  • The stitch length-How short or long?

Pencil Drawing- Graphite is spread onto the paper from the point of the pencil. The amount of graphite that is deposited is relative to the amount of pressure applied.

  1. How sharp or dull the point is.
  2. How hard or soft the lead is
  3. How the pencil is held-Straight up or on the side

Line techniques

 

Pen Drawing-The amount of ink that is applied is limited by the size of the pen point. Shading is accomplished by clustering lines closer and overlapping lines. Building up an area with more ink to create a darker value.

STITCHING AS LINES

I have been sewing and quilting my art for many years. This is done with continuous lines of stitching; a starting point and ending point uninterrupted. I prefer to have the stitching uninterrupted and continuous for as long as possible. This helps with strengthening the work and having less loose ends to deal with. I always hand tie every loose end;  thus, the fewer the better.

Consequently, this (habit) tendency spills over into my drawing. I tend to draw with ink with a continuous line. It is also relaxing, flowing and leads to unexpected lines which I like; I enjoy the discovery.


Back to the initial personal challenge I had: To see if I could stitch the faces free hand.

First attempt to stitch faces free hand. Black thread/white fabric

Success!

IN CROWD: A bit of color was added to define certain spaces.

detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE STORY

Who is the (self appointed arrogant) one who dictates and selects WHO is IN and WHO is out?

Why are we concerned with this? Why do we feel left out? Why do we gloat when we think we are IN?

Why are we bothered by those that feel left out? Why do we NEED to be accepted?

Those questions are the basis for my story.

My conclusion

TRUTH- There IS no such status, group, association! This is conjured up in our minds. This is based on How we value ourselves.

LESSON: IF you are presently in a group that makes you feel special, accepted and like you have arrived….I have NEWS! You are missing out! You are NOT aware of the wall preventing you from growing, learning and exploring on your own. TEAR DOWN THAT WALL! Some of us build the wall to protect ourselves; I have done that too.

REVEAL and COME to the best place of all…JUST BE YOUR NATURAL SELF AND DROP THE CONCERNS.

It is so simple when you strip it down to the essence.

If you can relate…leave a comment. And, leave one no matter what your position is. I would love to hear your take on this topic.