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

 

 

 

 

News: Moving On With New Inspiration

Relocation-

I now live in Arizona…which compared to Washington, is like another planet!

Wow! There is so much to learn about Arizona. I have met the most delightful people everywhere I go. And…the people LOVE and respect the arts and artists here! There are numerous festivals, galleries and art events year round.

My new home is amazing!A true Spanish/Mediterranean hacienda complete with a a studio space…of course! That was a requirement. Yes, life is good!

New Inspiration

Prior to the move I was actively making art with new inspiration and enthusiasm.

I went on a fabulous trip to Amsterdam last Autumn. Among the numerous experiences the MOST  outstanding was my visit to the Van Gogh museum. I returned home exhilarated! I promptly ordered painting supplies and proceeded to paint.  It had been over 30 years since I had painted (a proper painting). How fun it was to get my hands messy and explore…just to see what might develop. To my surprise I saw a style presenting and I quite liked it.

Subject: Women with an exaggerated format.

Carmel
10″ x 12″ Acrylic

Not every attempt was successful but each canvas presented a new learning experience.

 

Dream Girl 12″ x 12″ Acrylic

 

Kristina 10 ” x 12″ Acrylic

I am currently setting up a new gallery page for my paintings. I will be offering them for sale as canvas prints. The best part about a print is the ability to select the size.

Often after I finish a piece I think “Wow! wouldn’t this look great if it were LARGE!”  That is exactly what I did with Carmel. I ordered a print size 30″ x 30″ and Wow!

 

Here she is size 30″ x 30″ in the foyer of my previous house in Washington…a show stopper! Everyone stopped to stare at her when they entered the house. And now, she has established her presence in my current house.

The canvas is deep which looks very nice and doesn’t require a frame. The sides of this painting are painted a soft olive green.

 

Price for a canvas print this size is $260 + $15 shipping within the US. Allow 3 weeks for delivery.

Contact me to order.

Let me know what you think about these paintings.

 

New Art

I have completed five new pieces.

This collection can be seen at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Island Washington

The original inspiration came from this piece:

Circle the Block V 14"h x 31"w

Circle the Block V
14″h x 31″w

(Yes this is the source for my header above.)

The onset of this application began with a pieced composition that was good but the color was not. I would have liked the colors to be more vibrant. How can I accomplish that? Is there any solution for this composition? I thought that if I could enhance the color of each section that might work so I spontaneously began to cut small rectangles out of colors that would contrast and relate to the base color but also enhance it. I realized that putting one layer of pieces over the base color improved it but not quite enough. I began to place a second layer strategically and this worked. However, because I was working spontaneously, I didn’t think the process through and I begin to panic. How will I attach these without messing up the placement? They were too small to pin and too many. My only choice was to carefully carry it to the machine and begin to sew….while holding my breath. This was next to impossible but somehow I managed to sew each one in place.

I was so happy with the results I wanted to do another, but with a better method. I left it out where I could see it hoping I would think of a solution. A year passed and one day I decided to make another attempt. This time I would attach the pieces with adhesive.

I began with new gusto feeling confident that I could focus on the creative process rather than the method.

Fusing is done with a product called fusible web. This is an adhesive that is acid free and is a thin layer on a backing paper. The fusible web is applied to the back of a piece of fabric with an iron. The backing paper remains on the back until you are ready to fuse the fabric to a surface.

I sketched several compositions with a concept: While thinking about hand stitches and how they are rhythmic running in rows. I also set up sections similar to the original piece.

The stitches (as shapes) were enlarged within the sections. Using this concept I decided to make the first piece 12″ x 12″ with rectangle shapes about 1/2″ wide by 1 1/4″ long. circle the block I_detail

Using cotton fabric with various solid colors and batiks many shapes are cut out to have an assortment to work with. The shapes are layered with smaller rectangles in multiple contrasting colors. The colors interplay and create a vibrant texture and effect.

 

Circle the Block I in progress

Circle the Block I in progress

The process:

Each composition is divided into several sections. The base layer (background) was cut from several hand dyed cotton fabrics for each section. Specific colors are used to provide a vibrant background for the shapes. Strips of contrasting fabric cover the raw edges of the sections. Each section was developed separately with shapes in color collections.  Each section of the composition stands out but also integrates the composition.

The design, batting and a backing fabric are layered together and machine stitched with various colors of thread to add texture and further secure the shapes.

The process was tedious. As each section was developed more ideas for color combinations were realized. In addition to rectangular shapes, squares and circles found there way into the combination.

As the art developed inspiration from the enlarged stitch shapes evolved. Once the composition was complete I studied it and decided the design resembled cars parked in a parking lot. This made me think about looking for a place to park and often times we must circle the block to find the best lot.

Thus the titles: Circle the Block

 

Circle the Block I 12" x 12"

Circle the Block I
12″ x 12″

Circle the Block II

Circle the Block II
12″ x 12″

 

Circle The Block III 12" x 12"

Circle The Block III
12″ x 12″

Circle the Block IV

Circle the Block IV
10″h x 20″w

All of the pieces are mounted to painted canvas. They look really sharp hanging on the wall.

circle the block I_hangingA

Circle the Block II_hanging 2

Circle the Block III_hangingCircle the Block V_hanging