Wednesday, May 20, 2009
You never know what you'll find
Last week I was looking desperately for a sketch I KNEW I had made and which I wanted to make into a linocut. No luck. I looked through every sketchbook I had.
I've been pulling sketchbooks off the shelf to share with a friend and colleague tomorrow (for a secret exciting reason to be named later) and voila! There, in the last place I expected, I found it. So... tomorrow expect a quick start to a new (only TWO passes, I SWEAR!) lino. Will simple be good? We'll see....
The curious thing about finding the sketch is that it was in a book marked "hundreds." A couple of years ago an oil painter friend and I challenged each other to create 3-4 thumbnail sketches each and every day for a year. 100 sketches per month! I had forgotten about what a fun and challenging exercise it was.
I had also forgotten that I had some interesting sketches in the books from that year. Weather, time, and bouts with laziness meant that I couldn't always make sketches from life, so I had to get creative about fulfilling the "assignment." It looks like I managed it in a few ways:
- Actual sketches of landscapes on location
- Life sketches at the zoo or museum
- Life sketches at the coffee shop
- Sketches of natural objects brought in to the house
- Sketches from photos
- and my personal favorite: Sketches from the TV! I had forgotten how fun this was. I would put in a DVD that I'd already seen a hundred times, and when an interesting composition came onscreen, I'd hit the Pause button. I limited myself to the length of time the image was paused before the screen saver came on.. on my machine I think that's only about 2 or 3 minutes. It was a GREAT exercise for recognizing strong compositions (and finding new respect for the cinematographer's craft), for finding the gesture of figures, and by golly, every once in a while I even managed to get a decent likeness of an actor in a very short amount of time.
Finding these books has rattled my cage a little bit. What am I doing to challenge myself right now? (Aside from the every day challenges of life in general.) I'm making a plan to spend a little time this weekend designing a new challenge and finding someone to help me stay accountable for it.
And starting a new lino from a long lost sketch.