Monday, February 8, 2010

The Buddy System…

Never go into your studio alone. Always let someone know where you’re going to be, and stay close. So, just in case you don’t come out, we’ll know where to look. Dangerous business. You’d think someone would have mentioned that little tidbit back at the Academy. “Listen up guys, this is powerful stuff we’re learning here, nothing to play around with. We haven’t lost anyone in 35 years, and we’d like to keep it that way.”

If you spend enough time forcing yourself to see a certain way, you're going to end up seeing a certain way. Take it from me. I seem to have misplaced the off button. “Oh, what a beautiful sunset… Not bad... but I would have moved that mountain peak over to the left just a bit and then the clouds on the right are a little busy. Yeah, I would lose those. Now the focus becomes the treetops in the foreground and how they catch the orange light just the right way directing your eye back up toward the glow coming off the mountains. Ta-Da! Next.

I could be at a gathering with friends, completely caught up in the conversation and before I know it, I'm not hearing a thing. I’m completely focused on thier facial expressions and body posturing. It’s fascinating. “Hmmm…” I ponder.  “Look at how even in the darkest shadow area under the jaw there is still enough detail to define the form. Make a note of that.” Or “Look how that subtle dip in the corner of the mouth changes the expression from amusement to sincerity.” Luckily, these are good friends and they make plenty of allowances for me cuz I’m one of those artist types. 

The payoff? Ideas! Pure gold in my world, and they come fast and furious. Being observant, knowing yourself and how you feel about things is the key. It’s the artist’s vocabulary.

"The Day I Could Fly"

 Endsheet thumbnail sketch

And  the final painting

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