Saturday, July 19, 2008

Acadian Flycatcher in Pastel - Surprise Shapes

I think that this drawing is done. I've let it sit for a week while I looked at it. I made some minor changes, the main one being the addition of darker gray/browns to the upper part of the drawing so that it wouldn't be misread as sky.

As I've looked at it I realized that it isn't as much about color as I'd thought. Like most of my work, abstract or realistic, shape is very important. I'm not sure why I didn't realize that about this drawing. Now that it's done I see how much the tree limbs stand out. Perhaps because they are fairly realistic, and not based too much on my imagination, I just didn't think about them playing an important part in the 'art' of the drawing that I mentioned in an earlier post. But they do.

MY Artistic Convention(s)

As I've looked at my other work over the last week I realize that most of it involves a love of drawing, especially drawing in the sense of carving an object out of the flat dimension of paper or canvas. Sometimes those shapes are realistic, and strive to capture the contours of what I see. At other times they are abstract and more concerned with carving a new object from nothing. In both cases they generally show some of the process involved.

Showing the process involved in a work of art is a 20th century art convention. In the eyes of some most conventions eventually seem to be cliches. The most noticeable example of this I think is the gratuitous painterly drip. Nonetheless it is MY convention. I don't feel right hiding all aspects of the act of illusion creation that is the basis of most representational art. So if someone might wonder why I might not do smoother, more finished drawings, especially as I create the shapes, this is why. I just don't like too much smoothness and the hiding of the process of creating the illusion. For me there is some work involved in getting shapes right. I like to let some of that work show. I realize this is a convention. It does not in itself create better art. But it's my convention.

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