Sometimes I love complexity. I can revel in the challenge of making visually rich images with multiple techniques, materials, and stylistically diverse elements work together. I will even revel in bringing more than one design strategy into play in a single work. I do that pretty regularly in both my large drawing and my panel painting series.
Right now though, I am craving simplicity!
Perhaps it is the stress and upheaval that SARS CoV-2 virus and the havoc playing out around the world. Or maybe the sudden separation from all my artist colleagues and students after a year of wonderfully intense sketching activity I’ve had locally and across the country.
Whatever it is, it seems that I am deferring more often to the practice of very direct, improvisational sketching. Notice too that I seem to be deferring to slightly wilder ink lines. My mark making with both pen and brush is nearly the freest, most playful and loosest that I tend touse.
My subject choices seem to differs a bit from my norms as well. In part that is because of the “stay at home” directives but I think think I may just want to keep everything on a basic level. So both of these two are sketches of view right around our house; pots on the front steps and flowers just a few steps down the walkway from the screened-in porch.
it might also be a reaction, a subconscious desire to concentrate the most local and very accessible objects and spend time being more engaged with the natural world. Is there some form of desire to retreat from the world’s complexity at work here? Is it a use of sketching as a salve for all the irritations of our current news cycles?
Truthfully, I don’t know.
I’m not sure that it matter right now if I can figure it out. I am just enjoying working with ink, color and my brushes; looking mostly for the sake of looking. I could talk about the joy of mixing color or the use of silhouettes and negative spaces in sketching. Normally that IS what I would do. But not today.
PS: To see a video of the Tomatoes being created, click on the link below. Fair warning, it is my first ever video so … it is VERY low tech, has poor timing/editing, and it is silent. What? me, silent? Remember, I am trying to stay a bit simple for now!
Be safe; stay well everybody.