Thursday, January 22, 2009
Enticing the Muse
I have, it turns out, about eight sketch books of varying sizes if you don't count the little ones that fit in purse or brief case to take with. At the moment most of those eight are leaning open around my studio with a sketch of one sort of another with the Conte' sticks mentioned in the previous blog. Yes, I have been having fun. I even made another trip to the art store (this can be rather like a pilgrimage to Mecca) to get various shades of gray Conte' pencils.
And I am about to conduct an experiment on canvas surfaces. I use watercolor canvas for my paintings and have been using prestretched canvas. A watercolorist of my acquaintance uses gessoed canvas like people that paint with oil and acrylic. And another when she cannot get the size she wants in prestretch watercolor canvas applies absorbant ground to regular canvas. So I got two regular gesso surfaced canvases and am going to apply absorbant ground to one and not the other and paint two churches on them using the same pallette of colors.
But I am not through drawing. Or should I say playing? I think the danger as artists is to take ourselves too seriously from time to time. I generally find that occurs for me after a round of successful sales. The temptation is to produce more of what just sold. But art is a journey and not necessarily a destination.
Yes, we call all picture our favorite works of a particular artist like Starry Night for Van Gogh or Nude Descending a Staircase for Duchamp or Gernica for Picasso but it is wise to remember that none of these was the end of his journey but just a step in the trip. And to be able to continue our journeys we have to entice our muse to stay involved.