I've discovered the best place to paint on a sunny day is sitting in the doorway of my new cave-like art studio. I like the indirect interior light, but it is a bit gloomy, although perfect for black/white drawing. It is not so great for cheerful color work. So my first painting experience here has been me sitting in the doorway with my back to the passing summer camp children, my easel inside and slightly to the right. This will work for vertical and smaller work, but horizontals will have to be inside the cave.
It's humorous to hear the sounds of young kids and moms/dads coming closer and closer down the walk, chatting away, and then all of a sudden... silence. If the silence lasts long enough I figure someone is interested, so I turn around and smile. Yesterday I saw the most beautiful blue eyes on a young boy, as he beamed at me with curiosity and wonder. Another child immediately dropped her eyes and pulled out of my sight line. She reminded me of me, so long ago: taking in so much right brain material she couldn't handle left brain conversation.
At the bottom of Tracy Martin's blog page (see link below) is a video of a collaborative art experience. One photographer is taking a photo of a paint artist while a second photographer and another paint/photographer artist is in the background, giving support. This video shows how comfort with collaborative creative intent can bring depth to the surface.
It's interesting to check out the artwork of the subject, as well as that of his partner. I imagine them living together with their visions intertwined. You will find the names of the artists and links to their websites in Tracy's blog, above.
One of the delights of art is using unpleasant experiences to stimulate one's muse, thereby turning difficulties into positive experiences. I had no idea until the end of creating this drawing that a spider would be hanging there, although I did know something unpleasant was clearly afoot when I intentionally drew those eyebrows. I am curious right now about what was the real life inspiration behind Little Miss Muffet.
Last Thursday I wandered into a gallery that housed a few Roy DeForest paintings. He taught the life drawing classes during my college years at Davis. Yes, he did bring in his dogs and posed with them, his wry smile askew. My lessons-learned from him are more about trusting my original thought than about drawing form in light and shadow, as he taught during his somewhat traditional drawing class. He graded on a curve, the only art professor I experienced doing so. He argued openly with us about this, hinting that a prudent artist must be aware that he/she is judged on a curve throughout life. What a hot topic, still!
I have a very high respect for the music world, where one artist plays in harmonic communication with another, each bringing unique gifts to the table that together create something more wonderful than the singular thoughts by themselves.
What I love about the jazz world is the musicians can't praise each other enough! If I ever feel like the world is ungrateful, all I do is turn on jazz radio and hope for an interview with a musician. I'm soon feelin' the Love!
The visual art scene is far more solitary in expression, and it's not common practice to provide a soapbox at a gallery to coax the artists into naming their inspirations. Many times I have wished I could get out of my constantly info-receiving head long enough to call out the names of my heroes.
When I started this blog it was because curious minds who lived far from me wanted to see my art. I therefore have kept the images all my own. But I am delighted to see now that this blogging has opened a door to that shout out I have been craving.
Today I'm thinking about Tara who is someone who grew up with my husband's family, and thusly had not been a close influence on the development of my life. And yet, two years ago Tara "saved my life" more than once by just walking in the door and gifting us with her personal expression. What an inspiration.
The drawing above is in honor of the "music" she played that soothed my sideways world back then. So, in a way, with her doing her thing, and me now doing my thing in response to her thing, we are actually making music together... just from a distance and over time.
This is how art works. Influences that matter go deep, and there is no telling when the music will bubble up. But it will.
As we see in the movie "Midnight in Paris," the dark reveals our salvation. This is what I paint: the beauty in the dark that will lead us forward into the light.
(I cracked up laughing when I opened the door to the walk-in storage room in my new studio (it used to be a photography darkroom) and saw it was painted black on the left and white on the right, split right down the middle.)
The Vista painting "Within and Through" is a small piece created in 2008 that hinted at a potential for creating very large art if I ever had the physical space to do so. I now have a large work wall and am wondering what will come next.
I am a visual person who draws and paints about life, viewing the world from a variety of perspectives. Since I have one foot in civilization and one foot in nature, and my head isn't afraid of deep caverns or dizzying heights, I end up in some pretty interesting places. ~ ~ ~
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I have two blogs. Toldileigh.blogspot.com muses about the world through the lens of my art mind. The second blog, Maybeperhapsifyouwill.blogspot.com, is a bunch of nonsense I create by harvesting characters from my artwork and giving them dialogues.
All art/writings in blogs copyright Leigh Toldi unless otherwise specified.