An example of intuitive choices is given by this small painting that I did from memory. We have daily visitations by Whitetail deer at my house, and so reproducing one on paper doesn't require actually looking at one - memory is good enough. The trick, for me, is in rendering a four-legged animal because I almost never draw them. Anyway, this was the result of my memory sketch of the buck.
After this one hung on my studio wall with a piece of tape for about a month, I looked at it and wondered why I had made these linear and color choices. I realized that there are several layers of observation in this image, none of which I was thinking consciously about when I drew it.
Deer, while considered color blind, don't actually see in black and white, either. According to the science, they are supposed to see the the ultra-violet, and perhaps also the infra-red spectrum spaces. They have been shown to respond to blue, and possibly yellow. Why did I choose to bathe this image in blue? Was I thinking, at some level, about the way deer see? Consider also the fact that they aren't binocular in the same way that people are. They see outlines, but not much depth. Movement is the thing they respond to, and they trust less of what they see, but everything that they smell.
Whitetail Heaven shows the vague, broken outline of this buck, who is sniffing the air at dusk and he is in motion. Weird how this turned out that way. Strange, in fact.
Maybe I'm making too much of it. I gotta get out more.
This weekend, I started on a new project that is a wonderful departure for me. I hope you'll be able to see it completed in the next month or two, but I'll keep it under wraps for the time being. Hee hee. It should be very cool.
My hands are very full with daddy duty now that school is out. And, that caught me by surprise. We watched the Eddie Murphy movie, Daddy Day Care, and got some laughs over the whole scheme of dad taking care of the youngsters.
If you live in the Oakland or San Francisco areas, be aware that I will be teaching a workshop in your area in the next few months. The date will be announced, along with the venue, soon. Contact me if you are interested. The announcement for On-Demand Workshops is here.
Below is the flyer for my new "On-Demand" workshops. On Demand means you can now host a workshop in your area. Putting together a workshop involves finding a potential venue, and gathering 5-10 students, and we can set a date.
The best thing for a workshop, I think, is when artist's can get a breakthrough and find new strength in their paintings. I appreciate the very hard work my students put in to do this, and I have a feeling others will want to endure experience this same kind of fun at one of my on-demand workshops.
"I Use Matisse's Method. Matisse Said, 'I Have No Method.'"
I am teaching a small group of Portland area artists in Katherine van Schoonhoven's beautiful studio. Kvan lives in Battleground, WA, and she blogs at Art and Music. We share a love for abstraction in the landscape, and she posts about the workshop here.
It took some courage to begin a fresh work for my demo, which was of a subject viewed in the Columbia Gorge on my drive over from eastern Washington. Luckily, I was pleased with the results. Whew.
Thank you to the friends who stopped by to see me at the ArtFest. It was interesting, and very enjoyable, to meet readers of The Colorist whom I've not met before (and who don't show up on Statcounter at all!)
Next weekend I'll be in the Portland area teaching a pastel workshop. It looks like we are entering the busy time of year.