Feb 24 2012

Drawing and broken bones.

I have a tendency to get overly excited about stuff I get involved in. That being said, I am recently rekindled my love of drawing.  I am incredibly rusty but I am determined to not only to get back into to my prime but sharpen my skills even further.

I can see now where I was making my mistakes.  But it is something that I do reflexively that needs to root out.   Kind of like a badly set bone that has slightly re-healed and then needing re-broke to be reset.

And about as painful.

I am severely inpatient and this is going to take a long time…Frustrating long to say the least.  Since however I enjoy my work I want to change and become better. Not just draw the same things over and over again, but do something better.


In the mean time I will continue to draw and enjoy all the tiny little steps in between were I am now…and the “better” I am looking for

Feb 21 2012

My first love was illustration. Its mistress ended up being photography. I am trying to have a threesome.

I have always believed in the power of the sketch.  I have a tendency to leave it at the sketch. To me when people “finish” some work it does not have the same level of energy in once did. It seems to be a process in which the idea that the artist was intending to work at is at some point entombed.  I attribute this to a lack of either skill or vision by the artist. Either way the artist at some point loses the feeling or buries it in the wrong technique.  I worry that in my case it is a mix of both; not being emotionally able to finish the work I intended and not having the skills sharpened enough to do it justice.

A couple weeks ago, in trying to restart my portrait photography, I submitted my work to an open critique.  It was to a bunch of professional photographers and they were neither kind nor subtle. They basically informed me what I have should have been told a long time ago.  My work lacked direction, it lack professionalism, lacked skill at mastering the elements, and my work also would look better if I didn’t show anybody ever again.  In essence, it sucked.

It actually did take a while for me to stop licking my wounds, but they were right on all accounts. I could see all the points they made and agreed. It made me take a good look at my art in its entirety and not just as pieces that I am working on.  All the things that I love to do can be combined and that I would need to work on all the different media I like to work in.

This critique has made me take stock in my skill set: what I need to sharpen and work on. I want to combine both drawing and photography both together.

t has also encouraged me not to shy away asking the hard questions and doing the type of art I want to do.  I have always wanted my work to be safe and very non-threatening.  I am not exactly sure what has stopped me in past from making my work what I have wanted to honestly express.  I don’t know if it was mere lack of vision, not wanting people viewing my work to make harsh judgments about me and my work, or even worse and more complex; I wasn’t didn’t want to look at what I wanted this work to be.

I am sure the answer is there somewhere.  I would even add to the list that I haven’t taken the time to figure out what I wanted in the first place.

Feb 6 2012

What I do and how I do it.

If you have ever been to church or that type of gathering you may have heard of “unspoken” prayer requests. The person who wants the prayers asks silently (or through someone else) because he is either too embarrassed to ask for himself or it is too personal or painful situation to talk about. Later, when someone close to him dies of something horrible you are shocked. You wonder “Why didn’t he tell me/us this before?” This question, if actually asked, is usually answered in an indignant manner “What do you think the unspoken prayer request was about?”

I have trouble listening to people when the give me feedback on my work. It is really not on purpose. For some reason either mentally I filter this feedback out or the people giving me feedback left something unsaid.

I feel the feedback is all good but the specific thing I need to hear is sometimes left unspoken. After many years of having all the bits and pieces floating out there, they are now all connected. I now understand what I doing wrong.  However I had to hear it was from one of the unkindest sources: other pro photographers.

The only thing I wish is that someone had told me these problems years ago, in a way I couldn’t filter out. I am sure someone has tried, but for some reason didn’t say the right key phrases to put the gears in motion.

Moving on, I am not sure how to get this to happen sooner in the future. I have a bad problem with being able to ask the right question to elicit get the right sort of feedback. In order to move to next level of my work I have to figure this out.

So I will put it out there now… I had no idea that I was as bad as I was with people pictures. I, in fact loved my work, but didn’t understand why others didn’t.