I was up until 1am scratching out some sketches for my next ACEO series. Most of the time if I have something in mind I go straight into the linework on the cards and then go from there. But sometimes I have to do preliminary sketches to work out my ideas, especially if it’s complex or if its a figurative piece that is a bit more involved than a portrait. Sometimes I use elements and poses from previous drawings and sometimes I do something all completely new. I’m not the greatest at drawing things straight from my imagination, especially when it’s something I’ve never drawn before, so often I need to gather reference material. You should have seen me running back and forth from my camera to strike a pose with only 10 seconds to get ready for the shot to capture some photo references. If I had the money, I would hire a model but for now I have to use myself which is not fun for me. I prefer being behind the camera not in front of it.
This next series involves beings with wings but I want to make it clear that they are not angels. They’re simply avian beings. For the moment I’m calling the series “Dark Wing” but that may change as well as some elements to the drawings. The main focus is to have female figures with wings with a little hint of fantasy and magic weaved in somewhere but I’m not exactly sure as to how just yet. My underlying artistic goal is to meld together a beautiful blend of nature and the female form with touches of magic and fantasy into a personal style that is all my own. Unfortunately my work tends to be more so some off shoot of representational art than anything else. I have a ways to go to reach my goal but I’ll get there. Anywho, these are my first sketches that I wanted to share.
Well I said I was going to do it and I did it, I went and made this little Rainbow Daisy. Imagine a garden of these in your backyard…okay, maybe not, but it would be cool to see a little daisy like this out in the wild. 😊
What if I could get paid for every dot I inked, now that would be amazing.
Anywho, this is my current little bitty I’m working on to clear out some creative angst. I kind of like it just the way it is with the daisy left in pencil but I know me, I’ll feel compelled to fill it in with some color eventually. I’m thinking about going with a traditional yellow but then I’ve been wondering about using blue, maybe orange, hell maybe I’ll just color it in as a rainbow and call it a Rainbow Daisy.
…you know, I think I just might go with that. 😊
I’m happy to say that this little series is now complete. That do over in the beginning took some wind out of my sails but I made it through. For you lovelies who are interested this series is available in store at: www.qrumbley.com. I’m now off to fetch me some dinner and do some “clearing art” while channel surfing. Wishing you all a lovely evening. 😊
A budding collection of personal “clearing art”.
Ever caught yourself repeatedly doing something but never really knowing why or lacking in some sort of verbal framework to explain it? I have. Earlier today I had a moment where I questioned something I find myself repeatedly doing without understanding exactly why I keep doing it.
As I’m nearing the finish of my current ACEO series, “Koi Pond”, I caught myself thinking about not my next series, which I already have planned but rather another one of these little one off pieces I find myself doing in between series or major projects. I already know that I’m gonna do one. I even feel myself getting a bit eager to finish Koi Pond just so that I can. But up until now I never questioned why, I just did them. So today I asked myself “Why?” Why not just get crackin’ on my next project? Why do I keep doing these one off pieces for nothing more than just the benefit of being able to do them? And then it hit me. I’m doing what seems best described as “clearing”. Now you’re probably wondering what I mean. Well, as I thought about all of this it occurred to me that whenever I’m working on a project or preparing for one, I get a lot of creativity anxiety built up within. All types of anxiety starts swirling around such as “How am I gonna pull this project off?”, “Do I have what it takes to actually pull it off?” or “What if it doesn’t turn out how I imagine?”. Stuff like that gets stirred up in my internal feedback and I get all clinch jawed and knotted at the back of my neck. And no matter how many works of art I complete with satisfaction I experience this rush of creative anxiety. So when I do these little pieces of what I’m now personally calling “clearing art”, free of any expectations or intentions, a lot of that anxiety clears out. Doing them is like opening a pressure valve that allows all of that pinned up creative anxiety to escape and gives me time to reassure myself of my capabilities. After which I feel more focused and ready to tackle a new project.
For a moment there I was beginning to wonder was this some kind of odd quirk of procrastination of mine because I just couldn’t see myself jumping right into my next project. I literally feel compelled to do this which prompted me to question myself. I now see that I need this. It’s just the way that I flow. I need breaks of creativity that are free of expectations to recollect myself before I start on anything new. I guess all artists really do have their own unique processes when it comes to their craft and this is just a part of mine. You have to honor your process. 😊
Just a quick little update. After acquiring a new set of pens I’ve spent the evening inking away on these little fishes. One more piece to this series and I’ll be scribbling away on something new.
Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it, any artist who works in pen and ink is insane…okay, maybe not insane but definitely a different breed. Pen and ink is an unforgiving medium. Once you lay down that first stroke, that’s it. There’s no erasing. You can try adding more ink to blend the stroke in but if it doesn’t look right you have to face the inevitable…starting over. It happens. It’s an unfortunate part that comes with the territory of being a pen and ink artist and we all encounter it at some point. The longer you work in the medium you learn ways and techniques to cover up mishaps but sometimes there’s no saving a drawing and I’m quickly learning I may be more prone to these mishaps working in color compared to just black ink. There’s just no covering up when two colors don’t work together. So I had to start over from scratch with my first drawing. Thank goodness for lightboxes which allowed for an easy transfer otherwise this series might have went from three pieces to two. I think this time I got the color worked out better. I guess sometimes it is better the second time around.
Before There Was Time
Not everything is for sale. As an artist some pieces you just can’t part with. Maybe a piece carries fond memories or maybe you put a lot of yourself into it that you just can’t bare to let it go. So you keep it. Then there’s the unfortunate circumstance where you may realize that people just might not be willing to pay you for what your art is truly worth. So instead of devaluing your work and your worth as an artist, you keep it. Hence my reasoning for creating small works of art that I feel can be sold an affordable price without feeling that I’m raping myself. It’s sad that people expect artists to sell their work at Walmart prices. Anywho, here’s a small bit of the pieces I’ve kept for myself either out of love or worth.
“A true love will protect your tender heart, not expect for you to develop a thicker skin.” ~Q.
I now have the lineart drawn out for what I will be calling the “Koi Pond” series. So far it looks good but what I’m a bit intimidate by is all the ink that will be required to fill in the background to give the appearance of actually being in a pond…or at least some kind of body of water. Thank goodness I have some extra pens on hand because it may take two or three to finish this series out. Wish me luck.
On another note while drawing out this series, creativity struck me and I found myself scribbling out thumbnail sketches for another three piece series. I’m pretty excited about it but I’m not going to mention much right now. What I will say is that it will be a black and white series that may prove to be the most challenging for me for what I have in mind. I’m calling it “Broken Wing” but that is all that I’m going to hint at for now. 😊
If you’re curious as to what my process to stippling looks like, I’ve done a few timelapse videos, from a while ago, for a behind the scenes look. This particular video is of a ACEO drawing I did called “Phree”. I also have a basic visual how-to that briefly explains how I use color that can be viewed here.
I took into consideration everyone’s suggestions on what I should tackle for my next series of drawing and decided to do a three piece series of Koi fish. Right now I’m thinking of calling it “Blue Pond” but that’s subject to change. Here’s a quick work in progress snapshot of my first sketch.
We are victims of our own idealism, tragedies before our own perfectionism. Happiness is a choice that is dependent upon nothing other than us deciding to simply be happy. The sun doesn’t need to be shining in order for us to smile. A six figure career doesn’t need to be obtained in order for us to feel joy. A lover doesn’t need to be perfect in order for us to love. And everything doesn’t need to be right in the world in order for us to be kind. We place far too much of our happiness upon external things and circumstances, casting happiness off into some future existence that we hope to be rewarded with after we achieve some preconceived idea of success. Happiness isn’t an object to be obtained. Yet we have been so thoroughly trained to look towards external things in order to be happy that we live although it is something that we need to strive after, something that we need to chase, when all we have to do is stop and look within. When we see that it doesn’t take much to laugh, to smile, to love, to create or to feel joy, we will see that happiness is within us and that it is a choice that is within our grasp with each new day we awaken to, leading us to realize that life doesn’t need to be perfect in order to be happy.
In the spirit of Paul Signac, I tried my hand at doing a little landscape piece. I’ll be the first to admit that Paul is definitely better at this than I am. I see much more practice in my future. 😊
An Cove In Saint Tropez ~ Paul Signac