When I got back into drawing after a long hiatus, I initially started off working in sketchbooks, particularly Moleskines. At the time I had it in mind that this would be my main medium. I envisioned myself creating my own sketchbook picture book of amazing pointillism drawings that would later expand into printed volumes to fill a bookshelf. It was an ambitious idea.
Well, things change.
I just so happened to stumble upon these delightful little things called artist cards and fell in love. Immediately I found the cards to be easily mobile which was great for when I did any traveling but still wanted to get some drawing done. Add to that they’re easy to mount and with the size of matte board that I use it’s relatively easy to find a frame for them. To top it off the idea of creating these wonderful works of art at such a small size, I found both challenging, fascinating and a bit against the grain. In a culture where we tend to try to do everything big, going in the opposite direction is liberating and less exhausting. There’s something about art that is small but draws you in that creates a certain quiet intimacy that I never really felt while looking at a larger than life painting. So I made a complete switch to artist cards and haven’t looked back.
The thought of presenting a well worn Moleskine full of completed pen and ink gems is still a lovely idea to me so here are a few sources of inspiration from artists who have done just that. 😊
I’m always on the look out for contemporary pen and ink artists, whether widely known or relatively obscure. I discovered the following two pen and ink artist on Instagram just recently and they have come to be my current source of inspiration in getting better at pointillism/stippling as well as just pen and ink art overall.
Xavier Casalta is a French artist who uses stippling to create a variety of amazing drawings, from botanical art, portraits to signs and lettering. You can view more of his work on his website at: http://casaltaxavier.com
Philip Harris is a freelance illustrator in the UK who creates editorial, packaging and book illustrations using dip pens and technical pens. He tackles a variety of subject matter from landscapes and animals to portraits and flora. You can view more of his work on his website at: http://philipharrisillustration.co.uk
Or is it highly skilled copying?
I’ve been wondering about this lately as I see a growing trend towards photo/hyper realistic art. The skill to draw or paint at such a level is phenomenal and inspiring but if you’re just recreating a photograph on canvas what is it that makes it artistic? Is it one’s skill in being able to reproduce realistic images in ones chosen medium or is there more to it?
The Apotheosis Of The Slavs
“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
If there is any work of art that is a glimpse into my soul, I would have to say it is The Slav Epic by Alphonse Mucha.
Although Mucha is more notably remembered for his poster illustrations of lovely women with flowery decor and fanciful graphic lettering, as well as being one of the well known artists of the Art Nouveau movement. For me, even though I greatly admire his illustrations, which are often a source of inspiration, it is The Slav Epic that has always captivated me the most. There’s something deeply emotive about the work. And the many years it took to for Mucha create such exquisitely impressive paintings, which he considered to be his life’s masterpiece, is something to be in awe about. I hope that one day I can create something as amazing from my own cultural history.
The Slav Epic is a series of 20 huge paintings depicting the history of the Czech and the Slavic people as a celebration of Slavic history. Unfortunately with the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Mucha work was denounced and he became a target during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. He died in the summer of 1939…but thankfully his beautiful works live on.
You can see more Alphonse Mucha’s art at the Mucha Foundation website, http://www.muchafoundation.org
The Slavonic Liturgy In Great Morvia
The Celebration Of Svantovit
The Slavs In Their Original Homeland
I don’t remember exactly when or how I came across Aubrey Beardsley. Bits and pieces of a high school library on a sunny afternoon seem to be the only clues that my memory can conjure up. But I do remember very vividly sitting in my bedroom and feeling proud of the personal copy of “The Climax” that I had just completed. So I can say with certainty that it was sometime during my senior year in high school that I became acquainted with the fella.
If you have been following my posts over the last year then you know I have a love for the simplicity of line drawings and Beardsley is one of those artists who captures that quite well in many of his ink illustrations. Now anyone who has ever been brave enough to have studied his work is aware that it can be a bit bizarre and risque, especially for the times in which he created. I admit, that was part of what I liked about it back then but now a days, nothing is all that risque. Besides his use of ink and lines, Beardsley was most all my gateway artist into the art movement of Art Nouveau. This was a style and movement that even ’til this day still influences my work and ideas about art.
The Dancer’s Reward
Venus Between Terminal Gods