Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cats, Dogs , & SNAKES!

Every few weeks I find my self stuck in the house alone without a subject at hand to draw. Well, not quite alone, these days we have three cats with us and unlike the ladies of this home, they have no objections to posing for me. They seem to sleep most of the day anyway so how could they possibly object.  They are fun to live with (for the most part) and a real delight to draw. You do have to be quick because they hardly stay still.  It's a rare day when they stay asleep long enough for me to draw them fully.

The sheet above is typical of a sleeping cat drawing session.  Sure he's asleep but there's hardly an undisturbed minute when there are no shifts in position. I get many false starts and quite a few partial portraits.  Every once in a while, rather than trying to continue toward an entirely realistic picture I'll play with the unfinished image just to see what I can make of it.  Hey, cats and stars may be a perfect (notice I did not fall into "purr-fect") pairing but you never know! How about a mix of cats and dogs and snakes! Where did that come from?! 

 It may have been just a random doodle or I may have been inspired by my designer daughter's nice web-site. (ninapatina.com)  She's an artist (who likes snakes) with a strong interest in surface design, - you know, the patterns used for fabrics, dinnerware, - wherever the need.  I love her work and as you can see by checking her site, I'm strictly amateur in comparison.

But, -who knows, with this "Cats, Dogs and Snakes" pattern displayed here, someone like NinaPatina might see it and just BEG to use it on a big important project. The next thing you know I might be a famous designer, world renowned,  courted by major corporations for my expertise, taste and creativity, - money raining down on my handsome head. (Or not!)  Strangely enough, it is raining "Cats and Dogs" (no snakes)  right now at 4:30 AM.  Hey, I can dream can't I?

And you can dream. You should dream! A bit of odd doodling , a page of funny drawings may spark a direction, an interest that you'd never considered.  Don't be afraid to explore,  BUT - After you have done your exploring and found a direction, something you love, stick with it!  Make yourself the expert in that area. As a teacher I've needed to be good or at least conversant in a wide variety of art areas so that I could be useful to my students, but when you get out in the world of commerce, whether fine art, cartooning, portrait painting, digital movie magic,  etc, be a specialist!   Find a niche and make it yours. Make your mark as the expert in your field and let your style be your signature!

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."  Confucius

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."  Beverly Sills

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