Friday, November 16, 2012

Art Speaks!

I'm tempted to say again, "Now for something completely different!", but I'll resist the urge. These works are different from one-another in subject, style,  different AGAIN from most of the work previously published here but oh so very much related in terms of materials and color.

The first is a type of "certificate", a form I use for a variety of gift items,  like births, weddings or any other significant celebration.  This particular Wedding Certificate for my friends Marie and Jay is about 10 inches across with (If I remember correctly) 14 inches of blank space below.  I arrive at the reception with the piece in a simple protective folder and circulate through out the early stages of the celebration, gathering the signatures and well wishes from all the guests in the space provided. When I'm sure all present have added their greetings, I pop it into a prepared mat and frame then with added bow, place it among the other gifts ready to be opened. It's a very personal gift that will be appreciated at least as long as the marriage lasts! (We know that's often a challenge but I believe in this one)

The piece below is more personal, more cartoonish obviously, and much more an observation of unhappy fact than any sort of celebratory work.  At 5x5" it is in fact, a small observation and recognition of the pain and profound loss engendered by my old spinal injury. Yes, I know, it is probably not as interesting to others as it is to me but as a significant fact of my present life, it does loom large as a recurring theme in my work.  No need now to pursue that aspect further. Later!

I show it  here for two reasons: First to point out the common materials and color plans of the two illustrations.  Though the techniques are a bit different, both use the same Steadtler Pigment Liner pen and are colored with my favorite Prismacolor pencils, - just as if it were a fine coloring book!

Secondly, I want to point up my previous assertion that anything in this world is worthy of consideration as subject. You the artist are the director of your own creative life and as such, have the privilege and responsibility to choose your own subject matter, - producing something of significant interest to you and lasting interest to your viewers.

As you develop your theme(s) you decide which pictorial elements are emphasized or played down via your control of the design aspects of your creation. You use repetition of color, of shape and even line character.  Very importantly for visual interest, there is also variation in those same elements.  Look, for example, at the blue background shapes in the cartoon, - all basically vertical, somewhat rectangular and texturally similar.  Repetition and variation are key to good design!  Throw in contrast, as in the white body shapes against the blue, to emphasize an important aspect and you have a complete work!

But your control is not all!  In describing art work, I often write that the exhibited work speaks for you (and itself!) but while you are in the midst of creation, the work often speaks directly to you, subtly suggesting or even demanding the direction you will take it!   When those first few lines and shapes are put down, there is immediately a challenge to make the whole thing work. Step back and just look. Look slowly and let the work speak to you.  Listen!

"Work is more fun than fun."   Noel Coward

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."   Betty Ford

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