"Living Gourd" 11 1/4" x 6" Pen
I am one of those artists that is guilty of being unable to describe to people why I do what I do in my art. Often people will ask what inspires me and I'll say, ever so eloquently, "Ummmm.... everything?". This never sounds professional and just confuses people, even if it is the truth. I was thinking about my process a lot as I was working on the above piece and am going to make an attempt at describing some of the process of how the above creature came to be. Don't worry, I'll use visuals.
This particular piece has a form that I love. The gourd. I picked one up off of the ground at a family reunion, over 10 years ago, because I had never seen one before and I was immediately fascinated. I have carted that particular gourd about with me through many moves and it always sits in my studio space as a source of inspiration. The gourd was the subject of a painting in college, a material for sculptures of gourd people, and it inspired some of my wood burned paintings which were the beginning of my drawing strange creatures. I can't explain my love of the gourd. It just is.
Generally my drawings will begin with a quick sketch and, lately, there seems to be a project that will cause me to start that particular sketch. This drawing started with a project idea I had for a local bar. I plan on doing a few fun drawings of creatures hanging around beer to show in this establishment. Here is the quick sketch and the more detailed sketch where these particular creatures first appeared.
After I sketched my new gourd creatures I fell in love with them. When this happens then they are guaranteed to show up in more than one finished drawing (note: creature life). Once I start to be able to see my creatures as having a life and personalities then I can't help but give them life in a drawing. It would be cruel not to!
I have been recently looking at some other artists' beautiful sketches online which helped me to remember my love of sketches. I've always loved drawings and paintings with loose free lines; something one would never guess by looking at my current body of work. Before I began this drawing I started to feel like I wanted to revisit some of my more painterly roots and experiment with my pens in a new way. That experiment resulted in the below color sketch (this scanned image cuts off part of the composition).
I took what I had learned about coloring from my experiment and decided to apply it to my final drawing in a more precise way. The result was a bit of a style departure in my coloring. I will be continuing to experiment with coloring with my Prisma Color pens. It is a relatively new media for me and experimenting will be what will help me master it. Also, while I didn't choose to use the above sketch's composition, a similar composition will probably show up in a future drawing. I love the idea of these guys as ant like creatures skittering about in a line in the desert.
If I were to describe the rest of my process and the ideas that I sifted through when working on "Living Gourds" then this would be the worlds longest blog post. So instead of continuing to write I've posted a few of my finished drawings that I looked at when working on this drawing. Each drawing is a learning experience and I always pull from the successes from previous pieces to help my current work. I'll leave it to you to make the comparisons and notice what I pulled from each work.
I'll write more about my process and ideas another day. For now, this is enough. I hope it was of some interest!