Art Museum Visits


My mother, who died at age 101 often said in her last few years “everything is past…” and I would tell her that there were events and experiences that were yet to happen. I think of that sentiment now whenever I experience anything new in my life. It reminds me to savor each experience as it happens.

I spent the month of July on a vacation to Vancouver, Alaska and Seattle. The Alaskan part was a two week cruise that included several interesting side trips as well as much beautiful scenery that inspired me and became source material for my art. I took photographs with my IPhone but not as many as I wish I had taken. Now I look back and realize that my memory is the only visual evidence I have of the Alaskan experience. The consequence is that I know my drawing will represent a personal evocation of my Alaskan Experience.

Just one iceberg floating by

Just one iceberg floating by

Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau Alaska

Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau Alaska

Digital drawing has made me into a miniaturist.  Previously I had been painting  very larger canvass or drawing and printing on  paper  that is 22 x 30″.  My digital drawings are on a standard IPad, 9.4″ x 6.6″ and the size of each drawing is very small.  These drawings can be reproduced in a larger size, but the fact that the drawings are so small changes the relationship of the image space in a very fundamental way.  Not only size, but the time it takes to draw an image is radically changed.  I may spend several hours on a drawing, but with an actual large drawing, it may take me days or even weeks to complete the work.  All this means a complete change in the way I think about constructing a drawing.  A digital drawing can be changed constantly.  Ideas can be expressed and tossed quickly.  A drawing on paper means that the gestures and marks are more permanent and therefore, more thought needs to be put into each line and stroke and color.  Digital drawings can be tried out in different color schemes, particularly when an app has many layers to work on.  An actual drawing is one layer.

Digital drawing is much more spontaneous than drawing on paper.  There are endless possibilities for experimentation in terms of colors, textures and shapes. This spontaneity makes it a particularly exciting format for abstract art.

Science Fiction

Monkey Sidebars word was Science Fiction

I have previously mentioned how the game of Monkeysidebars has stimulated my imagination by providing words to draw that may be unusual, provocative, or out of the odinary.

Waiting for Godot

Monkey Sidebars word was Absurd

I drew an imagined otherworldly landscape in reponse to the words Science Fiction.  The word Absurd made me think of Samuel Beckett’s classic play “Waiting for Godot” now playing on Broadway.  I’ve seen the play several times and each time I came away from the drama with many questions and numerous ideas about the meaning of life and art. This isn’t abstract and I used a Google  reference I had seen some time ago referring to the play. But in this case I wanted to express the isolated loneliness engendered by the dialogue in the play. It is a fairly literal depiction.  Sunday’s word is quagmire.  I don’t have that drawing yet.

Image

Abstract Sketch Club Drawing

Monkeysidebars words, selected by members, are announced in time for  Wednesday and Sunday posting.  My problem is that although  the words may have a particular and useful definition, the visual interpretation can be difficult for me.  My intent is to transform visual terms into an abstract image that will suggest the meaning of a word.  This image is my interpretation of the word “Ebullition.” By drawing a sense of explosive force I think I did do that. But it is up to the viewer to decide whether or not I achieved that goal. Today the word is “Herald” and it can mean an announcement or a standard bearer at an event.  Or portents of things to come or about to happen.  For example Daffodils are a herald of Spring.

Draw Something 2 is the upgrade to Draw Something. It is now much more than a charade game. It has become a full service drawing application with a number of drawing tools, including a watercolor brush and a highlighter tool.  There are patterns and a stamp tool as well as a crayon and an air brush tool.  It is possible to draw very realistic and  complex images. The charade aspect of the game is transformed, but there are still many players who want to play a game and do not want to try to draw something in a more advanced way. In addition, there are many people who play the game who do not want to learn to draw.  They just want to play a game on their tablets or smart phones. The serious artists who draw on the game  have created an enormous digital art gallery of their work. Anyone who plays the game has access to all of this amazing art.  Their art can be followed and artists become very popular with a huge public who is also playing the game.  In my case I have at this time, September 2013, over 27,000 followers. That number amazes me.

A consequence of the social aspect of DrawSomething2 is that the many players who are addicted to the game have started Fan Facebook pages where players can ‘friend” each other and engage in activities related to the drawing aspect of the game. Many artists belong to these Facebook groups and are able to display the art that they create in galleries provided by Facebook for the different fan sites.

At the same time, many of these same artists send their pictures to another app called Instagram.  It is on this site that the friendships among the players continue to expand because IG has a system of hash marks (#) and @ signs that refer artists to each other and to similar subjects.