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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Sketching -

Trying to stay awake in church today... Kids are by far the funnest to draw, but they are so darn wiggly! (Plus, most of my views are of back of heads. Cute, but not as interesting as faces).

I've been thinking about my goals as an artist/illustrator. If I could chose anything to be working on, what would it be? An interesting thing to contemplate since I haven't had much in the way of personal art time for going on 3 years now. I've had some thought provoking correspondence with Eric Orchard about this since some of our interests and approaches are similar. He came to the conclusion (I hope you don't mind me quoting you here Eric): "I've been writing in my sketchbook about it all evening. I find, for myself, it really comes down to my sense of identity. And I think of myself as a genre artist, not a strictly picture book artist. I reached this conclusion because all of my work has the fantastic in it, that's what I'm always drawn to.More so than picture books, though I love doing picture books ..."


At first glance, I thought - yeah! me too! But on closer introspection, I realize that I really do also love doing 'real' children, in 'real' settings. Or animals. And turn me loose on a botanical, herb-based project, and I'm all over that! I love the mythic, the fairy tale, the magical and fantastical, but also the beauty of the mundane, finding the warmth and appeal in the everyday... I'm fascinated by the field of more mature fantasy illustration, but many of my interests plunk me right down firmly in the realm of picture books and the children's genre...

So, I am still conflicted. I've been trying to make lists or descriptions of what draws me the most - and they are long and complex (focus has always been an issue for me. What to do when you like nearly everything???).

How do any of you narrow your focus? How do you determine what is truly primary, your 'identity' as Eric calls it?

7 comments:

Eric Orchard said...

These are just beautiful drawings, Tara! And very much "church" poses. I do the same thing in church and the sketches always have a specific feel to them. And thanks for the tag! I sound OK out of context! LOL.

Vickie said...

Love the sketches. I never thought about taking my sketchbook to church, hm---m. I wonder if someone is truly evolving then do they have a true primary? I'm just now really working on my skills as a hobbyist so listening to this conversation with Eric and now you, causes me to wonder about that. I realize in the beginning a I may have to narrow my focus so I might become more accomplished. However, and not that I'll get there as I have too much to learn, but wouldn't you become stagnant if you only ever did one thing? I'm afraid things would become routine, that is if I ever get there. Right now everything is too new and too much too learn.

muddy red shoes said...

I seem to be able to convince myself that everything is connected, for me I suppose it must be mainly about light, but thats so vast! I have a thing about paths right now, and trees, oh and the different times of day and the sea...so it goes on, a very unfocused artist! But a happy one. It is a good thing to think about...

CJ said...

Oh why isn't there more time in a day? It's been so long since I've been to visit (any of my favourites)! I'm going to move the PC into the already overstuffed shop one day. Thanks for the kind comments. M is out and resting at home...much better!
Love your "church" drawings...so evocative - esp the back views.

Angela Rockett said...

Hi Tara,

Slowly trying to catch up on some of my favorite blogs. You've been up to so much lately! I love the idea of taking a drapery drawing class. It's so much more challenging than you'd think it would be.

As for your question, it's near impossible to "choose" one mode of expressing yourself as an artist, since, I find at least, artistic expression chooses you, not the other way around. Does that make sense? And everything you do feeds everything else you do. I find that drawing realistically helps me to create better abstract paintings, for instance.

These are great sketches. What a great source for still (mostly) models. I'd do that, but there's too much activity during Episcopal services for me to be able to draw.:)

Hayden said...

wonderful sketches!!

I often describe myself as a magpie, my attention caught by all of the bright baubles of life and pulled here and there. Thinking about it, I realize now that as draining and consuming as my job is, I've stuck in the same line largely because it's left my scant free time to chase the rainbow-du-jour instead of re-tooling for some other soul-sucking job, LOL!

8 years ago I started the search in earnest, sampling things I've always wanted to do (stained glass was fabulous!), but pushing myself to go on if, once there, it was clear that I liked it but it wasn't "it." That included a 4 year stint back in liberal arts grad school..

I'm still searching, but once I fastened on the rich potential of this building/growing/tending life business it immediately felt like "this is it." At least partially because the potential to grow/learn expand in a multitude of directions seems limitless.

This is a broader take than I think you meant - beyond style, I'm still searching for the thing that will ground me. My writing is the most constant part of me, but I wander that without a clue of what 'style' or audience I would want - quite possibly because I'm afraid of getting Midas involved with this deep pleasure...

57 and I'm still not sure what I want to do when I grow up. (sigh)

Justin Russell said...

Your work is very beautiful. I just started my blog and you were one of the first blogs I found. I linked you on my blog. I also like the stuff you have here. I am looking for other artists and this is a great resource.