It is interesting that working on a piece of artwork can change your attitude about your subject. And that is what has happened to me recently. I have a new work in progress of a mountain lion. Now I must confess, I have never been a big fan of the mountain lion. I have always loved and respected the Wolf species. I guess you could say it is like a dog lover and a cat lover. But as I have worked on this new piece of work, I have gained a new admiration of the mountain lion. And that has brought me to a level of excitement as I think about my next piece and what how I will gain admiration of my next subject.
They say you can’t go home. Coming from small town America that holds so true. Things change so much over time. Folks from the community pass on, businesses that were child hood favorites are gone and sometimes the buildings have fallen in disrepair. This last week a building that was a part of my school day’s burned. It was the old Masonic hall. I spent many evening there when I was in DeMolays. Another tie to the building was it was where my folks opened their first store. This latest tiny drawing is of one of those businesses that has survived through the years. Ownership has changed over the years, but the burgers and cherry limeades are still pretty darn good. I remember when I was young going there with my parents for an ice cream and when I was I high school hanging out there with my friends having a drink and chatting. And now, stopping by for a burger and cherry limeade when passing through. It is true that you can never go back, but it is sure great when you can get close. I hope this drawing brings back some great memories. Enjoy!
After several months off for a little R and R, am back at the keyboard and drawing board. The time that I have taken off, has been productive. A little travel and with it a change of scenery and many new reference photos. Also, during my time off has allowed time to experiment with new techniques and material. I find that during this time, there is a lot of growth that occurs. I have also have some time to share ideas and samples of work with my best critique. We review each others work and give advice and much encouragement. And believe me that is very important.
One thing also about some time off, is take some time to give back to your community. Volunteer at a food bank, a shelter, youth group, or community organization. That is time well spent and is certainly rewarding in many ways.
This time away is a time to fill your tank and get ready to expand your artistic range. Looking forward to the weeks and days ahead.
Every once in a while, you will come across a piece that just needs to be drawn or painted. And this piece is just such a piece. It is a rendering of a photo by Scott Schuman of the late New York Times fashion and society photographer Bill Cunningham. He didn’t start out as a photographer, but picked it up in his thirties when a friend gave him his first camera. He would ride his bike around mid-town of New York snapping street fashion. He said, “He who seeks beauty will find it.” For years people thought he was just a crazy guy riding around the city in the snow, the sleet, the rain, but he was always out there looking for beauty. Maybe we should all be like Bill Cunningham and jump on a bike and go looking for beauty.
Over the Christmas holiday, we can get a lot of “stuff” that may seem useless. One such item, is the large popcorn container. And every year I look forward to getting a new one and discover new ways to reuse it or recycle it. Now, if you are lucky to live in an area with a popcorn store, you may be able to make it back and get it filled with your favorite popcorn blend. Other uses that I have found for these containers are to use them as a storage unit. They are a great way to store various items that you do not want damaged.
This year I did something a little different with my popcorn can. I repurposed it into my whittling container. That’s right a “whittling container”. Now, stay with me on this. Presently, it is the winter months. We have less hours of day light and it can be rather cold outside. I like to whittle outside and let the chips fall where they may. But during the winter months, I am not as likely to be outside whittling. So, the alternative is the whittle inside. That presents a problem of wood chips everywhere. That tends to irritate my better half. Like the old saying states: “Happy wife, happy life!” So, to maintain a happy life I needed to find someway to contain my wood chips. Thus the popcorn can. I can sit in my living room chair, or in what ever chair I choose to sit and and not have chips all over the house. Just whittle right over the can. Problem solved.
I also purchased a waiters apron with pockets. I tied this around my popcorn can and have a convent place to store my safety glove, sandpaper and knives, all in one handy container. With the basic black apron, it looks nice, not goddy. And I can set it in the corner out of the way. Several problems solved.