Monday, September 26, 2016

Sketching Pears

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.
~Paul Klee
sketch, pear, graphite, charcoal, toned paper, GSivitz
Sketch of a pear
graphite, charcoal, and white charcoal on toned paper.

In preparation for my 30 Pears in 30 Days starting October 1, I've been doing some sketches of pears in various settings as part of my morning sketching routine. Getting to know my subject, as it were...

sketch, pear, graphite, charcoal, old books, toned paper, GSivitz
Sketch of a pear with books
graphite, charcoal, and white charcoal on toned paper.

I've never been a fan of eating pears, but I am developing a great appreciation for their form and all the different subtle colors on them. People at the grocery store must think I'm crazy, picking through all the pears to find just the right one.

A note on the sketching surface I'm using - it's Strathmore 400 Series Toned Tan paper and I really love the effect of the white charcoal pencil on the tan paper. I started using it over the summer and it's been a nice change from white paper.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Welcome to My New Blog and a Project Announcement

New blogs can feel momentous, overwhelming, and trying to write the perfect first post can easily lead to procrastination and writer's block, so in order to side-step that trap, I'm going to jump right into my new blog home. Please excuse any unpacked boxes. The furniture may not be exactly where it's going to end up, but it's a start.

Announcing the 30 Pears in 30 Days project.

photograph, pear, model, GSivitz
My pear model, getting ready

You may be familiar with Leslie Saeta's Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge, where artists from all over the world create and post their work each day for a month. Nothing improves your artistic skill like doing something every day. A group challenge of this nature gives the participants the advantage of having other people for support, for sharing and inspiration, and for accountability. However, because, as my husband often reminds me, I like doing things the hard way, I'm doing this on my own. I will be creating a small painting of a pear every day from October 1 - October 30 and posting the results on this blog. Unfortunately National Pear Month is in December (Yes, I looked it up...), but, as my husband also reminds me, I am impatient, so I'm doing this now.

The purpose of this project is not just as a gimmick to get you to come to my new blog regularly, or to make me feel really productive, but also to see if limiting the subject matter will help me to hone my painting skills and allow for greater creativity. I often think of the process of painting like juggling plates on sticks. There are so many different choices you have to make in a single painting: composition, value, color, subject matter, to name just a few, and each of their subcategories. To have a successful painting you ideally keep all of those plates spinning at the same time. I'm guessing that if you took away one or two plates by arbitrarily setting some parameters, you could concentrate better on the other plates and end up with a more successful painting, as well as really getting comfortable with some key artistic concepts. So that's the plan, and at the end of October we'll see if my theory held up, so stay tuned...