Monday, July 30, 2012

pencil drawing / Waterford, Wisconsin street scene

This is the final version of my pencil drawing, although not all of it is pictured. This final piece is 17" by 20" and is matted with a 3 1/2 inch mat. I am waiting for the frame pieces to arrive and I go to a local hardware store for the plexiglass. You will just have to come to the Shades of Gray show later this year to see it. I intend to enter the show with this. I have had a difficult time photographing this to my satisfaction, so even this one is not to my liking. I will try again when I send in my entry for the show. I did check on my use of perspective in the drawing, but it's one thing to get a drawing correct and another to do an architectural remdering. This is leaning on fine art, not architectural rendering. I did this without ever feeling that I was too stiff in my treatment. I used Stonehenge paper and several 6B and 8B pencils. It takes a delicate hand and iss quite a test of patience, but I love doing this and I never have a moment's frustration.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Secret Life of the Artist, part 10

"Happiness is...." is the title of a cartoon, giving happy incidents in one's life. So I am adding two of mine as a microcosm of other artist's lives. The top picture I shot driving ---yes, never mind the danger of driving with a cell phone --- I defy danger with a camera in my hand. This was taken along the road, Route 12, in Wisconsin on the way to Cambridge, WI. The sky and clouds and sunshine on the land was so beautiful it would take an artist to appreciate it all --- and I did!!!! Happiness -- yes. Farmland along the highway, how I wish I could have grown up there. The second picture is just that subject -- growing up. Here is the secret life of the artist as a teacher with his second grade class, then in Winnetka, IL. All of the children you see were 6 or 7 then and are now 22 or 23 and have graduated college. I don't think many of them have ever seen my oil paintings unless they've hunted me down on the internet. Before this I worked as an artist and was the assistant librarian at a research library. After this I went back to art. I was a little bit too old to be dealing with the younger generation. I now have the good fortune to be able to paint and draw. That was happiness then -- believe me, we had a great time. I told then a story every morning and did a chalk drawing too -- set me up for pastels later. Happiness now is the beauty of the moment, like the picture at the top. Man, I love Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hot time, summer in the city

If you are an old timer, you will remember "hot time, summer in the city" as an old rock and roll song. This summer it has been so hot here (90s and even a few 100s F) that painting in the studio is just not practical for me. So, making lemonade when given lemons, I brought my work downstairs where it's cool. I still have one sitting on the easel upstairs waiting for me to finish. Painting outside en plein air just doesn't appeal to me when it's this hot; when I was younger it didn't matter. The title of this blog is "Slimjohnsonpaints" not "Heatstrokeslimpaints." As you can see, I'm not a big fan of summer.
This drawing is on the board now. The final size will be 18" X 18" and this is a section of that. The scene is from the main street in Waterford, Wisconsin which I have traveled almost anytime that I drive up there looking for reference material. Turn left here.....follow that van up the street and Uncle Harry's homemade ice cream is on your left at the stoplight. I like these old buildings and the street with its tar filled cracks. Which brings to memory the street I lived on as a kid which had tar patches like this one. The street repair crew comes by with molten tar and they pour the hot tar into the cracks in the street. When the temperatures got into the 90s, the tar would bubble and you could pop the bubble with a finger. It was fun, but then you'd have hot tar on your finger which is hard to get off. Incidentally, doing a drawing of this size requires care: no dirty little fingers!...the pencil will come off on your sweaty little hand, so you have to keep a clean sheet of paper under your hand to protect the surface -- by the way....this is a sheet of Stonehenge drawing paper. While I'd rather be painting, this is a great way to test your skill in determining values. In fact it might be too much of a test -- it can be too time consuming and lose a lot of its charm when you have to constantly adjust values and time consuming just doing the drawing. But I love this street scene and knew I had to do something with it. Lastly, I did not do this by any means of projection or tracing --- I just drew it by placement and comparison. If I finish it soon I will try to enter it in a shades of gray show.