Thursday, January 3, 2013

Memory Lane Always Has Its Surprises

One of my daughters is involved in a group of girls putting together a dance for an upcoming Fine Arts Night for homeschool families.  Today was the first day that I was able to sit in for the hour that they meet - I usually have art classes going on.  It was a great opportunity to do some gesture sketches - something that I'm not particularly good at.  Unfortunately, I had to be off to the side and it wasn't the best vantage point, but I got a few things down.

Last night I flipped through sketchbooks that I have going back 24 years to my college days.  Sad to say that I only have 7 complete sketchbooks for all of those years - testament to how I really dropped out of art for a significant period of time, with only occasional drawings between 1993 and 2007 (albeit I was doing stained glass through much of that time - something I'd love to get back to one day).

I had expected to come face-to-face with an artist who was very different than the one who is sitting here typing this.  In many ways - socially, politically, spiritually, etc. - I am very different.  However, I came across about 10 pages of writing from 1989 where I outlined my approach and artistic philosophy that was pretty much identical to what I do now - beginning with doodles and responding to them, the desire for balance, the need to work representationally... things like that.  I remember doing most of the drawings and why, but a lot of it was pretty bad and would never go anywhere.  Overall, they were very dark and angry, advertising the lowest point in my life that those directionless years embodied.

This is one of those experimental drawings that I did in 1989 when I first started exploring my
doodle method of drawing.  It would be one of the last times I felt good about what I was doing
creatively (in drawing/painting) for the the next 18 years
I referenced some drawings that I'd forgotten about (and I still have a few of them tucked away).  Those were probably the best that I'd done from that time period, but I had never really had the time to follow-up with them because of the demands of the classes I was taking for my degree.  It makes me wonder what would have happened if I would have continued on along that route back then.  Instead, I guess I picked it up again - refreshed - in about 2007.
Page one of the sketchbook I started keeping in 2007 where I was determined
to draw "for fun" - I used the same doodle method I'd forgotten about

I guess I've picked up where I left off and it's exciting.

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