Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art Class take 3

One of the major interests of my life has always been visual art. Good art. I love looking at it, learning about it, admiring it, and sharing it; and I've always been envious of those with obvious artistic talent. My grandma Betty is a wonderful painter. My friends Anne and Karilee are students and great sources of many art mediums, and Carrie taught me the joy of it. My husband is a great sketch artist and drawer, and his mom is just as talented in painting and drawing. My mom can make anything known to crafting, beautifully, and my Aunt Cynthia could make any home gorgeous. My Aunt Debbie can do anything, and my sister Ashley has a degree in Art History. No wonder I love art!

Surrounded by all of this I often wondered if I could do any of it. I already know that I don't have the vision for decorating, or the patience for anything my mom does. I didn't have the skills for the rest of it; but if I learned, would I be any good? Good art takes appreciation, skill, mastery and talent. Do I have talent? I'm learning the answer to that question, but the good news is I finally decided to be brave enough to try! Here's what I've learned so far:

In high school I took an elective art class and learned that I couldn't draw a straight line or a round circle. In college I took a beginning art class and learned that I can't draw upside down and have no sense of proportion. At least I knew where I needed to start this time: at the very beginning. I have a habit of having high aspirations. For instance, whenever I would see an instructional art book I would pick it up and think, "Maybe I can do this. I want to do this! I'm sure I could do this." As a result, I've been lugging around a 'how to' book on portrait drawing for years. Probably not the best place to start for a beginner, but it was what I had. Guess what! It taught me proportions! I just thought that was something you could do, or couldn't. I didn't know you could learn it! So, I've been practicing with what little time and energy I can have, when I happen to have them at the same time. So far I've only practiced profiles of women, but my plan is to make it through the book. This is a scan of my first attempt of a profile portrait.

I tried to copy one of the portraits in the book but they don't look exactly the same. Of course, it would probably help if she had hair. I'm drawing this one again so I can have a comparison. Derek's teaching me about shading and, thankfully, he tells me if something is off. Hopefully, with practice and guidance I can progress. I'm excited! I'll have to keep everyone updated. Did you know Q-tips make great blenders?! I love them! And they're much better than paper blenders. Derek taught me that too.

I'll leave you with some of my charcoal adventures. I don't have a book for this so its just me messing around and having fun. I usually end up with my hands and face covered, but I love it. When Ethan's old enough not to eat it, we'll have a blast. We'll make life art.

Some other random funness:

The End.


  1. Good job! I miss this stuff so much- it just seems like I never have free time to work on drawings/paintings anymore. You know, every artist I've ever known has only been good because they've practiced they're whole lives. It's not some secret honestly- anyone can learn it!! I started out as a kid drawing copies from children's books. Portraits are SO fun, aren't they?! Gosh I miss this!!! Anyway, just wanted to tell you that you're my hero, once again. :) Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Jo!
    Since I can't leave comments on your blog (I finally figured out it was my fault, I didn't "Google Friend Connect" properly. If there's a way to mess up, I will find it!), so I'm writing to tell you how much I love your artwork. It is beautiful, and you have a great gift and eye for it. Don't worry that you can't exactly copy someone's else's work, even when you're just practicing. What is coming through as you draw is your own style and that's most important. The more you draw, the more of YOU will emerge. Be fearless. I am so thankful you posted them because I got to see them and I didn't want to miss what you were doing! Just like I love to hear about Derek's accomplishments, I also love to hear about yours. It is a thrill for me to witness both of your successes. I know it's so hard to find the time to do this with a little one. Babies have a way of using up all our time and energy. I'm glad you are trying to give yourself a little break to develop your talents.
    Wow...this is becoming a huge comment. I shall end it here.
    Once again, well done!!
    Love, Susan