Further Defining My Path — Autodidactic Atelier Drawing/Sketching
I’ve already recognized that I have a wicked learning curve in the arts. What I don’t have is training through which one earns the tools which allow one to better express themselves through art.
I don’t have the money to find and attend local Atelier training. Classical art techniques are also the building blocks of abstract and other styles of art, apparently. If you look for it, you can find Picasso’s drawings in which he copied Bargue Plates. Copying certain works in order to learn is actually a staple in formal artistic training. You’re only not supposed to copy later on and then present it as your own original works. So no formal Atelier in-person or online training for me, sorry to say but there are youtube art videos and I have a few Atelier books — two on Atelier drawing/sketching and one on Atelier painting. The first two are by Juliette Aristides. I choose her books after much careful consideration.
We’ll see how this goes. I’m not sure whether I’ll post pictures of my progress here or only some of the highlights. I do know that I’ll probably post more on my flickr pages, as I don’t have the same “community” and chance for feedback here on WordPress, as far as I can tell.
As if I were in a college course, I gave myself 5 chapters total from two books to read by Wed. Reading first, review of notes, then practice with constant referral to notes — that’s how it’ll go. Hopefully some honest, informed, constructive criticism will be occassionally found through flickr. Or here. I’ll take those gems anywhere I can find them.
Multidisciplined — Art Journal Experimentation
I am also preparring a few art journals with gesso. Not just any gesso, but Martin F. Weber Prima Economy Gesso, white. It’s cheaper and has a matte, eggshell texture. I got several gallons of it 4 or so years ago but now the gesso isn’t carried locally. That makes me sad, despite having to stir this gesso well every day I use it. Nontheless, I like the texture and paid about $14 bucks a gallon for it (coupons!). I’ll allow myself to explore both pencil and water based or water-soluble media including acrylics, water-soluble oil pastels, sketch pencils, fixatives, more gesso, water color, soft pastel (dry/sec), regular oil pastels, and watercolor pencils of different types. Must experiment. Must let fly once in a while. I think it adds perspective, explores styles, and lets one figure out what their voice is. It brings the emotional, the world view lens, or dialogue to the more rigid learning methods. That probably can create a good marriage of things, or so is the hope.
I also have some Strathmore drawing paper pads I won’t gesso. This brand and 400 grade is a good practice paper (Strathmore 400 drawing paper). I also have lower grade paper for sketches I’ll throw away.
Why Try to Make it in the Arts?
Why am I seemingly shifting gears? I’m not, really. I have to learn the building blocks of skill and artistic expression. I have to develop my own style/vision/voice and I hope all that lends itself to better art dolls, better bead design, better jewelry design. Atelier style learning gives one the best training, in my humble, somewhat informed opinion. I expect that to have tremendous carry over.
I need that leap forward. Heck, I need more than a few leaps forward. I hunger for challenge and pushing the learning curve. Having a little talent isn’t enough. It’s nearly useless. 40 years after I wanted to go into an art major, I’m diving in. Because I can. Because I have to. (Else, you can guess what I’ll be regretting on my death bed.) Because I have the confidence (well some confidence) and support. Plus, we need more income and I don’t fit most jobs. I’m on the autism range, I’m a direct communicator, I have a fierce work ethic, and I prefer staying on task to the toxic/distracting type of socializing that doesn’t lend itself to my life’s direction, and there curiously seems to be a lot of counterproductive stuff in most workplaces. It’s profound and I don’t like it. Also, I don’t get all the inferences or workplace politics and often don’t see abusivive blaming or set ups coming. I’ve had the misfortune of working with addicts several times, curiously only while employed by the government, in my case, and they tried all sorts of stuff on me. (E.g. I cleaned up after an autopsy, my coworker brought in blood from her farm and dirtied all my stuff, then accused me of not cleaning. Luckily, one of the doctors had walked through the autopsy suite after I cleaned and prepped the room for the next autopsy, and he vouched for me. I lucked out that time!) I don’t need to be such a target. I need to excel unhindered. Without the crap. If I were normal, I’d suck it up and deal with it. But I’m not. I’ve been described as a freaking genius and an IDIOT. I get the work, I don’t always get the people stuff. I’ve tried and tried to no benefit. I am who I am. I benefit from others like me, from what I’d like to call direct communicators with great work ethic and vision. Most people aren’t that. I have to find my tribe. Birds of a feather best flock together. Energies flow where the focus goes. I like a stronger current, as it were. And I wanted to be an artist since the beginning of my adulthood.
I’ll have to have the habits, work ethic, support, information, discipline, vision, and drive to be my own boss, of course. I’m particularly suited to that though.
So Atelier drawing, sculpting, with light smatterings of other art forms thrown in for variety and extra-curricular learning … that’s my focus. Art. Art. Art. Art. Fierce passion can be great if you use it and counterbalance it with lists and other coping mechanisms. I have lots of coping mechanisms. Lists, lists, lists, alarms, reminders — having that all centralized in an iPhone helps.
Occasionally, I’ll break out and sculpt, bead, sculpt beads, and other stuff. Whatever strikes my fancy and right now, I’m watching “The Forger’s Master Class” series on youtube.
Must stretch my wings and you know what they say about all work and no play …