Saturday, May 03, 2014

Tis May and Time for a Wrap-up

"Reverberations" by Sheila Mahanke Barnes ©2014
Once again I find myself wondering where the month slipped away to, but not so much because I feel I didn't get anything done. On the contrary, I'm particularly pleased about my work on Reverberations and that it was finished so quickly (Actual completed version above!). I'm also pleased to have a resolution to the problematic Upward Tick so it can be finished in time for ArtWalk rather than be abandoned. Quite a few things got crossed off that list I made at the beginning of April, the one I felt so disconnected from as if someone else was filling it out. Still plenty to carry forward into May, but this time, I feel like it's more than a reminder list, it is A PLAN. And this is good. Lots of things coming together in my head, a feeling that I know what to do and how to do it, I just have to get to it.

In the meantime, I continue to be enticed by sketch. I was reminded by a post on Susan Gaylord' blog about a simple booklet one could make from a single piece of paper, even one otherwise headed for the recycling bin. While watching tv the other night, I played with a piece of mail to make a couple of these booklets and have started drawing on them. Sometimes you can use what's printed on the page as a jumping off point as I did here when I first tried this out. If you'd like to try your hand at making your own booklets to fill, Susan explains how to make one with a decorated "cover" and shares a video of her method on this blog post.

And not that I needed justification for my renewed interest in sketching, but it was delightful to run across this article, Why You Should Stop Taking Pictures on Your Phone - And Learn To Draw, about the benefits of sketching over taking photographs. This debate has a long history, it turns out, and this article quotes John Ruskin as well as offering a link to a free digital copy of his book on drawing. Here's a taste of Ruskin's wisdom:

‘Let two persons go out for a walk; the one a good sketcher, the other having no taste of the kind. Let them go down a green lane. There will be a great difference in the scene as perceived by the two individuals. The one will see a lane and trees; he will perceive the trees to be green, though he will think nothing about it; he will see that the sun shines, and that it has a cheerful effect; and that’s all! But what will the sketcher see? His eye is accustomed to search into the cause of beauty, and penetrate the minutest parts of loveliness. He looks up, and observes how the showery and subdivided sunshine comes sprinkled down among the gleaming leaves overhead, till the air is filled with the emerald light. He will see here and there a bough emerging from the veil of leaves, he will see the jewel brightness of the emerald moss and the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a single garment of beauty. Then come the cavernous trunks and the twisted roots that grasp with their snake-like coils at the steep bank, whose turfy slope is inlaid with flowers of a thousand dyes. Is not this worth seeing? Yet if you are not a sketcher you will pass along the green lane, and when you come home again, have nothing to say or to think about it, but that you went down such and such a lane.’


The Inside Stori said...

Yes, yes....Reverberations is very successful!!!!

Chris said...

I am jealous of this piece and wish I had made it. So that means that I really, really like it and that it is great!

Michele Matucheski said...

Hmmmh ... I've been wanting to get back to my sketchbook. I'll have to save this essay for later, though. This might be a good way to do it. It's true, if you study something and draw it, you can get inside it in a way you can't with photography. May be a good one to read over breakfast tomorrow morning.

Michele Matucheski said...

And yes, Reverberations is beautifully done! Nice job!

Terry Grant said...

Yes, yes, yes to drawing. It is magical and transformative and so hard to understand this until you do it.