Artwork Mondays: Art is Hard

Art is hard.

Last year I posted this:

The idea was a steampunkish device to aid the painter. I called it the Hyperferrule. Hooked up to the visual centre of the brain, it would enable me --uhhh, I mean the artist, heh-- to rapidly paint the image in their mind's eye. Swap out those mechanical finger-tip brushes, and the little arms could draw something using graphite and an eraser. Maybe a tortillon smudger would be in there too, to get some nice shadows going.

Lately, I keep thinking about this image. I'd love to do a self-portrait about it. Me, standing next to a canvas, one hand furiously painting, the other drawing. There'd need to be some stark shadows and studio light, an out-of-focus model nearby, perhaps human, perhaps fossil.

I keep thinking about it. And at the moment, that's all I can do.

This isn't intended to be a whiny, whinging complaint. I'm really striving for a lofty lament about the torturous and demanding muse so many artistic types suffer from. It's hard to tell the difference. If I was whining, I'd stamp my foot.

Creative blocks have never hit me. The more I sketch, or think about sketching, the more ideas start flowing. On my way home today, I stopped on the
Queen West sidewalk near Claremont, pulled out my Moleskine and had to sketch a full-blown image of a landscape while blocking foot traffic. I struggle a bit with landscapes, and this one excited me. Stay tuned for the surprise.

Art is hard. There's a steady flow of ideas and I strive to get some of them down at least a bit in pencil. Aim for something interesting and maybe if I'm on my game, someone finds it astounding.

I wish I had Degas' money. Idle rich, nothing to do all day but
paint vampiric-looking ballerinas and go to the track. Like many of the artists (and probably everyone) I don't have enough time. I have a full-time job, work with some great people and freelance on the side. The freelance is going well, I've got four projects currently on the go. They're a blast to do, people who really get me, I think.

But this Artwork Monday is all about the things unfinished, the ideas I haven't forgotten but I've left alone to wander and prowl about in my studio.

Remember this Dimetrodon-Sphinx?

I've played with it a bit digitally, to practice my digital work. I plan on getting a computer tablet later this year and I'd love to play with a couple of backgrounds. A mountain terrain, a street at night.

Over the summer I played with a piece I really enjoy, and in my head is filled with a soft riot of colour, Trilobitlepidoptology:
It needs some shadows, and colour.

Last year, I embarrassed myself a little bit trying to do a portrait of Richard Dawkins. I even emailed his website folks.
Then, I tried a different technique, and killed the drawing. It only exists as a digital file now. I can resurrect it, print it on canvas paper and paint over it. I meant it to be a diptych with Carl Sagan. I'd really love to get back to it, Richard Dawkins' writing has inspired so much of my work. A humble tribute, sidetracked for now.

There's more. A dress based on a fossil, sketches for a kids' book of aliens evolving, a trilobite graveyard...


Next week on Artwork Mondays: Art is Easy

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