Thursday, May 22, 2008
Out of the notebook, onto the canvas
My art class now doesn't have
the rarified atmosphere of an
official art school, it even deviates
from time to time from the requisite
"classical" music. Those of us who like to paint what's in front of us feel a bit out of step with nature.
Art school taught me to have a passion for drawing, but I didn't always stick to the rules. For instance we were taught that it was a "sin" to draw in marker, because it wouldn't last.
Some artists I've studied
with recently never draw, they
just paint, and I get it. The two
disciplines, though frequently combined are very different when you
The first four images here are self-portraits from an art school vintage sketchbook. You can see that I tried a number of styles and
different drawing materials.
I still sketch whenever I get the
chance. When my older son
worked in a local bar/restaurant
I always carried my sketchbook
and tried to capture the
Last week in art class I whipped
up this little painted sketch in an
hour -- a discipline I'm trying to
teach myself. I'm still incredibly
slow with portrait commissions.
But they also need to be much more
Artists need to have the courage to come out of
the notebook and onto the canvas. Drawing is an
important art on its own, but the drawings need to see
the light. I know so many artists who worry
about materials, the expense of a full sheet of watercolour
paper, or of canvasses. In class you can use the same canvas
over and over if you're painting in acrylic.
If you haven't allowed yourself to put your art on a
wall lately. Start with your own walls. Then ask
someone to display your work in a public space -- and
Ta Da, you're on your way.
Have a showy day.
- Barbara Muir
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!