Saturday, May 5, 2012
A Page of Little Ari Drawings
This piece was difficult not because I don't have a lot of practice drawing my cat, but because I had so many little drawings of him and was determined to give the page a decent layout. The more of them I finished, the tougher it was to use the remaining space well, have everything leading in toward the others with a good eye path, create a good page as a whole instead of "cool little life studies."
I love my cat. I could and do draw him endlessly. I also don't mind having a lot of bad sketches of him crop up in my sketchbook. I lighten up when I do these gestures and don't worry so much about whether each of them is a good drawing or even an accurate likeness. This project, I wanted to do my best on them.
It's part of an art trade with Charlotte Herczfeld, my pastel teacher, a Swedish Colourist who heads up the Pastel Guild of Europe. She taught me how to handle color, how to handle pastels and depth and distance. She freed me from literal adherence to the photo and from sticking to local color instead of what I see. She also taught me how to create any hue I want with optical mixing and use a limited palette in pastels.
I've got several other artworks in the package. I'm nowhere near her level of skill, honored she liked so many of my works though. I'll be packing them all up this week to ship to Sweden and then wait for a wonderful, glorious package containing a painting that went right to my heart. I need to order a good frame for hers too, need to set aside that budget and not unpack it until I have a frame big enough - though I have mat board and can cut the mat for the painting myself just as I did last time.
I'm so thrilled about this and honored. I'm also vastly relieved that A Page of Little Ari turned out so well! I can't believe I managed, with all that care and patience waiting for good days and of course waiting for the cat to hold still in good poses, to fill the page just right. He is a great beauty of course, there was no question of the model's competence in this piece.
A long project completed just right! Nothing compares to that feeling!