Monday, August 16, 2010

Sketch Book Drawings - Page One

I’m going to be brief today because I need to get out for my walk and then into the studio.

But, I have another reason as well. Having spent the weekend in front of the computer going through my inbox and reading a backlog of artist blog posts, I’ve come to realize that people probably don’t read long winded blog posts. I know I skipped a lot of them because I simply didn’t want to take the time if the subject matter wasn’t absolutely riveting. Mostly, it wasn’t. So, here goes.

I’ve been reading a book called, The Van Gogh Blues by psychologist Eric Maisel. He specializes in working with creative people and has written a number of books for creatives. This book is helping me immensely in finding my way back into the studio by giving me many insights into my personal life and my life as a creative person. Turns out I’m not so unique in my struggles after all! His main point is that creative people are born questioning everything and therefore have difficulty finding meaning in their lives. Because of a lack of meaning in their lives, creative people are prone to depression which keeps them from being creative which causes deeper depression. So, the book is all about finding your own personal meaning and keeping depression at bay. I’m not sure that “meaning” is the word that I would have chosen. “Worth” or “value” come to my mind more than meaning, so I just substitute them in my mind as I read.

The book explains to me why I had such difficulty in high school algebra (or was it geometry?) understanding the difference between a hypothesis and a theorem. One is supposed to be a proven fact and the other is something to be proven. Poor old Miss Chipman was totally exasperated with me trying to explain the difference, and I was equally exasperated trying to grasp it. We never did come to an understanding.

But, I digress. As part of my “art therapy” if you can call it that, I’ve decided to do some daily sketching. Last night I did the sketches above of a Friesian colt. They are freehand sketches. That is, I pulled some standard photo prints out of a reference box and copied the photos as nearly as I could. As you can see, one effort was a total flop and had to be redone. The others are reasonably good. They are done with a ballpoint pen to prevent me from doing endless correcting so the false lines are still visible.  I think I draw more carefully if I know I can’t erase.

I’m also thinking of instituting an art challenge on my blog which would involve “audience  participation”. I have to ruminate on that one a bit more, so stay tuned for more info.

And, stay tuned for more sketches from the sketchbook!

PS I've just noticed that I have some new followers! Welcome all!  Thank you for joining me. I hope you find my posts just a little bit riveting.


Judy Wood said...

I like the drawings a lot--very animated and lively. The book you mentioned sounds good--think I'll try to track it down at the library. Thanks for the heads up.

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Judy.

I'm getting a lot out of this book, but I think it's the kind you benefit even more from by reading it a second time.

Karen Thumm said...

Eric Maisel writes a column for Art Calendar magazine and has written several books on creativity. I have a couple of others I haven't read yet.