November 11, 2012

Personal best

Caroline, October 25 2012

Since I started Bus Drawing out of necessity, my attitude has been to draw what I see, anywhere, anytime, with whatever I've got on hand. My art class is changing all that.

I'm rediscovering traditional art supplies like charcoal, pastels, big sketchpads, easels and kneaded erasers. They are all so easy to use since they are designed for artists and perfected over centuries. I'm also exploring traditional colours: all the old favourites -- burnt sienna, raw umber -- and standard drawing techniques, like hatching, shadow blocking, and the like. My art class gives me things like time, teaching, and developmental exercises, too, for all of which I am fervently grateful.

Theo, November 1 2012

Mostly, it's just so easy to draw in this environment that I'm focusing on improving my work artistically (I'm not totally sure what I mean here, but hope the gist comes across!) instead of on contextual challenges (like sitting on a bus or drawing a moving target like my children) or technical challenges (drawing with markers in small books when I would prefer to do large format work with brushes, inks and paints).

At the same time, those 1.5 years on the bus were so difficult that my technical abilities grew enormously. I am constantly amazed in art class by how easy it is for me to do assignments that would have had me sweating pencils a couple of years ago. I'm not trying to say I'm the greatest or anything, just that I can't believe that a relatively short term of drawing on the bus did for all of my art, not just rapid portraits.

Art class is three hours of sheer joy every week. May there be more and more and more.

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