Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 149.5

As I was cleaning up the room where I normally do my drawings, I found a couple self-portraits that I considered so poor that I chose to disregard them and make a completely new drawing on those days. I thought I'd take a moment to create an additional blog post today in order to better describe my thinking during the art-making process. So, I'm going to break a cardinal rule that I hold in my studio art classes in which I don't allow my students to say anything negative about their work, and I'm going to share a couple that just didn't quite get there!

I think I've mentioned before that back when I was in college, I had a professor who proclaimed that as artists, approximately 90% of what we make is no good. Her point was that we need to make more and more art, so the 10% that is good becomes a larger output of quality art. Furthermore, with the more practice we give ourselves, there will be a greater quantity of our art that will be successful. While I might tend to disagree with her intital percentages, I clearly see the point she was making.

The first drawing is good in theory. I like the idea a lot, and it bears a slight resemblance to my painting called "The Devil Inside." I suppose there's something to be said about having a giant heart inside my stomach, and while I obviously have created many self-portraits that are abstracted in some way, I simply gave up on this one because it wasn't working for me. And I really couldn't get beyond that look on my face!

This artwork was made by inking the lines with pen, then the photocopied heart was added.  At this time, the entire image was covered with clear acrylic gel medium.  The original plan was to add watercolor over the top, but obviously I didn't make it that far before I realized the drawing simply wasn't very good!  However, I think I've figured out what it will take to make it good, and it'll be a future self-portrait...
Pen and photocopied item on Bristol board

The second image is one from a few months ago when I got on a kick of using acrylic paint on black paper. I've said many times that I don't believe a self-portrait is required to look like the artist, but this time there was so little similarity that I didn't feel like sharing it and calling it ME.

This painting was made without any preliminary pencil marks - I just started painting.  Again, it's another idea that was good in theory, but just didn't work for me.  I should add, however, that I love the idea of using a bold unrelated color like the green to provide a "fly in the ointment," as another of my old professors used to say.  In other words, it creates a bit of interest.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough of an interest to save this painting!

Acrylic on black paper

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