Part of what I noticed I let lapse over the years of not drawing on a regular basis is my weakened observation skills. I used to spend a lot of time looking at things. I would notice tiny details like the curve of someones lip, or the shape of a hand, the light as it fell across a room. I used to be able to remember scenes, notice certain details and later make a drawing based from that scene. Not implying I drew from a photographic memory of something I saw, but using elements and pertinent details that caught my attention and then make something out of it. Because I was paying attention, I was noticing things, images were saying something to me. Over time, I seemed to have not been so observant. Well, maybe my focus had simply moved.
I pursued a culinary career which requires hard work, working fast, and long hours, product driven, and rush-rush -rush; I recognize that I’ve been rushing around and overly occupied for so many years in contrast to how I once was when I was an art student. Of course there was only me to think about then. Job and family, there is no sitting and looking long at anything except the back of your eyelids after a long day.
The human figure has always been my favourite subject, challenging with its shape and line. As an exercise I did some quick pen sketches of some of the News guys the other night. Because their images flicked back and forth and their positions changed quickly I had to be quick. Good practice to train my eye hand coordination, and observation skills.
I was flipping through one of my sketch books I haven’t opened in a while looking to nudge this latent passion of mine, to reawaken and stir up what was once something I took great pleasure in, what came second nature, what I went to school for. Before Busy happened. I never would have thought, because I took it for granted, because I could always do it, how hard it is to begin again. To shake that muscle into fluidity. To obey.
The struggle is evident in the quick sketch I did last night, a self-portrait, using my iPhone as a “mirror”. It’s buried most definitely, showing how tight and self-conscious it comes through. I have a lot of work to do.
When an individual asks the artist to explain what their intent or meaning was when creating a particular piece it really is none of that individuals business. That would be robbing the individual of their own interpretation, which ultimately is the only one that matters.
Art should never be publicly explained. I don’t want to read about what the artist was thinking when showing their work or who influenced them. The work is what it is regardless. How would knowing change how you perceived the work? Inevitably my viewing is going to be different anyway, and different again from the person standing next to me looking at the work. What I see and how their work affects me are in the realm of my personal experience.
That is the message of ART, we view art work through our own life experiences and no two experiences are the same and so will deliver a different meaning and interpretation to each viewer.
If the artist’s intent is recognized and understood by the public exactly as the artist intended, fine. Still ultimately Art is SUBJECTIVE.
When I was going through the contents of the storage area in my basement I came upon some of my old sketchbooks; needless to say as soon as I found them I became lost in their pages. There was a time when I was always observing, when I would quietly watch and be moved to capture. I had time to engage in this, and as I went through them it was as though I had forgotten I could ever have done that.
It’s a queer thing to feel so estranged from an element of one’s life that once occupied many years. I had gone to The Banff School of Arts, I had begun a Bachelor of Fine Arts at college until being a single parent and making a living trumped any solitary artistic studies or pursuits. It just felt selfish somehow if I were to try to continue on with it seriously.
I now feel that I might just be at a juncture in my life to pick up where I left off.