Personal Symbols in Art & The Grid Method
The watercolor above – Prong Setting – was inspired by an early morning snapshot of the dining room and kitchen in the house where we raised our kids. The title refers to the upright chair backs, arranged like prongs on a ring. Families gather round a table to eat meals, and the chairs hold our little family gems together for conversation, fellowship and good food. 🙂
When we paint from our own photos, the reference materials are a spring full of familiar atmosphere, flash-bulb moments and personal histories. I believe we imbue those riches into the art while we’re laying pigments to paper. A photo from your own collection can lure you to paint it because of specific memories. The fascinating chapter of this artful recording is that the work may resonate with an art collector; a total stranger to you. Often, the art-lovers who feel a kinship with a painting from your personal history have a wholly different recollection inspired by your captured moment. It’s still very personal, but it’s not YOUR history – it’s theirs now. That connection – over a painting rendered from your life, which sparks another’s life memories – is one of the many wonders of being an artist. Do you know what I mean?
Questions and Answers
I want to answer two questions you sent: one a process-recap of the grid method to transfer complex reference photos to watercolor paper, and the other related to the flow of work in your art-making space. The photo used for this watercolor had all sorts of angles, squares and curves, and I wouldn’t attempt to draw it without using the grid method. The print-out of the photo is folded above in the same way I demonstrated in the video a few posts back, and I’m drawing One Square at a Time. (Do you want me to email you a link to the demo video?)
I Need a Map
The second question to answer today is about how to get this art studio flow chart (above). My darling husband is an engineer, and he’s masterful at putting “systems” together. I, on the other hand, am random and squirrely, steeped in all sorts of willy-nilly, and prone to every molecule of distraction. A road map helps me stay on track immensely. If you think a little art-making and art sharing and art selling flow chart would assist you too, help yourself and download this one here. I hope it’s helpful. XO
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!
Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities, and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea’.