Finishing Artwork After a Long Pause
Where Do Good Ideas Come From?
Steven Johnson illustrates the sequence leading to the birth of a Good Idea in the video below. He focuses – perhaps not surprisingly – on creating spaces conducive to creativity. But the evolution of your good idea might start with a chain of little hunches over a long period of time. Seemingly disparate notions over time that eventually merge into a greater whole could be the impetus to create a beautiful piece of art.
We Are Noticers
I think we – as artists – are always scanning the horizon for beauty. We are noticers. We watch dappled sunlight drape over a glass on a window sill, and we stop mid-stride to catch the upside down reflection of a tree against blue sky in a puddle. Even when we aren’t creating, we’re collecting visuals. According to Steven’s video, a crucial germination point for our basket-of-notices and creative hunches is connection to community. Reading art blogs, going to art museums, participating on art-related social media and joining regional art groups all works in the background to propagate creativity. Each of those activities work to connect the dots on our hunches, and sprout new art projects.
Put Your Plan in Motion
Artists germinate good ideas from inspiration, and we get our inspiration muscles super-charged when we make a regular practice of looking at other artists’ work, visiting other artists’ studios, talking to and communing with other artists. SIDE NOTE: It’s helpful – perhaps even required – to trunk & lock down your comparison/envy impulses first. How will you connect with other artists this week?
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S. If you’re in Ventura California, save the dates of October 6 & 7 to come visit at the Ventura Artwalk. I’ll be on California Street with 60+ watercolors and assorted printmaking. Come and say hello.
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Start the drawing in the middle of the face. Find an anchor; a tear duct or a brow ridge, and walk the pencil from one shadow edge to another – not lines, just masses & shapes – no eyelashes, or nostrils or ears. Document the geometry of what you see, measured in the smallest increments.
Use calipers; have a black and white photo of your subject the same size as your drawing, and use calipers to measure the pupils on the reference photo, and then the pupils on the drawing. Keep making adjustments to the masses until the features are right.
~Susan Lyon (workshop notes)