Untitled, 2017, charcoal, graphite, pastel on paper, 14 1/2 x 6 inches
There are times when painting comes to a stop. It's become a pattern that after a successful year or two of painting I tend to hit a roadblock that causes me to stop painting for weeks. I have not been able to figure out why this happens, I know I have written about it in past blog posts. Not painting can affect my mood, I'm not the happiest person to be around during these periods which only I can pull myself out of when I have cleared my head enough to sit in front of the easel.
Untitled, 2017, graphite, pastel, sanguine oil pencil on paper, 14 1/2 x 6 inches
Luckily this most recent painting drought has not been too bad and that's thanks to new interests in my studio practice. Monotypes have become a major focus of my recent output, but what has been a welcome change is drawing, and I'm not talking about my little sketches in my sketchbook. These are proper drawings which are closely related to my monotypes. My interest in drawing was sparked by a drawing material's workshop I will be teaching in the near future. In preparing myself for it I began dusting off my chalks and pencils, and began reading about the history of paper which has been very interesting.
Untitled, 2017, graphite and sanguine oil pencil on paper, 6 x 14 1/2 inches
You can't teach about something if you don't feel comfortable about the subject, so I went to work and decided to have some fun and see what would come of it. I know how precious I can get with my projects, and in painting sometimes it can hinder the final work. Spontaneity is of importance to me when looking at art created by other artists and it is quality that I try to bring to my work. This is why I picked a Stonehenge pad measuring 6 x 15 inches, a long format which would force me to think about composition differently than the standard rectangle I usually work with. By the way, these beautiful pads of cream color Stonehenge spiral bound pads were discontinued this year, so I had to grab as much as I could for future use.
Untitled, 2017, sanguine oil pencil, pastel, pen and ink on paper, 14 1/2 x 6 inches
The second part of the challenge has been to use different dry media within each drawing to achieve different effects and colors. I saw a beautiful Michelangelo drawing recently online made with charcoal, white and red chalk and ink, and the effects he achieved were incredible. This specific drawing has been on my mind for a couple of months and I know this was the reason why I have been approaching these drawings the same way. To clarify I am not saying I am as talented as Michelangelo, to insinuate that I would have to be delusional. I am only inspired by his genius and I am only paying my respects. Lastly, my approach on these has been very similar to my monotypes. Instead of covering the plate and pulling out shapes according to patterns left by the brayer, I tend to cover the paper with the powder remains of either the sanguine, pastel, or charcoal pencils after I shape/sharpen them on a sandpaper block. I rub on the powder and begin building on the random shapes created by my hand or stomp after spreading it.
Untitled, 2017, graphite and pastel on paper, 14 1/2 x 6 inches
I am looking forward to see where these drawings take me, so far they exist on their own without any plans of using them for anything specific, and for the record, these are not supposed to be "finished" pieces. These are more exploratory than anything else. More to come soon.