Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Zen of Seeing/Drawing

I'm looking back at my earlier drawing experiences.
Above, a simple drawing from the 80's.
From the 70's, drawings from old sketchbooks. 
I had not intended at the time to show them to anyone.
 I was in a state of wonder,
observing & drawing what was in front of me, 
learning revolutionary ideas that enhanced my pleasure.
My cats provided endless opportunities for focusing on
changing forms & wondrous poses,for enjoying their "catness".
(The brown spots are from aged non-archival glue.)
I've been sketching less lately, but making a lot of notes 
in my Art Learning Journal. From books, museum visits, workshops.
 Early on, Frederick Franck was the influence that changed my life. I learned that I could savor the experience
verses be conscious of what the drawing looked like. His philosophy & methods were perhaps different than a lot of approaches to sketching & drawing, the "How To's". He stated that his drawing process was not about "sketching" to record an image, it was a deep, sensitive, spiritual, Zen experience, an empathetic response, a focused state of being in love. I suspect some Urban Sketchers integrate some of this approach. My best experiences happen when I'm free of thinking too much...But technical learning, such as perspective and proportion, also enhance my experience of drawing/seeing.
Paul Hogarth's Creative Pencil Drawing (1964) was another strong influence on my drawing, back in the late 60's, early'70's. I loved his loose "interpretations" of his reactions to nature & to man-made phenomenon. 

So: I'm reminded: 
If I'm drawing with only the end goal to show my work, or to sell my work, I can lose the "Relaxed Fluency" that Hogarth talked about, & the wonder of seeing that Franck spoke of. 
Not everyone who shows & sells loses this fluency, & the best art retains the influence of the heart & soul.

Conclusion: Studying various approaches to any discipline 
makes that discipline richer.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tiny Books Get Tinier!

 Still using bits & pieces, leftover swatches of watercolor play.
I switched from accordion pages 
to simple pamphlet stitched pages for these little guys.

Non-adhesive covers (previous posts) 
with store bought fancy papers and Canson,
with a pamphlet stitched signature.
 Learn some skills, then use them in different combinations. 
I've let go of wanting immediate perfection, and
with each new book, there is indeed more precision!
They come from chaos,
tubs of little bits and pieces, 
piles of paper scraps,
and miscellaneous odds and ends.
And from reading books like
Making Handmade Books 100+ Bindings
by Alisa Golden.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

More Mini Accordions with Some French

Some Materials:
Quality paper 
• du papier de bonne qualité
• du papier qui est souple et flexible
• du carton, l'épaisseur dépende 
sur la taille de livre et sur le type de papier
• un couteau, X-acto knife
(il faut souvent changer la lame)
• de la colle, je préfere "Yes! Glue" et "UHU glue stick" 
(Bâton de colle) 
Ruler and Triangle
• Une règle de métal, un triangle
Embroidery thread
• du fil de broderie

How To:
Put "non-adhesive accordion book" into Google.
My favorite is the one by Rebecca Edwards,
"How to Make an Accordion Folded Book Without Glue"
But check out lots of others for tips on various techniques.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Il me faut pratiquer avec beaucoup de répétition.

I'm not gifted in cognitive, left brained functioning...
I have to try things and experiment. 

If faut aborder mes projets 
dans un esprit d'exploration, d'aventure, 
d'expérimentation et de découverte. 

I still mess up on new projects like this, 
having  to adjust elements. 
It all works à la fin, just takes me longer.
(But when I will teach it, I will have it down
because of the practice.)

The author of the podcast Français Authentique says: 

"N'avyez pas peur
de faire des erreurs." 

Dont' be afraid to make mistakes.
Oui, j'en essaie.