Sunday, May 14, 2006

An Unexpected Sketch

"While I Was on the Phone"
conte on toned paper 24 x 33cm

Yesterday was one of those drizzly cold days that are just made for chilling out at home. I wound up on the phone for several hours with friends and family. I didn't mind, I was sketching at the same time. I hope they didn't mind, (no-one protested when I told them). My weathered and worn ol' ugh boot happened to be lolling around nearby begging for me to sketch it, so what could I do but comply.
If I hadn't sketched I wouldn't have been on the phone very long at all cos I was chomping at the bit to be painting, so I had the best of both worlds - relaxed conversation, which also provided valuable distraction from thinking too much about what I was sketching.

There were a couple of times when I couldn't switch zones fast enough - where I found my thought processes moving faster than I could speak, or perhaps I was speaking faster than I could think. At any rate I found myself stammering and falling over my words and needing to regroup. I guess my brain was in "right brain" mode rather than "speech" mode, though my listening was just fine. I was happy to listen more than talk, hehe, made me a better listener than talker for a change.

Later on in the evening I watched a DVD of the wonderful artist, Robert Johnson doing a rose painting demonstration. I am in awe of people like him who are able to talk so articulately while painting such beautiful and complicated works, while here I am doing a mere light sketch, but still stumbling over the odd phrase! I remember Kristin Newton telling us in our drawing class that this inability to talk while painting or drawing is very common with artists. I'm assuming that the right brain temporarily overrides and shuts out the left brain faculties. Some people may be more "brain ambidextrous" than others, though even with Robert, there were times when his commentary trailed off as he was obviously drawn deeper into his painting, especially in the latter stages of the demonstration. I know if I'm deep inside a painting I definitely don't want to have to come back to thinking mode. It's kinda like being rudely awoken out of a wonderful dream and having to suddenly be wide awake and fully functioning.

As for the ugh boot itself: a coupla minor issues that could use fixing, but - could I be bothered? I think I'll paint it in oils instead, what a fun subject!


Blogger 'Mela said...

Wow. Very nice.
I like the softness of this...

It has been down right dreary lately in Tokyo, hasn't it?

I rarely talk when painting. I think I also would rather get lost in the work.

But I do remember answering the phone when I was painting, once or twice. Unable to quit one,
I changed to "reflex" painting- just doing without thinking.
It's interesting. I was never really conscious of that before... !

11:21 AM  
Blogger Julianne said...

Interesting to hear your comments, Mela, thanks. I don't think I'd be able to do a serious painting while on the phone!

1:20 PM  

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