Have art will travel

Day two of “Creative Week”! What’s in store today? How about some more tales of my artistic adventures. Specifically, how, during this period, I am always with my trusty sketchbook and pencils. Everywhere I go, hence the title, “Have art will travel”.

So, I mentioned yesterday that I only had one art class in my life. This takes place in my first year at UF. Of course, I find the class stifling. I wanna draw what I wanna draw, I don’t want to learn how to draw. One of many dopey decisions I’ve made.

I break a lot of rules, annoy my teacher and only survive because I follow directions on the final project. He likes it so much he puts it up in the student gallery. A study in perspective using pen and wash (diluted ink).

I call it decay. He decides it’s a statement on society. I don’t tell him I just like drawing weird stuff. In any case, it salvages my grade and I never risk another art class. My “skills”, such as they are, will just have to stay where they are.

There was also a requirement to do a self-portrait at one point during the class. Ugh. But, yes, I fulfilled the requirement. I sigh now, looking at all that hair.

During my time in a campus dorm, I co-create the area “newspaper” and create a comic character named after the building. It’s some bad art, but it’s very enthusiastic and pretty funny. More on that tomorrow in the writing post.

Flash forward a few years. On occasion, I will draw holiday and/or birthday cards for friends. Big ones, like 18×24 bristol board, on which I use my rapidograph drawing pens. Throughout all my art experiments, I just have never gotten the hang of brushes.

After some years in retail, I decide to head back to school. Read my bio for details. The important part is, through this time, I am working at a fancy-shmancy condominium on the beach in Boca Raton. The hours are 4 pm – midnight, perfect for a school boy (man).

Even more perfect, I could bring my sketch pad to work and doodle to my heart’s content during the dead hours in the late evening. More than a few times, I was asked by a resident for a drawing for their grandkids. I never charged them, but they never bothered me, so it worked out well for both of us.

Once I graduated, I moved into an office job. But, as would have it, one that created occasional travel for me. A sketchbook is a wonderful activity during long plane flights. Have art will travel, after all.

For example, the picture leading today’s post was something in one of those magazines in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of me. Granted, it was a challenge flipping back and forth between the mag and my sketchbook, especially on that tiny tray table. Still, I think she turned out nice.

Once a year, managers from the Finance and Accounting area would go to a conference. Supposedly to share ideas with our two other area companies. Anyone who has been on these knows that what managers really want to do is go golfing or use the spa or whatever.

And then there was me. I took the sketchbook out one day and stared at a tree. And began drawing. The problem is, when I get a particularly fascinating subject, I can get carried away. The conference ended long before I could finish the drawing.

There are other times I end up going over the top on detail. I got an art book on Escher once and here are two examples of what happens when I both (a) love the work of an artist and (b) obsess over trying my hand at replicating his work.

There are even some crazy studies I’ve done using the technique called “pointilism”. While not quite the painter as Suerat, I used my trusty rapidographs and concoted an entire drawing from thousands of points of ink. I just don’t know if I’ll ever try anything this insane again.

I think the studies came out pretty nice, but good grief the amount of time I invested. Most of the time, I am best served by using my talents in a lighthearted manner, combining some wit and imagination.

The quality of the art is lower, of course, but it’s more reflective of me in personality and humor.

That brings us up to present day. As I mention in this linked post, my skills, limited as they are, have grown rusty from disuse. Art talent is not like riding a bike. There is serious decay that can happen, simply from age.

Not as young as I used to be…

Writing doesn’t quite suffer so much. Have art will travel, but writing doesn’t even need paper. I can do that in my head. But, that doesn’t help you faithful readers much, so tomorrow I’ll take you on a ride I like to call, “Writing in the right lane”.

See y’all tomorrow!

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