May 2, 2013
“To live in the world of creation — to get into it and stay in it — to frequent it and haunt it — to think intensely and fruitfully — to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation — this is the only thing.”
— Henry James
I’ve finished Moon Snail Shell # 100!
- No big breakthroughs. I didn’t push my boundaries nearly enough. I was always conscious of my promise to post every painting, and opening my work to public scrutiny was an impediment to creativity. I think that I would have found the project much more freeing if I had required myself to destroy every one of my first 100 sketches and then gone from there.
- That said, I do like some of my sketches more than others. Here are some of my favorites: Numbers 32 – 34, 39, 43 – 45, 67 – 68, and 72 – 79.
- Looking back at the body of work, I do see that I have a rather consistent style or point of view. I wish it had evolved more.
- The assignment kept my interest. Art has its own set of challenges — how to depict edges, how to show volume, how to express my feelings, how to translate what I see to the blank page . . . I find each new drawing and painting absorbing and worthy of my attention.
- I do like projects. Unlike so many other things in life, projects have definite beginnings and endings. I can bundle this experience and make it stand out in the long path to becoming an artist. I will have to think up new projects in the future.
It takes so little in terms of material things to craft a meaningful life. I want to live my life captivated by ordinary things, small moments. And my moon snail shell embodies that principle. I chose for my 100 Drawings Project a found object, something that cost nothing. And yet, it provided hours and hours of focused absorption, contemplation, and joy. I think I chose well.
“While we respond to the exacting demands of the environment, we must attempt to rediscover, during what leisure we can wrestle from the struggle, the value and the quality in little things.”
— Angel Pellegrini, The Unprejudiced Palate: Classic Thoughts on Food and the Good Life
“Nearly all the best and most precious things in the universe you can get for a half penny. I make an exception, of course, of the sun, the moon, the earth, people, stars, thunderstorms, and such trifles. You can get them for nothing.”
— G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
“Joys come from simple and natural things, mists over meadows, sunlight on leaves, the path of the moon over water. Even rain and stormy clouds bring joy, just knowing animals and flowers and where they live. Such things are where you find them, and belong to the aware and alive.”
— Sigurd Olson
And so I leave this project as my gift to you. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
“Thus, the artist’s gift is not necessarily the artistic expression he or she imparts to the object created but, rather, the expansion of our awareness and our appreciation of the wonder, diversity, and unlimited opportunities of the world.”
– Barry Behrstock, The Way of the Artist: Reflections on Creativity and the Life, Home, Art and Collections of Richard Marquis
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
— Henry Miller
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
April 30, 2013
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
— Les Brown
I don’t know the significance of my moon snail shell’s name. The scientific name does include the Latin word Lunatia. Its round form does resemble the moon, I think. Another evocative association for my little art object!
April 29, 2013
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”
— Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art
“Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.”
— Paul Klee
The paintings for this post were my attempts to play with color. O’Keeffe’s “White Shell with Red” is an inspiration. My amateur attempts fell far short of my aspirations for this challenge.
April 27, 2013
“See what a lovely shell
Small and pure as pearl
Lying close to my foot,
Frail, but a work divine,
Made so fairly well
With delicate spire and whorl,
How exquisitely minute,
A miracle of design.”
— Alfred Lord Tennyson, from “Maud”
April 26, 2013
“When we draw the objects, surfaces, and spaces of our world, we are to a very large degree, drawing an experience of light. The strange and wonderful paradox is that light is invisible, but makes things visible. . . . Light reveals form.”
— Mick Maslen and Jack Southern, Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
I find it very challenging to get the proper tones, shades of light and dark, in my sketches. My first attempt looks like an ice cream sundae. My second and third attempts look like grubs or potatoes. (Sigh)