Veins and New Changes

Skin and Veins, acrylic and ink on canvas board, 18" x 14"

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a Thing to Draw these last two days. I haven’t drawn them either. What’s that about?

Well, I realized that, while TtD is great for keeping me in a regular practice of creating, it doesn’t necessarily have me producing what I want to be producing. I like Things to Draw because it keeps me trying new things and working on fresh ideas. On the other hand, a lot of the days I sat down to draw the prompts, I felt frustrated that I had to spend those twenty minutes or two hours making a picture of some random thing before I could work on any of the larger projects I have going. Not that I regret any of them. I mean, Love? Snails at Sea? How can one regret such things?

Anyway, I’ve decided to rearrange my time a bit. I don’t want to ditch TtD completely, but I’m thinking of executing one new Thing one day a week, as opposed to every day. That way, the rest of the days I can devote to working on exciting, scary, big things. The fact that getting in the habit of making stuff every day has already motivated me enough that I want to tackle big, scary projects astounds me. But hey, that’s great– I’ll take it!

Veins Sketches, ink and pencil on paper, 4" x 8"

When I vaguely allude to big, scary projects, I am mostly talking about my painting series at this point. I have a couple of other big, scary ideas that I’ve been toying with but they are, so far, still too big and scary to tackle. I’ll let you know when that changes. For now: painting.

For years I have mostly painted by simply taking a brush and starting to put paint on a canvas and then following the image to its logical aesthetic conclusion. Occasionally I’ll do a mini sketch just to figure out how to arrange a line or shape, but mostly I just go for it. This approach sometimes works out great and some times results in paintings that just don’t work or work but don’t exactly express what I was hoping they would express.

Sketch: Purple Veins, acrylic, ink and colored pencil on paper, 10.5" x 8.5"

Skin and Veins, the painting at the beginning of this post, is one of the latter. It’s finished, I’d call it successful, and I can’t deny that it captures a good deal of the trepidation and questioning I felt as I was painting it. But somehow, I’m not done with it. I find myself still really interested in the different elements of the painting. I think they have a lot of potential to develop in other directions. I want to make a more clean and clear image as sort of a progeny of the first painting.

So for more-or-less the first time, I am drawing and redrawing the same image over and over in different ways: getting to know it, exploring it. Making images like the ones here, sketches for what I am tentatively calling Veins, Pt. 2. And I’m having fun! Working every day takes away the stress of having to make something finished and perfect right this second. Instead I can play; I can let my images come to life and evolve in their own time. And I think I just might end up with a final painting that I’m proud of, one that expresses something I feel positive about and that I am excited to share. Who knows…

Sketch: Gold Veins, acrylic, ink and colored pencil on paper, 11" x 9"

Thanks to Things to Draw for getting me started. The journey continues.



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