Thursday, October 19, 2006

Getting Ugly Out of the way


Getting Ugly Out of the Way
Yarka Russian Sauce Classic Drawing Crayons
Yellow Canson Pastel paper
9x12


I was bored with TV, so I sat on the computer room floor indian style and proped my mirror up on the chair. The light was pretty much directly over my head, so I decided to key in on the 4 lit spots on my face. An interesting effect is that I was sitting scrunched and in bad posture, so my portrait turned out scrunched looking. I struggled with that nose area far too long to admit on webspace. I enjoyed the reflective areas in the shadows. When you don't have many lighted areas to work with, reflective areas are fun to play with.

My bone structure in my face is very demanding. I have high cheekbones and a pretty prominant forehead (for a girl) . It may just appear to be that way because my eye sockets are pretty deep. I am not sure from day to day and some days I think its a combo. I am not a "manly" woman, but I do need to be careful to pull out the girl spots in these self portraits sometimes

I just left an indication of folds for the sweatshirt I was wearing. I love it when artists do that. I am not sure why. I guess I like the idea that "it all started with a line". That is probably why I like sketches sometimes more than a finished piece.

I am naming this "Getting Ugly Out of the Way" because I am convinced that I must do this to find that inner core of goodness and good art that I have locked inside me. I don't intentionally make ugly art or ugly sketches. It just happens. If you don't get it out of your system, you end up with a build up of ugly art that you never gave yourself a chance to get rid of, so you are stuck in UAS. (Ugly Art Syndrome) Then when you least expect it, poof.. it happens. By getting every piece of art you have in your system out, you can sort through it a lot easier and toss the ugly art aside.

I believe it is a good idea to display your ugly art. Save at least one piece - your ugliest. If you have room, keep the ugliest 3. Update when necessary. Keep that as close as possible to your easle or working space. When you get horribly discouraged, glance around at your ugly stuff. Compare. Then ask yourself "Am I truly prepared to add to my wall of shame?" If the answer is yes, then drive on in anticipation with determination! My Grandmother used to tell me that if you are going to do something, do it right. At the end of the day, you can always tell yourself "Been there, done that.. Hung it on the wall" and move on to the next project.

It is also important to hang your best stuff (that you did not sell or give away) on the opposite wall. Standing/sitting somewhere between your very best and very worst is where most people are in life anyway. You need the bad and the good for accurate comparison. Otherwise everything would be horribly bland. That is true in both art and life. The real glory of being an artist is that you get to show off.

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