Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cobwebs in the Creative Attic

Egads, has it been a month since the last post?!  My apologies, dear readers.  I'd like to claim that I have been busy traveling to faraway exotic lands, or composing a opera or something, but the truth is that, were I to actually pass through an airport scanner, the results would look something like this:

This would probably be curiously described in some dust-collecting psychiatric text as something like "Unequivocal Sentient Dormancy", or "Complete Hibernation of Imaginative Oomph".  A definitive understanding of this creative malaise was proving elusive, until I stumbled upon something eye-opening while perusing one of my favorite time-sucking websites:

This particular bit of graphic hilarity was posted by 'catfacemeowmers', and I was obviously immersed in the orange area when I discovered it.  I have no idea who this person is, but the above chart seemed to provide surprising and unnerving proof that they had somehow peered into my very soul, or at least ruffled through the pages of my psyche.  I have been haplessly over-indulging on the large pieces of the pie chart, whilst ignoring the tastier smaller slices. 

Well, there's no better kick in the cobwebbed creativity than a good art challenge.

Some of the artists on Daily Paintworks are now posting challenges, and Carol Marine's One Color Per Stroke caught my eye.  Since my Imagination had been under official Couch Potato status for the past month, a warm up with a familiar subject seemed in order.

Yep, my old friend has resurfaced to help lift the malaise.  She was sketched on black gessoed paper using a white Conte pencil.

Since the color scheme will be predominantly warm, a cool turquoise underpainting was used.

When the underpainting was dry, the white pencil was wiped away, and the eye was defined.

The background was first, with each brush load of paint being modified slightly to adhere to the tenets of the challenge.

Then it was time to start defining her face.  Not falling back into the 'dabbling" habit was proving to be a struggle.

7"x8.5", acrylic on paper
©2011 Lisa Walsh

The brush strokes didn't turn out as defined as I would have liked, but simpler subject and a larger brush would most likely enhance that effect.  It did feel good to clear out the cobwebs and brush some thick paint onto paper.

Now it's time for a snack.  Followed by a nap.