Thursday, April 10, 2008


I'm going to step away from the previous few posts(don't worry; the R/evolutionaries will return) and step back in with the results of a recent artistic adventure...

Thanks to the urgings of a couple of friends (Thanks, Kelly! Thanks, Dave!), I decided to try to spark some spontaneity and creativity by going somewhere to sit and watch people and hopefully do some drawing. So, where should I go? where else but a coffee shop! (Go back and read the title; it's okay to groan.)

Luckily for me, Dave had previously found this sweet coffee shop in the middle of Westminster that wasn't called $tarbuck$, and it seemed like a great location: plenty of seating, wide open spaces, and tasty coffee (or in my case, tea). So, one night after work, I stopped in with the intent to watch people, and do some drawing. It was perfect.

Well, almost perfect, except for three things.

1) there were about 6 people in the shop, 2 of whom were the help, hiding behind their counter, and 1 was me.

2) I picked a seat that was so low to the ground that everything in my line of sight was a friggin' chair.

3) I couldn't think of a damned thing to draw.

I decided to give it a go anyway. I pulled out the tools of the trade (sketchpad, pencil case (actually eyeglass case, co-opted for this), and mp3 player), set the player to 'random', and just started to see what I would draw. I was kind of nervous; I wanted this to be successful; I wanted to be creative, to keep the juices flowing; I wanted to look cool, and have hot coffee shop girls come up and start talking to me about drawing. You know, the important things.

So luckily, 2 of the occupants of the shop were working on homework or a project of some sort, and relatively stationary, so I tried to do my best to sketch them in action (or inaction, as it were). I quickly realized that 1)sitting down does not equate to sitting still and 2)I'm rubbish at drawing quickly. So I was left with a lot of half-started people, and ill-drawn ones at that. I gave up and moved on to the other target, a woman who, though alone, was evidently nursing 2 cups of coffee. But she was lost in thought, and thus mostly still. I tried to approach the drawing a little differently from the other attempts, and instead of building the drawing from the inside out, tried to get down the outside first, and hope to have it all make sense and look like a person. (most of the time, an artist drawing a person will build the frame first, then layer on basic shapes, and refine those into a physical person. In artistic circles, this is known as "the Marvel Way".) This went reasonably well, in that she looks like a person nursing two cups of something which may be coffee.

having conquered living subjects (read: gave up cause they kept moving), I tried my hand at still life. Or a plaster face up on the wall. The less said about it, the better.

I did some other drawings after that, but I'm mil- saving those for other posts.

The picture above was scanned in, adjusted for visibility, and kellered over in PS.

In other news, which is really about this anyway, the creative center of my mind is evidently working; I've a few ideas for things to draw here. Hopefully the 'get off your lazy ass and do something about it' center of my mind doesn't malfunction before I can realize those drawrings.

Have a good weekend, and I'll see you next week.

Music: "Ordinary" - The Alternate Routes

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