Friday, October 21, 2011

Going backwards, again

I'm going backwards again, posting something that should have been done in late September!  However, since I looked forward to my Watercolor Journaling class with Jane Lafazio at Art & Soul for such a long time (actually, I've wanted to take a class from her since I learned about her work a few years ago), I can't NOT post this!
I had a copy of Danny Gregory's book with me, An Illustrated Life, which came in handy when Jane related the story of her art life.  If I've got this right, it was when she first discovered Danny Gregory's watercolor-journaling style that she left behind her more formal style of watercoloring for this freer, more spontaneous way of working.  And now, in turn, Jane's inspiring others to give sketching and drawing a try.  (I never even considered learning to sketch and/or watercolor until I saw Jane's work, and I know I'm not the only she's inspired to take up pen and moleskine!)
Love this book!
page 145, autographed.
Our first exercise in Jane's class was to do a pencil sketch, after choosing a subject from her traveling collection of silk flowers and little birds.  I wasn't the fastest in the class (and I have no natural talent), so I found myself wishing I'd been practicing drawing on a regular basis.  In a previous class a few years ago, I learned the basics of drawing, how to see like an artist, blind contour drawing, etc., and most importantly, that regular practice is the only way to get better at it.
We then drew over our pencil lines in black ink, then added the watercolors.  Mine wasn't great, but wasn't horrible either. I like the imperfections.  It provided lots of opportunity for progress (especially in learning where the stem should join the blossom)!
Sketched and watercolored lily.
My 2nd piece had some problems.  He looks pretty cross, for one.  I won't point out the others (like giving him something to perch on!), and there's not much left to do before he's finished.  This poor birds just wants it to be over with!
Not-quite-finished blue jay.

So that was Art & Soul 2011 (Portland).  Just one class this year.  No new (and unfinished) jewelry projects to tempt me away from needle, thread, and fabric.  Well, maybe an exception can be made for a short, but regular, sketching practice!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Joanna. Makes me want to pick up the pencil and try again. It just takes so much time and dedication. Good for you for doing it!