Tuesday, 14 August 2012

To have or not to have... a sketch book

As an artist, you are bound to have a sketch book. Meticulously drawing and trying out new ideas to see their potential of becoming the pieces everyone will admire. Making notes of the colour combination you’d use and techniques you’d try. Showing it to the world when people step into your studio. A visual correspondent of a “to do” list, future projects, description of artworks, and inspirational quotes – it’s all there.

But what if you don’t have one and you paint mainly from memory or/and intuition? Is this possible at all? I am relatively new to the art world and I don’t work by the book. When I have an idea, I think about it in my mind until it starts to materialise into something. I start with the big picture – what I want to paint and how I want it to look like as per colours and textures – and then I work out the steps I need to take in order to achieve that. Then I start painting, sorting out the details as I go along.  

In the book Art from Intuition written by Dean Nimmer, he encourages people to take on painting and not to be afraid to experiment using their intuition, imagination and creativity.  But he still recommends a sketch book for trying out various drawings and shapes that can be used in future projects.

In my case, I rarely draw as I prefer colours. I start with a background and then I build up layers upon layers to create the desired effect. I paint the shapes directly onto the canvas without previously drawing them. I am not too concerned about being perfect. I am concentrating more on the composition as a whole. I like imperfections and I experiment with the brushes, palette knives and sponges to see where they will take me.

When I do draw I am doing it as an exercise to familiarise my hand with certain shapes like buildings for example. I also draw when I want to develop an abstract design starting from a real object as in this projectWhen I’m walking I take mental notes on the colours and textures I see and I think that have potential to develop into future paintings. I don’t depict reality as it is but as I see it, to which I am adding something from within.  (I know that “reality is merely an illusion” as Albert Einstein said but what I mean is the convention we all agree upon ;)).

I would like to believe that sometimes in the future I will meticulously use my sketch book to try out new ideas. But for now, I’ll stick with my non/anti/quasi method. 

©Teodora Totorean - text and images 

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