Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artistic Foundations

I was reading a blog today posted by artist Bruce Sherman and I would recommend his post to anyone struggling with their artistic journey and to anyone needing a 'refresher course' in Art 101 through to 401's!  Having been away from the production of art for twenty-five years, I need all the refreshers I can get!

Although I have an art degree and have been trained in all the basics of fine art; I am struggling, not knowing where I am going with my art work. The vision, the spirit is always present but the translation lately has left much to be desired.

In his post, Bruce talks about laying the foundations. Looking at the elements of structure … whether line or blocks of interest and colour. I won’t repeat his post as that would indeed be shameful of me. But I do want to say his blog has prompted me to look at my artistic ‘foundations’.

Totally lacking! I’ve become lazy and ignored what I know to be the basic building blocks of a good piece of art work. Capturing the essence of the vision is not just slapping on paint and hoping for the best; although I guess some artists have achieved great canvases this way. It hasn’t worked for me. I am attaching a few sketches done when I actually paid attention to structure and form and movement….and this is where I need to return.

Thanks to the post, I hope I can make a return to applying the basics in my translations and will be spending much more time thinking and planning  what I am doing rather than just 'blundering' through.

The daisies were captured in a matter of minutes; freshly picked from the field and just a sketch but I feel one with a little 'life'!
When I sketched this weeping willow I was taken by the mass of the tree and how it seemed to be segmented into different parts and the way it floated on the wind; I tried to capture the essence of the tree in the space it occupied . I spent the time and looked and tried to 'compose' the sketch.   Just a sketch ... more lively that anything of late.

Another approach I used a decades ago and abandoned, was using a 'block' approach.  Breaking the subject into flat planes and proceeding from there.  I had forgotten all about this until I read the blog mentioned here.

I have also posted today on my other blog; seems to be a time for remebrance.  Remembering art skills and youthful journey in Northern Ontario.:-turningpointsandidentities


  1. Hi Ruby!... Thank you for your visit to my site ...for your "mention" here... and for your gracious compliments!

    Key parts of the "foundation" for growth and development as an artist are curiosity and courage. Curiosity and courage propel one forward in any venture in life. Being confident and proud of ones of one's attempts... and one's accomplishments are key as well.

    I find your work lilting... lively and with spirit. So many other artists display technical virtuosity in place of the qualities unique to your own. They appear vapid and lifeless by comparison.

    So focus on maintaining what you already seem to have... and build upon those using structure and colour that is not timid! I see great things ahead... simply because you are open to learning and growing!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Interesting post, Ruby, and nice for Bruce to comment! I am more of a splash and dash artist with paint anyway but use these same artistics concepts in my welding. Not too late to learn though!