Western Watercolor Landscape
I got an email a while back from a sweet lady who stumbled onto Idle Minutes while searching for artwork. She and her husband had traveled to Zion National Park a few years prior and became enchanted with the place as they backpacked it together on a really tight budget. They were looking for a watercolor of the American West to hang in the family room and wondered of I ever sold my paintings.
I generally don't. I've tried a few times but found that painting for a market was no fun.
Like most of us, these two young people are not big time collectors or able to afford commissioning an artist for a specific painting. They are regular folk just like you and me. So, rather than pretend to be the big time artist that I'm not, I painted this scene from Zion for them for the simple pleasure of knowing that someone actually appreciated something I painted enough to hang it in their home
I'm of the opinion that few things are sacred anymore. Even religion has turned into big business, big money and showmanship. So my effort here is to give freely of my inner thinking and feeling about the scene, put that down paint to paper, and pass it on to someone in the hopes that it helps them enjoy times past when they endeavored to backpack Zion together and likewise make a journey of life together. Call it a wedding present for someone I don't know
Posted in Introspection, Paintings, Stuff I find myself doing, The Great Outdoors
Tagged Drawing enjoyment, Introspection, Landscapes, Paintings, panorama, The Great Outdoors, watercolor, watercolor painting, watercolors
Shotgun Shell Sketch
Having lost my artistic muse last October, I have patiently awaited her return.
Apparently, wherever the little stinker went, she is having a dang good time there. Thus I have decided that drawing & writing a little something is going to be a process I will have to take full control of, muse or no muse.
To illustrate how muse-less I actually am, I chose to draw a shotgun shell. “Why?” the reader may ask.
Because I have found a hobby which has turned out to be quite fun and gives me an excuse to do something with other folk who likewise enjoy it. That being the activity of shooting clay projectiles out of the air using a shotgun.
Several “games” have been invented to give the activity a sense of discipline. “Skeet”, “Trap”, “Sporting Clays”, “5-Stand”. I am not yet confident enough to try my hand at them, but I soon will be
Last week I stumbled upon a life drawing class in Carbondale, CO near where I live. I decided to give it a try this week because it was high time I posted something on the blog. Plus, I never did anything like this before and I thought it would be a good experience.
Our model was not Kris Kristofferson or Jeff Bridges. Though those two are kind of how this turned out. At least I represented a male human eh?
In reality this looks ever so slightly like the model…he had hair and a beard. I think I captured that. Other than that, if you saw him on the street, you would never even remotely guess he was the model.
It was great fun though and I got to see the work of five other artists who were much better at this than me. Which is why Idle Minutes isn't about fine art, but rather just a journal that includes drawings
When I was a young lad mom and dad would, on a whim most often, load me into the Buick and head to the Dairy Queen in my home town of Smyrna, GA.
This would only happen on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening on a hot, Georgia summer day. Come to think of it, I don't recall the DQ being open on Sundays back then.
Anyway, I always got a plain vanilla cone and the big folk got “nanner splits”. I wasn't fond of “nanners”.
Tonight, about 09:30, Ben and I got the urge for a cone and reinacted the family tradition. Yes, dogs like 'em too.
I still have this. If approached by thugs I will flash it and say:
“Don't Mess With Me Boys.”
Then I will run like a Cheetah.
I think that will work.
I dunno when, but at some point in his life, my grandpa was a law-man. Not a particularly bad hombre himself, and built like a long-distance runner, I suspect he was a court bailiff.
He did have a way of looking at you that made you obey.
At least I did anyway.
My first high school girlfriend…actually I thought she was a girlfriend, she thought I had a nice car…was named Susan. She had green eyes as I recall, not black.
There are lots of these growing here on the shoulders of the road. They got me thinking about her & then about high school & then on through the rest of my life. Funny how a flower can do that. So I clipped one, took it home, & drew it.
Footnote: (I know, it should be at the bottom) That girlfriend thing…we went and saw the last ELVIS concert he did in Atlanta, GA. Now isn't that reason to think she was a girlfriend? I mean c'mon!
Footnote #2: I know when one draws a plant they are supposed to talk about it and provide scientific information about it like the Latin name, point out the parts of the flower…pistals and such…but I was not in a scientific mood about this flower. I was actually kinda pissed at what that concert cost and how I thought she was my girlfriend, but she just liked my car. I even opened every door for her, and didn't try any hanky-panky! (truthfully, I wasn't very skilled at that anyway. Probably saved myself some embarrassment.)
To top it all off, poor Elvis was fat!
But he could still sing. He could sing.
There were these two women sitting at a table near me at a local coffee shop recently. One of them was British and had a strong, refined accent.
I heard nothing they were saying except this one part of a sentence from the British girl: “…portrait of a hare…”.
It sounded so cool and British I decided to draw one. A hare that is.
If you know anyone from the U.K., particularly female with a nice mid-range voice, get them to say it for you with emphasis on “hare”. Pay them if you must. It'll be worth it
So, I met another Bassett Hound at the dog groomer this week. Needless to say, Ben was smitten. Ben's toenails are white or sort of clear, “semi-opaque” I reckon.
But he does have one black toenail, all natural, of which he is most proud.
However, it is no match for the pedicure of the lovely…Petunia. We had a little talk about it on the way home. Ben just goes to the groomer now and then for a bath and a good brushing. He isn't into fashion. In the end, he says, he's glad he isn't a girl.
Ben and I, we see things pretty much the same way.
Sometimes he pushes his bowl as he eats, paying no attention to where he is going. And it ends up, conveniently, beside the wool blanket upon which he sleeps. Given the circumstances, upon sizing up the situation, he decides a little nap is in order after the tiring ordeal of eating yet another meal.
I always know he will go to sleep if he sighs and smacks his lips and tongue a few times. In less than a minute the eyes will drift closed and some sort of active, freshly energized dream will take over his mind and body.
I took elements from a couple of photos I have from a trip to Wyoming. The scene represents a pastoral scene between the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I eliminated a highway, a bunch of yellow grass in the foreground, and power poles. That's “artistic license”.
For all you artists who follow Idle Minutes, artistic license is simply a part of the creative process and should be something you're incorporating into your own work. All the masters from the past took liberties, some to idyllic extremes, but most simply to improve the outcome of the work and capture a feeling. The impression of the scene, region, lighting, etc. remains intact for the viewer. For the artist, the emotions stirred by the scene, the memories of the moment, the inherent beauty of a place…these are recorded with the assistance of artistic license in the creative process.
And that is a good thing