Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding my Artist's Voice - Chapter 4: Let Go

You might have noticed the images I chose for the last entry - dragons, fish, human portraits... as I said, in my visit with my mentor I brought EVERYTHING.  Art going back 15 years or more.  Yes, I was that much in a muddle!

When we looked at everything and I realized though I really enjoy fantasy art, I really like human figure and portrait studies, and so many, many other things - the subject matter that inspires me the most are the animals.   In particular the pets.
 "Cali" 7x5" Scratchboard (c) Pam Boutilier
When I thought about all the media I've dabbled or worked in - coloured pencil, graphite, digital, pastel and finally scratchboard and clayboard with ink... the one that I am the most comfortable with all around is the scratchboard/clayboard.  And of those the clayboard is what I am currently most excited about.
 "You want to use *this* pillow?" Clayboard and ink (c) Pam Boutilier
Reference photo courtesy of WetCanvas Reference Image Library
Where I want to go is pushing my techniques with clayboard and ink, with interesting crops, with combining pet portraiture with fine art.  I think cats and dogs (and monkeys and lizards) are beautiful creatures, I don't know why we don't see more of them in general in art.  

So having determined those things, the next step... LET GO!
 Balloon Girl (c) Banksy
It doesn't seem like I should have to put this as a separate step, but let me explain.  Identifying your strengths and interests is all well and good, but if you don't let go of everything else you may still be mired.  Not making a conscious decision to let go of those other things means you still might think about doing a series of this other subject, or try making some of this other medium that you might market to a different group.  Letting go doesn't mean you'll never do those things, or that you will never touch another medium or subject matter - quite the contrary, I am always going to do life drawing and dabble in fantasy art.  But if you are truly looking for direction and clarity - let these other things go from your professional art plan.  If your brain works anything like mine then clearing your mind of these 'potentials' makes the path ahead much clearer.

And then, once the path has been traveled a bit, I may choose to fly off in another direction...
Fairie Flittermaus (c) Pam Boutilier

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