Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Backbone of My Work

I am frequently inspired by my Oklahoma environment as well as by the histories I read. Today as I walked with my dog down a dirt road around an isolated reservoir I was enchanted by the wispy white clouds in the cerulean sky, the bright sunshine, the bold breezes swirling the dried grasses and the tree thickets spouting green lace in their crowns. I love my time on the prairie because the structure of the earth is so obvious and appealing for me. My dog thinks it’s great, too.

On these walks it is not unusual to flush wildlife. Today it was a covey of quail. Yesterday it was white tail deer. Sometimes it’s a flock of wild turkeys. We’ve even caused rooting wild pigs to scatter and that was a bit exciting. I never know what I’ll see and am always delighted because these sightings enter my imagination, stay there and begin to formulate images to incorporate into my pictorials.

The one thing I can do well is draw. I believe that drawing is the backbone of good artwork. I make many sketches as I work out an idea. As I focus on the one that will produce a final composition, I will work harder on capturing the details. It’s not wasted time because these drawings familiarize me with my subject and helps me anticipate where I will have challenges when translating the composition into a fabric representation.

That deer from the other day has been added to my current work. I have a knack for being able to turn an animal around and draw it from any direction. The deer was leaping away from me, but in this piece, the doe is running at the viewer. Here is the master drawing I am using to assemble the deer.