|Snow Patterns, 20x24, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki |
available in The Crystal Lodge Art Gallery in Whistler, BC
Why sketch indeed? In the world where there is always a shortage of time, the tendency is to go after the final product, or not bother with the project at all. When I am dreaming up a new painting, I dream of a glorious masterpiece (on my personal scale, of course), not of something that will vaguely resemble it.
This is an important tendency to keep in check.
When I looked back at the past year and pondered what might be worth changing this year, I jotted down one sentence:
Reclaim the joy of the creative process.
This can mean many things to many people. It may include:
- adding an element of play to art making
- use of new tools and techniques
- picking an unusual subject matter
- use of interesting supports and formats
...and who knows what else. I won't say that sky is the limit because in reality there are limits - budget and laws of nature for example. But aside from those boring downers, there are many things we can allow ourselves to do, that we usually don't.
|Hollyburn View, sketch by Tatjana|
I admit that I don't regularly sketch, so now I made a point of dedicating time to do just that.
Another thing that helped me with this was the happy coincidence of having booked three demos in January. Two were in local art clubs and one in a gallery space. All three were great fun. Not only did I get to make quick fun sketches, but also to talk through the process with fellow artists who came to watch the demos.
|Frozen Creek, sketch by Tatjana|
The discussions were stellar. Here are some of the things we came up with:
- The imprimatura (under-painting) can be brushed on quickly but carefully, so that it can be left as-is to show through in some areas of the final piece.
- Various tools can be used to achieve interesting marks in unconventional ways. For example, you can use a brush to fan out a palette-knife mark. How fun is that?
- Sketching is great for getting persistent ideas out of our system. Try picking a few old photos you always wanted to paint but were afraid from locking yourself into a long tedious project. Just sketch them out and see what happens.
- Using new interesting pigments may result in surprising color harmonies. I used up a few tubes of funny-looking pigments that have been hanging around the studio for years.
- Old reject paintings and reclaimed supports are perfect for laying thick paint with palette knife over them. Revive those old darlings!
|Whistler Trail, sketch by Tatjana|
"Use lot's of paint and don't worry, they will make more" Richard Schmid
I included a few examples of my recent quick sketches. Just looking at them makes me want to go back to the studio and paint with abandon!
|Black Tusk Trail, sketch by Tatjana|