2004-02-06 � Brushing Up

A New Palette

Wednesday night I was seized with the urge to go throught the piles & piles of drawer-rings I have in old cardboard portfolios in the basement. Aside from the fact that I discovered two really cool posters I forgot I had, I'm kinda sorry I did now. I thought I was a much better artist than i really am... and much more prolific. sigh.

But I do have it in me, buried not too deep, and I just don't spend enough time developing it. With the spontaneous rifling through the basement, I discovered a new urgency to my desire to be the best artist I can be. So yesterday, immediately after the wolf walk, I took off to the art store and bought plump new tubes of acrylic paint to replace the old used up and dried out ones, a fresh new sketchbook, three canvases, five new brushes plus a bunch of ink pens and illustration board that I need for my next illustration project (a series of pen and ink dinosaur cartoons commissioned by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology for their next in their "Discoveries in Palaeontology" series). I spent at least an hour drooling over the big old fashioned wooden easels... the kind with the cunning little hidden drawers and smooth pegs and the broad, sturdy, important looking braces... someday I'll definetly get me one of those, but right now my "studio" space is too crowded to accomodate one.

I'm really thankful that there won't be any digital work involved with new Royal Tyrrell project. The lure of the computer is all too tempting sometimes and I do like to goof around in Photoshop, but I think sometimes it removes me too much from the tactile edge only good old fashioned pencils and brushes and scratching of ink pens can generate. I need that kind of physical contact with my work right now to grow and move.

And then I scooted over to the library and got myself an immense stack of books to inspire me... three brilliant kids books and a number of books on figure drawing and painting. The figure drawing books are partly because I need on brush up on foreshortening and basic perspective for the much ballyhooed Pickle Project, but mostly because I love figure drawing.

And so I'm armed and ready for the next chapter in my artistic development. I'm chomping at the bit to uncap the paint tubes and get busy. No excuses this time.

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