As a Kid My Favorite Color Was Iridescent

So, I’m learning to draw. I am using charcoal and I draw in gray scales. My pieces are emerging like shapes from an old movies starring Jimmy Stewart or Orson Wells. My husband is taking a film class, so we are watching these old movies, like Mr Smith Goes to Washington and Citizen Kane. We watched our first color production the other day, the masterpiece, Disney’s first animated motion picture, Snow White. The first of its kind actually, the movie is an epic beauty of colors and sound. But before I learn to walk, I need to learn to crawl, so for now the colors that swirl in my imagination remain at bay, while I pick up my humble charcoal and newsprint, and attempt to draw a line, a shade, a gradient, a box, a sphere… My challenge before me presently is to draw the texture of glass. I am stumped as a blending stump (tightly rolled paper used to blend charcoal). How do I draw this elusive substance? My emergence into the world of color after being trained in b&w will emerge onto the canvas like Dorothy in Oz. Oh no, we will not be in Kansas anymore.

First, I hope to experiment with encaustic painting, which is basically painting with pigment and bees-wax, using heat/cooling to create your piece.If everything goes accordingly, I will move on to silk dying or painting.  Next, I will experiment with pottery, in particular I would like to do Raku firing, letting nature color the pieces.And lastly, why not dibble dabble into some glass blowing?

Wouldn’t it be something if we had all the space, time, and inspiration to play with the materials of the earth? What kind of artist are you? Don’t think about what you have done and haven’t or what you think you can do or can’t. What materials excite you? Are you a sculptor, a chef, a photographer, an illustrator, a maker of shadow boxes, a filmmaker, a writer, a musician, an architect, a muralist, a puppeteer?

As kids we play in the dirt, we mold play doh, and paint with our fingers. We put on plays for the neighbors and color outside the lines. We must not forget that as adults, we still have the need to play with the earth. We can play with more sophisticated materials, but in the end it’s all the same. Talk about doing wonders for the brain, do art, it’s one of the best ways to get in touch with your spiritual side.

Experience and skill are unnecessary, but will come as rewards for your effort.

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8 thoughts on “As a Kid My Favorite Color Was Iridescent

  1. …and as well as playing the dirt we must never stop drawing outside the lines…
    I write, and I see the story as a film in my head before I write it; I take photos too and live in a place where all you have to do is hold up a lens, shut your eyes and snap for a great image. But I yearn to make marks, with charcoal, with ink, and with coloured mud. I need help to break through the fear of not doing it right – hence the need to colour outside the lines. Maybe I’ll have a go this afternoon – thanks for the gentle kick!

    • I wrote this piece to motivate myself too. It’s hard to make time for art. It’s as if learning a new muscle exists and its not always fun teaching it to work. In class we tried this drawing exercise that really helps warm.up the brain and shut off the part of the brain that talks. Set a timer for fifteen mins or so and look at your hand and draw it but never look at the paper and pencil until u r done. Ur left brain fights with ur right, because it doesn’t want to give up dominance, try to be self aware and think about ur experience, when did ur mind wander, what did u do to bring it back? I struggled with wanting to be good and so I kept looking at the paper, but this would always mix me up. also…There’s a great book from the seventies and u can get it online for a couple dollars called drawing for the right side of the brain. It is a great book for getting motivated and excited enough about drawing to want to do regularly. Thanks for visiting, will stop by ur spot sometime soon.

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