Saturday, July 10, 2010

Orchid Sketching

Here are snippets from the guidelines for the week 4 journal:

Sometimes I find that it takes me awhile to settle into painting, and then when I do, it's all I want to do. But getting there is a challenge.
Do you find that you have mental steps that prepares you for the creative process? Reflect on what happens prior to painting, and how to foster that sense of settling into your work.

I suppose that today's been a good example of my process. I spent a couple of hours poking about on the web before heading out for a model. I'd thought about a sunflower but had trouble finding one so I figured I'd just take a drive and see what showed up. Pretty loose, eh? :-) I hadn't gone far when I ran across a local florist, one that's been there forever but I'd never visited.

The kind owner, with closed sign in her window, kindly let me in. I explained what I was up to and she patiently offered suggestions. I noticed some lovely orchids in the back of the walk in and she helped me pick one out that might face well for my exercise.

I got it home and in the fridge and then spent an hour or so killing more time. Finally, I set it up with lots of tape in a vase and got down to sketching. I've done little sketching lately and it wasn't long before I felt that I was in over my head. Then I remembered my lessons... Block it in. Watch the angles. Negative space.

I simplified by scaling down to one flower and bud. I sketched and transferred a few times. Now I'll try a transfer to watercolor paper.

Well, that's the story. What I left out was the emotion. Doubt, unsureness, negativity. The job looks too big. A few lines appear and I feel a bit better. Hey, maybe I can do this. A rough flower appears and I accept it as that. Try again. I'll get closer. If I don't, I can erase. I can try again.


  1. Unfortunately, my style of painting has never quite progressed beyond the procrastination bit; like you, once I get to the actual painting part, it consumes me and I want for nothing else in my life; but getting to that point is painful sometimes. I walk the dog, make a cup of tea, shuffle papers on my desk, look out the window, repeat. The killer for me is my computer; I really do have to keep myself away from it or nothing else gets done (hence my self imposed techi break after I returned from the islands). Sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike does not work for me. I need to sit down at my desk and just START something, anything and only then do the ideas begin to flow.
    Alrighty then! I guess I had better get off this computer and sit down at my desk! Uh-oh, my dog wants to go for a walk... sigh!

  2. I am fascinated by this process. I think that if one hasn't experienced the pain of getting started, that it can't be understood.

    As I distressed in front of my orchids, failure was imminent. I recognized that I was in familiar territory as I slid just as surely into my abyss. Doesn't awareness melt the block? Nope, not for me! :-)

    A few marks on the sheet do lift me up. They really do...