Living in Art Again - After 20 Years
I had been drawing, painting, sketching, whatever - all of my life. Well, almost all of my life. From infancy to around age 26, then nothing until just this year, so from 1992 or so until now, not very much - just some aimless doodling on and off. Mostly off, sadly. Now, anyone who knew me from infancy to age 26 recalls that I was always drawing - no matter where I was or what I was really supposed to be doing. It really didn't matter to me - all I needed was a big enough margin and a writing tool... teachers outside of my art classes mostly minded but not me.
And as an adult, whenever I needed a little moment of stress relief, I would doodle. I did it once or twice at the squad house. Danny found it, of course. Wasn't he surprised - I think all he thought I did was read. But it still fell under the heading of Those Weird Little Things You Don't Know About Me. It wasn't something I was doing frequently - not even infrequently. I didn't do it full stop.
But I know what killed it. I mean, it didn't actually kill it - when I went into New York City last year and picked up well over $100 of art supplies, I knew that it hadn't completely died. In fact, it was as though nothing had stopped even though a full 20 years had elapsed. Call it muscle memory, call it whatever you want, it was still there - and so were most of the tricks and lessons and learned things from my childhood and young adult years.
So what did it? What made me stop drawing for so long? Well. Luis and I were living in our first house, the one we rented in Fairfield, New Jersey and moved into in October 2000. We hadn't been together long - about six months - but he asked me to move in and I thought about it for maybe a day or two and accepted. But then in late 1991 I lost my job (I was just a temp, but still - it was devastating). And by the time the Ren Faire rolled around in July 1992, I had to agree with Luis that it was time to sell my artwork.
I began to draw and copy and sometimes colour in drawings all the time. Then I'd drag them up to the Sleeping Dragon tent, where I worked, stuck them in a space that had been created for my art, and try to sell those and the dragons. Well. I will tell you that at this time, I really began to hate this. It's one thing to sit down and create because the mood or need is upon you. It is another thing entirely to do it as a means of survival. And I did not survive doing it - not creating and not selling - I sold two out of ten weeks of working. And after that, I drew nothing.... until this year.
And guess what? I have zero intention of selling it. I may create something for someone who I like or feel very strongly about, but it will be a gift - a gift that means more than anything I could buy anyone - because it came from me. Just me, nothing and no one else. I have a list of people in my head that I would gift art from me to, in my head. I won't put it down here. And I post my work on Facebook, so some of those who do remember my old art from so long ago can see that I am doing it again.
And I do fantasy art. I draw women primarily - aggressive, beautiful women - and that is nearly it. I love doing women and I'm not good at the masculine figure, in spite of the fact that I'm only attracted to men. But there are other women who do what I do - Julie Bell, Olivia, etc. - and I make no apologies for it. The one difference is I work primarily in pencil, pigment ink, and coloured pencil. I do not do much in paint (although I want to take painting classes - oils, thank you, not acrylic, although I may begin in acrylic and work back up to oils). I do not really prefer pastels. Watercolours make good background colours, providing the background is not meant to compete with the main figure(s). But I know what I am strong in and prefer to work in that.
My friend George sells his work on the Internet, and I am very proud of him and his work - and not a little envious of the fact that he does it. But not for me. I don't want to stop what I have started once again. Of course, I am also the model for some of his more recent work (used from images I have finally scanned in that were taken when I was 19 years old. I had a pretty good body then. I may even use those photos myself. After all, I have all of the originals...
Heh, heh, heh...
Still, I have shared everyone of them that has been scanned in thus far and will share the rest when they go in. I'm very proud of those pics, and so is George - he engineered many of them, as well as the model. But to see what he is making now is really cool.
Just for you to see:
If you go to The Hedgewood Annex (it is on FaceBook and the Internet) and look this up (it is called The Lady of Bones), you will see just how similar the image he created is to this very picture which he took and of which I am the model in 1987. It was a very good year. I have no doubt there will be a lot more artwork coming out soon. I will not post any more pictures of me like this. But I will be more than happy to point anyone in the right direction to see his work.
There is really no telling that it is me in his version, but he did that specifically for me. I certainly wouldn't put this on FB. (If someone else does, I suppose there is little I can do to stop it, but keep in mind my father is on there too.)
Even so, I am proud of this and being his main model at the moment. There is something very cool and very flattering about that.