Thursday, May 7, 2009

Art is not for the faint of heart

I spent yesterday thinking about cranes. I want very much to incorporate them into a project I'm working on but I'm terrified of drawing them into the scene. I know how many I want, I know the size I want, I know the positions of flight I want. I also know that once I put pencil to paper, they'll end up looking like stick figures. So I searched the web looking for photographs of cranes in flight and lift-off and spent a few hours learning how to tell the difference between a crane and an egret (cranes stretch out their necks in flight), the endangerment of the American Whooping Crane, and some interesting cultural stuff. (In China, the crane represents long life and is a messenger of wisdom according to Wikipedia.)

Then there were the photos. Every photo site had gorgeous pics but my favorite by far is a website called Kayak Paddle Tales written by a kayaking guide in Florida. She is also a phenomenal bird photographer (see esp. her post dated 04.17.09) But these muses aren't helping. I'm still terrified of free-hand drawing. So with my head full of pictures and ideas I tried sketching in my art journal. eeew.

Back to the drawing board? Ack! Art is not for the faint of heart.


Carol Scott said...

Karen, three cheers for your work! Do art every day! You go girl!

Have you ever read Walking on Water by M. L'Engle? She addresses the way our culture scares the art out of our children. By the time we are in our teens, we have all convinced ourselves (and each other) that we aren't good enough or can't. What a shame! We are all born with a fascination and eagerness to make art. We see it in preschoolers who can't wait to pick up the crayons or the paint brush.

Don't stop now!


Leah said...

You're doing wonderfully!! Give yourself permission to make wildly bad drawings of birds. That often helps me to let go and get into a flow. Also try printing out some pictures and drawing over of the forms of the birds, getting a feel for how the proportions are. Keep letting yourself play with the imagery and it will come together!