While the sacred fire heated up the stones (grandfathers) for the sweat lodge I sat among the drummers and sketched. As part of my preparation for the sweat ceremony I like to draw and the surrounding trees intrigue me. It helps me to focus on the moment to keep my thoughts from wondering. Two days ago on the Cattaraugus Reservation.
I finally got around to visiting my friend Poobah in Dowelltown Tennessee. His house was at the end of a long rive way and snuggled up to a hill and facing a valley with a spring fed creek winding around it. I was inspired to do some art right away. But it was still cold out so I sat at Poobah’s kitchen table and looked out the window and sketched this in pastels. When I first started studying art under Juanita Greene Parks I put encouraged to work in pastels. Its a combination of drawing and painting. I’m a little rusty so I decided to get back to where I started. I looked forward to returning and doing some more art.
At an early age…perhaps in my teens, I realized that I had an ability to draw but had a very limited knowledge of art. So I began a form of self-training by studying other artists in the hope of finding out what it meant to be an artist. The more I studied the more I found out that every artist was different. I would write down different quotes by various people as to what an artist was. All seemed to fit yet none was completely satisfying to me. I still didn’t know what the role of an artist was or what my purpose would be until I came across a quote by Bob Dylan which said, “The purpose of art is to inspire. What more can you do for people than inspire them.” I often would study an artist like Picasso and then do a corresponding painting. I did this oil painting of him some time in the late 70s. It is now lost to the ages…but I still have this picture.
I occasionally come across a piece of my art I have not seen in years or decades. Its often like coming across an old friend that I hadn’t even thought about for years. Sometimes its a friend I forgot even existed as in the case of this drawing I did of of my old friend Mark Brown back in the early 80s. I’m not sure why I did it so tiny. Its only 3″ x 3″. I did it with a Bic pen and a little color pencil on tan paper. Mark kept it all these years and just showed it to me. He will be playing at the Horse Show Bar in Medina tonight (10/20/17).
Shawn’s Gate is sponsoring a fundraiser October 7th, in Lewiston, NY. The proceeds are going to Breast Cancer Network of WNY. Mannequins were given out to artists who did their thing on them and then donated them back to the art auction fund raiser. I only had a vague idea when I started painting mine. It was fun to not plan. I just picked a color and dove in. I made it up as I went along and I did it all in one sitting. The fundraiser will be at 402 Center St. 2-6pm… but you don’t have to be there to bid. The Art Auction is 2-5:30. Special thanks to Barb Gray of Shawn’s Gates for putting this on.
Of late my creative tools have been hammers, saws and shovels. I figured drawing from a model would give me an opportunity to get back into my groove. I attended a painting session at the Lamp Lighter Gallery in Middleport, NY last night where they had this lovely model. It was good to spend some time with fellow artist both old and new. While others were painting I used the session to get back to the basics and I stayed with drawing. I used pencil and white charcoal on gray mat board. Although the model will hold the same pose for 3 sessions allowing people to complete finished paintings I decided to complete the work in one session. A little on the rough side but a good start I think. I’m not sure what I will do next week.
For the second year in a row I was invited into my third cousin Felicity’s class to share my art. I brought along 5 x 7 cards of one of my drawings and gave them out to the students to paint. I demonstrated how to paint over them in watercolor and then just let them do their own thing. It was a lot of fun and it was interested to see what they came up with. Felicity is the sweet, blonde girl to my right. To my delight the children remembered me from last year and gave me a warm welcome.