USk: Drawing Around Portland

W15 USK I5 SOUTHI haven’t had much time to paint anything this week but found moments in the car.
Being back in a city is overwhelming in terms of the cacophony of lines and layers, rhythms and patterns.   (Yes I spelled that wrong — I always forget that extra “h.”)
It really annoys me when I find myself avoiding scenes, and the areas near Swan Island (an industrial area whose name should be changed as there are NO longer swans)
are so rich with activity and also so layered and busy.  Busy is hard to convey,
especially without the structure of a language of lines, example shown below,
an architectural rendering of Arco Towers Long Beach.  I could do these in my sleep.

web arco axoAnnoyed, I finally decided to try layering the cacophony all at once without thought to shapes to see how that would work, and gave myself 15 minutes.  No what’s in front and what’s in back; no set-up and figuring.  Just draw a giant gesture of the crazy jumble of lines.  I started with the gentle arch of the bridge and then the tall arches, then moved to anchor each side of the page.  It totally worked to loosen me up and relax me.
Getting even one of these complicated scenes down was a coup.

I think I am on to something.  Got me over the hump, anyhow.

W15 1 17 USK LESSON SKETCHCRAWL 2the piece above is a five minute sketch where I was showing Mitchell how to SEE
instead of drawing what his mind thinks makes sense in perspective.
Yes, reality is an illusion!

I am retiring this Mixed Media book.  I learned a lesson — NEVER buy a soft-cover book with a spine.  I often buy ring journals and didn’t think of it but it is annoying.  I am going to use it in my weight-loss journal which I will blog about once a week at katwritesfood!
Yes, of course with pictures + recipes when I find good ones!

Drawn in an Strathmore Mixed Media journal with Uniball pens or Noodler’s
Polar Brown and Lexington Grey ink, and Daniel Smith watercolors.
Note: Normally those inks do not run, but they bleed a bit in this journal.


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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8 Responses to USk: Drawing Around Portland

  1. Sammy D. says:

    I love these lessons you offer. It gives me courage to begin. Courage to experiment. Permission to observe my efforts instead of judge them.


    • With no judgement. The funniest thing is that I often think this or that is not good. But then I see it lined up next to many whose work I like and see all their “mistakes” and how charming they are . . .


      • Sammy D. says:

        See? We spread enough non-judgmental messages around and everyone benefits. The way you write and present your art makes it very clear that you struggle, but that’s what makes you so approachable and inviting to follow. You give me encouragement (to fail) through your own efforts.


        • I was an almost straight a student. When things come relatively easy it is hard to learn to fail. Skiing and Architectural School made me better at it! I really think it is hard to push boundaries without this key life lesson.


  2. I’m wondering if “mistakes” are always on their way to becoming something else.


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