Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009
It's really starting to sink in that my quest to do 10,000 bad drawings is coming to a very fast end. Did ten sketches last night which puts me at 9,957 with 33 to go. Now I find myself wanting to put the brakes on. Not so fast! Amazing. Human behavior patterns are so predictable and yet so crazy.

More Lessons Learned On My Quest to Do 10,000 Bad Drawings
Going back through my sketchbooks I have noticed that there is a rhythm to the successes and failures. I mean that the sketches go along at a bland rate and then every 10 or 20 days it spikes, with something that is head and shoulders above anything around it, like this page from November 5, 2008:

Of course, there are exceptions, like this page, which is from November 3:

And this is quite an exception because one is full of loosey goosey washes, and the other is tight pen work. I won't bore you with the down stuff but here's another amazing (to me) page from November 11:

Amazing because the effects are subtle, but strong, yet not overworked. Truly an exception to most of the pages. After the above page, nothing jumps out for almost a month, until December 15:

Then the fields of creative effort go barren for the rest of the year and clear into January. Here's January 30, when something finally gets traction:

Then it's quiet, or bland, until February 5:

The frustrating part is trying to capture, or remember, what I was thinking that day. Did I know at the time it was working better than usual? Not really. Sometimes I would know (yesterday's "Lone Grave" seemed to have potential as I was doing it), but I wouldn't even put the stat at half and half. Probably more like 70-30 (70% percent of the time I don't have a clue if what I'm doing is decent or wrong headed).

Nothing worthwhile until again until February 15 when I'm trying to capture late afternoon light on Elephant Butte:

I seem to remember thinking this page was a total failure at the time I did it. I shifted gears three days later and whipped this out in black and white:

Stayed in black and white for a time. Here's February 20th:

With a follow up page on March 20 that is pretty strong:

And then a remarkable page of color four days later:

I have a hunch that this is all very similar to a woman's monthly cycle. We coast, we bloat, we fight it, we get irritable, then a gush of creativity pours out, quickly goes dry and then the cycle repeats itself (until you have a heart attack and really mess up the cycle. Ha.).

When I got home from work yesterday I worked on a small Billy portrait I had started earlier, adding some shadow:

Not a bad overbite, with a little bit of Elvis sneer. A cocky little s--t would be how my Uncle Choc might put it.

Or, you might say I'm having my period.

"One wonders how some [artists] ever came to painting at all after exhibiting such surprising ability to dodge knowledge."
—Robert Henri

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