Studies and Sketches, or How Artists Practice

Most of the things I scribble in my sketchbook are there for the explicit purpose of plotting out larger or more "finished" works, but as of late I have had little thought of further developing anything beyond my eyes, the sweep of my hand, and the relationship between my work and my spirit. This is not to say that I have not thought of making new "finished" paintings at all, in fact, I have been contemplating very intricate ideas that I would like to put on canvas. However, I have not hurriedly leapt into polishing those ideas; instead, I am spending most of my time out in the woods or around town drawing in my sketchbook, or using acrylics to make quick, loose paintings, such as Study of a Girl in Nature and Study of a Lifeboat [above], perhaps refining or developing certain habits, helping my hands and eyes memorize a shape, making the rendering of a certain texture or form smoother, effortless. The studies will not be held to any standard of perfection, completion, or beauty (quite unlike my other work), and they will not all be in one particular style, but they will provide educational challenges that could potentially lead to new insights.

For the next week (or perhaps even a month if I find that I would like to practice more than I previously anticipated), I plan to sketch, mix colors, and hone my skills purely for the sake of research and study. The long walks, freedom, and vibrant observations that go along with this plan have already proven pleasant, but more than that, I expect that the rewards of intelligent practice will prove extremely valuable to me as I continue my artistic work.

No comments