(edited to get the little image on my sketchbook thread...)
Well, I decided I need to go back to drawing kindergarten; here's what I wrote on my blog:
After a very long period of unhappiness about the quality of my work, and most of all the paralyzing panic that grips me and keeps me from going forward, I have decided to go right back to square one.
When I look at my art, and the works of the masters I admire, it seems clear to me I have never really worked on my art (or, at least, not for a very long time). Just long, aimless shuffling & confusion. Sure, I got out my Muybridge almost every single day, and usually a little bit from an anatomy book; but both of these exercises were done in the most lackluster, half-assed way. Afterward I sat staring at my sketchbook thinking, "What now?" Then, I'd fritter my time away with panic, and follow it with a chaser of guilt at the end of the day. (And repeat.)
Where were the finished pieces? Any real commitment?
So, I'm starting all over, as if I know nothing (it seems I really don't, which is why I'm here). I am reminding myself to pay attention, to measure, to really look at things. To stop coasting with acceptable drawings I'm not really happy with. To get out my paint and do simple value exercises. And to commit to finishing new work. I even downloaded a free timeclock program so I am actually having to punch in; stopping to read email, get another cup of tea (or post on this blog), I have to punch out. It's shocking how little of the day real work takes place...
I've not been posting, or publicly accountable for anything. So, I take myself on a humbling (and likely embarrassing) public journey. But, it's well worth it because I'm serious about improving. And I need that improvement not as an end in itself, but to inspire & carry me on to the next level.
I'm here at CA for crits, encouragement & accountability, chatting with artists and to be open with my journey. Therefore, my first sketchbook entry is my Muybridge from this morning, ranging from a timed 30 seconds to something around 2 min, done with a fat dark pencil to help avoid fussing & trying to make the drawing too pretty (I can't think of anything more honest than that). I am back to trying to break to habit of getting lost in the details, the stuff they tell you from day one.
Nothing sexy or impressive, and I don't know how long before I post anything that's not an exercise or a copy from a book. This is more or less just a (rambling) intro.
Anyway, hello to all. And here's hoping I look back at this thread 30 pages from now and feel good about my progress!