April 10, 2011

so my soul longs

This was done with ink wash and a pen and nib.

Story behind the artwork:
I'm coming to the end of my art course; the last lesson is to compile a portfolio that showcases the skills I've learned, from figure-drawing to animal art, from working in paint to ink to pencil. I've been given five projects, but they are all fairly open. I'm so excited about getting to work on them! The first of the assignments was to create an ink piece that studied an animal. I appreciated the chance to refresh and refine my abilities in dealing with ink, as well as to research in order to find reference photographs.

When working on it, I thought of a quote from Eric Fortune, an author on an art blog I read called Muddy Colors:
I've had people approach me with their portfolio and show me work that was definitely not at a professional level. When asked how much time was spent on the work I've heard "about 10 hours". It makes you wonder why someone is trying to be in the field if 10 hours is the limit they've devoted to a "final" piece of art. Are people interested enough on a personal level to put in extra hours and to refine their work beyond what is necessary even when not asked or to pour themselves into a personal piece they aren't getting paid for?
There is a danger in talking about art instead of just letting it speak for itself. It's the risk of claiming more than it really deserves - putting thought and time into making something doesn't ensure that it is good art. When I was studying for the AP English Composition exam two years ago, I read a short passage from Emerson, a complaint against the misuse of books. He wrote, "The poet chanting was felt to be a divine man: henceforth the chant is divine also." And because "the poet chanting" is such an uncommon phrasing, I remembered it.

But back-stories can be worthwhile for people who are interested in the life of the artist, and not just the meaning in the art; they are also enjoyable to recount. I will add that some types of art historians put a great deal of significance on interpreting the artwork considering the artist's own life; maybe the expressive power of art cannot be separated from its historical and personal contexts.

I like deer because of their beauty. I'm not a driver or a landscaper, so instead of roadkill or munched vegetation, deer make me think of Psalm 42 and spotting them in the park at night.


Nicole said...

Love the drawing! :) Beautifully done, Rebecca.