It used to be that clocks where those big, almost statue like, objects standing in the middle of the room. Heavy weight pulling chains, moving cogs, moving time.
If you stared at them long enough you could see time flow.
Then came the electrical clock,
his minute hand jumping from minute to minute.
Time moving faster and faster.
Now we have digital clocks and time has stopped flowing.
It has become some kind of calculation.
I started this project at 12 noon and finished it at 14.33. So it took me 233 minutes….
Flow of time
I feel trapped.
My job is boring and pointless.
My favorite bar is about to go belly up (although the owner still doesn’t know it).
I have hardly any friends.
I hardly ever talk to the kind of people I like to talk with.
I’ve got to get out of here.
Being autistic I’m told that I lack the skills that are necessary to find a new job.
Maybe so. But you never really know until you’ve tried, do you.
So I decided that even if I don’t find a job I should try. If only because you always learn something from trying.
On Monsterboard I found the question “Where do you want to be in five years?”
Thinking about that I realized that’s one of my problems.
I’m only 47 yrs and I live in the past. (We all do at the sheltered workplace.)
I’m always thinking about what went wrong. What aspects of my autism lead me to the place I’ve ended up.
But that’s a dead end.
Knowing how I got here will never help me to get on.
Not with my life.
And not with my art.
Color pencils are made by mixing pigments with wax. How much pigment is used and how soft the wax is determents the quality of the pencil.
I have two color pencil sets. One set of 12 pencils are top of the range. With a soft wax and a lot of pigment they float about the paper. Although it’s a joy to use them I have made very many drawing with them.
Only the last few drawings I’ve done and my drawing Christening in which you can see how beautiful the colors are.
Then I have a set of 72 color pencil that are the runner up. They are good pencils but just not as good as my 12 pencil set.
The owner of my art supplies shop advised these when I started drawing two years ago. Mostly because of their price.
The runner up are € 52 for 72 pencils and the top of the range are € 138 for 72 pencils.
So the runner up are a good place to start. And I’ve enjoyed drawing with them for the last two years except for one thing.
Since they are of the same quality and presumably made in the same way you would expect that they all would have the same drawing properties. But they don’t.
Some slide fairly smoothly over the paper and others scrape over the paper in a way that make my toes curl.
I felt that most pencils scraped but I didn’t actually know how many and which pencils.
So in this drawing I examined that. The size of the surface of a color is decided by the feeling I have when I draw with it. The color the slide smoothly over the paper have a large surface. The colors that scrape a smaller surface.
And because I ran out of pencils before I ran out of paper I used a few pencils from my top of the range pencil set for the last part of the drawing.
I’ve found out a few things:
- Firstly, contrary to my expectations, I have far more pencil in the runner up that slide fairly smoothly over the paper then pencils that scrape.
- But the pencils that scrape are all very light colors. Which is a problem because I tend to use more light then dark colors.
- And the way in which the pencils of the top range set float over the paper is truly delightful.
So the conclusion is clear. I should replace my color set with a box of top range pencils. But sadly I don’t have money to do that at this moment. So I’ve started out to replace those few pencils that really make my toes curl.
Scraping, sliding and floating
This morning I realized that by there very nature artists must be very self centered people.
I was thinking about this drawing I was going to do that wouldn’t be very nice. Actually I was quite curtain that I wouldn’t like the drawing. And that you would have a hard time finding someone who did.
So why do the drawing?
Mostly because it is something I’ve got to get out of the way. It’s the drawing I’ve been working towards for the last year or so.
I did one that look a bit like it a few months ago. But then I didn’t dare to do it the right way. I rushed through it and didn’t like the result.
This time the result is almost what I wanted it to be.
I started slow and deliberate. And then increased my speed. By the last quarter I thought I knew what the result would be and changed technique. Which didn’t turn out so good.
But overall it’s more or less the picture I had in mind.
Finish and start
While I was drawing it I realized something else about the term “artist”.
I’ve finally earned the right to call myself an artist.
When I started this blog 2.5 years ago I thought that an artist was somebody who produced beautiful pictures. And since that was what I was trying to do I thought I could use that title.
(And besides “artist learning to draw” sound a lot better then “Dutch guy learning to draw”. Doesn’t it.)
But you don’t have to be an artist to produce nice pictures. Anybody can produce nice picture. Give a monkey a camera and he can produce nice picture.
Even worse: Give an elephant a paint brush and he can produce nice pictures.
And it isn’t even about producing nice pictures.
I don’t like a lot of contemporary art.
Even a lot of famous art works are an acquired taste. Like these paintings by Mondrain.
Being an artist is about development of your medium.
While doing this drawing I realized that I want to spend the next few weeks, maybe months, exploring the interaction between (color) pencils and paper.
Different colors feel different while they scratch or glide over the paper. Different kinds of paper feel different.
And of course using different techniques causes various feelings.
I don’t know if this is going to lead to interesting drawings. But it should lead to interesting experiences.
I’ve been wanting to do a drawing like this for ages. But I just didn’t dare.
Actually I still don’t.
So I rushed it.
The big black part is to get it done fast.
Doing a drawing like this I understand the stories about the old masters drinking a lot of alcohol. At the moment I sure feel the need to rush down town and drink this doubting fearing feeling away.
But this drawing has one good thing.
It gives me a lot of ideas.
Strangely enough. About half of the ideas are for techniques I want to try without knowing kind of picture I would get.
And the other half are for picture I would want to make without knowing how to do them.
But something along the line I’m following now should work.
Looking at this picture it’s clear which parts of the drawing I like and which I don’t like.
Clearly my next drawing will take a lot more time.
Good thing I’m on holiday.
I made a few more color mixing test sheets. And threw them out.
This isn’t working.
For one thing because it’s boring. Both to look at as to make them. Also it makes me feel like I’m going back to school. With all the pencil numbers I have to study to figure out how to combine colors.
But most of all because I still feel a lot of self doubt. I still don’t know what it is I’m going to draw when I start mixing colors.
But the more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that having self doubt might be the point of doing these kinds of drawings.
When I do a drawing where I can more or less predict what it is going to be, I always get bored. And it never results in something I really like.
Which is not to say that I always like the result if I can’t predict the result. But sometimes I do.
Having a lot of self doubt is a fairly sure sign that I’m treading on uncharted country.
It might not be a nice feeling but it is the right way to go!
For my next drawing I want to mix some colors.
When I first thought of this drawing it seemed rather difficult. Yet also a nice design to try. Now I’ve been thinking about it a bit more I’m finding that it’s even more difficult then I imagined.
So I’m mixing a few colors to find the right ones.