An interesting phenomenon of being a successful artist (at least, the level of success I've attained thus far!) is that there really isn't much of a 'rest period' between exhibits. In writing a list of shows to anticipate and prepare for in 2008, I found that I have no time to slack off. I have shows booked through August, group, juried and solo exhibits at various galleries around the state. I am now realizing that there is a point at which your passions become a full time job, no matter what they are. Art of course, is my business as well as my passion. So----end result! Get busy in the studio----again.
Above is an image of a page of thumbnail sketches. When I have a lot of ideas around one central style or medium, it helps to draw these small pictures, about 2"x3", and get down the ideas as quickly as I can. No fussing, just sketching. With this method, I fill a page with about 12 potential artworks. I make a few notes, reminding myself of what some squiggle is really supposed to be. I end up thinking some sketches are stupid and others sublime. The truly helpful thing about this is referencing a page of thumbnails a year or two or three later..... Suddenly, one's whole take on the ideas therein have changed. I see patterns where I didn't and understand the overall impetus with greater clarity, given the space of time between the day of sketching and all the artworks I've done since. Pretty thrilling stuff.
The key to making these thumbnail sketches truly worthwhile is beginning an artwork immediately after doing them. I've decided I need to do some fast, fun stuff....take a break from the intense painting I've been doing. These drawings are going to be mostly in black and white with maybe one small area of color.
Also, I am going to indulge any and all whimsy and make totally cute, bizarre and strange illustrations. Whatever I feel like! If they aren't ever to be shown, that is just fine.
I realize that the prospect of exhibiting any given work alters the way I make it and finish it. For these, I am throwing that particular inhibiting caution to the wind and just going.
The above drawing is just a small area of an 15"x 11" ink drawing I'm calling "Mouse Dream." I've already re-worked the stars, so don't go telling me how awkward they look! I fixed 'em.
Onto the next goofy illustration.