04 July 2016

Mundanity inspired by grandeur

I follow an artist on Facebook who lives Ireland. Someone once told me that my drawings reminded me of her style, so I checked her out and, immensely flattered by the comparison, started reading her posts and enjoying her art. This week she did a sketch of a place called Tyrone House, in County Galway, which happens to be the view from her front door. I commented on what an inspirational view that must be, and then contemplated the view out my front windows, which is of a suburban row of saltbox houses just like mine. But then I thought, why not just sketch what's in front of you? So I made a sketch of my view and shared it with her, and now with you.

Saturday I dropped by Continental Art Supplies to pick up a new sketchbook, and in addition to getting one of my usual 9x9-inch ones, I decided to also get a long skinny one--6x12-inch--so that I could make myself start learning proportion and perspective by drawing low wide things and tall skinny things, which are the backbones of urban sketching. 9x9 is great for still life or little constructed scenes or book covers, but for a landscape, not so much.

I'm still not great at guesstimating what's going to fit--my plan for this was to include at least three houses, but I just can't draw small enough, it seems. Still, this was an accomplishment for me. It's ironic that my art teacher at Valley College, Carol Bishop, made us work large (18x24) in an attempt to keep us from being "itsy," as she called it. She meant for us to see the big picture and not get invested in the tiny details. I guess I took that lesson on board, because drawing small is hard for me. But on balance it's probably better that I learned to go big first.

Speaking of sweeping landscape orientation, here is Róisin Curé's drawing that inspired me to make this one. I think you'll agree that the vista is a bit grander than Bassett Street!

Didn't she make a lovely sky? I'm sure the Irish would enjoy an occasional cloud-free cobalt sky like we have in California, but the clouds certainly make for nice artwork.

Oh, and since it's Independence Day, I included the little flags a local realtor stuck into our lawns.

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