Friday, August 14, 2015

Ignoring the inner critic

Carla's current assignment for 2015 Year of the Spark is to create a large painting from a childhood photograph using the approach I would have as a child.  I haven't created any art of this kind since I was an actual child :-)

I made a first attempt at it and called it done.  But in looking at the painting the next morning, I realized I completely missed the goal of the assignment.  Throughout the creation of this first painting I was conscious of the inner critic - thinking about correct proportion, color mixing, value, and so many other things I never considered as a four- or five-year-old.

Thinking back to my childhood, I recalled that I used crayons for most of my drawings.  For my second go at the assignment I chose oil pastels because for me they are an adult version of crayons, but with richer color and a luscious feel.

I worked from a reference photo of me at about three years of age.  It's a murky black and white photograph with many dark areas and some blurry vegetation.  (This is the link for a sketch I made of that photo.)

The child in me would have added color, a lot of color, a critter - most like a dog, and flowers and trees.  Accordingly I did:

Why the brownish hair?  As a young child I didn't like drawing black hair because when I would scribble it using a black crayon I thought it looked very scary.  Therefore I changed my hair color to match the dog.

I guess it's obvious that I had fun making this drawing - I benefited greatly from letting go. 

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