Saturday, May 22, 2010

Musings on being an artist these days

Dark Apple © Paula Pertile
Coloursoft pencils on LeCarte sanded paper
6 x 6 inches

I spent half of today fiddling with blog/Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/website/logo kinds of things. Endless endless fiddling. I'm trying to get up to speed with all of this 'stuff'. Now I think everything I think or do or say, even if its not online, will somehow end up there. I'm a little afraid to check in with myself, for fear my grocery list or some goofy thing I said to my cats will somehow appear as a 'tweet' or a 'comment'.

I also made myself a Facebook fan page, which feels a little - odd. Like, when you buy that new outfit that's a way brighter color than what you usually wear, or get that new fab hairdo, and you're not sure you feel quite like yourself, and like everyone is staring at you ... when in fact, no one notices or gives a darn. (But if you would like to 'like' me over there, please do, and know that you will have done wonders for my self esteem today.)

So after all of that I just had to draw something. Not 'illustrate' something. I mean get out the pencils or pastels and turn my brain off for a few minutes and just be an artist. Yesterday I was attracted to these really dark purply-red apples at the store, and picked a few to bring home to draw. I did this little piece with Coloursofts (which I haven't used for a while) on a dark piece of LeCarte sanded paper. Somehow I thought the dark paper and dark apple went well together. I think this purply-red must be my new favorite color (like the beets in that last piece).
The piece changed quite a lot when I sprayed it with fixative - it all kind of squooshed together and looks less like a pastel drawing than it did before, and is even darker than it was originally.

When I draw like this I hold my pencils like pastels, and really hack at the paper, which is sooooo different than how I do my fussy tight other drawings. This is more intuitive and just 'let it all hang out' and 'I don't care' and 'just feel it'. You know, like art. And its fun. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But the 'doing' is what its all about.

I sort of miss the days when just doing the art was all you had to do to be an artist. You know? Can you imagine Michelangelo "tweeting"? Or Leonardo updating his FB fan page? (Actually, I can imagine Leonardo getting geeky with it all - Michelangelo, not so much.)


Marion Eldridge said...

So well said, Paula. You have a great "voice" in your blog. Beautiful "art." Great writer's "voice!"

Beth said...

Haha...Paula, I had to laugh when I read this, because this is exactly how I feel about the Fanpage, Facebook, and twitter. I know most could care less about what I am about to do, or have just eaten! And I know exactly what you mean with the analogy to wearing the bright color, or even a style of clothing that you don't normally wear. So, just know that you are not alone in your feelings, but I'm trying to go with the flow...for the sake of my art...and getting my name out there.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm 'way out in left(out) field...I do not have a cell phone, I've deleted my Facebook, my blog takes a back seat to art/domestic/life commitments.
But, when time allows, I pop in here for a healthy dose of Paula. Thankyou.
And, yeah, Leonardo probably would have wanted to know how Twittering, et al works!

CC said...

Love your apples.
I no longer enjoy drawing just for pleasure. Too many years of being "art directed" to do less than what I am capable of doing, perhaps.
I turn to making jewelry when I
want to bring back that "old feeling". Its also helpful to talk with other artist friends... or like your post, hear another
artist I respect say what I'm thinking.

Leslie Hawes said...


Janet Pantry said...

Love your dark apple, Paula, you captured that rich purply colour beautifully! What you're saying here resonates with me and, I suspect, many others too. Be assured you are certainly not alone in these musings ;)

Melissa B. Tubbs said...

You are so good at putting into words what we all seem to be feeling. With all this other "stuff" when I actually get to sit down and draw it seems a little strange. Should be the other way round.

Gillian said...

I'm a big fan of really loose artwork, especially with pencils, and I think your dark red apple looks delicious.

I refuse to be drawn into tweeting, twittering, chirping or cheeping *wink*. I think I'll stick to Blogger instead!

Felicity said...

I love your dark apple, just beautiful! I've been musing on your post for a couple of days as it does strike a chord with me too. It's ironic that now we can put ourselves out there for the world to see, we also become invisible because everyone else is doing it. I still think it's important to display only what we are comfortable with and dare I say, looks professional, even if it seems millions of others are happy to display 'warts 'n' all'!