Thursday, July 19, 2012

Figs, an "Un-still life"

© Paula Pertile
8x10, Prismacolors and Polychromos on Stonehenge paper

I think I'm back to my old self, drawing-wise. 
This is what I do best - simple still lifes, with a clean background. I went on a bit of a "draw about" (like a walkabout, except with drawing - and yes, I just made that up) there for a while, and scratched a couple of itches. Its good to get out of your comfort zone now and then and try new things, because that's how you discover new ideas, techniques, or approaches to things. But then its nice to take whatever you learned and come back to your real self. 

I noticed there for a while I was drawing things with a muted palette, and I was struggling with some of the "out of my comfort zone" pieces. I started to wonder what was up with that. Was I depressed? Were my eyes going? Was it the lighting on my drawing table? Were the planets lined up funny, or was Mercury in Retrograde for a way long time? Or what?

I'm pretty sure my eyes are OK, and the lighting on my table is good (although I do prefer to draw in natural light rather than with studio lights, but of course that's not always possible, when you're forced to work at night so much.) Depressed? Well, let's see. The economy is down, the house next door and across the street are empty and in foreclosure, people come around and pick through the recycling on garbage night (which they did all the time in the City, San Francisco, but never used to here in the suburbs where I am now), all the news is bad, and I could go on. But actually, no, I don't think that's why I was drawing muted pictures. Not consciously, anyway. Maybe its seeped into my psyche some. Mercury goes in and out of retrograde all the time, so I can't always blame that.

I think (no, I know) sometimes we artists have 'off' periods, where we're not as productive, or things aren't turning out as brilliantly as we would like. Sure, inspiration takes a holiday sometimes, but also, if you just sit down and work every day, and keep doing something, it all comes back around eventually.

I think I'll take this idea of an un-still life and run with it. I knew I wanted to draw these figs, but didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I was trying to create an interesting arrangement, and it just came to me to have them floated up to the top of the page. I started this idea of flying food a while back with my "Pulling Up Roots" piece, then for whatever reason didn't keep going with it.

Pulling Up Roots, © Paula Pertile

So now I'm mulling over what to draw next, and how to have fun with this idea.
(But first I need a nap. The kitties had a meeting and decided that 4:30 am is the new "getting up" time, and they all conspire to wake me up by jumping or walking on me, meowing to let them out, or in the case of the one who manages to stay out all night, ringing the bell to come in. Bless their little hearts, who's nature it is to torture helpless creatures, like sleep deprived moms.)


CC said...

LOVE the weightless figs, the unstill life concept and also your cat comments.

You are an inspiration and a hoot!!

Rose Altom said...

This is wonderfully creative! Love it! I get the art slump, as I am also in that uncontrollable area right now, and my cats are definitely keeping me up at night, too...maybe it is Mercury!

TLampert said...

What a fun drawing!!! You give me more inspiration to keep plugging along. My kitty (and my boys) are all taking turns getting me up early as well. Maybe its a sign I need to draw earlier than later in the day :)

Teresa Mallen said...

I absolutely love this piece Paula! That floaty business is very 'you' and so is your rendering technique - love the way you mix your colours!!!!
Looking forward to seeing the next one. Hope the nap was wonderful - I am a big fan of the afternoon siesta. :-)

Koosje Koene said...

Great piece with the figs, and I love the pulling roots too!.Welcome 'back' after your drawabout!