Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Art Every Day: Flow, fun and fantasy

 Sometimes, I try to convince myself (and others) that my art is "just a hobby."  But even if it isn't exactly an occupation or viable source of income, it IS a lifeline for me.

I must stop being so hesitant about letting myself know this.  As I write, I am thinking that I got this self-denial gene from my mother.  She was a fine arts major.  She adored crafts.  She allowed herself one "project" a year, usually in summer.  She was a relatively fortunate stay-at-home Mom in the 1950's, but to my knowledge, NEVER painted for her own pleasure, or edification or illumination.  Oh, yes, there are some nice pencil sketches of yours truly, asleep, as an infant.  I think those might have been her attempt to reconcile being a mother, but I don't think they were done for ART's (or my mom's) sake.

But an elaborate pen and ink "zentangle" is done for the FLOW of it.
  1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.[5]
  2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
  3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness. Action with awareness fades into action alone.
  4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
  5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
  6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
  7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
  8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
  9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
  10. Absorption into the activity, narrowing of the focus of awareness down to the activity itself, action awareness merging. Action with awareness fades into action alone.
This colored zentangle was  an experiment with Staedtler Watercolor Crayons. At the same time I was attempting to illustrate a point made by Steven Covey in his 7 Habits.
The way I drew mine, though goes counter-clockwise.  To the red stars are about crisis; the green leafy calm is about preparation and planing; the sinking squares are about trivia; and the curlicue
 star quadrant is at least somewhat challenging and interesting.

To the right is a pen and ink sketch of a pocket park in Arlington, MA that I did while waiting to meet family members for dinner last weekend.  The original was just pen and ink.  I photographed it and then added color with Photoshop. 

This is the view FROM the park.  I was especially interested in the contrasts between the dark shingles of the roof and gables and the custardy lemon siding. 
This certainly wouldn't stand up to genuine architectural rendering... but I'm pretty happy with the overall effect.

This fantasy landscape was actually my first play date with the watercolor crayons.  Completely out of my mind... in a good way! There are plenty of houses that "sort of" look like this in the area.  Gables. Formal. Bright. I like how the crayons liquify with only a little bit of water.  Even MORE amazing is that the dried crayon is easily drawn over with a fountain pen:  NO skipping or blotting.  Stay tuned.  Only the sheep on the hill skip.

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