Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recap, Momentum and Inspiration, Oh My.

Mandy and I were both very pleased with the results of our first project. What did we learn about our individual perceptions of "Spring"? Well, it seems that demographics don't mean much, to us spring means giant, colorful flowers. Maybe it was more about what those colorful flowers represent to each of us. Mandy was inspired by Mother's Day baskets she'd received. I found my inspiration in the shock of color a daffodil brought to an other wise rainy Portland day. Both inspirations represented some sort of hope or renewal- Spring is just that after all. Both Mandy and I were feeling accomplished, excited... motivated by successfully completing our first project. The momentum pushing us to move on to another challenge.

The blog Every Person In New York that I posted last week was also part of our conversation. If you haven't looked at it, you should check it out. Jason Polan, the artist, wanders the city with sketch pad in hand and draws the people he sees. The drawings are fast and free, but really well executed. In some cases, the figure(s) don't necessarily represent the human form perfectly but the lines do illustrate the movement or action quite well. I'm thinking specifically of the "Men Playing Basketball..." post where some of the figures don't even look complete. Arms and legs not represented. At first glance, it's a pile of lines, but once you read the description and understand the subject matter, the drawing really makes sense. The lines become a huddle of men on a asphalt court clamoring for the ball as it is tossed above them. It moves and I love it.

Jason Polan, you've inspired me! Drawing people accurately has always been intimidating, especially if the person you're drawing hopes to see the finished product. I am always nervous about offending someone with my visual interpretation of them. Jason's approach alleviates some of that pressure- he's not striving for perfection, in some cases he draws the back of someone so their face is completely unidentifiable, yet his work is still very appealing in execution and concept.

In the spirit of trying to draw more from life, I propose a series of week long projects where we are working exclusively from life. The first in the series will be drawing at least two people a day. Drawing more may be helpful but we'll only be required to post two of those drawings. The drawings should be quick line drawings; invest 20 minutes or less. Preferably, you are undetected by your subject and making time to capture someone out in the world: at the coffee shop, the gym, grocery store or just sitting on your front porch watching the neighbors stroll by. Drawing people you know is good in a pinch- but I personally like the idea of being forced to sit and draw someplace public since another fear of mine is having random people look over my shoulder while I draw. So I might as well tackle that one head on.

Mandy expressed concerns about drawing people- not her favorite subject matter. And while it's not mine either, this project is about exploring different facets of art making and moving beyond the comfort zone. So for this weeks project, we're drawing people!

Start Date: Sunday, June 6th
End Date: Sunday, June 13th
Label where you were, the date, what the person was doing.

Would it be preferable to post our solutions daily or all at once at the end of the week? And of course, if you want to join us- please do! We'd love to see your solutions to this challenge as well. In the meantime, consider what we should be working on for next week- more life drawing different approach...


  1. Oh nooooo. You are going to make me draw! I'll try!

  2. Just got home from my looooonnnng trip and missed today, so I will start tomorrow! Yippie.

  3. what do you think about posting our results every couple of days? I could scan and post today for tomorrow...

  4. Awesome. Cynthia, I hope you do join us! Just read your blog and LOVE the 25 things about the Ex's....