Posts Tagged ‘carla sonheim’

Limiting One’s Options

Cat No. 5 — Black and White Striped Cat

Rethinking Ideas.

          Having options is a good thing. True or False?

          Without much thought, I would answer true. Then I read what

Carla Sonheim, author of Drawing: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun, and who dreamed up that crazy idea to draw 30 cats that I accepted as a challenge, has to say about having too many options.

          “Even though I love drawing and have completed hundreds, each day I have a little mini war with myself when I face that blank page.”

          To get over that hump, she has what she calls an arsenal of starter exercises – rules, restrictions and challenges to work within – to get herself going.

I immediately understand.

Carla’s starter exercises for her art are the same as prompts writers use to start their brains. “It’s a paradox: when you have complete freedom, you often freeze up and do nothing,” she says.

OK! Back to drawing cats. I’m actually having fun with the exercise.  

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

It was supposed to be 30 cats. -- Pat Bean

It was supposed to be 30 cats. — Pat Bean

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso

The Goal to Not Take Art so Seriously

Before I became a writer — which I accept that I I was at the age of 25 forward, but didn’t acknowledge until I thought I was skilled enough at the age of 50  — I also wanted to be an artist.

A voice inside me said you can’t do both – silly voice. Occasionally over the years I ignored the voice and did a few paintings, most of which I threw away or which ended hanging up in the homes of children, whom I assumed only said they liked them because they loved me.

002          And that’s probably true. Although I have to admit, I do know viewing art is like reading. What one person loves another can just as easily hate. Neither writing nor art is like math, in which two and two always add up to four.

Recently I’ve had the urge to keep an illustrated journal just as I do a daily written one. To that end I was reading Carla Sonheim’s “Drawing Lab,” which is about making art fun. The first exercise was to get in bed and draw 30 cats.

I got bored after six, which is how my journal page “Six Cats” evolved. I do so love color and I had to fill the page with something.

The next page in my daily art journal is a collage. My three youngest grandchildren made me large homemade cards for my birthday. I adored them, but really didn’t want to begin cluttering up my small apartment with this kind of thing.

I didn’t have the heart, however, to throw them away. So I snipped bits and pieces from all three of the cards and created the collage you see here. I added the photo of J.J. because he gave it to me on my birthday.

Since it took me 25 years of writing before I could call myself a writer, I’m certainly not ready to call myself an artist – and might never be.

But I am having fun.        

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

    Bean’s Pat: An old tale  http://tinyurl.com/ajhdxkw More is not always best.

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