All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

Any copying, downloading, etc. of any portion of the contents of this blog--including photographs and artwork--without written permission from Keith Russell,

is not nice...and not legal!

11 March 2013

Drawing vs. "Not Drawing"

I don't draw nearly enough (let's get that tiny bit of painful honesty that out of the way right now!), though I am trying to discipline myself to draw more often. I used to draw regularly, when i was attending frequent lectures. Now I find that I would rather paint, than draw--and although it is important to work on the paintings, regular drawing keeps the ideas flowing, helps to "develop" (improve) the ideas, and develops the "chops" (skills...does anyone still say "chops", anymore?)

Keeping a couple of sketchbooks handy, helps. (I probably have--literally--hundreds of sketchbooks. While its easy to just grab one off the pile every time I deide to draw, it's better to work my way through a book or two, since that allows me to build on earlier ideas--and keep track of the good ones.)

Several of my recent paintings, including the three 15x45 inch panel spider paintings, and the small square spider paintings, were created without any preliminary drawing whatsoever (with the exception of "Arachnaverte", which was copied--in paint--from a small original pencil sketch on paper).

And, the results I get from working this way are satisfying--but, only to a point. Lately, I'm finding that if I want to convey more complex ideas (or, more realistic ones), I need to do some pretty involved preliminary drawings.

One thing I've noticed about spiders is that their bodies are opaque, while their legs are quite translucent. This is something I have not tried to capture in my paintings of spiders, so far--but I realize would really like to.

Drawing in paint is fine, and it IS drawing. And, it would probably "do", at least for quite a while, if I wanted only that. But, it does not allow the kinds of revision, rework, erasing, etc. that provides for a through examination of subject (including pose, light and shade, texture, etc.)

So, I'm working on being more disciplined about drawing; drawing more often, keeping track of my current sketchbookin order to "build" up in previous sketches, and really explore my subject matter, to be able to produce the types of paintings I really want to make.

06 March 2013

When art shows find YOU!

I had no plans to exhibit my work until I was finished with eight to twelve new pieces, it when opportunity knocks, it's best to answer the door.

A co-worker of mine was asked to exhibit some of his paintings at a hip local coffee shop, and he was also asked if he knew any other artists who ought also like to exhibit.

He asked me if I had anything to hang, and of course I do' so I said, "Yes".

I'm taking three paintings to work today, to give to him, to put up in the show.

I don't even know where this place is, but I'll post more information--here and on FaceBook--when I find out.

05 March 2013

Speeding Up!

Last week, I reconnected with a photographer I've worked with for years (longer than I will admit here!), and this morning, I turned over Caroline and Jack, to be scanned.

So, there may be new prints in the near future!

I also want to start work on the next "Invented Faces", to complete the originally-planned series of thirteen.

I'm still working hard on The Presentation of Spiders, along with a couple other paintings, as well as a small wood carving.

I've also upgraded my computer with a terrabyte of new hard drive space, and I am going to be blogging more regularly. I also have a few ideas to help make this space more interesting, and more interactive!

So far, 2013 has already been a very productive year, so far--and I have no plans for that to change or slow down.

Here's a taste of what's coming; the progress (it's in colour now!) on The Presentation of Spiders over the past couple of weeks...!