Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Voice Lessons

The Girl with Hair in Her Stars
Every new venture, no matter how well-planned and how eagerly anticipated, begins with a measure of nervousness and self-doubt.  The voice trembles, the hand hestitates, the heart questions.  It is in simply moving forward anyway that ultimately shakes loose the grip of fear.

Realistic, edgy, and/or dreamy portraits of people aren't one of my artistic strengths.  I think I could get better at it over time if I practiced and I used to think that's what I wanted to do (it is sort of a trend after all.)  But my sketchbooks are filled with something more akin to cartoons, characters and critters not quite of this earth.  These oddball beings are clamoring to be heard; they want to materialize from the mists of my imagination into a world that may or may not look kindly upon their appearance.  But things are getting sort of loud in my head.  It is time to listen, no matter how scared I might be.  It is impossible to sing if I never open my mouth.  Pure cacophony may come pouring out (especially at first, so consider yourself warned) but in time, certain pleasing melodies may emerge. 

Over the next few weeks, part of my processing will include experimenting with different face styles, practicing shading.  What head shape do I like best?  What type of eye seems most expressive?  Do I need to add a mouth?  Basic cartooning was one of the most popular classes I've ever taught at the middle/high school level and I am going to take my own advice and practice, practice, practice!  Or in the vernacular:  Doodle my brains out!  I'm looking for something that starts coming up consistently, a style that suits the subject.  I want to look at a portrait and see somebody or something familiar looking back at me.  And in that moment, both the artist and the idea will have found their voices.


Jill said...

Looking forward to sharing your journey.

sharon said...

I love your experimenting Michelle!!

Love the eyes especially, the shape of the face, and the mouth! It has me smiling!!

Terri Kahrs said...

You can't imagine the smile that appeared on my face when I opened your blog today, Michelle! These little critters may want you to give them a voice, and I one in an eager audience waiting for their stories! Doodle On, Girl!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

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