Shell Game

This journal page reminded me of the "good old days" studying scientific illustration.  I spent three years in illustration classes (before I switched my major from oceanography to art) and while I love the resulting art from that period for its technical precision, I remember very clearly how I hated the entire process.  It was time-consuming, painstaking, and focused on perfection in every detail (an understandable requirement for drawings meant for scientific reference.)  My least favorite subject matter?  Shells and bones.

Shells and bones are beautifully subtle objects with soft curves and complex gradations of color and shadow.  They are a headache to draw, however, and as this page progressed, I soon began thinking about how I could get this page over with faster.  My solution was to add a nice big title. I think it is good to tackle challenging subject matter but there are so many things to draw in this big, wide world; there's no reason to make yourself suffer if a particular object drives you crazy.  

In other news, the school year is here and that special kind of busy that consumes my every waking hour has begun.  For the first semester (September through January), I am teaching nature journaling, story illustration, map-making, the elements of art, and a class focused on experimentation and play with watercolor.  Whew!  When I'm not planning lessons or making samples, I am trying to complete some new canvases for an art show in October.  I spent my entire summer unable to do much beyond simple sketching on my couch and even though I still have a lot of healing ahead, I am trying to get back into the rhythm of life.  I'm just moving forward, hoping my foot will decide to cooperate eventually. Anyway, if my blog posts become a bit more erratic, you'll know why.


Michellem said…
Your shells are amazing!! Plus your solution of the big title only adds to the personality of this work!!
mary Beth said…
One of the reasons I follow your blog is to see what's inside your head.I have always found how people problem solve to be fascinating. I am so amazed at the power of one person to achieve so much with a beautiful result. Thank you for sharing your process...both inside and out.