Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oy vey!

Let's pretend for a moment that I know the teensiest bit of Yiddish and didn't just have to look that up to make sure I was using it correctly! So why am I saying that? I have the dreaded feeling that a momentum change is coming. I feel it out there, a hovering gray cloud. Things are starting to not come so easily and I'm struggling with color again. I don't know why this keeps happening. I go skipping along merrily, only to be blindsided by the feeling that I've never painted before so how could I know what I'm doing!

I'm still doing portraits. This is my sister again, and I'm quite happy with the results. (drawn about a week ago...before the feeling started) A few things need tweaking, but I look at it and definitely see her. I went to pencil after struggling with the paints a few times. This is 2B mechanical pencil, and an 8B pencil. I'd like to try it in charcoal on canvas like Dan did in one of his recent drawings. Then one day, when I'm feeling confident, do it in the water-soluble oils I have just sitting in my drawer, aging as I type this.

And this is my entry in the moleskine collaboration I have going with Dan. One of our plans is to push each other out of our comfort zone. So, with this one I prepainted the background to give us something we had to work with/around (against?). I drew it in a medium bic ballpoint pen, no pencil lines first. (The exception is in the teeth, where it isn't good to outline in black!) I've used this technique with the background a few times now. It is supposed to help unify the whole page. Only, it didn't work out so well this time. Is it just me, or does her back arm almost look like it belongs to someone else? Oh well...let that be part of Dan's challenge: to make her arm look attached! Something else that I did was zoom in. I don't see him do that often. The drawing is loosely based this morguefile photo. Like I said, I went in straight with the pen, so when I went astray with the face, I just went with it.


  1. Great drawings Raena, I saw your lady in your other blog and I really like it (she looks like she is dancing or mabe part of a deoderant ad, what ever she is doing, she looks very happy).

    Your sketch of your sister is very good and I like her having her face ever so slightly turned and looking down.

  2. I know just what you mean! We are building a house and I am just completely blocked as to colors. I finally said, "Let's just do white and pick up color with paintings and accessories! But definitely not the brown or beige that every house seems to have now." I hate that brown. Looks too masculine and boring. Now we have to pick granite and tile with colors, and I just do not know what I want. You would think I had never used color before in my life!
    Must be something going around! LOL
    Maybe I should pull out a color wheel and throw darts at it or something!

  3. It sounds to me like this "issue" you're having is simply you progressing in your skill. As you stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone- you feel a lag. It's normal and desired in skill building. That's my "expert" opinion based on Daniel Colyes "The Talent Code".
    Both of your portraits are excellent! I always think you are too hard on yourself- but then I also don't think it's right to question how you process. Because whatever you are doing- it's working!
    I've snagged a few extra beverages from Dan's party- so come join me on the patio. You can draw me bald. It'll be fun!

  4. For a moment there, I thought it's another self-portrait, but it's your sister! Boy you two really look alike =) And that's a wonderful portrait.
    I like what you did with the exchange I can't want to see what Dan's going to come out with. He's always got some strange and brilliant ideas that make people go like "wow...why didn't I think of that?!!" ^^

  5. Alex is right - this is a wonderful portrait of your sister and you do resemble each other strongly. I don't think the arm looks like it belongs to someone else at all. Dan will have fun with this one! nancy

  6. I can so see the family resemblance between you and your sister. Re the color issue - the other day I colored a sketched face that I drew, and added blue in various places for shading. He looked like the walking dead! Desperately I added more pinkish tones. Now he just looks dreadfully ill or beaten up. So don't worry, at least I am down there with you. Oy vey!

    Re our project. I went to my blog and, whoa, there was a flash of color in the upper right corner! I got so excited! It's so great that we are doing this. Caliente! I like this because there is a lot of chance for action on this page. I like that I am going to work on the color - never done that before, as you know. Thanks for that. Re the arm - I didn't notice any problem with the arm. But you said there was, so I stared and stared at it and the arm began floating off of her. Lord knows - expect a problem and one is created. I will figure it out later. My hunch is there is nothing to fix. I am also terribly impressed that this is so different from the reference photo. Great job! Can't wait to get it in the mail.

  7. Raena-- lovely drawing of your sister. I think it's terrific.
    As for that feeling you have. Embrace it. I'm in one myself and if I get through it, I think i'll be better for it. I'm drawing everyday and I think it's a good way to get through it.

    Your latest entry with your collaboration with Dan is great. Nice to see that you're using pen and not being hesitant about using a permanent medium right off the bat.

  8. Raena, Your portrait of your sister is great--I could recognize her from your earlier one. About the arm, it looked perfectly fine to me until I read your comments, then it did seem to detach itself from her--a very strange phenomenon. All in all, I think it looks fine though.

  9. When I was at Art college my tutor told me that this feeling is often most pronounced when we are learning lots of new stuff and all the new information we are acquiring is having to mingle in with the old - sometimes it's also accompanied by an apparent 'loss of skills' - suddenly we can't seem to do things we could last week. But it passes - and over the last few years I've seen my self go through this so many times. it's uncomfortable but it will pass and it means you are developing.
    I like the protrait of your sister - it's got a sort of forcefulness to it, as if she's a really determined sort of person. I can see what you mean about the arm in the second one but I'm not sure what it is either, however she has lots of energy and looks happy and I think the overall impression is absolutely fine. There are very few paintings and drawings out there that don't have flaws.

  10. Always a delight to view your art and say 'Oh Wow' and then ever so amusing to read your own opinion of it which is an occasional, grudging 'Yes, I'm sort of happy with it'. Heh heh. You're a scream!

  11. I often get those grey cloud moments and really never sure what I am doing! LOL

    I love your sister's portrait and will be interested to see your family reunion using photographs of your ancestor's that you mentioned. Thanks for your comments on my blog!

    De Wilde Art

  12. Raena, the sketch of your sister is really good, though she's looking slightly down and disapproving of you or the viewer.

    In your painting of the lady with arm held high, she appears to be waving. On closer inspection of my own arm held high, the top arm muscle is further down towards the shoulder and there is a small shadowy area towards my elbow. But then again, I am a man with huge muscles - LOL!

  13. Nice work, Raena. Sometimes we just need a short break before jumping into another painting or drawing. Dr. Dan can make that arm work with hair or a lei of flowers. She looks happy and could be dancing!

    This collaboration (as an audience watches) has got to be nerve wracking.

  14. I am loving your portraits - haven't dare to do to much of that myself! Dan should have a very happy time with your painting as it is so bright and cheerful. I look forward to seeing the outcome....