Saturday, April 26, 2008

Slow art

The Jumper - work in progress
Coloured pencil on Canson paper 11 x 14
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I never know if its because of internal or external factors or simply because the planets are aligned in your favour, but some days drawing just is easier than others. Other days you can struggle forever and nothing comes out as you want it. Today was the former for me and I'm hoping it will stick with me for the rest of the weekend so I can make some progress.

Today I started this drawing of a boy about to leap into the warm waters of a Florida lake. Being involved in the water safety industry, such images always make me a little nervous, even though I'm sure the child was just fine after his plunge.

Its only about 2 hours into the drawing right now and has quite a number of hours left to bring it to life, while it goes through its many stages before resembling what I originally wanted. Time is one of the points that I constant drum home to drawing students. So many want to draw a masterpiece in an hour and get frustrated and trash the piece before its barely begun. Instant gratification has always been with us but these days it seems more prevalent. No one can wait for anything, from food to drawing time.

Maybe its my nature, but I love the time it takes to develop a drawing and seeing little details emerge over time. Detailed coloured pencil drawings can take up to 20 hours or more to complete and I know that this frustrates beginners constantly because they don't under fully the process of building a drawing slowly. The knowledge of time involved in creating a drawing or painting often escapes commission clients as well when they expect a large detailed drawing in a few days and to pay next to nothing for it.

Artists are treated so differently than other craftspeople with so many expectations of generosity in terms of donations of time, expertise and product. Yet artists are, for the most part, those living on minimum amounts of money, grasping at grants and teaching or doing other jobs in order to make ends meet. Doctors, lawyers, mechanics, plumbers or carpenters are not asked to provide their work for free or are expected to negotiate, so why artists?

1 comment:

Jo Castillo said...

This is a wonderful drawing. Very exciting and with lots of movement and energy.

Guess we can only hope that the people that don't bargain and donate will purchase our art! I do think we get more requests than our share. :)