I listen to old New Orleans Jazz Fest favorites as I select my favorite sketches from last week to share with you. Marcia Ball, Beausoleil, and Irma Thomas sing in the background while I enjoy the music and decide on these three pieces.
The sketches are charcoal on paper and they are short poses. I was pleased with the set of drawings for the evening and when I got to the one I didn’t like, I knew it was time to call it a night.
I am one of those artists that ‘work till I drop’ and sometimes, the enthusiasm and concentration are so great that I lose track of time. So when I work alone, I tend to go non-stop until I don’t like what I see in front of me. That’s when I look at the time and realize it’s time to stop. Working with a group is a good way to pace yourself, take a break, look at your work and come back fresh within shorter intervals. When I work alone, I like to go with the energy of the creative moment. I push and stay on track letting the work flow. I am only a vehicle. I don’t mind coming back and making major changes in the next session. Sometimes I even wipe the canvas clean and start anew. With sketches, it just takes a flip of the paper and I’m on to a new drawing. It’s all part of the exercise anyway. Each new piece brings me just a little bit closer to where I want to be. At times, the process moves in a round-about kind-of-way. I may not know it at the time but when I see it, I know.
As work progresses, sometimes, as with the zydeco, blues and jazz I hear, I have my favorites. The stick or the brush just seam to flow and what comes out is authentic and natural. There is no complication. It all just falls into place. This was the case with the sketch I did of the reclining figure. That was my favorite for the evening but the rest were all necessary to reach that moment and for that reason, I continued after I completed the reclining pose, in search of the next moment of alignment.