Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I can't seem to stop myself....I HAVE to tell a story

Detail of Raindrops Keep Falling on My.....

I started out working as a “fine artist”.....i.e. I painted for myself and to enter juried shows and sometimes show at sidewalk art fairs. I painted in one of the three standard genres....still life, landscape or portrait. I loved realistic painting, and painted mostly from my photos. So far so good.

Then little bitty stories began creeping into my compositions. At an early age I'd been exposed to all the great historical illustrators thru National Geographic magazine, with lush many page painted spreads. So in my own painting, I began to go outside the “fine art” genre, and painted things with historical themes. In painting historical, I was well on my way to telling stories.....about history.

Fair enough. So.......I began to segue over to illustration. Here, I was commissioned to actually “tell” stories, whether for magazine covers, cards or children's books. But I was still using the “fine art” style to tell stories. This is both good and bad. Good because the “fine art” look did indeed find favor with certain publishers.....bad 'cause it takes a LOT of time to complete final artwork.

Lately I've been having my cake and eating it too, (no calories involved)! I've been planning colored pencil pieces that combine aspects of (still life, landscape or portrait) with a quicker “illustrative” style I.e. “telling an itty bitty story.” My style is still mostly real.....sometimes with just a bit of artistic license. And I'm working hard to “find my whimsy”.

Case in point,this recent colored pencil piece......”Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on My.......”.

It has elements of a still life (leaves), landscape (surrounding ground) and portrait (chipmunks), yet these three things put together, with some red coloured rain drops dripping off a polk berry branch does tell a itsy bitsy story.

To the great amusement of his grinning friend, a busy, full cheeked chipmunk is about to get splashed with a colorful bit of nature. I showed how I got such highlights on the top leaves in this post:

It's a side step from other work I've done..... I'm learning a lot......and it's a lot of fun to boot.

So I guess “it's a good thing” that I just can't stop myself!


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