Drawing with Pen & Ink
To be in the visual arts, one must have two great desires. One is to produce art work. The other is to learn. Learning is to improve skills. to expand abilities, to understand hard work, to meet goals, and to enjoy the trip. It begins when we can see, hear, touch, and ask questions. It continues as we remember to ask more questions and apply what we’ve heard. Learning stops when we lose interest or discipline or motivation. An artist expands from each of his own works and, if he’s paying attention, from the work of others around him. I seldom see any art that I don’t find something I’d like to try. At a gallery or in a magazine or on a candy wrapper, I see results I will soon test and, if they work for me, add them to my repertoire of techniques. When we tire of learning, we slow. then stop in a race that makes life interesting.
And so this book . .
Preparing these pages and examples has been a great review for me … and I trust some new material for you. I hope I’m not giving away any trade secrets, but I never really understand or properly use any art technique or skill until I spend some time explaining or teaching that subject to others.
To get you into this book, let’s get into its author. I began in art by watching others. Mom writing or Dad sawing or Grandad painting. Then I’d try. Art interests were part of growing up, along with baseball, swimming, model airplanes and old cars. Then my interests were far ahead of my abilities, so I took classes. First, there were teachers and instructors who presented the basics. These people did not stifle or discourage me, so I moved on. I quickly added more classes and experiences to develop style and technique and skills. Soon my transcript was full of boxes with heavy check marks in them. I was passing the right bases. My credentials were being formed and my passport was being stomped. Only a few more semesters and I would move into the “guaranteed happiness” column. Banks were issuing me credit cards and I bought new clothes on credit. It was the American Way. 1 was about to toke my schooling and cash it in on the good life.
The last class, the last certificate, the last party celebrating good fortune came and went. 1 was no longer a student. I was a professional! Where was my key, my parking space? Who was taking my phone orders and keeping my schedule? My career was here!
Well, reality can be a sudden shock. It really gets your attention just before depression sets in. But, as the lights go out, the real artist wakes up. I soon found that all my training had just prepared me to begin to learn. The classroom continued and narrowed to just me. I was to become my only teacher. I was going to have to push and motivate and seek the next job. Success would be momentary. I was going to sweat through every project, wonder if I would ever be good enough and see flaws in every solution. I would chew my nails and wonder what it would have been like to have become a dentist. In short, I would be in the art business
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