Monday, December 29, 2008

Observations on Observations


My class with Danny Gregory has come to an end. I learned so much about drawing and visual journaling...but more importantly, I learned about observation. Observing details about everyday matters as a way to be in the moment and live life just a little more fully.

Our last class was the most challenging for me. We broke into groups of three for a "portrait party." I had to draw a portrait of the classmate to my left. Three times. Once in my journal. Once in the third person's journal. And once in the model's journal. Well...I definitely improved from portrait one to portrait three, supporting Danny's point that the best way to learn to draw is to draw! However, as a means of protecting the innocent (e.g., the model), I am not posting the drawings. After all, it is the process not the outcome which is important!!

Danny spent some time in our last class sharing some of his thoughts about the process. A few of my favorites: "surprise yourself...do what you can't...love mistakes...never complain...never explain...express yourself." Thanks Danny!






This piece has gone through several versions in several blog posts and although I originally thought it was not yet complete, after more observation I now feel that it is. Observations.

Available in my Etsy Shop. Click images to enlarge.

12 comments:

~Barb~ said...

Learning is such a wonderful thing and it sounds like you learned so much...and about more than just art, too. Good stuff, huh? I love your tree and the background is beautiful!
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Gillian McMurray said...

The best piece of advice I ever received was when I was 11. I was told to draw what I see, not what I THINK I see. Observation is so important. The portrait party would scare me rigid though.

Julia Farley said...

Stumbled on you this morning and love your work. How lucky for you to have taken Danny's course!!! I am groovin' on your found metal pieces. Very, very Keen. May I post a link to thm on my blog?

Julia

Judy said...

Yes indeed, we all know how observant you are. This one is great too.

Lynn said...

i like this bit on observations
something I did and wrote
in one of my recent blog post about the people in my MILs nursing home.
I'd like to try drawing them as well perhaps from memory I will

your danny class sounded oh so wonderful glad you had this experience to share with us
thanks

viv said...

wonderful seth. love the layers..

Lisa Hoffman said...

I hope that you and Danny have become BFF's. I can just see the 2 of you with your sketchbooks getting into NYC mischief.

...and your Tree piece?...now you're speaking my language (said the Forest Floor).

Shayla said...

"love mistakes," "never complain" That's very good advice.

Shirley Ende-Saxe said...

Drawing is such a mystery. It connects us to the object in a frankly clinical way and yet, the process of drawing really brings us closer to the essence of what is observed.

Congratulations to you on taking this class, people who tackle this (in my experience) have light hearts.

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Wonderful of you to pass along some of what you learned in your class Seth. The phrase "just do it" comes to mind :)
Thanks for always being so generous and caring!
Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Healthy New Year. So great meeting you here in blogland! Looking forward to more fun and sharing in 2009! oxo

Chris said...

oh, don't I love the evolution of that tree! I remember in art classes how it was just about magical how observation made all the difference. I wish I had been there for Danny's take on it. You think it's so simple a thing that it comes automatically, but we don't realize that the observation that comes with drawing is something that takes practice practice!

Martha Marshall said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Observations. I must check out Danny's work and workshops.

I love the tree too!