Oct 10, 2019

The WHY of Your Art - Painting & Drawing Tips

Why do you paint/draw?
Why that subject??
Why that method?
Why that medium?
Why do you make the choices you make in your practice?

TREATS FOR MY SWEETHEART - Matted 20 x 24, Watercolour $700

You are driven to create.  That part is easy but have you determined WHY you do what you do?  What drives you?

Having a Show brings this all to the forefront. . .

I just finished a 2 week show at the Pop Up Gallery here in Surrey.  It was wonderful to see a large selection of my coastal wildlife work in a location right befitting it.  Right beside the coastal shore.  My herons, eagles, seals could smell the salt water, they were so close.  It was wonderful.

But . . . .people were asking all kinds of WHY questions.  

They expect an interesting, articulate answer.  Definitely hard to do if you haven't spent some time with yourself.  Some artists journal their thoughts.  Despite being a writer, that doesn't seem to be my way.  My thoughts rattle around in my head.  They emerge in my titles, my write ups, my advertising. . . And of course, in my work.

My Story

The first big why?
Why do I paint/draw wildlife?  I am curious, fascinated, drawn to wildlife.  As much as I love the scenic west coast, I find it hard to paint it unless it has some life in it.  A seagull, a bird, a deer.  Somehow that gives meaning to me.  I use only my own reference material.  This meets my second goal.  To share that feeling of awe and wonderment of seeing my bird or animal in the wild.  To sit on a log and watch a woodpecker feed its baby or a mother seal teach her pup to swim is special.  Something to share.

But why the method? the medium? the style?
This becomes more about my practice.  I work in three mediums: permanent ink, graphite and watercolour.  Together or separately.  How do I decide?

Sometimes it is the challenge . . .
Can I draw a realistic animal using just my line work in ink?  I had been working a lot with my pens and felt I was ready for that step.  Just line work.  No, watercolour to cover an errant line.

HERON: TIDES RUNNING - Watercolour,  Matted 8 x 10, $130 

Sometimes the style
Can I mix abstract with very tight realism? I had been playing around with ideas in my sketchbook and so decided to try it. 

JUNCOS AT THE FEEDER - Ink & Watercolour mounted on Wood Cradle, 8 x 10 $200

Sometimes the place . . .
Painting Plein Air, means painting from life.  I work smaller, 5 x 7 or 8 x 10.  I need to work quickly.  My animals wont stay there forever.  I chased these little pigs around the pig style for several hours to paint my Three Little Pigs!!   Maybe this was more of a Challenge than just a place thing. 


Sometimes it is a memorable moment . . .
This little seal popped up to watch me as I kayaked on the Campbell River.  We were both there for the Salmon Run.  Him to eat, me to photograph.  He let me get a great shot then turned, flipped his tail and splashed me.  Not such a great good bye. 

UP FOR AIR - Coloured Pencil, SOLD

Sometimes I really want to do meticulous realism  . . .
I look to my pencils for this.  They allow me to convey the detail I crave, give me the textures I want, and the control that I need.  For me, the subject comes alive.

BIG BLUE - Matted 12 x 20, Graphite $450

Have you answered your Why's?  
Sometimes, my Why is simply to enjoy myself.  I love the feel of my pen on paper, the joy of watching colours flowing together and the soft blend of textures in graphite.  But the other riding goal

Bringing My Birds and Animals to Life on Paper

More on the Why's:
Why Graphite? 
Have You Felt the Freedom of the Line?
Ready to start Drawing

Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

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Get Ready for Christmas!! with a Fun Way to Improve your Drawing Skills
This year's theme is Candles, Holly and Poinsettias

Christmas Card Classes 
Saturday, Nov 16, 10-12pm. Art by Wendy's Studio, North Surrey
Wednesday, Dec 4, 1-3pm. Gardenworks at Mandeville, South Burnaby
Treat your Friends to a Special Christmas Greeting
All supplies Incld $40      Contact Wendy


Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing lessons in graphite, carbon, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils.
Based on your Schedule at my Studio, N. Surrey. 

I am scheduled for a Demo at Opus this fall: 

 Drawing: Values, Light & Shadows Saturday, Oct 19, 11-12:30 or 2-3:30 Free 
Contact Langley Opus to Register  604.533.0601

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Have a great Artful Day,