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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Black and White

You know, God always has a way of teaching me new lessons in areas I thought I already had a handle on :)
Years ago, when I was teaching art to grades pre-k through 8, I became passionate about working in pencil and charcoal. I was sketching every day and got pretty ok at it. The "secret" I learned back then, and the best advice I ever gave my students was "don't draw what you don't see". We are all so programmed to want to see the whole eye... for the skin to be creamy pink or rich brown. We have to force ourselves to leave out half an eye, or keep white where bright light is shining...
But anyway, that's not even my point... LOL.
After being away from intricate art for years due to my arthritis, I'm happy to be delving into it again. The thing is, while I was always a decent sketcher, I've never been very good at painting. So, I've been taking classes to try to learn some new skills and techniques. It's been great fun, and I love the classes.
But something "weird" is happening. I think I discovered it when one of the teachers said in her lesson that we could leave our work at the sketch phase, but black and white is "boring". Now... don't get critical here! I understand her point of view based on the class. It's all about color and layer. But it really tugged at my heart.
I always feel like my work is "ruined" as soon as I add color to it. There's just something so basic about the raw truth of black and white. It feels more real for me than when I add color.
Now, I LOVE color. Really, I do! And I do want to continue exploring the color and excitement of mixed media.But the more I take painting classes, the more I seem to be falling in love with sketching again!
And ironically, the photography I lean towards is black and white as well. Why? My house if full of color. Dining room walls are pumpkin color, living room walls are red... kitchen is vintage filled with aqua, pinks, and red... I love color.
But when I strip a photograph of all of it's colors, it comes to life for me. I think when the distracting mish-mash of color is removed, the truth of the photo is revealed. One focusses more on the expression, the beauty, the essense rather than the surroundings. I love black and white. Contrary to finding it boring, I find it captivating.
So... my time and energy spent on becoming a better painter seems to be leading me back to sketching. I don't mind my life going in circles when the journey is full of growth and connection to other people. I guess rediscovering how much you love something is more than worth the time it took to get around that circle!
Speaking of love...
Have a blessed Sunday dear friends


colleens craft shed said...

Linda, I agree with you on the black and white. I am like you , I love color also but I love to take my photo's and make them black and white. It just makes it come alive. LOL I would love to be able to sketch like you, maybe someday.

Benedetta said...

Hi Linda!! It was so good to hear from you, I was so happy to see you stop by. I love how your blog looks. You are always so creative :)
Many hugs and blessings to your and yours :)


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