Van Gogh’s lesson for me today:
Rappard has painted some good studies, among others a few after the models at the academy, which are well done. A little more fire and passion would not hurt him, a little more self-confidence and more courage. Somebody once said to me, “We must make the same efforts as lost, desperate beings.” He does not do that as yet. His pen-and-ink drawings of landscape are very witty and charming, but in these, also, a little more passion, please.
(From Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait, W. H. Auden, ed.)
I’m focusing on drawing at all right now, and drawing accurately, and learning how to paint, but at the same time I hope I can keep those words in mind. I want to push past my carefulness and dutiful copying, and let some feeling and messiness come out if it wants to.
Here’s a charcoal drawing I really enjoyed doing because I love sumac so much, especially in the late fall when the leaves are gone and they’re very dramatic looking.
This tiny landscape is of one of my favorite places, a marsh in Essex, Mass., a couple of towns over. I stop at this spot on my way to work when I have time; it’s beautiful in every season.
This was my first attempt at freeform lace.
I also love doing freeform crochet.
Here’s another of my oldest drawings, just some practicing with shells. The paper was old and stained, so I made a collage out of it by mounting it over handmade paper and gluing sand all around the shells.
And here’s the painting I now remember was actually the second one I did last year, after the pears. I was working from a murky Polaroid photo, and you can tell. It’s an obvious beginning exercise, but it was exciting to do a landscape for the first time and figure out the layers of background, middle, and foreground. I keep almost gessoing over this but I have a soft spot for it.