I can imagine it was the hardest part Wayne. Pencil is the hardest media to work with, well certainly when you're doing that kind of work. Once you've mastered pencil, everything else seems easier. I still use my drawing skills on every picture I do, as an under-drawing I might add. I do miss doing drawings on that scale and level of complexity. They just look timeless. Colour is great but it feels a bit gimmicky.
I believe drawings skills are the key to success for our line of works. Adding color is just the next step if you wish to take it. This one here has the color of the paper to 'seal the deal.' I think that if I had used a white substrait instead it would have less impact or visual power. The sheet, er, um, shroud wouldn't look nearly as interesting in my opinion. The hightlights certain would not have the same 'pop.' Color is gimmicky. I think that is the part that makes it so useful. Imagine "The Girl with the Pearl Earing" drawn in the style of Anime. It's a solid composition still, yet for me, it does not retain the same 'Umph.' It could still be beautiful, but the gimmick applied, the Anime look, doesn't quite fit the subject. I much prefer the gimmick of realism to this painting, at least in my imagination. Gimmicky is a powerful ingredient, I would not mind one bit to be responsible for the next one to be a hit. And there will be one, I'm sure. We constantly look for it. The only question is...does it say anywhere in any fashion that it cannot be your signature down in the bottom right corner?
I agree totally, It cannot be denied that having an arsenal of fine pencil work and cartoons in your portfolio does wonders for attracting customers. It implies confidence and demonstrates your abilities and approach to your work.
I am beginning to see and understand art not necessarily from the artistic side of it but from the side of psychology. I am concerned with the arrangement of colours and shapes and how it effects people on an emotional level. I guess it relates to our conversation on phi and its usage. There has to be a formula that can be applied to assist in the creation of the aforementioned "hit". That said, a solid understanding of pencil can definitely enhance the ability to move into using colour successfully. Market trends are not good for judging the quality and ability of an artist, the best judge for what we do is History. We create objects of beauty and wonderment that leave us and sail away into the future, we dont get to revise or tweak them, they represent our passion. Oh yeah, and the best bit is we get to put our signatures on them. That is our standard. People will see your name and then say "that's a Campbell!"
I acknowledge the market and history observation as the preception, yet I am saddened by parts of it's shadow or essence as no doubt are you. The market is of great importance to me as I am alive and wish to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I hate the idea that I have to die in order for my market value to increase as the supply of the commodity has now been irrevocably limited. It is troubling to me that the creator of something, that in a future time will only be afforded by the extremely wealthy, might have to create that something in a barn full of pig shit and flies and then have to sell it for less than the rent. Even though it remains unchanged from creation. This goes along with the observation that we pay millions to an actor or actress who plays the part of a soldier for few weeks while we only pay 4 bucks an hour for someone who is actually gets shot at for months on end. Who is the hero and who is the star? We are a screwed up lot. I believe it's because we have screwed up the market. We don't know who to pay or why. In a pure system the value goes up with demand, yet in this system, it seems a bit discombobulated and askewered. It is also possible I just don't understand. Why aren't we smart enough to know what is good and what is not? History is a concept. It does not think, decide or even exist right now. In what fashion do we give this power to it? I believe that I am a painter and a drafter. It is up to the viewer to decide if it is art or that I am an artist. Sure, I realize the need for the title, it is quite handy in the occupation blank on forms or even the title of this page or website. Here it becomes a descriptor. Yet, I think it is a requirement for us to figure out why something looks good. The reasons why it looks special. Anyone can draw a straight line on a canvas. They are even allowed by the definition of the term to call it art. It's just that I believe that an Artist is the person who has figured out not only where to put the line but in the most pleasing manner for the audience's viewing. It is they who should be the ones to bestow upon the piece the title of art. To be perfectly blunt, and I realize that you didn't specify, I say this only to support the point, it affects me none how well my name is valued after I am dead. That is something for my patrons to argue about. I can only do my best (which will assist my patrons secondhandedly) and if that is not good enough, then natural selection has a solution for that, too. To sum up; I'm not sure there is a formula that works on everyone. It's like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some like to mix the two prior to their application on the bread, while others swear it tastes wrong. Still others can't believe that people all don't insist on toast. I just hope that we all learn the abilities neccessary to create the right menu to reap the awards that will be our due while we are still alive. Yes sir, our signatures are our standard. I too, sign it when I am satisfied it is my best and I call it done, Wayne Campbell
I get that with people who put milk in their cup of tea after they've put the water in, instead of before. Its crazy!!. Just joking, I agree wholeheartedly. This is the ultimate dilemma that all artists face. I illustrated the point of history being the best judge of what we achieve, here in these few years that we are blessed with, because it is a fact. However, I see that as something to draw strength from not a hindrance. Thats the bottom line of what we achieve here. You dont go empty handed. You will be remebered. They will see your works and they will learn your life and what you went through. I truly believe that this, what we go through to get known is what makes our work so special. I also believe that it is my desire to be recognised that enables me to endure such hardships and in turn spurs my creativity onto greater heights. To be honest I dont think that there is a special formula to making it so to speak, I just feel that anything that I haven't already tried and failed at is something worth considering. What will eventually happen is that your audience will continue to grow and so will your reputation from satisfied customers. Before long you will find yourself moaning about having too much money and not enough time to paint. In the future, say fifty years from now, the world's population will be ten billion or more. Your pictures will be bought and sold at auctions for lots of money. They will be preserved and they will be a testament to your devotion. That is the job that we do. That is our gift and our reward. We too have sportspeople in the United Kingdom, namely footballers that earn £250,000 each week. I dont begrudge them earning that much, but I do agree with you that that kind of money is wholly out of proportion to what the rest of us do including those in the Armed Forces and the emergency services. No, Wayne you're right, it's not fair, it doesn't make sense. But herein lies the crutch of the problem and its not meant to be fair. We live in a World that is driven by the generation and accumulation of Wealth not by well meaning individuals who want to ensure that all peoples have a decent standard of living. It is, based on my observations, a fact that Artists are a strange bunch. We have such incredible talents of imagination and creativeness unabounded yet we exist seperately and dont wield our collective might as we should. I have some pretty good well-researched ideas on how to lay down a foundation and a pathway which would enable artists to follow simple steps towards making a living. Not only that but an idea for a governing body which could work for the protection of the artists and the work that they create. It might be the answer that you, me and all of us have been seeking for. In order for things to change, attitudes have to change, society has to change. It is changing but not fast enough for all of us. Maybe it is upto our generation to make it better for the next one by doing something to help that change along. My ideas are simple and elegant and amount more to an adoption of practices which would become a standard expected of all artists. This is not to restrict the market but to give all an opportunity to get up and running. It gives the market something to work with and the consumer an approach to what we do. You have to remember that we are artists and we know what the difference is between abstract and gouache. Most people would buy what we do but feel intimidated by what they think they know about art. They need educating and they need to feel as though we are accountable as a profession. They need an angle on us. Maybe this is my gift. Who knows? Right, I'm off to try and do what I do best, paint!. A new picture to post next week. I'm looking forward to sharing this.
Thank you, soju19! I had fun working with Jenny, she's was game for anything, even being draped head to toe in a sheet. The color is all in the paper. I have always been fascinated by really old parchments and the way they look, so using a toned paper is the next best thing. It helped it stray from the gray.