Instructions for the 2020 Spring Encounter for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, There’s No Place Like Home are simple. Participating members will sketch or create art for fifteen minutes each day for six weeks using whatever art supplies and subject matter they happen to find at home. There is no requirement to stick to nature for subject matter this time (although we suspect many of our artists will.)
Think of the possibilities! Some artists may choose to go with their mood and sketch whatever catches their eye each day. Other artists need a theme or structure to get them moving. Those artists could consider something like –
- Choosing a new subject each week. One week could be fruits, another week could be vegetables, the following weeks could be houseplants, birds, or pets.
- Choosing a different medium, or a different way of using a medium, each week. There is no need to buy anything new. Watercolors, pencils, pen and ink, and colored pencil are all versatile. Art supplies that haven’t been used in years can be rediscovered.
- Choosing a different style each week. Each subject could be drawn or painted realistically, loosely, abstractly, or anything in between. An abstract interpretation of a houseplant could be fascinating, as could a photo-realistic banana, bruises and all.
- Working in the style of some of the Masters. A chickadee might be quite interesting in hatchmarks to resemble one of Rembrandt’s etchings or as seen from every angle in Picasso’s Cubist style. How would Henry Moore sketch that chickadee to prepare for sculpting? What colors would Matisse use on his? A bonus to this approach is the time spent researching these artists and all the newly-gained knowledge.
- Choosing something out of a bowl. Artists who spend more time trying to choose their subject than they do drawing it might appreciate this approach. Slips of paper with a chosen subject, medium, or style can be prepared ahead of time and put in a bowl. When the time comes for the daily sketching, one of these slips is chosen and the artist can get right to work.
- Choosing different adjectives. This approach is similar to choosing a subject, medium or style out of a bowl, but the slips of paper all have adjectives on them. Some examples would be “calm”, “exciting”, “fresh”. What subject or media would convey the feeling of “joyful”? A dictionary or thesaurus will make the preparation much easier.
- Journaling the season. At this time of year, the view outside the window will change almost daily. A quick sketch each day of one fascinating observation would result in a wonderful record of the beauty of nature in Spring.
There are probably as many ideas as there are artists, and it will be fascinating and fun to see the results! Guild members should let Jane Kellenberger know if they would like to participate by clicking on the RSVP link of their recent e-mail.