Friday, November 27, 2009

My Cousin Can Draw Better Than You

I came up with this heading because of a joke between a very close friend and me. No matter how well I draw a picture; he comes back with, “well shoot, my cousin back home can do way better than this.” The other statement … “I got a boy back in San Diego that can draw just as good.” This playful banter between he and me has been going on for quite a few years, but the sad reality is, I’ve heard this statement muttered in the professional world from customers passing by. My wife told me years ago, “if you’re going to be out there showing your work, you’re going to have to be prepared to take the criticism.” While selling portraits, customers who showed interest in my work, would sometimes balk at the price. They’d take a step back from my art table and mutter these immature words, “my cousin can do way better than this and he don’t charge this much.” What I found most fascinating about the situation was that their cousin could do way better than I could, and yet they were inquiring about my prices. This statement from them that one of their relatives was in some way superior never bothered me because it came from an immature mind. It came from someone who was looking at the work and was hoping to get a piece of quality for cheap. The fact that their cousin could or couldn’t draw way better was not their argument, but a defensive mechanism to somehow take a pop shot at my prices – something clearly out of their price range. Even when I addressed the amount of time it took to draw one face – sometimes 12-15 hours for the face alone not to include hair and clothes – somehow this wasn’t worth it all. The nearly photographic quality without the aid of digital technology wasn’t appreciated. The comment reminds me of a juvenile girl who is dating a guy and when they break up she states, “he was ugly anyway” – which makes you wonder why she was dating him in the first place.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From Joe, with Love

This is a drawing I did for a class project at the Academy of Art University. We were required to complete a still life and instead of doing the usual - bowl of fruit, bottle of wine, blah, blah, blah, - I decided to do something slightly different. Coffee is one of my best friends, or rather, caffeine is one of my best friends. We have a very long and loving relationship, and I felt I should try and capture him in all his glory. This pot and his siblings pictured here, I see every day. I took the time to set the scene and because my coffee cup is damaged, I felt the need to capture that broken handle as well. I'm just learning charcoal right now, and this was definitely a challenge. Charcoal as a medium, is not very forgiving, especially when you color in an area that should be white. Your fingers and hands can easily become black, and clothing, well, ... ruined. I really had a good time capturing Joe here, and I plan to frame this one when I get home from Iraq and put it on my wall. Unless of course, you're a good friend of Joe and want to display him in your home. Write me, make me an offer, and we'll talk. The drawing is 18x24 inches.