Magnolias till they drop


My goal this month, besides moving, is to sketch as many magnolias as I can. Next year I’ll do a painting but the more flower sketches I get in advance, the better.

It was cold out there yesterday and even colder today, so I might get back to the tree this afternoon, but I’m not sure if I will.IMG_2220

This is one reason why my paintings aren’t marketable, they take a long time in the planning stage. People seem to want art to be spontaneous and fast. They don’t want to pay for the time it takes for me to finish a painting but if I could ever sell a painting I expect it to pay the rent. I’d rather throw my  old paintings away when I move or give them to my friends than sell them cheap.

Yesterday I worked on this sketch for about an hour and a half and got this far. First I blocked in the general size and shape of the flowers with the side of a small piece of charcoal then erased the excess and drew some lines. Then I erased the lines that were in the wrong place and redrew my lines. Then I erased again when I started in with pastels. Now you may say,” Chris, Why don’t you learn to draw faster?”  I’d say, “If I liked to rush I wouldn’t have moved to Virginia in the first place, I’d have gone to New York. Also, why rush if you have the time and you enjoy what you do?”

Sometimes I think I can give in to peer pressure and paint fast, but why should I? I like my  nonprofessional, “amateur” status and can’t conform to art society rules for very long, when I do try.

Between these sketches and the ones I do next year for the painting I’m planning, I could have 20 hours or more in the sketching phase. My painting won’t come out like I want it to if I skip this step.

22 thoughts on “Magnolias till they drop”

  1. I’m a “slow boat” painter too. I gave up trying to be someone else a long time ago. Although, I can paint a lot faster than I can draw. Drawing will always be a long-term activity for me because no matter how long I’ve been drawing it still happens every time that there’s something I didn’t see correctly the first, or the second, or the third time through and I have to fix it. Sometimes the only way to fix it is to turn my reference upside down. Hard to do when you’re painting a live tree…LOL!

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    1. I was looking at your blog and when I try to put a like on a post a white box shows up and it won’t let me do the like. Is that the new WordPress editor? I’ve seen other blogs like that.


  2. It takes courage to share your art and I feel all creative works take time unless you’ve been moved by a fit of hysteria like some historical artists. The soul (what Jung might have called the nuemen) inspires the artist and moves the hand to create

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    1. Thanks. Every artist is different. It’s just sour grapes on my part because I’ll never get noticed by the art world and I’m not good at marketing my style against the trend. It’s best for me to stay out of the art world in fact.


      1. My son loves music. Wanted to get into the industry, but a professor told him he wasn’t good enough. College didn’t help him reach his dream but gave him enough knowledge and tools for him to experience and express joy through sound. There are other ways to make use of the art you create. I mean, there has to be. Right? But I guess what I’m trying to say is a lot of people don’t know how to find joy. They seek money, material objects, and even use people to make them happy. At least you know how to find your happiness. That’s something special.

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      2. Making art is of use to me as long as I don’t have anything better to do. Nah, it’s good for my health. Thankgawd I’m not “driven”, that would be bad for me. Thanks for your thoughts.


  3. It takes courage to share your art and I feel all creative works take time unless you’ve been moved by a fit of hysteria like some historical artists. The soul (what Jung might have called the nuemen) inspires the artist and moves the hand to create in fluidity. And all art reflects the soul of the artist which takes a lot of courage. I’m not totally courageous enough to share some of my creative plays, feel there not good enough. Afraid, too, what they might reflect of me. Your work is very good! Your art always reflects nicely on your web page.

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    1. What seems brave to some people is apathy to others. Apathy is good because a bad review or rejection won’t stop you. But in the case of a play you need others to do it, and would you have to pay them? Care less about what some idiot thinks of you. I’m getting old here. I got no more f—s to give about the art world. Still I draw.

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  4. It might just be me being a bit lazy too. It needs some rewrites. The time and place of the play needs to be reconsidered. It’s fiction, as in fantasy and science fiction but not about space travel. Maybe I’ll buckle down and start some re-writes. IDK? I was reading a lot of Shakespeare at the time. Following a sexual assault, angry energy flowed out of me and through the creation of a devilish deceitful character. I have some other obstacles on the table I’m writing on right now as well. Thanks for the play back of encouragement though. It could be published as a small story, like one of many literary plays. The play “Fences” was turned into a theatrical performance and later made into a major motion film. Filing for copyrights is important, after it’s finished. Finding a publisher to publish it, too, is another obstacle. Once getting all those steps done finding someone to buy the rights for production would be a Wow! experience I never would of dreamed of and quite frankly don’t expect. Thanks again.

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  5. Hurrah for you, Chris! Make your own rules! You know what Dr Suess says, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind” 😉 I am naturally a bit of a slow poke of an artist too, but, sometimes, just sometimes, I like to throw in a bit of fast and loose, because I find it FUN! But also, you know what else, when I am in the zone, THAT’s when my best work happens and TIME is completely irrelevant. I hope you get to spend many hours there too! Magnolias are beautiful flowers, I bet your end project will be stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good quote. I like to do goof around projects too but when I decide to paint something as best I can then I have to do a lot of extra work. Either way that zone is good. I don’t even feel the cold. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! That’s the important part, the zone time! The whole of that quote is actually, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind”…and there seems to be some argument about if it really IS from Dr Suess, but I don’t mind if it is or not, so it doesn’t matter! 🙂

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  6. Part of the enjoyment of art is derived from the slow process of stroke upon stroke, seeing the progress from near and then from far, and from the evolving painting or sketch through time. I have found that is is best not to compare to other artists and their rate of production. Have fun!

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