Love and Luck of the Draw

Love and Luck of the Draw

“It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”- Bruce Lee

Painting is a pleasure in a real sense but will always retain a mysterious aura. With each painting session, you learn something about yourself and the way you apply paint to the brush and surface. 

Most of the time when it comes to crafting blogposts I want to convey my thoughts and express myself primarily through the written word but today will feature something that appeals to the visual observer. We all appreciate a picture book now and then don’t you agree?

Some of you may know that I painted furniture pieces for years with great delight. Reflecting back on that time, I’m pretty sure it was my way of entering the fine artist’s realm, be it by walking a long and winding road. To this day, it’s a road that has no end, just new horizons.

Spending time refurbishing old furniture was like tending to a friend who was under the weather. For you parents and caregivers out there, you know of what I speak. Instead of serving up chicken noodle soup, saltines and 7up, I would gently sand, reinforce wobbly joints, and doll up its exterior. The more attention given, the better the results.

Now I like to toggle between completing paintings and hitting the sketch pad to see if that extra attention to detail translates to my work on the canvas. Perhaps not in the level of intricacies in the composition but the level of discernment created. What is ultimately needed and what is superfluous? This was also a skill needed while painting furniture.

When it comes to portraits, what I find amazing is the difference in the feel of the piece when you are comfortable and close to the subjects you paint or sketch.

Choosing interesting looking characters from an old art book is a fine way to limber up those sketching skills. Here’s a couple historically memorialized gents with very expressive faces.

The first sketch is Greek portrait head from Delos 80 B.C. and the second is of Frans Hals  The Jolly Topper - 1627

The likenesses weren’t as important as capturing their individual expressions. Not knowing the subjects personalities or their particular idiosyncrasies, all I can do is my best to replicate what I see and sense.

Something entirely different happens when you try to portray the people you know intimately, as much as one person can know another person anyway. I’m speaking of family and your closest relationships. You feel the connection from the first mark made to the very last stroke of the wrist.

The portrait of my parents and the charcoal pencil drawing of my daughter when she was just a little wee one was more of an exercise in gratitude. 

Since art is my favorite way of expression, the deep and powerful feelings of love and gratitude for the people who forged and molded you into the human being you are today is a beautiful and humbling experience. Some achieve this by cooking a favorite meal or engaging in the other’s favorite activity. We all show our love and appreciation the best way we know how.

Whenever you find yourself wanting to show appreciation for those you care about, never forget that there are endless and artful ways to show them you care.

If you think a sketch of your loved one would put a smile on their face, I would be honored if you kept my service in mind for consideration. You are the best narrator of your beloved’s character and inner beauty. Feel free to contact me with your questions regarding a personalized sketch and with a little love and luck, we can make that happen.

I’d also be more than honored if you shared your favorite way of expressing gratitude. What are some things you’ve done to show appreciation in the past or present?

As always, thank you for reading. Thank you for your support of the arts and artists everywhere! Please feel free to share this story with a fellow art lover in your life.

Cheers and stay above the clouds,

Julie (Juju) Hickman

 p.s. If you’re so inclined, you can listen to today’s song choice, With A Little Luck by Wings  This song always reminded me of summer and the movie Sunburn with the legendary Farrah Fawcett and Charles Grodin. Too much information?😄🌻

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