Art Unboxed – Take A Trip
On Good Friday Ashley and I took our son Nicholas on his first trip to the Nashville Zoo. My first priority was my family, and the second was getting some pictures to draw and paint later. This was not going to be a Plein Air trip, but it was going to improve my art.
I was closer than I ever imagined I would be to everything from a kangaroo to a red panda. I was even sprayed by a dinosaur, albeit a mechanical one. The other animals were real enough, and I took plenty of pictures.
I understand that the pictures do not do the animals justice, and the differences in the lighting etc with the photograph. However, I didn’t just buy some photos, I took them. I saw the richness of the pink in the flamingos, the characteristics of the meerkats, and even a playful squirrel which I didn’t expect to see.
As a result I’ve sketched four animals, and did digital paintings of two animals. I’m just started opening the treasure trove that this trip produced in the terms of the art. The most important was not a painting, but the experience. The richness of the red panda’s fur, and the miniature size of the blue frogs stands out in my mind.
There was a vibrancy in the almost monochrome colors of the porcupines that I didn’t expect. In one picture the quills actually reminded me of a peacock in a strange way. If you find that your art has gotten a little stale, or you just need some new reference material, I would encourage you to take a trip.
It doesn’t have to be an African safari, or even a trip to the zoo. It could be a walk around your neighborhood. Anywhere you are not normally can provide new things to draw and paint. There are wonderful opportunities all around us, if we will just go out and find them.