Thursday, January 8, 2015

Exploring Sharp vs. Blurry

Crisp, clear and sharp or soft and blurry?

We are talking about art, but are we also talking about life? Are we exploring that juncture  between what is clear and what is not?  Often, what is seen clearly by one is frequently blurry to another.  I think we have to wade through the blur to reach a point of clarity. Many would say the converse would be true, but I choose  the former.  Like wading through the mud to reach hard, dry land.  From the fog emerges a clear sky.

What brings all this on today?  Well, a prompt at Daisy Yellow where Tammy Garcia asks us to explore clear and sharp versus soft and blurry.  I immediately began to see parallels to real life.  More art imitating life or life imitating art?  Seems I have more questions than answers these days, but something to ponder over the course of a few days or months to be sure.

Working in my Graphique unlined pocket journal where I often explore different techniques, trial and error experiments, make notes, ponder ideas, document supplies and so forth (basically a junk journal of sorts), I immediately had an idea from this prompt. And I ended up trying many different things.

The first was the idea of dots and triangles holding and releasing color and draining down to the bottom.  Clear and sharp at the top, soft and blurry at the bottom.  The effect wasn't what I was going for, but it was not my intention to make something memorable. This is more of an exercise.

While my pocket journal is not particularly suited to a lot of heavy wet work, it will hold up to a light hand with watercolor, gouache and acrylic.  But you can't get too heavy handed with it or the paper starts to pill up.

And remember, I am not a skilled sketcher or drawing artist when you look at this next effort.  Especially when I have nothing to look at.  We're capturing the "essence" -- remember?

The idea was a running faucet and pooling water. Because I sketched straight in with a black pen, the big giant "drop" of water is well, horrible.  But remember, I am just playing and experimenting.  Coming out of the faucet hard and fast and pooling underneath.  I think I definitely captured the pooling thing, but the faucet and the giant "drip" -- not so much.

Okay, since that one was a fail, I decided to mix it up a little more.  More color.  Softer edges.  This time, I added a little lettering with a purple fine tip Sharpie marker.  Yes, I dragged my shirt sleeve across a few of the lines while they were still wet. Oh well.  I'm just playing.  No big deal.  I do like this one a little bit more.......

So, gee, that was fun.  Let' s make another.  Why not?  The husband is busy watching television and not talking.  More quality time.  Yee haw.

Back to drips and drops.  I had in my mind the words "Don't cry me an ocean".  Definitely got softer, blurrier.  My ocean goes uphill and it is windy on one side and smooth on the other.  As in life, nothing is perfect.  Move along little doggie.

So I decided vertical wasn't working for me.  Let's try horizontal. Still with the watercolors.  Blurry isn't happening so much with the yellow. It seems more of a "blending" from the last  horizontal stroke.  I did schmear it around while wet with my finger.  Not soft enough. Not blurry enough to suit me. too blah.  Kicking the proverbial doggie to move along yet again.

So, one last shot.  Dig out some Prismacolor pencils.  Soft and fuzzy, followed by definitely clear and sharp.  No blending stump available at my recliner. Too lazy to get up.  Hands were too cold and too clean to affect the pencil by rubbing.  But you see the concept for sure.  Maybe later I will add some ephemera, or maybe not.

Perhaps the next few pages I will play with doing this in acrylic. I can definitely get that "schmear" on with the fingers. Nothing more fun than paint on the fingers.

So, during this process what did I learn?  Blurry is definitely more difficult in art, at least for me.  Blurry is definitely difficult for me in real life.  I prefer order, clear and concise, exact and to the point.  Muddying up my art, like in my life is way more difficult.  But we all have to wade through the blur to get to clarity.

How about you?

1 comment:

  1. Your blog always gives me inspiration, love it all!!!