Friday, May 26, 2017

Narrative Art and the 'POW' Effect

I'm very interested in sketching people doing things in a location. Recently, I've been having a growing awareness that I am one of the people present in each location, also doing things.  

We PEOPLE, wherever we are, are creating stories with our actions and feelings. And, we SKETCHERS are artists creating pictures of these stories. 

When I went into the Jewel Box Cafe at Point Ruston, in Tacoma WA yesterday, I was hit with an extreme emotional attraction.... "POW!'

An empty, over-sized, velvety-red chair, sporting ornate woodwork and twinkling brass tacks was cajoling me to come cuddle. It was a delicious feeling. I couldn't believe no one was sitting in 'my' chair, or either of her nearby red sisters. I stood for some moments before going to order a coffee simply because I was enjoying her siren call.

Finally, coffee in hand, I walked toward her. As I came closer, I realized she deserved a more memorable reaction from me than my sinking onto her cushion. I would sketch her, knowing that the intimacy of drawing her would remain in my thoughts and emotions much longer than a fleeting cuddle that would last only as long as my coffee.

That's my story.

Of course, I also noticed the women sitting at the side table, discussing Life while enjoying the sunshine. I understood why they were over there: the red chairs were much too far apart for the intimacy of their animated conversation and sunshine is a rare gift we treasure in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S..

That's their story.

In a way, their story and mine are similar: All three of us optimized for the highest and best intimacy and enjoyment we could achieve in that time and place. 

There are a couple of ways our story is different, though: I am an artist...and, I want the viewers of my sketch (if I succeed with it) to feel what I experienced in that place and time. So, to try to achieve that I did 'some artist-things' :

I composed my sketch using the 'Rule of Thirds.'

I revised my values until I was sure the greatest contrast took place at my focal point: the chair.

Even though my palette was just a basic Red/Yellow/Blue...I made sure there was a complementary color combination taking place at the focal-point chair, making it 'stand out.'

But then, perhaps my story isn't so different from theirs: One of the ladies kept gesturing with her hand as she shared her thoughts: over and over again, she kept 'catching my attention' as she made HER point.           

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