Friday, April 10, 2009

Pondering Star

"Pondering Star" 2009 by Lea Keohane. All Rights Reserved.

When I was in high school, I had the most amazing art teacher. Her name was Mrs. Luna, and I learned more from her about art making than from almost any other single instructor I had in college. While my drawing style is very illustrative, that has developed over many years and I actually can do very realistic drawings if I feel like it. That is thanks to Mrs. Luna, who gave me a lot of the basic skills that I needed.

I remember a lot of her sayings and rules and one that really stuck with me was that we were not allowed to use erasers in her class. She wanted our drawings to be bold and strong, and she wanted us to learn how to use our mistakes, incorporating them into our drawings rather than erase them. I'm pretty sure that back then that really pissed me off, but it has stuck with me to this day. That idea has really influenced the way that I draw, as well as the way that I begin each of my paintings.

Drawing is one of my greatest passions, and each of my paintings begins with a drawing, in permanent ink (yay sharpies!). If you have ever painted over permanent ink, you will know that even after several coats it may still bleed through, so there is little room for error. What this does for me (besides add interesting effects if I choose to paint over the ink) is give my work a level of confidence that I never had when I spent my time sketching things out in charcoal first. I am sure of every mark, and while I experience my fair share of "happy accidents," nothing is a mistake.


Ms.Alisha said...

Yay for great art teachers! I remember my art teacher would always come over and draw really DARK on everyones eventually you could see students *cringing* at the thought of her coming over to your table. Ha, ha. I truely hope that my students have fond memories of me and my teaching. I hope that somewhere down the line something I said still influences them :) I think that's every teachers true goal.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the 'incorporating mistakes' theory - else I'd never finish anything ;o) No, seriously, I love the way that you can start out with an idea and then kind of change your mind once you start working on it. It's the same for jewellery too. Your paintings are so individual to you, though. I can see what you mean about the bold, clear style. Your paintings also have an energy/spiritual aspect to them. And what a cool name for a teacher Mrs Luna! Like the Moon! Have you made a drawing of her? I can imagine something with a moon and stars etc.