This has been a curious day of picking up enough crumbs to see if it makes a cookie. For some time now, as I wound up my easel painting career, I've been wondering if there wouldn't be some way to use the techniques I've learned and adjust them to teach children, who I feel are hugely underserved in arts training. I was lucky in a way, although there was no artistic bent with my parents my mom was advised to get me art lessons as early as first grade since I needed something that I was good at and I at least got to experience a lot of different materials. The lessons themselves were stifling. Later on I could see that formal academic training could be even more so and escaped to find my own way. I usually just copied other things, rather subconsciously drawn to people who draw, rather than people who paint. I like forms and objects. Copying old masters for years gave me a lot of clues about how formulaic they could be. Pretty obvious that you don't teach imagination. So that's background. How to teach skills without crushing imagination. When I was a kid a lot of people copied Disney, and to this day do Disney eyes on everything. Now it's anime and manga, and that looks like even more of a straightjacket. Add in a new current obsession, the online tarot readers. I gobble them up like potato chips and one popped up who said she got into this because of her Brian Froud cards. BRIAN FROUD CARDS?????? I've been genuflecting in front of Froud art for forty years. It is one thing my husband and my son and I completely agree on - and there are cards. I didn't finish the tarot reading before I bopped on over to Amazon and one clicked my way to my own, and they got here two days ago. I loved on them a couple of hours before bedtime and woke up with the idea that this might be something that could be used by gifted kids to learn to draw. Copying a Froud drawing, a new master if you will, would still be solid drawing and great forms and leave imagination intact since it isn't all alike, and is really appealing for the kind of mind that likes to keep moving that pencil around. So I scanned a card, the card that popped when I asked, Oak Man. Printed it out with a grid, gridded my paper and sketched it in pencil, scanned, upped the contrast and printed it again, then watercolored it. I will note here that I didn't do a great copy, my proportions are off, and it doesn't matter. So much more relaxing than practicing with the Mona Lisa!! Next I did a relief sculpture of it and lit it from each side. I haven't painted the shaded variations yet, but I got pictures of everything so far. I asked the cards how I did and got "The Singer of Initiation" and that sounded just exactly right. Great cards.
Also, my son initiated, today, his first podcast with his buddy - the subject they chose was The Dark Crystal Netflix series... seems it is very Froudian around here. Saturn went direct today, a powerful thing.