So, here’s the thing -
A little over two years ago, I found out, quite by chance, that I had a particular artistic skill. I don’t know where I got it from, as I did not think I had an artistic bone in my body. This skill is quite particular in that it comes with certain restrictions.
As I was sitting in the living room with my family early one morning, my sisters (who are quite artistic) decided to take out some blank sheets of paper to doodle on. In a moment of spontaneity, I decided to join. There was one problem though, I had no idea what to do once I had that blank sheet of paper in front of me. As I looked around for some sort of inspiration, I discovered my new-found skill with the book I was reading at the time.
It started off as a complete lark, as I placed the book in front of me and announced that I was going to draw the cover of that book, copying it down to a T. I was being sarcastic at the time, and I wasn’t very optimistic. So, I began sketching, not sure what the hell I was going to end up with. Slowly, as the woman’s face and body began to take shape, I realized that I just may be on to something here. The end result was quite spectacular, if I do say so myself.
I CAN DRAW!!! But, just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off, I took the entire book collection of that author and was on a mission to draw each and every one of those covers. I started to get the hang of this drawing thing, my friend once sent me a postcard from France, Peugeot Valentigney-Doubs, I quickly drew it one boring afternoon at the office and sent her a picture of it.
However, like I said, this skill comes with restrictions. I can only draw when I have a picture set in front of me to copy off. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t trace. That’s cheating. I draw it myself, different scale, different dimensions, different measurements, probably even slightly altered image details (I’m not that good), but ultimately it is the same picture. If you were to give me a blank sheet of paper and told me to just start drawing, I wouldn’t be able to draw a decent looking flower, let alone a complete image. Seriously, no joke. My freestyle drawing is hideously ugly. I still don’t know what the secret is to this bizarre skill. I don’t understand it, and I don’t know how it works. I certainly don’t know where I got it from. Like I said, not a single artistic bone in my body. But there you have it. It is what it is. And I’ve learned not to question it, but to simply accept it.
That being said, it has been many months since I last drew anything. And I kind of want to try and steer clear off book covers, and try my hand at something new. They do say practice makes perfect, and I am a little worried that if I don’t practice this particular skill, I may one day wake up and realize it’s gone.
Therefore, ergo, thus, consequently, and hence – my sister, also known as Chipster in the blogosphere, issued me a challenge. One that I have accepted. Since I can only copy drawings (I repeat, COPY NOT TRACE), she challenged me to take on the best of the best artists in the world, the crème de la crème, and draw my interpretation (as a copier of course) of their most famous paintings (or the ones I liked best anyway).
Together, we came up with a very decent – and intimidating – list of thirteen paintings in no particular order that I am going to attempt taking on:
Now, I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off, but I sure as hell will try. Some would say I’m being overly ambitious, and maybe I am, but what the hell? I’m going for it anyway.
I won’t give myself a deadline (even though I work better with deadlines), because let’s face it, sometimes life happens, and I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep – even if only to myself. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to go on about this, whether I’ll be writing up posts per drawing and uploading pictures, or whether I’ll write it all up and post all completed drawings when I’m done with the whole task, I’ve yet to decide.
I confess I am quite excited about this, and I’m looking forward to seeing what bizarreness I’ll be producing. I think this may have been just what I needed. A project to focus on and with any luck, one that I will see through to the end. Hopefully, I won’t butcher any of these remarkable paintings beyond recognition, I wouldn’t want any of those wacky artists rolling in their graves – or even worse – coming back to haunt me.
Wish me luck!