Sketching a new direction

Kangaroo Paw sketch

The time has come to retire from my operations management career, and that means I can focus quality time on learning and making art. To that goal, I’ve been working with a wonderful mentor through Zea Mays Printmaking Center and taken a number of classes to expand my skills.

As awful as this virus has been, it’s actually opened up access to a treasure trove of learning opportunities. Although the arts community is hard-hit by the economic impact of coronavirus, a few artists and arts centers have taken advantage of video technologies to offer virtual classes. For someone with the supplies and equipment needed (like me), these classes have been an unexpected boon. Where I live is no longer a factor in working with world-class artists like Lynn Peterfreund, Meredith Broberg or Ron Pokrasso. We meet for a couple hours, then I can take what I learned — techniques, insights, critique — apply them to a few pieces, and then share the results the following session.

One lesson I’ve been learning is the importance of drawing. Up until now, I always hated to do it, and only kept a sketchbook to ideate compositions. But my mentors have been encouraging me to draw daily, to do a sketch from real-life, a photograph, then memory. To play with blind contour drawings, and different tools and media as a way of honing my observational skills. And as a result, I find myself “drawn to drawing”. Hey Mikey, I like it!

Selected drawings are shared here and on my Instagram feed.