November 13, 2012

A Tree

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is "Tree."  So here's my tree.  Assignment done.  
But this got me thinking...I did this little sketch not long ago when I was listening to someone talk at a meeting (I was paying attention, honest I was).  I was thinking about my book and noodling through a scene --kind of operating on autopilot. When I looked at it later it made me think of how, when I was very young, I was convinced that in order to be a real artist I had to be able to draw most everything from memory. Somehow I got it in to my head that it was kind of "cheating" to draw only what I could actually, physically see.  I wasted a lot of time not drawing. 
Moral of story-- draw (if you are so inclined)...no matter what you think!
You might just surprise yourself.




104 comments:

  1. Very sweet. Maybe the start of another story?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea, Liz! Especially since my final painting for the book really didn't turn out quite like this...
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Hello Elizabeth:
    Alas, our drawings, or even the simplest of doodles, whether from life or from memory, resemble absolutely nothing and are so bad that we cannot even pass them off as abstract interpretations!

    Your tree has a wonderfully tactile quality and we love the group of animals at its base. The whole resembles a scene from a picture book. But why should we be surprised at that?!!

    We shall be 'off air' for the coming week or two but will look forward to catching up on our return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh...but you two have the EYE--as evidenced by your latest acquisition!
      Hurry back :)

      Delete
  3. Such a sweet drawing, it makes me smile, thank you for that! A teacher ones told me you should at least draw one drawing a day, no matter what....I try too, but it's not easy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try, too, Celine--but you are quite right...it's not so easy! You do an very good job, though!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  4. Nice sketch.. obviously Henny was a live model!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hai Elizabeth!
    So sweet! Little friends under such a big tree!
    Have a nice day,
    Helene

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fabulous doodle.

    I'm glad you are wrong about "real artists" as I never draw from my head although I do interpret what I'm drawing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue...of all the artists I know, you are among the most "real!" ...For real :) !

      Delete
  7. I think we get a lot of ideas in our heads at one time or another. Hopefully we never get too old to re-evaluate our beliefs once in a while! This little group of critters is so beautiful and innocent and sweet. Just enough detail to give them some life in the reader's imagination. Wonderful tree too, the foot of which will provide the beginning of many adventures I'm sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy--I always love your comments. They are so thoughtful, and descriptive. So glad we are blog buddies :) Thank you!

      Delete
  8. I love this drawing - agree with you about the autopilot thing, I find when part of my brain is elsewhere somehow the drawings come out good...but hey, may be that's just me.. lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Ann! I think it's what they call being in one's "right brain." I hope you visit there, often ;)
      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. The picture is very sweet, a delightful little scene.

    It could totally have been me writing every bit of the rest. I spend my meetings drawing too (and yes, listening), and when I was little I thought the exact same thing, which was the reason I couldn't be an illustrator, because I didn't HAVE all those things in my head. I also thought I could never really be a writer because I thought their books came out on the typewriter perfect, as they are published. But I never stopped drawing or writing. And obviously, you didn't either. Yeah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah! I'm so glad you never stopped! It's comforting to know someone else thought the same thing--makes me feel just a tad saner ;)

      Delete
  10. Oh Elizabeth, this is just MAGNIFICENT! And I love the effect it has as you SCROLL down from the top of the tree, only to see at its base these three darling characters! BRAVO MY DEAR, BRAVO! An thank you for coming to visit with me....sleep tight my dear. Anita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bravo for your wonderful comment, Anita! Thank you! xo

      Delete
  11. Those DARN rules!!! They can freeze us up - and, half the time, I'm not even sure who made them. =/

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh can so relate to that. Love the tree and the friends :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I call I get to climb it first! Nice tree! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Henny already beat you to it. The lecture ended before I could sketch her in.
      It's OK, though, Henny likes to share ;)
      Thanks, Jeanie!

      Delete
  14. I wonder what they are looking at? The clouds? This merry band makes me happy even if they are just a mere whiff of suggestion. Merci!
    PS. I will think of this solid tree the next time I do "tree pose" in yoga--very rooted...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Heather! I'm glad you appreciate the gravity of the situation ;)
      They're supposed to be looking at little Henny...I just didn't get that far :-O
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  15. Adorable! This drawing is so delightful! So beautiful to see, love everything in the picture :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Four little friends looking at the sky, leaning in a tree and telling stories. This is wonderful!

    Your are a fantastic artist ,Elizabeth. I always enjoy your work.

    Have a beautiful day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marisa! My day was made much better for reading this beautiful comment :)
      Thank you!

      Delete
  17. Lizzie, you manage to infuse the static with the dynamic. You trick my eyes. I look at the base of that tree and I see movement, like a reel. And when I followed the gaze of your little crew, I heard rustling.

    You are amazing.

    (Little one still feels most confident when she 'copies.' But she has 'branched out' with her own characterizations ... Chef Cocoa. :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little one will go FAR...of that I have no doubt. As for your observations...I think I should have you write the jacket flap copy for Miss Henny ;)

      Delete
  18. Hi Beth. I love trees, and I love your sketch with all the animals sitting under the tree, enjoying it. I think the tree is smiling, too.
    I doodle all the time in lectures, otherwise I fall asleep. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...doodling is a grand pastime. Keeps us out of trouble, doesn't it? ;)
      Thanks so much, K.

      Delete
  19. My trick, for not falling asleep in lectures, is to write out the alphabet with my left hand. Next I'll try drawing with my left hand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I like that idea--stimulates that right brain...unless of course you ARE left handed ;)

      Delete
  20. I like the loose scribbly feel, lovely illustration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. There's a certain feeling of freedom in approaching it this way :)

      Delete
  21. That is great advice! I am surrounded by people who don't understand why I draw or why I draw what I draw. I am sometimes just spontaneous. Little confession...I used to get in trouble for drawing during church sermons. Sorry...I just can't help myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best time to draw! Sorry you got caught ;) ...And yes, it's true, we just can't help ourselves, can we!?

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. Hey, Alexiev! Nice to see you here! Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  23. beautiful lines. and fabulous moral too!
    xo sandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh ELizabeth, i just love how you manage to respond to everyone, please tell there is two of you!! you must confess you have a clone!! you are amazing!
      x sandra

      Delete
  24. Replies
    1. ...And another lovely comment by YOU. Thank you Otto! Btw, I am really enjoying your blog :)

      Delete
  25. Reminds me of Beatrix Potter, which is a compliment in any part of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Thanks, John! That's a huge compliment in any part of the world. I SO appreciate it! I LOVE Beatrix :)

      Delete
  26. Glad to see I'm not the only one coming up with great art during meetings! ;) I love that adorable little group at the bottom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mit. Glad you draw during meetings too--it keeps us out of trouble, don't you think?

      Delete
  27. But what are they looking at up in the tree?

    As for surprising myself with a drawing, I think the surprise would be that I actually tried to do one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello dear U.! The lecture ended before I could pencil in little Henny. She's up there in spirit! Btw, I think you should surprise yourself-- I think you would have fun :)

      Delete
  28. I remember a book of fantasy art, and the artist showed his model Polaroids along side the painting. The monsters were all men, looming over their prey, with their faces twisted and their hands in claws. Even monsters are drawn from real life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I remember reading an article about the artist who wrote Dinotopia. He actually built a scaled model of all the buildings and dinosaurs to paint from. Amazing!
      Thanks for stopping by, Tony!

      Delete
  29. Hi,
    There's real sensitivity in your tree, and sweet little animals too!

    I like to doodle at meetings also---I end up with a lot of back-of-people's heads drawings...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...back of people's heads--you obviously sit in the back ;)
      Thanks, Jane!

      Delete
  30. Really made me smile, Elizabeth. I don't know quite how you capture so much in a view of your animals from behind - magic. There's such empathy and comradeship here and the tree makes them feel so safe - I can sense their state of relaxed naturalness. And softness in those bodies. Just lovely.
    Axxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful comment, Annie! Thank you. I'm so pleased you like it :)

      Delete
  31. Elizabeth

    Surely to be a real artist (which, of course, you are)you should draw things in the way that YOU see them be it from memory or in-situ. It's your interpretation that counts. That's why I like your work.

    I've said too much again. Bad boy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Rob...you are a very GOOD boy :) ...and I think you are quite correct!

      Delete
  32. Love the whimsical little critters at the base of your amazing tree - love that this was a doodled sketch!! You are a true artist!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wait……..? We’re only allowed to draw from memory? But what if we forget…….what was I saying? LOL
    Once again, Elizabeth, an adorable sketch!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Beautiful! Love the little animals under the tree.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Maybe they are looking at the Cheshire Cat!

    ReplyDelete
  36. ...then when his friends watched him carefully, Henny positioned himself in take-off position.
    He looked one last time to his beloved friends and felt his knees (did he had knees?) trembling. His heartbeat was like the heartbeat of a marathon runner. He had to deliver after all the boasting he had done. He had to. There was no way back. He took a deep and mindful breath. A sudden wave of braveness came over him....instead of looking down in to the abyss he had his eyes strongly fixed on a nearby tree top. Yes, he would make it. Then, when he was about to let go....

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, an artist is always looking, whether they're drawing or not, recording valuable information in their brains for later. But luckily, wherever you are there is always at least something to see and draw. What sets artists apart from other folk is our ability to really SEE things, and in a new way. My mother used to buy those calendars of artists who painted with their mouths or feet after losing their limbs, and I was never as impressed as she was. I knew that what made those people special was what was in their brains in the first place, the ability to see as an artist. I believe any artist could learn to paint with their feet if they had to. Knock on wood.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I think the animals in your drawing are looking up and thinking, 'Darn, this tree is not a good tree-fort candidate'.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Sometimes I think drawings like this are so much better than the "finished" pieces because we can see the hand of the artist better. I love the feel to this, and definitely cute critters at the bottom :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are quite right, Linda. There's often a spark to be seen in spontaneous work that is difficult to produce in something more premeditated.

      Delete
  40. Great little doodle, and very sage advice. It's all about exercising your mind. Not enough people do it. They're more obsessed with what's on television than what's going on inside.

    Fantastic post, and nice way to wind up the week. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad it helped you wind up your week. Now...time to go exercise ;)

      Delete
  41. Wonderful tree, cute critters, nice scene! And a great post too! Isn't it weird how we just make up rules? That actually restrict our creative freedom?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! We make up silly rules! I wish it didn't take so long, sometimes, to realize just how still they are.

      Delete
  42. I imagine these little guys are gazing into an azure blue sky, watching swallows displaying their acrobatic prowess. Their little minds amazed and one says "WOW"! Your artwork always creates a story for me, most probably contrary to your intent but that's what this image says to me. I love it!
    Di
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad my art informs you this way! I think it's the ultimate compliment. Thank you! :)

      Delete
  43. Very true. There are some people at our Art department, wasting their talent because they think too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...In certain circumstances, too much thinking CAN be wasteful. Thanks for stopping by, Midori!

      Delete
  44. Just lovely! I love the relaxed, gentleness of it. Looks like a darn good tree for climbing. And those little critters, hehehehehe. What are they staring at, I wonder?! Honestly, I wish I could just doodle on autopilot. It takes great effort for me. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me,starting to doodle isn't a problem, usually. It's hanging in there and continuing on with it. That's why doodling during a lecture can be so productive--there's no excuse to stop (especially if the lecture is long ;) )!
      Thanks for stopping by, Bella!

      Delete
  45. Has been a while since i last visited your blog, and i am really glad i did it now.
    This is a really sweet illustration of IF word. Nice work!! :)
    I missed checking out your drawings and illustrations! :D Nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Likewise! I'll be right over :)
      PS Thank you :D

      Delete
  46. It is a great sketch. You really gave the tree a life with all the pencil work.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Beautiful lines, love the position of the characters too, feels really serene.

    ReplyDelete

I truly appreciate your comments.
I try and reply, so be sure and come back!