I want to touch people with my art
Story and artwork from Lynn Wilson
“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.’”
Vincent van Gogh
After working for over 40 years in careers that include manufacturing, purchasing, and technical writing, I recently retired and decided I wanted to paint portraits. But portrait painting is proving to be a challenge as I lack any formal art training or schooling and did not have the benefit of a nearby artist community for training or support.
Since I was a child, I have always loved to sketch people, and my thought was to learn to apply color to the drawings to create portraits of the people I love. As a novice, I thought my self-taught skills were adequate for the task. My first portrait attempts, however, were not as satisfying as I expected, and there was notably room for improvement. I had to look hard at my work to understand why it was so challenging and why the finished portraits were disappointing. I soon learned that drawing people is a much more complex undertaking than I had ever considered in the past.
Getting the drawing right is essential before any color is applied. My paintings have taught me that a portrait will not have the expected outcome and just won’t look right unless the underlying drawing is accurate. Looking at my past paintings, I didn’t get the basic drawings “just right.”
Over time I discovered that I needed a better understanding of the human figure to draw portraits with the fidelity I desired. Drawing the human figure accurately requires a collection of skills that I have not yet gained on my own or in a formal training setting. I believe a classical training approach would be the most beneficial for improving and honing my artistic skills when addressing the human figure and would provide a solid foundation for improving my artwork overall.
I have been looking at the Drawing Academy Courses (https://drawingacademy.com/) run by Natalie Richy and Vladimir London for inspiration. I want to learn more about drawing “what I see and what I know” (Richy, London). The guidance that comes from their communications is educational and inspiring at the same time. They offer constructive critiques of actual student artworks. I have learned so much from their online critiques that I can only imagine how much more my skills will improve by taking the course, starting with the basics and moving through higher aspects of drawing. And I know it would be exciting to “know what I don’t know” about drawing and to learn from Natalie and Vladimir’s talent and experience.
I have been given the opportunity to submit my previous artwork to this competition to compete and win the Drawing Academy Course! I want to win this competition to gain the knowledge and experience in drawing that I lack and to improve my artwork going forward. Having an artful online community where I can get feedback is the added benefit of winning the competition. Producing my portraits and other artwork is my goal and one that I am willing to put in the time and work towards achieving. I know what I’m missing as an artist, and this course will give me the knowledge and skills that I currently lack. With limited personal funds at my disposal, winning this competition provides me with the opportunity for artistic training I desire. Every vote gets me closer to the chance to win this competition. Please vote for me!