Ok, it was a long haul to the finish but this piece is done! I think this is the latest post I've done yet. I'm happy it's complete and overall, I'm happy with it. I will however, make some different choices on the next one. One thing I'll change is that I used silver colored pencil on some of the buildings and it just didn't work well. I had to erase a lot when I was drawing the buildings and then drawing the windows that the pencil embossed the paper in a way that isn't obvious then the paper is unshaded but once the colored pencil and pencil shading was added the lines stood out much more. I also am not fond of how the shading came out and the sky reflection on the buildings seems kinda wonky. I think there are other issues I have with it but I do think the effect is very dramatic and I love that about this piece. I will definitely use this perspective again. I'm even thinking of doing a series using this perspective with different skies, different sizes and different paper.
I don't usually take my art making out into public. I think I'm still not super confident in my work and don't want to be embarrassed. But today, I had a couple of hours to kill before an appointment so I went to a coffee shop and took this drawing to work on. While I've received a lot of positive feedback from my Facebook friends and fans, it was such a boost to have strangers compliment my work. I heard several "that's amazing!" and "such talent" while I was there. I know I really shouldn't care what others think but it's so great to have strangers like my work!
It can be so easy to be an "expert" at something (even when you aren't really) and yet so hard to approach something with fresh eyes and an open attitude. Our egos are powerful...at least mine is! So the title of this post...Beginner's Mind. It is a term/concept used in Zen Buddhism that refers to the dropping of our preconceptions and allowing ourselves to be open and eager to studying a subject, especially one that we feel we may already know at an advanced level; to approach that subject as if we were a beginner. This is how I'm feeling today and it applies to today's contribution to my daily art project.
A few months ago, I bought several fine art Craftsy classes for $10 each (a steal!), but I haven't yet started any of them. One reason I think I've put them off was after quickly surveying the exercises, I just felt like I was more "advanced" beyond some of them and figured I didn't need them but I still didn't then move on to the later exercises either. Buoyed by the success of my Derwent Art Academy lessons (some of which were also very basic), I figured it was time to finally tackle the Craftsy classes. I opted to start with the colored pencil class since I'm so enamored with the colored pencil birds I've been working on, maybe I can learn some helpful techniques with this class? Beginner's Mind comes into play with the first couple of exercises. in this class. One of which is today's contribution, the other is likely to be tomorrow's contribution. I resisted doing these because they are so "simple" and elementary, my ego kept saying that I'm beyond these exercises...more advanced and, therefore, don't need to do them. But yesterday, I had an epiphany...there is much to be gained by dropping my egoistic perspective and allowing myself to experience these basic lessons. Honestly, I've never actually done these exercises before, and while yes, I've done more advanced techniques than are required for these exercises, I do get to experience the medium in a different way. So, I am willing to approach these lessons (in this class and all others) with Beginner's Mind...I don't know everything, can't know everything and I am not "above" learning from every opportunity.