Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Morning With An Artist

After morning prayer at church, I trotted off to find an artist I know in town. Jon Houghton.

His wife told me he was teaching a workshop on portraiture in Eau Gallie, so off I went again.

I found the place - miracle enough - and Jon with his students. They were drawing the bust of a young woman who has the amazing talent of sitting stone still for fifteen minutes at a time.
This whole session wowed me.

First, I can barely draw stick people. My artistic ability begins and ends with drawing a tree with a rail fence in front of it.

Second, I tried to sit still like the model. Didn't last sixty seconds.
The room was an round shape almost and surrounded by windows. The lighting was low and classical music played in the background.

While I watched and listened as Jon worked with each student, I jotted notes and even clips of dialog for book-next I'm writing: First Comes Love.
I found myself being creative in a creative environment, thinking of all the highs and lows that must face a fine artist.

In some ways, I'm considered an artist, but I'm a writer, technically, and I have avenues for my work. Drawing and painting is difficult to sell well enough to make a living. But many do it.

Thursday Jon and I meet for more in-depth artist talk.

For me, it's important to get inside the vocation of my characters. Because vocation leads to motivation which leads to conflict, tension or even resolution.

How does an artist think? Why art? Why a living at art? What is their motivation? Ever have a creative block? What options are open to artist to display or sell their work. Technique comes into play. History.

Jon was great. He kept quoting the greats in the workshop. Which gave me an idea... So, there is real value in getting under the skin of a character's vocation/career/passion.

My heroine in this book, so far, is really jumping off the page. Now, I just need to fine tune my synopsis, get it to the folks who matter and see if they like her as much as I do.

Hey, God is good!


Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for sharing about your experiences with art and artists. Your character and plot sound fascinating. Your post dredged up a memory for me. My brother was an engineer for Boeing but painted wildlife as a hobby. He entered the Federal Duck Stamp Contest several times and placed. (If you win, you become a millionaire from print sales.) He entered the Nevada Trout Stamp Contest, painting a rainbow trout leaping out of a stream and won! Every fisherman in the state of Nevada that year had Bubba's painting on his fishing license. Neat! Our family believes he would've won the Federal Duck Stamp Contest but he died prematurely. So I've been around artistry all my life.

Sharon Hayes said...

Hey Rachel, the Lord answered my (and your) prayer. So glad to hear about your new personality. Can't wait to hear more about her and what she is doing. I have Eric Adolfson's phone if you want it.
Love Mom