Friday, April 29, 2011

The Art of Silliness - online class for recession-busting artists everywhere

I didn't mean to neglect the blog this week. But real-life intrusions kept...intruding. There was nothing I could do except occasionally tweet my dismay and Tumblr-link to my weirder Internet finds. I even Facebook'd here and there, but this blog is more of a heartfelt-effort type of endeavor, and my heart was busy taking care of reality.

And reading over my first paragraph, I must say: when did I turn into such a massively computer-addicted geek? That's something to work out another day.

Carla Sonheim is our subject today. She's a Seattle-based artist who wrote a fine drawing-exercise book, Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, and she curates a series of online art classes that are ridiculously affordable and fun. If you sign up for her class, you get daily PDF downloads of easy, silly, fun drawing exercises (and an occasional photography assignment, if her husband happens to be co-teaching).

You don't even have to be an artist. The exercises are designed to get you into a "drawing is fun" mode from way back in childhood when you didn't care what people thought of your creative output. This is a healthy place to be, if even for just ten minutes a day.

You can share the downloads with your family, or if you're a teacher, with your class. My son and I had a blast doing this together. He likes art but he likes doing a lot of other stuff too, so this was a good focusing technique for him to do some daily artwork and it was Fun, I tell you. Fun with a capital "F." I just realized I could substitute the word "me" for "my son" in the above sentence, and it would be just as true. Focus--it's a good thing.

Watch Carla paint a bunny with a watercolor charcoal pencil base.

Carla succinctly discusses her book.

I made some art. I'll make some more.

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