Well Jef and Frank
I'll call this response The Dichotomy of, Is the Moon Half Full or Half Empty? That is the Question, to sketch or not to sketch. And in black and white or white and black? Isnâ€™t it all really relative? Letâ€™s Procrastinate on it! â€œStrategic delayâ€ is the term they speak of at 20 minutes into the talk in a Talk of the Nation link below on NPR where I was the first to call in- you might find it useful (;
I thank the both of you.
I also find Jef's sketching experiment interesting. I am trying to understand what your intent is here.
I would like to advise you because it seems that you are struggling with something I find as all too simple. Actually I wear myself out under pressure at times and the result is I am fatigued after producing a whole moon- I have not done the whole phase in large format since early September, I believe it was that moonrise in golden smog on Mt. Tabor. Wait that was back in early August! Iâ€™m way overdue for a new whole moon work!
Do you mean to say that sketching the whole moon is a task at hand that is difficult for most? Itâ€™s really just a matter of time. Make the time for yourself. Or is it your choice of mediums that you are questioning? It sounds like you had trouble with using a white pastel medium and covering over a dark paper. I would agree wholeheartedly yet this is the theme I have arrived on as the most easy for me, especially trying to do a 16 inch diameter disc and fill it all and in getting most of the key surface features and positions in proper place, almost all visible craters and maria in a couple hours or say up to four hours max because after that time frame, my eyes give out, my mind is dulled and the senses are filled to the point of feeling like a full days work! I hope that Rich Handy responds here because we have both exchanged some verses about how fatigued we become after an intense piece of work like this. Also Dee in Ireland has done the whole moon in a large work. We have not heard from her for awhile. I would agree with most of you that the whole moon is quite a large bite to chew on. The minds eye cannot possibly handle looking at all those thousands of surface details and think, â€œHow can I get all this onto the paper or canvas before I have to get to sleep and go to work tomorrow? Where do I start!? First get old and retire young like I did a few months ago! (;
Well a few years ago when I worked full time, I could not have done this either. But I did drive over 2 hours one way and back again 2 hours from the Oregon desert on a work night to photograph the Hale-Bopp Comet. And I made the drive several more times during that comets perihelion to photograph it from dark skies, risking my job, my life! That was easy to just push a shutter button on a camera. The drive was dangerous as I nearly fell asleep at the wheel getting home again. Then no less going to work on a 2 hour nap. I could hardly sit at my desk that next day at work.
But for the sketching, I begin on a typical night to look at the features and think about it for maybe a half hour before I start. I just observe and think allot before I even start. I hate to admit, I procrastinate as it is such a daunting task to do the whole thing, so I examine it intensely and look for a good reason to go ahead. An interesting feature or two at the terminator say, and then start to sketch it as a small addition as several more around where the whole moon image will be in the center. This is a theme I arrived on some months ago and still favor it today. I know it is not for everyone but I would hope that someone will try it one day. Itâ€™s terrible to be alone in this world as Richard Feynman says in his #3 of the Six Easy Pieces lectures.
I begin to picture it all as a finished product. But is has to be different each time. I cannot repeat the same art work again. That is where I get into personal trouble with myself. I procrastinate to the point that I cannot see it as a new piece that is different enough from the past works. So I force a sense of creativity. This can be defined as â€˜artists blockâ€™. This can become terribly difficult to the point that I give up some evenings and never start. This is where I think others are finding it more enjoyable to just focus on one small area and exert great effort to produce a meaningful work of a single lunar feature but that leaves me feeling that it has already been done too many times before. There are simply so many interesting craters and other surface features to sketch. So why do I tackle the whole thing? It is a great challenge and that challenge will sometimes encourage yourself to try. And ever since I saw Rich Handyâ€™s entire lunar sketch tutorial, a year ago and I cannot find that link now. Can anyone else locate it? It is stunning to see the large work he created in just an hour or so. I was only sketching the whole moon up to 7 inches diameter to that point. I thought, thereâ€™s no way I could do a sketch of the moon that large as Rich did at 12 inches, until I tried it. Make sure you have all your materials set up and hopefully a comfortable evening. Be sure you have no distractions. I find this important as it takes great concentration to get it all right to ones satisfaction. Do not worry about making a few mistakes. A brief Photo tutorial at the rough beginning image- The near whole moon from the eyepiece
*I just realized as I loaded this above image that it is a collage and has a crescent phase on the end I rendered on another night which is not related to the other sketching at center.
Do not worry about erasing every little line error. They can be easily covered with more chalk; but lightly at first. Just let them go and feel that it is a process you will appreciate to learn from. It can always become abstract art as a great wall-hang later. (; Another Evening of a three quarter phase at the start of the sketch process
I even called into NPRâ€™s Talk of the Nation in June 2008 as I heard the preview of the upcoming show within minutes- How to Be A Productive Procrastinator. I was shocked when after telling the call-in screener about my dilemma in the art world, he told me that they would put me on first before the guest, and they did. I actually talked about my madman (as Shannon calls me) artistic process > You can read it in text but their text copy machine misses some of the proper words so listen to the audio archive if you like>http://www.npr.org/t...toryId=91432804
After the introduction by Neal Conan, I speak at the 1:00 minute time bar into the show for a couple minutes- I did not really get all of my dilemma in but at least the gist that the guest analyzed me as a perfectionist. Then he asks the author to comment about my perfectionism as they call it. I was a little embarrassed about that as other who new me across the country thought it was a little harsh to psychoanalyze Mark and his art over national radio. But I am easy about it. The young lady, Angie calling in right after me is ironically a past Oregonian calling from California, admitting that maybe all Oregonians procrastinate. There is something to learn in this discussion, I am not sure it will help you but you can hear me for the first time and just laugh. I have actually called into NPR over a dozen times. The Power of Art discussion was also great. I was honored as the first call-in to talk to Simon Schama who produced the Power of Art for the BBC and PBS â€“ I may be straying from the CN Technical approach here but I think these things may help some of you even if only a slight suggestion is made in the art world. Itâ€™s really about causing a fresh shock to the observer of art, hence the title of the series. >http://www.npr.org/t...storyId=6653433
Iâ€˜ll look forward to any questions comments, criticisms and wish you luck in your next whole moon sketches. To be or not to be whole, partial or half. The waxing, weaning and waning of the whole moon sketch.