I began to consider sharing my knowledge of art having started drawing and painting before I was eight years old, earning a Bachelors Degree in Art Education from the University of Arizona in 1978, then teaching high school art for six years in Arizona’s public schools and then surviving forty years as freelance artist on what I call the mean streets doing everything from graphic design, illustration and layout for both fashion designers and industrial print shops while also doing gallery art, I thought I might have something to offer those people who love art but haven’t had the training I have. Then as I looked for a way to help on old friend with my art skills as he faces a tragedy in his personal life I came across a group of amateur artists squabbling about so called professionals who had been rude to the less practiced members of the group. I offered to help and one lady seemed very appreciative and was glad to subscribe to my offer to help. The following is my first effort to assist the woman. I’ll protect her identity but I think it won’t be long before she begins to feel confident enough to share identity. My help began as follows.
The first thing I would give my students was two lists. One was a list of what almost every 2D art product is made from to one degree or another. I called them The Elements of Design. Maybe now as I think about it that was probably not the most accurate name for the list, but so be it. This is the list: Line, Shape, Value (as in measurable amounts of lights and dark), Color (this little five letter word represents a HUGE amount of information), Texture (here too there is an incredible mass of information to learn, it will take a lifetime) and finally Shape, everything in the list is used in space to define space and space is what art is made in. It, space, is a defining factor, an element,8 and our format, we start with empty space, use it to define it and end up telling a story in it. It is the only look lbeginning and the end of our efforts. I know this sounds like a riddle, but in time you will shake your head in awe of the truth of it.
Your assignment? Use your imagination, mind, body and any physical objects in your reality to experiment with the element of Line. Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of your life learning a very personal and very adventurous language starting with an infinite vocabulary of line. You are your only inhibition and if you are fearless you will begin building a very deep, wide and very valuable foundation in the marvelous world of art. Force yourself to break all the cliches and find an adventuresome new reality in Line. There are no rules, there are no limitation except what you impose upon yourself.
Go to my Pinterest site and find my board on "Line" then try to find limits and then break through them.
I’m here for your questions, to support, affirm, challenge and encourage you. There are no mistakes to be made only jewels to find. May you be blessed in your adventure. When you tire of Line we will discover Shape.