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Elwood H. Smith
Working For Myself For A Change
posted:
A detail from one of my new drawings.
(Work in Progress.)

Two More Details From The Same New Piece.
I love to enlarge parts of my drawings in Photoshop. The textures, when seen up close are amazing. These simple graphite scrawls, smudges of watercolor and colored pencil create an entire world beyond my intentions. Not unlike those fantastic macro photos of tiny creatures who live in our eyebrows.
I am fascinated to discover in these enlargements how much my pencil leads--especially the colored pencils--skip across the bumpy textural surfaces of the drawing paper.


How To Draw With Your Funny Bone
posted:
Hello, Drawgerites. I am finally finding my sea legs as I settle into Great Barrington, Massachusetts, my new home. I hope to hang around Drawger more often now, checking other’s postings and adding some of my own. Life has been quite discombobulating at times ever since my wife, rep and creative partner, Maggie Pickard died just over two years ago. I now live in a lovely old home on Castle Street with my new companion, Janice Kittner.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been preparing for a workshop, talk and book-signing to launch my newest book, "How To Draw With Your Funny Bone" that will take place at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA on May 2nd. I intend to have a lot of fun and I hope those attending the event will join in on helping me create Funnyville, a small town in Elwood’s World. I’ll begin with a short drawing class and then we’ll begin making drawings to inhabit Funnyville’s landscape. I’ll be right there at their side, encouraging and coaching each participant.

It’s my contention that everyone can draw, even though they often think they cannot. We all drew wonderful pictures; fanciful, often funny characters when we were kids. We were not inhibited by our inability to make representational imagery. We just hunkered down with a fistful of pencils or crayons and created small worlds. By the time most kids became teenagers, they began to abandon drawing, possibly intimidated by other kids who had better hand/eye coordination and made more “realistic” pictures. Or maybe they jettisoned picture making because greater emphasis was given by their educational system to learn spelling, sports and math.

It’s interesting, though, that later in life many adults take up life drawing classes or watercolor and oil painting classes. The art of imagery, like the sound of music, is a great source of joy and, while we delight in visiting art museums and attending concerts, it is equally (or possibly more) satisfying to the soul, to make our own music and art.

Encouraging people without formal training to begin creating art again is not an original idea, but I think the emphasis on creating art as an unobtainable goal for ordinary people, is silly and there is not nearly enough support for alternative ways of artistic self expression. I wrote my Funny Bone book--and I am creating this workshop--with intentions of inspiring those who attend, old & young, to begin drawing again, to create meaningful imagery without intimidation. I will show them great artwork that has been created by self-taught, “naïve” artists and by more well known artists, like Picasso, Paul Klee and Dubuffet who embraced childlike imagery. Sophisticated drawing skills are not important in Elwood’s World. In fact, traditional drawing techniques are not welcome. I want everyone to draw pure, simple, wobbly shapes infused with childlike fancy for Funnyville, even if it means drawing with the wrong hand or scrawling on paper while blindfolded to get them out on the page.

So, if you know someone who might benefit from this workshop at the Norman Rockwell Museum, please send them this link:

Funny Bone art NRM

Thanks for stopping by!
-Elwood

My Latest for the New York Times Science Section
posted:
Howdy, Drawgerites-
 
I've been away from Drawger for much too long. I'm in the process of moving to Great Barrington, MA from Rhinebeck, NY and I might not post often until the dust settles, but I'll check in here as often as possible. It's been one hell of a roller coaster since Maggie died on March 25th of last year. So much has happened since that day in February when we found out she had Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. I still can't believe she's gone. I look forward to the move to my new home. There's much more to tell, but I won't bore those who've taken the time to peek at this entry. I'll add more to the saga in upcoming posts.
 
My favorite gig these  is creating art for the New York Times Science Section. The marvelous art director is Peter Morance, someone I've known since my earliest days in New York City. The editor & writer is Dennis Overbye and the two of them are an illustrator's dream team. At least they are for me. Here's my latest illustration for the column.
 
Best Wishes, E
Maggie Pickard - Memorial Service June 2nd
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