Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Portrait of an Old Man as an Artist, Part 1

Rat #1 by Cliff Hutson

Showing My Work

“Art is good for the soul.”  -  Edythe Broad

Art has long been a fascination of mine. One of my childhood memories is writing and illustrating a book about tadpoles which had a series of adventures based on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.  But, I never drew very well and whenever I had to take an “art” class going through school I always finagled my way in to ceramics, art history, or (of course) photography rather than try my hand at drawing or painting where I would be judged on my efforts.

The desire to draw never was never completely submerged, though, and when I recently read a couple of books that were richly illustrated with drawings that could be described as primitive, if not crude, I dared to think  that I might be able to do as good as that. Now, I am sure that the people who did this work are highly talented and could probably work in any style they choose. Many comic strip creators have shown that they can hold their own in other genres. But, I figured it was worth a shot and, at my advanced age, picked up a couple of children’s books on drawing, some pens and pencils and am going to give it a go.

Rare Cat by Cliff Hutson

These three sketches are my first attempt at this endeavor. As noted, I have no designs on becoming an artist, but hope to get to a point where the viewer can tell the difference between a cat and a dog; or a rat and a Chihuahua. It is probably much too soon to show my work, but this sets the baseline and I am actually pleased with them in my way.  Also, by doing this I gain incentive to keep at it and see if can avoid totally embarrassing myself in the future.

It is said that creating art is a wonderful way to stimulate one’s brain, thereby improving well-being and health. I guess it pretty well accepted that taking on new challenges is one way of staving off the decline in cognitive abilities and memory that many of us experience in old age. And, as I am so untalented in this area, drawing will be particularly challenging to me.

Sleepy Cat by Cliff Hutson

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