The last book I purchased at the second hand shop before leaving Belleville, Ontario was the dutch version of Rien Poortvliet’s Noah’s Ark. It was an absolute treasure at $10.00. As I perused this comprehensive collection of animal and bird illustrations, I thought about how much I could learn by imitating the works contained, as a way of practicing. It is a controversial thing…using another artist’s work as reference, but I think the important thing is to identify the intention and to be upfront about the practice. Appropriation in art is a notion that needs to always be given great consideration.
I’ve decided that sharing my morning coffee with an art board is likely a healthy thing and will get me into the discipline of seeing…analyzing…exploring technique…and painting. I will think of these as quick visual responses to Poortvliet’s works and in no way intend to create accurate renderings. Beginning with the inside front cover, this morning I looked at these two elephants heading for the ark. I’ve decided not to go beyond two hours and began this sketch at 6:00 a.m. I don’t know if I will be able to sustain this practice, but I’m giving it a go.
I would love to hear from other artists about their thoughts on this exercise. To learn more about Rien Poortvliet, known best for his Gnome illustrations, there are several bloggers who have collected various references about his life. Look here and here, as a start. I may just begin another page under the menu heading, ARTIST, where I will publish Poortvliet’s paintings followed by my sketches, but first I’ll see if I can make this a ritual.
A ritual “is a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors’ goals and interests.