Do you get scared of images? This was a 20-minute exercise for Studio Bridge #life-drawing. I find the image so scary that I put it in a narrow box. As one who’s never followed super-hero characters, horror movies, or comics, I tried to conjure compassion for this joker by pretending he was more afraid than I. Guess I need to catchup on my cultural literary awareness.
This is my evenings project, a portrait of Guy Clark. He was a good friend and awesome songwriter.
I once believed that to learn an instrument or a skill, I needed to hide in the woods, a closet, or stay out of sight til no one was around.
I don’t believe that any longer. In my early 70s, I fell in love with learning to draw and paint. (Yeah, right. It takes 30 years to get good… what was I thinking?) I took the enigma as my get-home free card. As a beginner, no matter what my age, I have the right to make a mess and reach beyond my skills to touch the images I’ve imagined, because we all have to start somewhere.
As a songwriter/performer, speaker, and author, I boldly scrawled in big crayons. “Each person is totally unique and has a precious piece of life to share.. that no one else can duplicate.”
So… I called my own bluff….every day I draw… somedays it clicks and other days it misses, but I always learn and I always enjoy the adventure. Enjoy. #crowspun #crowjohnsonevans #beginning #sketching #learning
I’m fascinated with people who hold high artistic skills. I lurk and cruise the internet until something arrests my heart and imagination. John Ma’s work has done just that. Because I’m a newcomer to drawing, I did not expect any stranger halfway around the world to answer my beginner questions– much less be as helpful as John has been. Here is the interview with someone I revere as a kind human being and a phenomenal visual artist.
CROW: John Ma, where do you live and where were you born? JOHN MA: I am living and create in Gothenburg, Sweden. I was born in Shanghai, China in 1969.
CROW: Do artistic skills run in your heritage? Are you teaching and exhibiting? Where? JOHN MA: My works are based on painting techniques and modeling foundations. I am a professional artist and a weekend teacher in adult education at art college of Gothenburg, Sweden. There is also a solo exhibition in Gothenburg every year.
CROW: When did you know this would be your path? JOHN MA: When I was 11 or 12 years old, I participated in the juvenile art exhibition. I didn’t determine my career path until I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts.
CROW: Do you have children?
JOHN MA: I have a 21-month-old daughter.
CROW: Where have you studied arts?
JOHN MA: My basic art education comes from China. I graduated from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in China. All my work is art research and I have not dabbled in other fields. My basic art education comes from China. I graduated from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in China. All my work is art research and I have not dabbled in other fields.
CROW: Do you use traditional as well a digital tools in your art? JOHN MA: I am doing digital painting and traditional canvas oil painting at the same time.
CROW: Do you teach virtually online across the world? JOHN MA: I have no online education activities.
CROW: What is the most important quality in art students? JOHN MA: I feel that the most important quality of art professionals is to maintain the continuous enthusiasm for creativity.
CROW: What has been your greatest joy? JOHN MA: My greatest happiness is whenever new works are produced.
CROW: How have you created your life as an artist? I was so surprised that you took the time to send me information about Procreate and the IPad Pro. I couldn’t imagine how you created your images. JOHN MA: At present, my main way of living is to cooperate with galleries to sell oil paintings. Regarding my digital works, the ultimate way to appreciate them is through digital media and digital screens, such as YouTube or Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/john.ma.71066/videos/10221405692084418 )
CROW: I’m excited that you are planning a YouTube channel. I want to subscribe and spread the information with our readers. For now, where can people see your work? JOHN MA: You can see my oil paintings on my webpage www.johnma.se, or you can see my real paintings when you come to my studio and visit the gallery. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCDZ8ttTSjEmdBukjwKSR76Q?fbclid=IwAR2BFWvpi8nwWSFTN8QI8_XxQm4F6iKal-EpGRFvsvVSd4At1Y7z3Xlz_9s
CROW: Oh, I wish I lived close enough to drop by and watch you work! You have an invitation to visit our house in NW Arkansas any time you are in the neighborhood!
It’s fun to say howdy from our new website. Just so you won’t think I’m putting on airs, here’s a photo of me in my glorious and messy Weavers Shed/ Woman Cave.
This lifetime has been a glorious ride, that just increases in “wow” as I go. When the saying, “You are enough, at this very minute” hits home we can all breathe, laugh, and try anything. Thank you from the deepest spot in my heart for being part of my adventure.
Every book opens into a world where we can get lost. The Pandemic has given many of us the chance to rediscover, discover, and celebrate books. They are not always your grandfather’s musty dry pages in a worn book cover with his cold pipe on top. More than a flashlight under the covers at night, stories are how we consider this life and feel connected to each other..
I’m delighted to have an image I made of the Eureka Springs Carnegie Library included in their current newsletter. What’s happening at your local library? Info@eurekalibrary.org Www.eureka library.org
How do you enjoy being scared? I haven’t figured it out.. unless there’s a bunch of tongue-in-cheek. This drawing of Jackie Coogan was fun on this rainy dark Ozark day. I never watched the TV show, but I’m told it was great.
Ask her about her project on Cranes!!!
She feels like everyone’s grandma to me. Timed sketch with the online folks @studiobridge.
Have you checked off some of your projects through the summer? Give yourselves a standing ovation for all incremental progress. No kidding, global pandemics are not just another day on the ranch.
I have just completed a 5 week course, Introduction to Illustration, which was the most comprehensive, challenging, and rewarding use of my time, money, and mental effort. ( I don’t get a kickback, but contact me if you’d like to know more.)
Doing a drawing-a-day is still in my world. Some days the image or idea works… but other days it’s just a mess. If you are a perfectionist, this practice will break you of the self-punishment routine. If you already knew how to do things perfectly, you wouldn’t risk the disappointment…or have the joy of learning, stretching your mind, reaching for skills…
Stretching is like flying. I hope you will be flying this Fall. Why not think of the season as an active verb, Falling. I’m setting up short term and longer term goals to help me fly. Without the least sense of accomplishment, I am stuck in the could-have-been s and should-have-been s.
Join me. I’ll push the imaginary button that unleashes the sound 10,000 voices cheering… and slowly and gracefully take a bow and throw kisses to the woods. It’s called Falling like flying.