Yesterday afternoon I found myself staring into the beginnings of a Studio Wormhole. These ultra rare manifestations of space and time occur when a series of events align to place me in a moment where my studio time is not conditioned upon completing an assignment for a client – I have finished an oil painting, I have completed all sketches for the next immediate commissions, and I have no pressing commitments for conventions, lectures or gallery exhibitions.
It is like the art world has been sucked out of my universe and I can walk in a place where time has no meaning – a place where I lift my head from the drawing table and can do anything I dream. These moments are the real reason I wanted to become a freelancer in the first place.
So what do I do with time which is now my own? I make more art, as if you had to ask.
Sitting beside my drafting table is a board filled with rough abstracts of paintings and drawings I wish to embrace, organized by themes from images for gallery exhibition to the inspired worlds of Middle-earth. Every day I am reminded of these little gems, waiting for the time to weave them into a client’s commission or stirring forth on a day like yesterday ready to be hatched unimpeded. Some will take weeks to unfurl, but I sit on them nurturing their inspirational power month after month, some year after year.
Each one of these images I have seen in my mind’s eye and know it is worthy of generating into a fully formed painting. Some I have even begun to gather references for. My only regret in collecting so many precious ideas is knowing that I may likely not have the time to hatch all of them, for as these are gestating, I am making more – my sketchbooks are tremendous incubators these past years. But thanks to my Studio Wormhole yesterday and today, I have brought life to one of these babies. At least one more shall see the light of day!
As I write this, the Wormhole has collapsed, a client emailed with requests for a sketch revision and the preliminary coat of oil on a painting will be dry tomorrow morning, waiting for me to jump back into a client’s commission. Back to my commitments.
But I am happy. I have a new artistic creation to share with you, and I could not be more content about my chosen lifestyle.
I only wish the Wormholes would come more often.
|Fall of Gondolin 16″ x 20″ Donato Giancola Watercolor Pencil and Chalk on Toned Paper|
I know just how you feel:-)
It's very comforting knowing that a top guy like you, deal with the same challenges as the rest of us.
Anyway, looking forward to join your pro-class at smartSchool, next month.
Crazy good, Donato.
Wow, awesome image! Love the effect of the red pencil on the blue-green paper as well.
Donato, beautiful sketch. Do you have any recommendations for exercises in abstract composition idea formation that would cultivate someone to be able to generate these types of simple, but wonderful design ideas?
I have a question. What is the reason you use watercolor pencils for your drawings as opposed to normal pencils like Prismacolors, considering I have yet to see you apply any washes to these drawings for any effect. Just curious.
Great timing. I am currently anticipating a wormhole tomorrow. I love the board idea and might steal it.
How old is the oldest idea on your board?
Thanks for this peek into your world, and the in-progress thumbnail development. You're inspirational!
Great Idea with the pin-board, and a great drawing. I'd love to see your references, if you had any.
Fantastic works, Sir! 🙂
You've actually made my day turn out right.
Hello Mark. All I can suggest is practice and not just create small abstracts, but see what happens when these sketches get turned into full sized images. Abstracts/Thumbnails are language that YOU need to develop for yourself. These small images mean little to others, it is all about what you see and feel in them for yourself. So get a sketchbook (toned preferred!) and start on them for your next assignment.
It only took me 20+ years to get good at them 🙂
it is all about how the pencil deposits its mark. For some reason the watercolor pencils have all the right consistencies for me! Doesn't mater for me if I can water activate them…but please do not sneeze upon my 'pencils'!
About three or four years…I really did not create many abstracts for my own ideas in the sketchbooks much before then. I usually when from concept to concept, never planning ahead.
Sorry no references on this one…it's all out of thh head ( and after looking at hundreds of photos of lizards and cathedrals over the years)..so really NOT out of my head 🙂
Inspiring post Donato, and gorgeous *gorgeous* toned sketch. Thanks so much for sharing both! I love the idea of your 'image board'.
Im sitting here thinking man I wish i had a big list of commissions and clients so I can make money doing this. And then i read and saw this post and now im thinking man, I REALLY wish i had a big list of commissions and clients, because then i could cherish the days working in absolute freedom the way you did on your loophole day. Great work and very inspiring, thank you
I wish all my ideas were sketches already ;]
Despite all of the old idea talk I also got the feeling that sometimes the spirit of an idea disappears if you wait too long..
What's your experience regarding this?
Or is it more like fruits that ripen?
My biggest problem is to actually bring down what I see in my head.. the transition happens to be jolty and while channeling my inner vision it disappears and my awesome idea is replaced by the physical and jolty counterpart. Not only on the paper, but also in my mind.
I try to remember and can't, and my soul hurts.
The dragon is an amazing drawing, delicate. It looks like its wings are those of a housefly. Wonderful lines where the tower is being pulled into the wormhole and the tower itself..terrific. I am loving the composition.