Monday, May 25, 2015

Introduction, sketching, and general silliness.


I've been asked to introduce myself to the group, and I'm relatively certain the folks doing the asking had no idea what they were getting themselves into. I'm a generally silly person, and when I dug around for a photograph of myself to include, the image below was the most serious image I could find.

My name is Mark Anderson and I've made my living as an artist, designer, and visual art educator for over thirty-five years. My students and patrons often ask me where ideas "come from." I can't speak for anyone else, but I like to believe I'm a student of the world around me; I unconsciously doodle on any scrap of paper that happens to be at hand and I seldom feel obliged to make a "photographic" representation; rather I enjoy trying to sketch the mood or quality of the moment. With few exceptions, I use a Lamy Safari medium nib pen loaded with Noodler's; I also carry a small travel kit of watercolors. In general, I will try to keep my sketches fresh by putting pen to paper without the "safety net" of a pencil sketch.


I'm also a lot more interested in the process of drawing than in the final "finished" product. Drawing is fun, thumbing through a sketchbook is interesting, but I don't choose to dwell on my finished work. I share it and move on to something new. Because I'm interested in the process, though, I'll often capture the stages of development as I've done in the illustration above.

I enjoy simplicity and I enjoy travel - seeing the world, meeting the people who populate the world. My journeys - and thus, my sketches - are often made while I'm walking or bicycling. I find that those folks who zoom by a place in their car, maybe hopping out occasionally to snap a photograph, are missing the essence of the place. Slow exploration often yields intriguing details lost to the traveler in a hurry. 


This past weekend, for instance, I decided to explore an often overlooked - or even avoided - part of Kansas City. I love areas like this, where the signage seems to date back decades.


I'll often draw buildings or trees, but people really interest me. I seldom miss an opportunity to create likenesses of those around me, and I often will simply fill page after page with ten to fifteen second gesture sketches of people, scurrying around in the everyday hustle and bustle. The sketch above was made yesterday at Ophelia's in Independence. Restaurants are a marvelous place to draw - your subject is often relatively stationary unlike people out on the street!

I've committed to contributing at least ten posts a year, and I appreciate being asked to do so. You may see a flurry of sketches from me at some point in the year, and then things on my end my go quiet for a while as life catches up. I'm pretty active on Flickr, and manage several blogs as well - of particular interest to this group might be Just Sketching. If you are a cycling enthusiast, you may also know me as The Early Morning Cyclist, where I frequently share the results of my bike sketch outings.

OK, enough about me. Let's get out there and draw!


8 comments:

  1. I've admired your sprightly drawings with their confident lines for awhile. Now, something new to admire about you Mark: YOUR GOOGLY EYES!

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    1. The better to see the world with. :)

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  2. Great post and some really nice sketches. Now about that last name, are we somehow related?

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    1. Michael, no idea at all. The Anderson horde, in typical Viking fashion, surged onto these shores about a hundred years ago, leaving behind communities of Swedes from Chicago to Lindsborg, Kansas. More than a few of us lead creative lives, too, so there must have been something in that Scandinavian water!

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  3. So glad to see you here as well, Mark, thank you for the intro...REALLY enjoy your work, as you know.

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  4. Just shared on the larger Urban Sketchers group, too!

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  5. Neat sketches and drawings. Love 'em.

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  6. Great intro, wonderful sketches.

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