Jul 24, 2016

Where does Art rise from?

I was walking home from the neighbors
and looked up
to see a good sized black bear
down the road
looking at me

I paused
slowly began walking backwards
it turned and walked into the woods

I call that a good bear experience
eye contact
and nothing more

Recently a friend mentioned that all my art 
is self portraits. 
I felt surprised as
I rarely draw myself.

The lady above is not me,
but it is my real life story.

A bit of my life, perception or surroundings does enter most of my art
Perhaps that is common.

This piece (above)
was an evening sketch. 
Pencil, then ink, then pencil and eventually watercolor washes.
It is not a self portrait or reflection of my surroundings, 
simply exploring technique and having fun.



  1. Wow, I don't think I would be able to remain calm if I ever met a bear down the road! I suppose living where you are requires the knowledge to react in certain situations like that.

    You know, I believe that in some ways an artist bring out parts of themselves in each of their work. So even if you're not creating a self portrait, there's always a significant presence of yourself in the artwork itself. Usually unintended. Wonderful paintings, Tammie! :)

    1. Hello Amalia,

      It was nice to see that I did remain calm with the bear. one never knows until they are in the situation. But there was nothing scary going on, so that helps. It was not far away, but not close either.

      I think you are right. How can any of us do art without some sort of themselves being expressed in it.

      Thank you for your thoughts and kind message.

  2. such an amazing experience. you live so fully within the world, its no wonder you an an artist.

    1. thank you
      i enjoyed considering my life through your message

  3. I thought it was a baby bear you had drawn. Is the path leading you to bears or is it leading bears to you? The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. Very powerfully drawn portrait.

    1. Yes, it does look like a baby bear, but the bear was full grown, not huge but good size. I think i was attempting to portray that it was a little ways down the road, not far, but not close either. For a second I realized that i was not portraying it's actual size, but i did not care enough to do something about it ;-)

      It was as though we met on the road, from a distance. I looked up and it was watching me. It saw me first.

      Thank you for your thoughts Maureen.

  4. Bonjour chère Tammie,

    Une rencontre particulière et fascinante !! J'aime l'interprétation de ce moment étonnant... Très joli dessin.

    Gros bisous

  5. Thanks for the tip about what to do if I meet a bear, how amazing to actually meet one.
    Where does art rise from? - a very good question.
    I would think it might be different for everyone.
    I often wonder where some of my art comes from.
    Your painting is lovely with the bear waiting for the girl on the stony path, the path to the mountains.
    Maybe the bear lives in the mountains?

    1. Yes, around here bears do live in the mountains.
      Thank you for your thoughts and message Sheila.

  6. I love how this turned out. You really did find an exciting technique. How in there world do you get a wash over the pen and ink without the running? Do you have any secrets for me. I have been working all morning with washes on dry watercolor paper. It is so hard for me. You washes are beautiful genie

    1. hello Genie,

      Thank you for all your lovely and thoughtful comments!

      So the trick with washes over ink or graphite. Waterproof ink, such as Sharpie tends to be acrylic, or I use a carbon pen:

      Graphite: use a hard lead pencil. Soft lead will indeed smear under water. Or do the wash first and add any pencil over it.

      Hope that helps.

      lovely Sunday to you!


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