I started drawing Crystal Cities in 2009 and always come back to the series when I'm not certain what to paint (which is almost always the case). I wouldn't have it any other way.
Before I seriously set out on my peculiar artistic path, I always sketched my ideas out first. Then I would build a stretcher and staple my canvas on it. The sketch would be transferred to the primed canvas and then I would finally get my brushes dirty.
I must acknowledge Caroline Gerardo, a fellow student several lifetimes ago in Claremont, California who made it abundantly clear to me that all that premeditation wasn't necessary. The spirit needn't be mediated and if one actually paid attention, it resisted being tamed --if we would but listen. I think I got the message. I hope I did.
It's odd then that I gravitated to illustration as a profession (magazine, children's books, newspapers, etc.) which is so dependent on the sketch. It takes many sketches to develop a concept and help the client understand what they want. I don't begrudge the sketch, the client, or illustration. They are essential and make sense, but as an artist when I require the most direct path between my thoughts and the support that must contain them, there can be no separation between the sketch and the final work.
Thanks to all my teachers!