Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bathroom Art Challenge

A couple months ago I shared the description of a painting. I asked if this description could be a story in itself. I also asked people to draw up what they imagined, using any visual medium they pleased. Crayons, inks, computer software, posed photography - anything. Most people were intimidated. I can sympathize; I'm terrible at drawing. But three people were bold enough to give it a shot. Here is their work. If you like it, please leave a comment and check out their sites.

Artist: Sam Roman
Title: Kiss
Home: Facebook

Artist: Tony Noland
Title: From Land to Landless
Link: Landless

Artist: Red
Title: What happens when you can't render water


  1. Talk about three completely different artistic styles! All are just awesome, by the way. But I had no idea that my friend Tony was an artist, too.
    Is there anything these people can't do?????
    Anyway, John, great idea... and bravo to these three artistic souls for putting crayons and sweat of brow to paper.
    Writing is just plain easy in comparison, don't you think?

  2. John, thanks for the prompt. As I said when I submitted this, I had a lot of fun doing it.

    Hi Cathy! Believe it or not, I'm even a trained artist. I toook undergraduate art composition classes and a drawing course at a local community college.

    However, you can lead a man to charcoal but you can't make him ink.

    I long ago realized that drawing and graphic arts wasn't going to be my primary means of artistic expression. Every now and then, I dig out my sketch pad and noodle around, but I know the score. Especially when I look at Sam Roman's and Red's work, wonderful pieces that show what real artists can do, I'm just as glad I spend most of my time writing prose.

  3. Tony, thanks so much for participating in the game. You're a versatile guy and while I'm glad you're in prose, I agree it's good to bust out other mediums from time to time. Where did you study art?

    Cathy, writing is far easier for me. It's part the nerve imbalance in my hand, part a significant amount more practice at writing, and part utter lack of talent.

  4. Great work! I hope you do another one of these sometime. I may try my hand and participate with my stick figures. hehe.

  5. What a wonderful idea! I enjoyed the detail in the scene you painted. And each of these submissions is beautiful in its own unique way. It's interesting to see how the artists chose to interpret the story.

    Tony, I had no idea you could draw. You captured the violet of the woman's dress beautifully. Great detail, too. Did you do this free-hand? Most writers are creative by nature and have several ways of expressing that creativity. I probably shouldn't be surprised. : )

  6. What with one thing and another, I didn't come back to read other comments here, so I apologize for the lateness of my responses.

    @John: My art classes were at the University of Chicago and later in night classes at a community college. As I often do, I supplemented these with lots of books, studying the work of terrific artists and lots of practice. In the end, I can put the head on the right end of the horse, but drawing isn't really the best artistic outlet for me.

    @Ezzy: I used a pencil and straight-edge on heavy bond paper to lay out the perspective lines in the building and the bricks on the dock. All the curves (ship, rope lines, figures, etc.) were penciled freehand. I inked all the lines before scanning it into the computer so I could color and texture everything with GIMP. As an afterthought, I added in the ticket booth signage. It was a pain in the neck to get the words to have the right perspective slant and position, but that's because I'd never done it in GIMP before. I think it all ended up looking clunky, but OK.


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