Sunday, January 12, 2020

A New Found Passion

I am learning how to paint, and so far I think I'm doing pretty well.   I am watching YouTube videos, taking classes on Skillshare, checking out numerous books from the library.  I'm not just getting instruction books, which are only a small part of learning, but studying different painters work.  Robert Cenedello, Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel, Magritte (of course!).

The video is the beginning steps in my third painting.  I already have plans for my 4th, 5th, and possibly 6th painting.  I'm not going to rush things, but I now have a solo show in March and I want to include at least a few paintings.

I tried in the past to paint.  There's a definite process that, well, that just didn't click. I think now I finally get it.  Over the last year I have worked on my drawing skills, my watercolor technique (and I still love watercolor!) and now acrylic painting.  When I want to learn something, I just dive in.  I want to absorb all I can about the medium.

As I have said before, I am taking a short hiatus from art fairs.  When I return I hope to have improved my skills enough to get into shows with my paintings. You never know...

Saturday, December 28, 2019

New Adventures in My Life in Art

All the things I have accomplished in My Life in Art, I have basically taught myself.  Other than basic courses in high school and one or two survey courses in college, I have never had a formal art education.  I decide I want to learn something and I immerse myself in the subject.  I've said before I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil but until, I don't know, ten to fifteen years ago, I never took myself seriously as an artist.  

When I want to learn how to do something, I usually manage to become fairly proficient in it.  Bookbinding, drawing, watercolor, I think I manage pretty well.  However, I have tried painting with acrylics before and, to be honest, I just didn't get it.  The instruction books weren't getting through to me.  I never stopped thinking about it.

But I'm stubborn.  I decided around September of this year that I wanted try again to learn to paint.  I got books from the library, took online courses, watched YouTube videos.  I painted in my head. Eventually, a had a moment of clarity.  I said to no one in particular "I think I get it now."

So, for Christmas, I asked for and received a gift of painting supplies from my in-laws.


It still took me a few days to work up the courage to try painting.  My inner critic was constantly feeding me bullshit lies, as inner critics usually do.  Tonight, however, I ignored my IC, sat down and gave it my best shot.  The two miniature paintings at the top are the result.  I have to say I am pretty proud of them.

The message I bring is that if you want to learn to do something, just dive in.  Use your local library.  The internet is, as usual, a wealth of information.  Sign up for a Skillshare class.  And just remember, your inner critic is a HUGE jerk and is not concerned with your happiness or well-being.  The more you ignore your inner critics, the quieter they become.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Travel Sketch Tools, Pt. 2

After finishing the drawing from yesterday, I thought of other handy things to carry when going on a sketch outing.  Obviously the camp stool, the drawing board, and the coffee wouldn't be necessary if you were going to sketch in a cafe.  The earbuds are essential equipment to me when cafe sketching because sometimes the music and ambient chatter is distracting. A pencil case is always a handy thing to have, even if it isn't purple...

Thanks for everyone on all the social networks for the feedback.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Tools of Travel Sketching

I know, I know, this is going to sound like a New Year's resolution, but it's not.  I have made a promise to myself, just a few days ago, to get out more.  It won't necessarily be to socialize, but it will be to sketch.  There are so many opportunities to get out and draw all around Madison, indoors and outside.  

So yeah, I want to be an urban sketcher!  What is an urban sketcher, you ask?

Urban Sketchers is a global community of artists that practice drawing on locations in cities, towns and villages they live in or travel to.  The movement was started on Flickr in 2007 by journalist Gabi Campanario.  Since its inception the movement has grown and flourished, with chapters springing up all over the country.  Not surprisingly, there is a chapter right here in Madison, WI. You can check out their website here.

I have tried it before, drawing in cafes and parks, but my inner critic always seemed to tag along.  My inner critic can be an asshole, sometimes, so I will do my best to ignore him.  

I have my travel kit all ready to go.  Now it just needs to warm up a little more.  With Winter Solstice, which is today, the days will at least start getting longer.

My blog will be my ongoing progress report, the record of my sketching endeavor.  Keep checking back

Happy Solstice!

Morning Tea, Morning Sketch, Coffee Comes Later

I'm unsure what came over me.  Usually, on mornings that I have the opportunity to sleep in, I rarely do.  I wake early and the first thing I think of is that first cup of coffee.  Not this morning, no.  I woke up thinking I wanted a pot of tea.  When I said this to Valerie, half asleep, she asked me what I had done with her husband.  I replied, well, at least I didn't say herbal tea.  That seemed to satisfy her that I was the same person she fell in love with and not some tea-swilling pod person.

No, I love coffee.  In fact, now that I have had tea, I want coffee.  Espresso, to be specific.

I am a coffee addict and I freely admit this.  There are worse things and of this I am speaking personally.  I was a heavy smoker for 20 years.  At one point it was a 3-4 pack a day habit.  I quit in 2001 and now I can't stand to be around cigarette smoke.  I am glad I finally quit and have no desire to ever start again.  I think I started, like many people did, to be cool.  Now I realize I am cool without them.

Even though I call myself a coffee addict, usually only drink 1-2 (very large) cups a day during the week.  I know there are those who aspire to Voltairean* amounts of coffee consumption.  I don't like being jittery, so I will stick with my current consumption.

I know I have said this before, several times, but I hope to post more blog entries more often.  I have been averaging about once a month.  I realize that is hardly often enough to hold an interest.  It's not a New Year's resolution, but I would ideally like to average once a week.  We shall see.

Now I think I need to make some coffee...

Blessings and Happy Solstice!

*Voltaire, author of Candide, is said to have drunk 40-50 cups of coffee a day.

How to Draw Like Kim Jung Gi-Proko videos

This guy is amazing...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Performance from David Byrne's American Utopia

I love David Byrne.  And I love this song.  But to see it performed like this was, well, pure joy.  

We don't have TV per se, and if we did, I doubt I would stay up to watch late night talk.  I am grateful for the internet and YouTube that I can still see things like this.

I defy you to watch this and not get goosebumps...