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15 March 2010

08 March 2010

Urban Peeps

Here is my latest painting, without a title as of yet. It's a 24"x36", oil on board. I tackled new subject matter and worked within a new palette for the Black vs. White Show last month. (Those 4 paintings are a few posts down.) It really got me thinking about leaching the color out of the urban scenes I have been doing and reducing the environment to focus more on the human element. The background is played down to provide a sort of stage for the people to exist on. The viewpoint pushes the aesthetic, as we, the viewer, are watching on but not interacting. I'm not sure how the painting changes the characters but I definitely view them differently than paintings in recognizable places. Does it universalize them? Could be. Without color they are stripped down to their essentials, as forms moving in space.

What does it do for you? Leave a comment. I'd be curious to know how others view the painting. I'll respond to whomever does and maybe we can get a little dialog going, that we all can learn from.

04 March 2010

Words as Reminders

I have been asked to write some blog posts for two of the galleries that represent me and they weren't quite ready to put up.
In lieu of that are some good words to remind us artists to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically. Don't end up like this guy. ( image by brazilian illustrator Kako)

Be an artist- not an art slave. Find a ritual that works for you. Stay connected to the river of ideas…your inner voice…your muse. Whatever you choose to call it, art is a spiritual process. If you aren’t cultivating a relationship to creativity, you probably won’t have one when you need it. Here are a few tips that work for many artists I know, including myself. The only problem is: you have to do them every day to make them work.

1. Get up happy. Say some affirmations. Get rid of the negative chatter in your head-that voice that says things like, “I’m not coming up with any good ideas. I’ll never make this deadline. I’ll never be good enough to do this job.” Instead, train that voice to say something positive. Reprogram yourself. “I am illustrating books that people love. I am happy with my art. My career is going great. I am a successful artist…” This might sound too simple, and you’ve probably heard it before from the self –help gurus. Have you ever actually tried it….consistently over a few months?

2. Exercise and stay healthy. This is not an option. When you feel healthy, you are more open and ideas come more quickly.

3. Sit quietly each day, do yoga, or meditate. Get calm and peaceful so that when the ideas come, you actually realize they are there. Worry, anger, fear, and other emotions actually block the ability to grasp those sparks of imagination.

4. Create a place and time to be at work. This is important if you are working at home. Your mind needs to understand, “I am now at work. I will now be creative.” So sharpen your pencils, put on music, sit before your drawing table and begin.

5. Don’t talk too much about your ideas; this depletes some of the magic. On a subconscious level, your wonderful idea has become a real thing in the world. It’s not real, and it won’t be, until you do it. So, instead of sharing your magnificent thoughts, go make the work happen.

6. Take time outs doing something you love. Go to a museum. Sit by a lake. Walk through the woods. You must replenish yourself. Fill the well. Don’t view this as goofing off…this time is very important.

7. Don’t be a workaholic. This is difficult, because you won’t know it, until it’s too late. Your friends and family will know it before you will. ONLY YOU CAN CONTROL THIS. Be the work police and set your own boundaries. Make a contract with yourself. “I do not wok on Tuesday and Sunday. I go on vacation without my work. I have lunch with a friend on Friday every week. I only work from 9am to 2pm.“ Put up a sign. Remind yourself that you are free to set your own schedule. Work as late or as little or as early as you want, but make sure you’re enjoying the pace.

Another blogger had posted this and I couldn't retrace my steps to his blog. However, neither he nor his friend, whom he got it from, were the author. If either of you two find this blog, thank you for a good reminder about maintaining a healthy and happy artist lifestyle, and of course, to the mystery author out there.

01 March 2010

Moving Studios. . . .

Sorry no blog rant today. I'll spare you my spouting off about this, that, and the other thing.

I am moving studios today and will be posting again on wednesday, so check back then.

In honor of all the work required to move out of one space and into another I'm posting a few images by Steve Huston.

Hard labor never seemed so respectable.