Art Quote for the Day

So,lately I’ve been trying to remember how I lived from day to day WITHOUT spending a couple hours a day on Pinterest!  I know I used to draw alot, make art in general. I taught my classes ,  I found books on artists that I liked and could be inspired by, I never felt like I was lacking for any creative input from all sorts of sources. BUT,,,, with Pinterest I feel like I’m doing all the things I just listed but  with STEROIDS! The volume of visual input that comes from an infinite well of sources through the Pinterest feed is amazing. At first it was all too much for me to take in but gradually, as I’m sure everyone who uses Pinterest will find, you get your own niche figured out. You start to get organized with your “boards”, you find threads of commonality with your own creative personality. I have been so inspired, (most times) to GET TO WORK after spending some time in the Pinterest community. I have found artists whose work I absolutely LOVE, that I would never have discovered otherwise. I have found styles and techniques that are similar to mine, I have been exposed to ideas that are so fabulous yet so comfortable to me, ( like searching for a long lost relative and finally finding them).
I’ve found the collection of images , and organizing them on to specific boards a fantastic tool for my teaching. I collect examples of images that I use to introduce new projects. I use it as a textbook that students can go to to draw from in completing their own works of art. I photograph their artwork and put it on Pinterest and they are instantly seen around the world! I photograph my own artwork and post it as well!

I would love to hear from any of you who read this. If you are on Pinterest what have been your experiences? How much time to you spend looking at images? Do you find it to be a big waster of time? I know I can lose track and I end up spending more time than I want to on some days. I had a student once who said, “when you are on Pinterest you feel like you’re being creative but you’re really just wasting time looking at other people’s art, and not doing anything of your own.” True but we need to LOOK as well as DO don’t we?

So, anyway, with the completion of this post I’ve “wasted” enough time for today on the computer. It’s a dark, rainy and very stormy day so perfect for being warm, dry and creatively involved in my studio.I have been appropriately inspired….. now it’s time to get to work .


Art Quote for the Day

I have posted a similar piece in a past ‘quote of the day’ . This one came through on Facebook and it’s a little different ….. very good. I can sure identify with it. 

9 Contradictory traits that are frequently present in creative people:

1. Most creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but are often quiet and at rest .  They can work long hours at great concentration.

2. Most creative people tend to be smart and naive at the same time. “It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantitiy of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas.  These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure, and that most creativity workshops try to enhance.”

3. Most creative people combine both playfulness and productivity, which can sometimes mean both responsibility and irresponsibility. “Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not.” Usually this perserverance occurs at the expense of other responsibilities, or other people.

4. Most creative people alternate fluently between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.  In both art and science, movement forward involves a leap of imagination, a leap into a world that is different from our present.  Interestingly, this visionary imagination works in conjunction with a hyperawareness of reality.  Attention to real details allows a creative person to imagine ways to improve them.

5. Most creative people tend to be both introverted and extroverted.  Many people tend toward one extreme or the other , but highly creative people are a balance  of both simultaneously.

6. Most creative people are genuinely humble and display a strong sense of pride at the same time.

7. Most creative people are both rebellious and conservative . “It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative  and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.”

8 Most creative people are very passionate about their work, but remain extremely objective about it as well. They are able to admit when something they have made is not very good.

9. Most creative people’s openness and sensitivity exposes them to a large amount of suffering and pain, but joy and life in the midst of that suffering.  “Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.  Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection  and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities.and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories wherer the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable”

Art Quote for the Day

Right now, at this very moment a dear friend of mine is sitting across the room on my couch with my husband. She is a retired teacher that  I worked with for several years when I was just starting out . We would have the best lunch time conversations about all sorts of things. She is brilliant and enlightened and intellectually stimulating . She is 74 and minimally understanding of all things that are computer oriented shall we say. She has purchased an IPad and now my husband is helping her with what she needs to know to use it.
As I sit here listening to them ….. She, asking questions, my husband explaining , I marvel at how far I’ve come in the past year! I didn’t have an IPAD a year ago, I didn’t have a blog  a year ago, I sure wouldn’t have thought that I would be teaching Honors students a class in how to use the IPAD to create art! I was where my friend is right now. She has a lot of stuff yet to learn and who knows what will attract her and get her going in an obsessive direction but I’m thinking it has to be alot like learning to read . Once the understanding happens, the world opens up in so many ways ….. you are instantly  connected to all of the information that the world has to offer. Have fun my dear friend …. have fun!

Art Quote for the Day

When I went to college and majored in Art I never thought that I would be a teacher. That would have meant talking in front of people and , oh my God, I could never have done that! When I went to Grad School in my late 30’s I never thought I would be able to be a Teaching Assistant….. again , I’d have to talk in front of people and Lordy Lordy , I could never do THAT! But, one thing led to another, I plucked up my courage, applied to be  a T.A., was accepted , and from the second I walked over the threshold of the classroom door on that very first day , nervous as hell, all of my life’s insecurities went out the window. I loved teaching from the very first minute I did it. And with that love came a memory from 5th grade that I tell my student’s all the time. And it is this…

In 5th. grade we had to draw the state bird, the state tree, the state flower, etc. etc. I was given the state tree. I , in 5th. grade already knew I wanted to be an artist, loved drawing, WELCOMED any kind of drawing that we could do…. I spent a good amount of time drawing that tree; shading the leaves, the bark, and when I was finished I presented it to my teacher and she said it wasn’t good enough and that I should do it again. I did. Still not good enough. On the verge of tears I sat down and remember so clearly , taking my finger and placing it  on the edge of that tree picture and trying to copy it EXACTLY as it was inch by inch… ( I was at a complete loss as to what the teacher wanted) and before I could get even half way around the teacher snatched my drawing away as she said , ” we don’t have time to wait for you to finish . I’ll let “so&so” do it. I remember feeling so confused, so sad, so completely crushed by the complete lack of understanding on the teacher’s part.

Another incident….. in High School I was priviledged enough to be able to attend “art camp” .Participating  students went to a University of WI campus in Wausau , we lived in dorms, we worked in our chosen media in studios for 8 hours a day, then attended lectures at night. It was a fantastic experience and I was able to do this for 3 years. One year I took a printmaking class. I took a silkscreen image that I had done that year in High School, had won a prize for it and , probably because I was sort of insecure about EVERYTHING, I went up to the instructor for that class ,showed him my silkscreen image and told him I had won  a prize for it . ( I was hoping for some praise I guess). He said,” So What?” Absolutely Crushing. What possible thrill could an adult -artist-teacher get out of embarrassing a young girl like that?

Soooooooooooooooooo…. when I started teaching I told myself that I would NEVER, EVER, crush the spirit of any student I ever have , like these two individuals did to me. I would never let any student be ‘afraid’ of doing art. I would never discourage them from trying new things, or being proud of what they have done. every art work is a new adventure…. a new media, a new concept, a new ‘failure’, but that’s how we learn. what is the point of making someone feel horrible?

Of course , I have structure, I teach foundations, I have critiques and point out areas where things can be improved upon. That’s my job as a college art instructor.But I won’t let students be afraid …. to try new things, to literally RUIN something in their attempts to try the new things, to not try because they already think they’re no good. It’s a waste of time and no advancements are made. So far, I think my ‘method’ has been working pretty well . By the end of any semester and any class I think the majority of the students have made some pretty damn good art. ( see my student artwork page for some great examples)

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Art Quote for the Day

So, in my efforts to explore something different….. change my technique, my style, explore other motifs and ideas, different colors, and different media, a question came to my mind.

OK….. I definitely have a kind of imagery that I feel bonded with …… for the last 16 years or so ….. I’m physiologically driven to draw and paint  imagery that contains bi-laterally balanced shapes, ( lotus, the onion domes of the Kremlin, that sort of thing). I have seen lots of other artists’ work out there that also use this sort of imagery. We , as artists, “take”, “use”, “derive”, “mimic” the work of others and , HOPEFULLY , make it our own.

I have found an artist , via the” PINTERESTS”, whose work I have fallen in love with. For many  reasons. #1 being the use , in some pieces of those same bi-laterally balanced shapes. The technique used is more free, more mixed media, simpler in some ways but more rich in surface. ANYWAY, I have been totally inspired…. and find myself trying to create imagery that reflects this artist’s work . Now, in the grand scheme of things, is this plagarism? I’m still using my own ideas, my own sensibilities…. but more in the style of this artist  in a search for a different style of my own. I’ve switched from oils for the time being  to acrylics because they seem more spontaneous to me. I don’t know if the artist I’m talking about uses acrylics or not…. most pieces are listed as mixed media.

This artist’s work is large, I’m merely experimenting on small square foot panels.

This artist has a larger vocabulary in the work , not just the bilateral shapes, and that work I don’t like as well altho’ the colors and textures in all pieces are something I’m drooling over.

I guess, at the end of the day, whether we’ve been at this business of making art for one day or one lifetime, studying and , yes, I’ll say it, copying the work of others has been standard practice. The ideal goal is to move beyond the copying and begin to find something that moves each one of us in a very personal way. This is the motivation we all need to keep making art EVERYDAY.

GOOD LUCK  in your own creative invention and re-invention wherever direction  you may find yourself heading toward.

Art Quote for the Day

IMG_4314The other day this phrase passed through my brain. ” I’m a happy idiot”

Huh? What?

Well, it occurred to me after doing what is most probably the 100 th demonstration on how to mix all the colors on a color wheel using colored pencils that I am totally enthralled with that whole process. No matter how many times I create a color wheel, using colored pencils, or paint, or pastels, or even cut paper, it’s like magic to me every time it’s completed. So, the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that no matter how many times I demonstrate shading with graphite pencils, or how to blend brushstrokes with oil paint, or how salt thrown onto wet watercolor creates a grainy texture I’m like a child seeing it for the first time. It’s absolutely and totally magical to me. I never get tired of it.

I’ve always been very good at doing repetitive tasks. I used to fold arty T-shirts, hundreds of dozens a day, found it tiring but also satisfying in an achievement kind of way, i make Christmas ornaments out of paper, dozens and dozens  the same way , over and over. I don’t find this kind of activity boring. Actually I think it’s kind of meditative…… the muscle memory achieved by the repetitive motion frees up my brain for thinking about other stuff.

So, everyday I teach…… every semester the lessons stay basically the same and I give the same demonstrations, fortunately with as much enthusiasm as the first time I ever did them. The resulting art work achieved by the students is the big payoff. they do amazing things and ITS NEVER THE SAME THING TWICE!  It’s like Christmas day opening presents when every new project is completed and turned in.

I am a happy ,( maybe idiot is the wrong word after all) ,  child in a grown up’s body – maybe? Maybe no qualifier is necessary …. I’m just so very happy when I’m making art and showing others how to make art as well.

Art Quote for the Day

Next week classes start up again. It seems like I was just writing about having whole summer to look forward to and now there is one short week left! I gotta say, I’m OK with it….. I’m always a little sad when summer ends, mostly because I know my time in my garden is also going to be ending soon….. 22,000 square feet of beauty right out my back door becomes a winter wasteland where I barely set foot for 6 months or so. BUT, school is always fun. I’m excited to meet my new students, get some projects going,see my fellow teachers, and , YES, get some structure back to my time.
I am hoping to work on this blogsite a little more; take better photos of my work and get stuff posted more quickly. I may introduce a new page of works in progress – taking photos of paintings as I start them and then each time I work I will take a photo as well right up to the end. Stay tuned for excellent student work( I know it will be excellent…. it most always is!), more great quotes from working artists and I will try to insert more of my own personal thoughts into the mix. All of these ideas reflect the input I’ve been getting from people who read this blog, so I aim to please.
I hope the Gerhard Richter quotes were of interest to people over the summer. I didn’t start out to post so many but the book, The Daily Practice of Painting , proved to be a great source and I just kept going with it. So many of the quotes were helpful to me and I hope they were inspiring to everyone who may have read them.
So , stay tuned….. my next post will be images taken after my summer painting classes completed an exercise using a blurred slide. They turned out MAGNIFICENTLY and everyone who participated in the exercise enjoyed it as well. There will be images of the works in progress and completed. bye…

Art Quote for the Day

Here is the second paper written for the writing arts assignment… continued from yesterday’s post:

Jane Fasse by C.M.

” For sure all my life I’ve had a sweet tooth.” Jane Fasse said when we gave her a cookie.  Jane  was born on March 24, 1953 and is 60 years old.  Even though Jane is 60 , she seems crazier than ever.

Jane has shoulder length blond hair with hints of white.  Jane has blue eyes that sparkle like the sun.  Jane seems to like laughing and smiling and, if she doesn’t,  I’d be suprised because she smiled a lot.

Jane rmembers when she was younger that she was a great student in grade school.  She was very advanced and had fun at school.  “I go to Junior High and all went to h******, she said. Jane said she did not like her teachers much and it was not very fun.  She also remembers that she had a lot of jobs.  One she remembers where she chopped onions all day.  She said when she cme home she smelled horrible.  She hated the job, but who cold blame her?  She also worked at the Jolly Green Giant canning factory and at the mall for twelve years.  She worked for so many places I can’t even mention them all.

Jane Fasse is married to Tom Moss and does not have any children.  Jane works as an Art Teacher. Some of her hobbies include drawing , cooking, and gardening.  Drawing helped Jane get a job and she loves doing it.  Jane is a very interesting person and I had fun  interviewing her.


So that’s how the interview went. I think it’s interesting how both girls picked out some of the more incidental things to mention, the small talk kind of things, but I’m glad they got the gist of fact that I’ve had art in my life  MOST of my life. That is what I was hoping for. After years of crummy jobs I’m finally in the place I was born to be in …. art has never failed.

Art Quote for the Day

I have a friend who teaches writing /language arts at a middle school. Every year she has an assignment where she takes her 6th. graders to a retirement center  so that they can interview the elderly. They are then to take the answers to the questions they’ve asked and write a paper , a story about that person they interviewed. This year my friend had a different plan. She had people come to her school to be interviewed. We were all in the 60 to 70 year old range and the kids were given a series of questions that they more or less could choose to ask us. We “old folks” each had two students interviewing us for about an hour. I thought I’d share the papers written by my two girls……. writing is an art form right? And, who knows? One or both of these young ladies could grow up and become a best selling author!

Paper #1 by Q.T.

” Oh good, I got girls.  They’ll understand how crazy I am,” said an excited Jane Fasse.  Other words Jane used to describe herself were friendly, creative, open-minded, self-conscious, insecure, and immature.  By her bubbly personality and energy you would never have guessed that she is already sixty years old.  Jane has light blonde hair that is straight with hints of white in it, and bangs. She has light blue eyes, wore sparkly pink eye shadow, and has slight wrinkles by her eyes, mouth, and on her forehead.

Growing up in Beaver Dam, Wi  Jane enjoyed playing with Barbies and she also liked Drawing.  One of her favorite childhood memories is on her ninth or tenth birthday when she got a Barbie Dream House, and got to stay home from  Sunday school. She had lots of fun in elementary school, but to quote Jane, “I got to junior high and all went to H***** Even though Jane says she did not enjoy middle school , she expressed that she would even less like to be a kid now a days because of society.  Another one of Jane’s opinions is that there is too much money involved in politics.  Jane went through a large assortment of jobs in her life such as working at an  A&W Root Beer stand, a Jolly Green Giant canning factory, at a T-shirt printing factory, the mall , the Museum of Modern Art, and now she works as an art teacher.  Growing up  she always admired artists and wanted to be one.

Jane is married to Tom M. , but does not have any children.  Some of Jane’s hobbies include fashion, cooking,baking,gardening and art.  Something interesting about Jane is that she carries her sketchbook around with her like a security blanket.  In conclusion, Jane Fasse was a very exciting person to interview and I enjoyed talking to her very much.

Art Quote for the Day

Good Morning ! It’s 6 AM on a Saturday…. a beautiful light rain is falling…. my garden is loving it! This afternoon I will be teaching an IPAD tutorial to a few willing individuals.  This seems like a pretty blah thing to start my post with …. big deal, I’m teaching a class. But , when I consider that it’s been barely over a year since I had to be “convinced”, pulled , kicking and screaming into learning how to use an IPAD, well, I am still truly amazed. I will be the first to acknowledge that I’m barely scratching the surface…… the students I taught last semester , in an HONORS course; IPAD SKETCHPAD, sometimes taught me more than I taught them. ( I mean , they’ve grown up with this stuff, they’ve had 18 years to learn it and I, hesitantly just started getting comfortable with my email in the last couple of years!!

But, I’ve made myself be , oh, shall I say , NOT TERRIFIED of the machine by just treating it as another means by which to make art. I have learned the basic tools of Photoshop and Sketching apps for the IPAD and just as with the most simple and basic media, ( pencil, charcoal), I can teach people how to be creative with it. This is my humble task….. I’m great at coming up with 50 variations 0n a single theme, at getting people to try different alternate solutions to a creative problem. So , I can do this with the IPAD as well.

It was interesting watching the students in the IPAD SKETCHPAD class. Several of them weren’t art majors. I would have them create an image on the IPAD and then have them translate it into actual art. On the IPAD , everyone was willing to try different techniques, start over, make several versions, etc.etc. but when it came to making actual “hard copy” art they were stuck and , yes , I’ll even say , AFRAID. But , over time , they started to make the connection – that the process , whether on the IPAD or on paper, was the same. One just takes a little longer, there’s some paper waste maybe, some chalk powder to clean up , but once they understood the process they started to create fantastic art.

So, this afternoon, another class. I’m seeing a trend, in that Art Teachers are wanting to learn more about the whole IPAD and making Art process. Classrooms in Middle Schools are starting to supply the students with IPADS and the teachers need to learn , the same way I did. It’s the future I guess, and if it helps kids open up  their creative flow its a good thing.