Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Inner Genius Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

2.  Understand the Bias.

Whether they’re in elementary school or a corporate office space, people who think and process in unique or creative ways might feel stifled by conforming to traditional means of production output.  “We do seem to be biased in most schools and workplaces against individual expression and unique choice,” says Kaufman. “That sort of standardization of behavior is really a Killer of Creativity.” How can students and nine to fivers overcome confining and rigid structures? By trusting in your own intuition when you show enthusiasm or excitement in something new, and then finding some kind of outlet to express it

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A CREATIVE EXERCISE TO TRY

I teach drawing and design and one of the first sketchbook assignments I give to the students is to pick a shape and draw it 50 times 50 different ways. This gets their imagination flowing and allows them to address different design concepts we’ve discussed; line,value,variety , etc.

I myself engage in this exercise often, making a several variations of a shape . I have posted the many variations on a shape….. there are definitely more I could come up with.. color being an additional aspect I have even touched yet. try it yourself with a shape of your own choosing.

Do you see the basic shape I started with and it’s variations throughout all the sketches?

LEARNING FROM DaVINCI……..BE OPEN TO MYSTERY

Not everything needs sharp lines. The 15th. century of Leonardo and Columbus and Gutenberg was a  time of invention ,exploration, and the spread of knowledge by new technologies.  In short, it was a time like our own.  That is why we have much to learn from Leonardo.  His ability to combine art, science, technology, the humanities and imagination remains an enduring recipe for creativity.  So, too, is the ease with which he was a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily  distracted and at times heretical.  Florence flourished in the 15th century because it was comfortable with such people.  Above all, Leonardo’s relentless curiosity and experimentation should remind us of the importance of instilling in both ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but also a willingness to question  it – to be imaginative and , like talented misfits and rebels in any era, TO THINK DIFFERENT

from the book, Leonardo , by Walter Isaacson 2017

Art Quote for the Day

Some more of my long lost notes….

Underpainting – an underpainting stimulates imagination . A black and white canvas is tedious and arouses very little initiative

Pigments for underpainting require little oil . It’s best to underpaint in neutral colors, grays or pinks.
For grays – use white lead and umber and prussian blue
For pinks – use white lead and venetian red

A midtone surface gives more flexibility than white as both dark and light will show up.
Thin color (glaze) is used for shadowand thick paint is used for highlights.

FLESH TONES
1. “basic” (caucasian) – equal parts burnt sienna & white
2. Add to ‘basic’ skin color for darker tones and variations – raw umber, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow ultramarine blue
3. for lighter white tones – white + burnt sienna & raw umber
+ cadmium red, burnt sienna
+ alizarin crimson & burnt sienna
+ burnt sienna & cadmium yellow
+ burnt sienna & lemon yellow
+ burnt sienna & ultramarine

Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan

Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan.

I have posted this article today that I got through a blog that I follow…. I always enjoy seeing other artist’s studios and their work in progress.

I am struggling these days with what I want the purpose of this blog to be. Last year whenI started it I had a different intention in mind. I went through wanting it to be a self promotion type of site, then an educational site, an inspirational site, and now, lately , I’ve been finding articles and writings that I like so much I want to pass them on. Maybe they’re all one in the same and I just have to be more – uh – regular with posting.

Enjoy the article.

Art Quote for the Day

“I notice that students often start laying in colors and paint just to cover the canvas, without being very attentive to what’s going down–colors and values all over the map! They are feeling they want to get started and hope to refine it later. The problem is, the surface of the picture plane is so alive and active that every inattentive mark you put on it is taking you away from what you had intended to paint faster than you can possibly realize . It makes a lot of sense to try and get it right the first time as if it really mattered, moving intelligently right now toward your idea. And it really helps to have an idea. But just laying in paint as an unhelpful foundation completely confounds our ability to see what we’ve accomplished and where we need to go next. Every part is now reverberating with every other in a chaotic and confusing jumble, and trying to dig ourselves out of that mess may be too much for any painter.
This brings up 2 points.First, so much of what we do while we paint is a reflection of our character and shows us, for better or worse, and if we choose to perceive it, our true nature. Not taking time to lay in a strong and meaningful foundation may be something that manifests in other areas of our life. Art can be a remarkable feedback mechanism for our life.
This is not the same as trying to get it perfect. It justs means trying to get it as right as you can as you go along. “Right” means being aligned to your idea. Trying for perfection takes the life out of expression. to be continued………..

Creative Authenticity- 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

“I know alot of students who are distracted by an artist’s color or painterliness. They want to paint like that.Yet what isn’t always clear is that, if the artist is any good , the color and bravado is embedded in a foundation . Jon Carlson, the landscape painter, said, “confidence of execution comes from practice and long experience.”

We can run into trouble comparing ourselves with another artist’s work when our temperament is completely different from his or hers, which means that we could never do what they do.

We can admire all manner of art and artists. We can learn from all kinds of paintings. But it is unproductive to compare and evaluate ourselves againt someone else’s work. What we’re trying to compare doesn’t. and it can be harshly discouraging to try.

Certainly it’s foolish to compare what you accomplished in an afternoon session at a painting class with a model whose pose you didn’t set, with ten other artists vying for a decent view with decent lighting, with a painter who was moved by an idea, hired a model specifically for achieving the idea, and set the stage, model and lighting to reflect his vision nd then had a week of six-hour days to accomplish it. The same would apply if you tried to compare a two-hour-on-location landscape with something that was done in the studio over several weeks with far more planning and adjusting than you can ever afford with a quick sketch.

Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

WHEW!!!!!!!

I just finished another Winterim session at my place of employment, Edgewood College in Madison WI. This is a 2 week long period of time that students can take classes and get a full semester’s worth of credit. We meet EVERYDAY  for 3 hours and I had one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  Six hours of classtime,  2 hours of prep-time, I was out of the house everyday at 7 am and home by 4:30 pm……. with maybe 30 minutes to gulp down some kind of lunch.

I’M EXHAUSTED!

4 days off , and then, the real semester starts and back at it!

I LOVE IT !!!

The Winterim is proof of  how much can actually get done in a very short time if that time is concentrated and focused. It is proof of what students are capable of learning and doing in that same amount of quality time.

The morning class I taught was in Figure Drawing. Drawing the nude…. everyday a live model, everyday a new set of skills to be learned: proportion, measuring ,bone structure, musculature,modelling 3-dimensional form, gesture/motion, media,patience, focus, imagination. We ended today with a 2 hour long pencil drawing of 2 poses in one drawing that related to each other in some way. Students had to draw a sitting pose and a standing pose that would relate to each other , switching back and forth about every 5 minutes….. After only 9 days of intense instruction and LOTS of practice they all managed to complete a pretty accomplished drawing! Some of the students had never had a drawing course before so I’m pretty proud of them!

The afternoon class was called Art Structure and it is specifically for NON-ART majors. Again, everyday , a new set of skills and information: drawing, color theory, design, painting, abstraction, printmaking, sculpture….. total chaos everyday…. CREATIVE CHAOS! And , once again, the work completed was fantastic.

Some of the work is posted here Enjoy!….

Art Quote for the Day

And once again, the time has gone by SUPERFAST and I find myself at the end of another semester. Projects DONE, grading DONE,cleaning up the art room messes, almost done! A few weeks of a much welcome break where I can really focus on my own painting , and then back at it again!
I was thinking the other night,( while attending a senior seminar where students I had as Freshman and are now about to graduate, had to present their work to an audience and talk about it), that it’s a great thrill to watch these individuals come into our school as these young Freshmen, watch them make it through all their trials and tribulations and then  see and hear them be so articulate about their work at the  end of it all. Somewhere deep down inside I’m always hoping that maybe, in their talks, they’ll mention me…. that I made a difference and when they don’t I have always felt a little sad. BUT, after seeing this presentation the other night I realized there are no thanks needed. My job is to instruct them in the basic foundations courses that are required . In return they inspire me in so many ways , I ‘m never bored. My own personal mission is to create for them an atmosphere of creativity and fearlessness so that they can INDEED go on to create a fantastic portfolio of work . I’m a small part of a bigger picture that includes all of my fellow faculty members, all doing the hard work that it takes to get these young people ready for the real world. And I’m so very happy to be a part of it.

Now, with the holiday break starting, I will take off a few days to do stuff other than school stuff but I’m already sort of thinking about new assignments, projects, and visual examples. I’m looking forward to the first day of classes when I get to meet new students and re-connect with old….

I just Love this Life of Mine!!!!

Art Quote for the Day

In the French Academy, beginning students were called ‘eleves’.  They had a reasonably good life; they were exempted from military service and were well positioned to compete with apprentices outside the academy.  There were monthly examinations, designed to weed out inferior  students but the major goal, from 1666 onward, was to to win two all-important prizes: the Grand Prix and the Prix-de-Rome scholarship. The Grand Prix was not easy to attain.  First, students had to pass an examination by executing a satisfactory drawing in the presence of an instructor.  If they passed that test they could submit a sketch, and if that sketch was accepted, they were invited to make a picture or relief from the sketch while locked in a room ( to make sure they weren’t cheating by copying other drawings).  All the pictures that had been made that way were put in a public exhibition, and eventually a panel chose a single Grand Prix winner.

The Prix-de-Rome was much more generous than today’s grants and fellowships.  Winners went to the French Academy in Rome for four years, and when they returned they had a choice of careeres.  They could either set up shop in some small town or else try for the next step up in the academy.  After being an ‘eleve’ and taking part in the Grand Prize competition , a student could apply to be accepted as an ‘agree’, which involved finding a sponsor and submitting another painting. “Agrees” then had to pay a fee and complete a third work, this time specifically for the academy’s permanent collection: and if it was accepted, they became ‘academiciens’, the highest normal position, something like our full professors. This three stage system was adopted from the medieval sequence from apprentice to journeyman-apprentice to master.

from Why Art Cannot Be Taught by James Elkins