Art Quote for the Day

So, let’s talk about THE PINTEREST!!!

# 1. I LOVE it!!!

#2. I HATE it!!!


#4.  Sometimes it TERRIFIES  me

#5. Sometimes it INSPIRES ME…( most of the time)

#6. Sometimes it DEPRESSES me

#7. I try not to take the PINNING action , or lack there-of, in regard to MY pins, PERSONALLY !

#8. It’s a fantastic TEACHING TOOL

#9. Whatever did I do without it ?

#10. Whatever WOULD I do without it?

Let’s address each issue:

Well, loving it is OBVIOUS ! It’s a universe of infinite imagery to look through… as an artist and image junky , it’s like CRACK , like SPEED, like a super-energy drink for my pleasure zone….. oh yeah!

And, hating it , for all of the same reasons listed above…. a love/hate relationship is always a tricky one…. the same reasons I love it are the same reasons I hate it. It takes up lots of my time…. ( I’ll just go to one more board…), it makes me want to change my own art style about 50 times a day, it makes me feel soooooooooooooooo untalented…..

I’m addicted !!!! – see above

It terrifies me in that sometimes as I start going deeper and deeper into board after board I feel like I’m going deeper and deeper into the deep , deep water … I start to panic and feel like I have to start swimming UP and UP to get back to my original board or I will surely be lost !! ( I know, a little crazy but that’s how it feels….. some of you surely must identify….. right? RIGHT?!?!)

Of course, the best thing about the whole Pinterest “thing” is that it truly does inspire … I see images done in colors, or styles that I love , I pin them to remind me to incorporate them into my own artwork, I see illustrations that provoke me, amuse me, make me think, I see patterns, and colors and images that look like I could have done them so I don’t feel so alone and “off-base” with my own work, I see images that make me think of new projects for my students…. I could go on…..

It depresses me , again, for some of the same reasons listed above….. there are so many creative people out there, so many …. sometimes I start to feel..”What’s the point of doing anything?”

Pinning is a social activity…. if I pin something of my own, I feel bad if I don’t get re-pinned or ecstatic if I do ( acceptance by strangers?)

I have definitely streamlined and improved my teaching…. I don’t have to find books that I can pass around the classroom, I don’t have to have paper illustrations that need to be passed around the class room…. I can give a project assignment in my Design class , have the students go to the Design board to see tons of examples that address that project….. FANTASTIC!?

What did I ever do without it?  Dark times, very dark times…. we never know what we’re missing until we have it and look back ….. people got along fine without cell phones but …..HOW?!?!

What would I do without it? I still have my books if PINTEREST disappeared. I prefer to think that if  I had to do without it I would be replacing it with the next new thing that would be even better.


Art Quote for the Day

“Remember when you were three or four years old and you would just scribble or smear paint around for the fun of it?  At this time in your life, you were totally absorbed in the creative process, and you never gave a thought to what your paintings looked like or what it was that you were tyring to say or express.  As we move along in life, we tend to lose this sense of play and spontaneity that we had so naturally as young children.  Here’s a story that illustrates this point.  An art teacher arrives at a friend’s house for dinner and is introduced to his host’s kindergartener.  The little  girl asks the guest, “what do you do?”  He replies, ” I teach art students to paint and draw.”  Looking confused , the little girl says , “Why? Did they forget?”  Indeed, sometimes we do forget that we were born with powerful instincts to create and that those instincts can get trampled along the way by all the adult responsibilities and baggage that come with age and experience.

In this chapter, I am asking you to revisit those basic creative passions that were so strong in your childhood by sticking your fingers in paint and playing for the pure pleasure of the process.  If you  can suspend your inhibitions about acting like a kid for a  few hours, the exercises in this chapter will help you find the roots of your creative intuition and inspire a renewed sense of excitement and adventure in your art-making.  Exercises listed are:  ACTION PAINTING, PAINTING WITH STRAWS, PAINTING WITH COMMON OBJECTS,PAINTING TO MUSIC-BLINDFOLDED, AUTOMATIC DRAWING, 30 SKETCHES IN 30 MINUTES, OBSERVE AND DRAW SHADOWS, CREATE ART GAMES, SPEAK IN MARKS, SHAPES AND COLORS,DRAW A CONCEALED OBJECT USING ONLY YOUR SENSE OF TOUCH…”

Art From Intuition – Overcoming Your Fears and Obstacles to Making Art – More Than 60 Drawing & Painting Exercises by Dean Nimmer

Art Quote for the Day

one more artist from the encaustics class , Kay D. to share !

one more artist from the encaustics class , Kay D. to share !

Yesterday, Friday, I had an encaustics painting workshop at my house . It was a fantastic day. Creative individuals, all future, current or retired teachers. Besides making great encaustic paintings we had great conversation about teaching in America today, where it is going in the future…. we exchanged creative ideas, learned new techniques and ended the day happy and satisfied. I have put some of the examples of completed paintings on my Pinterest page labelled  Encaustics and you see them right here as well. I hope to do this workshop again , maybe with even more people in a place that will hold them. Next, on the agenda, an IPAD afternoon tutorial on the PS2 app. and the Sketchbook pro app on June 15 and an altered books workshop on June 22.  I thank everyone that came yesterday… I loved spending the  day with you all……

Art Quote for the Day


” I have not worked at all….. Nothing seems worth putting down – I seem to have nothing to say – It appalls me but that is the way it is . – Georgia O’Keefe

” Just dash something down if you see a blank canvas staring at you with a certain imbecility. You do not know how paralyzing it is, that staring of a blank canvas which says to the painter: You don’t know anything……”Vincent Van Gogh

” …. and I thought , enough of this, I’m not an abstract painter, what the hell am I going to do ?  Should I get a job in a shoe store, sell real estate, or what?  I was really depressed by the whole thing, because I felt like a painter, yet I couldn’t make paintings.” – Ralph Goings

As the artists quoted above so vividly attest, discovering that you have no creative ideas is a devastating experience.  It calls into question some fundamental issues about who you really are.. Perhaps you are not the creative person you thought you were- after all, here’s the terrible immutable evidence.  Maybe you’re a fraud.  Between your inability to make anything and your doubts about whether you’ve got “the right stuff”, you’re caught in a vicious circle.

Well, there’s no quick fix, no sure way to order up the flash of inspiration.  What you can do, however, is create a set of circumstances that will increase the likelihood of its happening.  They are, by and large, quite straightforward,apparently hardly worthy of being  parents to a moment of revelation.  Yet if you think about it, you’ll realize that the building foundations of even the most dynamic architecture are not very exciting.  They make possible, but do not foretell, the imaginative structure to come.

The Blank Canvas – Inviting the Muse ,  by Anna Held Audette

Art Quote for the Day


Before setting out to rummage through the mounds of art supplies stocked in our local art store, suppose we turn inward and tune our own equipment a bit. Before the salesperson asks us if it will be acrylic or gouache, or designer colors, or watercolors, or oils or tempera or casein, or inks, suppose we put some questions to ourselves about ourselves.

Before we make strategic decisions as to what material we “need”, we will do well to give thought to the match between what we want to say and our choice of an instrument through  which to convey that statement.  In other words, what alliances can we make with things in the world so as to enhance our power to transform products of the mind to products of the hand? The world at large is a vast jumble of things, the world of art only slightly less vast and jumbled. In this mad zoo, whose inhabitants alternately call to us and hide, we need somehow to find the correct fit between our purposes and the expressive power of each medium.  One way to accomplish this is to set up a temporary but useful classification system by slicing the world  into halves, each half revealing a telling cross-section.

Thus we can slice the entire universe of art things into a half consisting of things that are two-dimensional, planar, and one made up of all the rest, things that are three-dimensional, spatial.  We then have before us two distinctive piles.  In the planar pile of art media are paintings, drawings, prints, photographs. In the spatial pile are sculpture, gardens, and architecture.  We can also slice the world along the axis of wet and dry. In one pile we have gouache, inks, acrylics, oils, and watercolors, in the other pile we have pencils, charcoals, and pastels.  We can slice the world along other critical ways as well, and each time we do so , we reveal another display of the world’s dichotomies. Other sample cross-sections are organic/inorganic ( e.g., cherry-wood/core ten steel), color/tone, hard/soft, permanent/transitive, solitary/collaborative, mobile/stable.

Having cut the world in two, we can now proceed to test the fit between what we want and what the world (media) has to offer. In  the coming descriptions of several such halvings, the cross sections are examined more closely.  MORE NEXT TIME!

Art Quote for the Day


” Take a nice,dry, willow stick; and make some little slips of it the length  of the palm of your hand, or, say, four fingers.  Then divide these pieces like match sticks; and do them up like a bunch of matches.  But first smooth them and sharpen them at each end, like spindles… Then tie them up in bunches this way,in three places to the bunch, that is, in the middle and  at each end, with a thin copper or iron wire.  Then take a brand-new casserole, and put in enough of them to fill up the casserole.  Then  get a lid to cover it, luting ( sealing) it with clay, so that nothing can evaporate from it in any way.  Then go to the baker’s in the evening, after he has stopped work, and put this casserole into the oven and  let it stay there until morning.”

from IL LIBRO DELL’ARTE by Cennino Cennini, c 1435     from the book, A Miscellany of Artist’s Wisdom , compiled by Diana Craig, Consultant Editor, Laurence Wood  M.A.

I understood the word CASSEROLE!

Aren’t we all fortunate that we live in a time when we can just drive on down to the art supply store or go on-line and order our supplies? There must have been a feeling of preciousness to the above described charcoal sticks, once they were “baked”, as there was with the hand-made pigments  and hand-made brushes of the time. But, with the invention of tubes for paint came the Impressionists. How would the history of art be different if art materials had been easier to come by during the 15th . century?  When I buy new materials, I DO  have a feeling of preciousness about them at first. To make the first mark on a piece of brand new watercolor paper seems sacreligious…. to dull the beautiful point on that brand new colored pencil feels like a crime…. but I get over it , get down to ‘business’ and never look back.

Maybe we should all go and “cook” some charcoal sticks today, and then thank our lucky stars in a Van Gogh’s Starry Night kind of way for Dick Blick and Michael’s Crafts stores !!

Art Quote for the Day


Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I usually start a group of paintings in case I get bored of ne or I exhaust my  interest in the imagery or the painting, and then I change.  Sometimes when I change, I actually feel like I want to change the way I am painting.  I don’t only want to paint with a brush that moves back and forth, four inches up and down. Then I will do something else, and I will paint a diffferent kind of painting, where I have to refocus myself.

So your process of working seven days a week for four months or so involves you staying concentrated and focused, and then you finish that particular group of paintings. Then it seems you just let all that go and forget it and a month later start from scratch?

Yes, that is what I try to do, that’s the plan if it works well. The fantasy and the pleasure of being in your studio have to do with the invention of yourself in different roles…. Earlier you asked, “Do you contemplate?” Well , you do  contemplate somehow, but lots of times I think I don’t contemplate.  I just come to the studio and work.  I come to the studio, and I want to feel like a little synchronized machine.  In that way I think of Warhol. Then , alot of times I think of myself as the amateur scientist who is concocting these strange potions and doesn’t know where they will lead and hopes that something new or different will come out of it.  Sometimes it does, and sometime it’s a mess.  You have all these head games that you can play with yourself while in your studio – sometimes you are just a kid playing and enjoying yourself, cutting school while everyone else is at work.

Do you have a motto or creed that as an aritst you live by?

I do.  LIfe is short. Life goes fast. And what I really want to do in my life is to bring something new, something beautiful, and something filled with light into the world.  I try to think of that every day so that I can remember why I am coming to my studio.  And then the other thing, just go , just show up.

Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig

Art Quote for the Day

Developing Ideas

Creativity  comes from ideas. For the artist , a creative idea may be an all-encompassing  plan, a unique set of relationships, an attitude to be  conveyed, or a solution to a visual problem.  An idea may come as a “bolt from the blue “,  or it may  be the end product of much thoughtful effort as reflected in notes, sketches, and countless revisions of the artwork.

All artists occasionally encounter blocks on their creativity, and it can take an artist many years to break through these blocks. A beginning artist  may find it difficult to even find a starting point for a project, ( ” I don’t know what to do!”). Although a familiar object or experience is usually the best starting point in such situations, the following approaches, suggested by artists, are ways to develop ideas or overcome the creative block. You may want to expand the list.

Study the life and heartbeat of your city or town.  Look closely at nature-notice shapes, values, textures, and patterns.  Remember the flattened frog skeleton you spotted on the way out of the parking lot – could it be used as a symbol for a special theme?  Supplement an impulse by brainstorming anything remotely related.Doodle or experiment with any available media. Think of a pressing social  issue. Make lists of all the verbs, adverbs, or adjectives that could be associated with the issue, and add color notations associated with each term.  Write down a single sentence or phrase that catches your attention during a news report, poetry reading, or argument with a friend. You should note as many variations on the idea or its presentation as possible; include visual metaphors – ways of expressing the idea without actually depicting it directly. And , as with any good debate team, try to express an opposing concept, feeling, or setting in terms of image, color, and emotional character.  In short: observe, explore,and expand.  Generate as many ideas as you can -the last few may be the best.

Art Fundamentals – Theory and Practice ,Ocvirk,Stinson,Wigg,Bone,Cayton

Art Quote(s) of the Day

“Cultivate and value the skill of allowing thoughts and ideas to rise from your creative depths unhindered by the filters of logic, critique or worries about other people’s opinions.  Have you ever come up with a completely unexpected and fully useful solution to an artistic challenge in the middle of the night or just upon waking? How about while driving when your mind was not even trying to solve the problem?  Where did those ideas come from and how did they make it to your conscience mind?  What kept them from arriving sooner? What else is held in the depths of our  brains?   DIG DEEP .

Access encourages use.  Make a practice of keeping art supplies within easy reach.  Play by yourself, play with friends.  Be silly, be serious.

What better centerpiece could there be for a dining room table  than a container of colored pencils and a stack of paper?

Paper, (in sheets or as a “tablecloth”) , pencils, colored pencils, crayons, paintbrushes, watercolors, acrylics, water containers, glue sticks, scissors, old magazines, glitter, magnetic poetry, clay, rubber stamps, a digital camera or polaroid and film….

As much as possible, invest in the best equipment you can.  Good pens, good brushes, good computers, software and digital equipment.  Ride a good chair or stool.  Be a snob when it comes to the tools of your trade becasue good tools mean faster and more efficient work.  You deserve equipment that will keep up with the speed and vision of your creative output.  On the other hand, never let a lack of the good stuff hold you  back; creativity and resourcefulness can always compensate.”

Creative Sparks – An Index of 150+ concepts,Images and Exercises to Ignite Your Design Ingenuity by Jim Krause