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 of the Day

Does anyone else have this “issue” ?  I have the most beautiful studio…… we built an addition onto our house a few years ago.  Tall windows – 8 ft. with small panes that look out on my beautiful garden. Lots of room…. of course with great light. BUT…… with this EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER we’re having it’s VERY,VERY,VERY cold in there. The room is off the kitchen, heated only from the heat that fills the rest of our little house but the room has no heat source of its own. Needless to say , I’m not very motivated to go into that room and paint. It’s not that I’m not feeling creative ….. I’m restless with ideas and desire to get to work but , really, THE COLD!!!!  I have been able to work for a couple hours before getting sooooooooooo chilled that I had to stop but that was when the temperature was at least above freezing. With this EXTREME cold, -50 degrees wind chill  factor , well, I’m discouraged.

I will dress as if I were going outside …. a few layers , boots, maybe even a hat…. see how long I can stand it. I can bring some acrylics into my living room and work at the coffee table I suppose but I have big oil paintings in progress in the studio that I really want to work on.

I should have begun teaching classes today but cancelled because of the horrible cold…. so I have one extra day  of “vacation” to ‘enjoy’. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. what shall I do ? what shall I do?  Chant and meditate on the fact that

I HATE WINTER…… OHMMMMMMM……..

Thanks by the way  for everyone’s well – wishes about my lost sketchbook. UPDATE! It  hasn’t been found or turned in …. it’s just gone….. in the wind…. in someone else’s possession (, ENJOY! ),  in a landfill somewhere ( that’s what hurts the most) , and I’ve pretty much just resigned myself to it’s loss. Que sera – sera !

STAY WARM EVERYBODY !

Art Quote for the Day

I bought a new sketchbook a few months ago. It’s a larger format than I usually use so I decided I would divide each page into small squares. It’s been an interesting process…. depending on the size of the small squares, depending on how many I put on one page, I find myself exploring themes and variations of a single theme. sometimes I’ll start a page by filling all the squares with a similar shape and then start doing different things to each one. sometimes it’ll be certain set of colors I want to work with or a different media. Every single little square is a future painting I think. There are more small squares than I have time left in my life to paint but it’s going to be fun trying.

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”

” Man cannot duplicate the infinite intricacy of the living architecture of the wheat stalk. Nature is best capable of its own forms and of the complex inevitabilities which result in such marvelous phenomena.  Man himself is such a phenomenon; and the marvelous in man is his creative intelligence, which transcends nature and creates out of it un-natural forms.
In his art- whether architecture or poem – he does not reproduce a given reality; nor does he simply express his immediate reactions of pleasure and pain.  He starts with the elements of that reality – the stone, the city, the other man – and relates them into a new reality which, no sooner achieved, becomes itself an element in his next manipulation.  In his effort to achieve form he may produce shapes monstrous or divine; but his proud ambition  is to create, in the image of his own intelligence, a reality man-made.

Anais Nin – excerpt from diary # 4   –    1944-1947

Art Quote for the Day

Notes, 1985

20 February 1985

Of course I constantly despair at my own incapacity, at the impossibility of ever accomplishing anything, of painting a valid, true picture or even of knowing what such a thing ought to look like. But then I always have the hope that, if I persevere, it might one day happen.  And this hope is nurtured every time something appears, a scattered, partial, initial hint of something which reminds me of what I long for, or which conveys a hint of it – although often enough I have been fooled by a momentary glimpse that then vanishes, leaving behind only the usual thing.

I have no motif, only motivation. I believe that motivation is the real thing, the natural thing, and that the motif is old-fashioned, even reactionary ( as stupid as the question about the Meaning of Life.)

28 February 1985

Letting a thing come, rather than creating it – no assertions, constructions, formulations, inventions, ideologies – in order to gain access to all that is genuine, richer, more alive: to what is beyond my understanding.

At twenty: Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It doesn’t matter how rightly I remember, the only thing that stayed with me, that struck me at the time , was Kutuzov’s way of not intervening, of planning nothing, but watching to see how things worked out, choosing the right memoent to put his weight behind a development that was beginning of its own accord. Passivity was that general’s genius. { the Abstract Pictures: more and more clearly , a method of not having and planning the ‘motif ‘ but evolving it, letting it come.}

Using chance is like painting Nature – but which chance event, out of all the countless possibilities?

The Daily Practice of Painting by Gerhard Richter

Art Quote for the Day

” Key works in every field  draw upon the wisdom of seemingly  unrelated disciplines.  Charles Eames learned how to mold plywood under heat and pressure while working at a naval shipyard, and later folded that knowledge into the design of his world-famous Eames chair. Physicist Howard Edgerton invented the high-speed strobe light, and then spent a good part of his career using it to reveal the unexpected beauty of fleeting events like the arc of a golfer’s swing or the splash form a single drop of water.  Ansel Adams combined the discipline from his early training as a musician with his knowledge of photographic chemistry, to create the Zone System for controlling the tonal scale of photographs.  There was a even a time late in World War II when a lone American military researcher saved the city of Kyoto from destruction by convincing military planners not to target it for saturation fire-bombing.  Why? Because he had once visited Kyoto’s gardens and shrines – and was moved to protect their beauty.

Real-world examples are wonderful things, and for good reason: precisely because they are real, they cut right through virtual worlds of theory and abstraction.. They also raise large questions about how the process of education actually works.  After all, if there’s no predicting which particular piece of knowledge or experience will alter prove essential, we’re faced with the disconcerting possibility that everything matters.  And if that knowledge or experience could come from anywhere , the clear implication is that teachers are everywhere. That line of reasoning may appear extreme , yet after field-testing those exact premises for about a half-century now, I’ve reached an inescapable conclusion:  YES.Everything does matter.  Teachers are everywhere.

Where, then, do you start?  Well, fortunately, you already have.  Conceptually speaking, that ever-changing instant of reality we call the present is merely a point in time weaving its way through a universe of potential we call the future .  One undeniable consequence of this is that everything  you learned or experienced in the past has somehow delivered you, at this moment, to this sentence .  You may be traveling a path that will closely parallel mine for years to come , or one that  fleetingly intersects at right angles – but right here, right now, we share this common ground.

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World by Ted Orland

Art Quote for the Day

So, let’s talk about THE PINTEREST!!!

# 1. I LOVE it!!!

#2. I HATE it!!!

#3. I’m TOTALLY ADDICTED to 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.

THOUGHTS ?  ANYONE? ANYONE?

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

ORIGINALITY AND STYLE

Now we should consider the difficult question of how to be original.  You’ve doubtless been told there is nothing that hasn’t been done already – or as Herman Melville, recalling Ecclesiastes, wrote in Moby Dick, ” Verily  there is nothing new under the sun.”  Fortunately, there’s an unpretentious but strong idea that runs counter to this bleak pronouncement.  It was put most succinctly by a jazz musician who said, “The way to be new is to be yourself.”  Georgia O’Keefe added, “….. the simple fact of yourself – there it is-just you-no excitement about it – a very simple fact – the only thing you have- keep it as clear as you can.” From a very different world we hear a similar refrain.  In a Toltec codex, we read” ” The true artist….. maintains dialogue with his heart, meets things with his mind”

You’re probably asking, “What does that mean?”  Think about what ideas, experiences, and passions have influenced you most profoundly.  Do you find your eyes and your attention returning to certain things again and again?  Perhaps there are some aspects of the world you are peculiarly sensitive to?  The responses to these types of considerations may appear to be alternately of immense import and seemingly trivial.  Somewhere among the answers lie the road markers for findng your own expression.  You may very well not know for a long time which of these answers are the most significant;however, you can be certain they all point in the right direction.

The Blank Canvas – Inviting the Muse by Anna Held Audette