Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Creative Genius by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

BE OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES

According to Kaufman you need to create a space where you can discover things about yourself, and that is most likely to happen when you leave yourself open to new experiences. And what exactly does that mean?  At the core it’s ” the drive for exploration and curiosity, and the constant temptation to get outside your comfort zone and embrace the unknown, ” Kaufman explains.  “In your everyday life you could be open to new experiences in any moment.  Try as best as you can to keep your prior stereotypes and anxieties to yourself and try not to impart them into the world. Try to see things as they truly are and be curious about everything. Be curious about ANYTHING.

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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

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?

I like these words….!

DESIDERATUM –  something wanted or needed.

ORENDA –  a mystical force  present in all people that empowers them to affect the world or to effect changes in their own lives.

QUERENCIA – a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you find your most authentic self.

MERAKI- THE SOUL, CREATIVITY, OR LOVE PUT INTO SOMETHING; THE ESSENCE OF YOURSELF THAT IS PUT INTO YOUR WORK.

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

Art Quote for the Day

I was cleaning out my storage shelves at school today and came across some handout sheets I’d forgotten about. I read over them and found them pretty interesting and helpful as far as painting goes…. I will post the information here hoping it will be helpful to others.

FYI – COLORS AND WHAT THEY DO

1. White mixed with other colors dulls their brilliance

2. Ultramarine blue  + white,viridian green, barium, naples yellow  = delicate atmospheric greens

+ ochres                                                                      = dull greens

+ cadmium yellow, zinc yellow                              = vivid greens

+ umber, white                                                         = grays

3. Prussian blue   + cadmium yellow                                                         = greens of great intensity

+ white                                                                             = silvery, bluish greens

+ burnt sienna                                                                = deep green

+ iron oxide reds & white                                             = grayish distant greens

+ naples yellow                                                               = cold luminous greens

+ ochre                                                                             = dull greens

+ umber, white,                                                              = all variations of warm or silvery grays

4. Naples yellow  +  black                                                                             = neutral greens

+ venetian reds,cadmium red , vermillion                =  warm pinks

5. Cadmium yellows + blues, blacks                                                          = greens

+ burnt sienna                                                          = more “fiery” sienna

6. Cadmium reds & vermillion + umber                                                   = duller reds

+ alizarin crimson                                  =  intensely fiery reds

GLAZING TIPS

1. Black and alizarin crimson make a deep velvety color suitable for glazing.

2. Pure viridian, alizarin crimson & burnt sienna are the most useful glazing colors”

3. The area to be glaze should be lightly moistened with painting medium.  Apply medium to surface and wipe with hand or brush to a thin layer

4. If dried layer is too shin ( oily or varnished) use FINEST  abrasive steel wool, or cheesecloth moistend with thurpentine – rub in parallel, horizontal strokes.

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

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

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 .

Anyway….