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

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

” Inspiration, even passion, is indeed necessary for creative art, but the knowledge of the Science of Space, of the Theory of Proportions, far from narrowing the creative  powere of the artist, opens for him an infinite variety of choices within the realm of symphonic composition.” – Matila Ghyka ( Romainian royalty, educator, and writer

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significiance.”  -Aristotle-

“The beautiful is a manifestation of the secret laws of nature….When nature begins to reveal her open secret to a person, he feels an irresistible longing for her most worthy  interpreter, Art. Johann Wolfgang Goethe  – ( 1749 – 1832, German poet)

“Painters should fix their eyes on perfect truth as a perpetual standard of reference, to be contemplated with the minutest care, before they proceed to deal with earthly canons about things beautiful.”Plato_

f you would understand the invisible, look carefully at the visible.” – Talmud

all quotes taken from the book , A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe – the Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, And Science – A Voyage from 1 to 10 , by Michael S. Schneider

” 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

Anais Nin (cont.)

Back at her house by the sea, the painter stacked her paintings against the wall.  She now had to make the paintings look like her own art work again, which meant restituting to them the fantasmagorical figures of her night dreams.. The plain landscapes, the plain seascapes, the plain figures were all transformed to what they were before. The figures undulated, became bells, the bells rang over the ocean, the trees waved in cadences, the sinuosities of the clouds were like the scarves of Arab or Hindu women, veiling the storms.  Animals never seen before, descendents of the unicorn, offered their heads to be cajoled.  The vegetative patience of flowers was depicted like a group of twittering nuns, and it was the animals who had the eyes of the crystal gazer while people’s eyes seemed made of stalactites, Explosions of the myth, talkative garrulous streets, debauched winds, oracular moods of the sands, stasis of the rocks, attrition of stones, acerose of leaves, excresence of hours, sibylline women with a faculty for osmosis, adolescence like cactus, the corrugations of age, the ulcerations of love, people seeking to live two lives with one heart, inseparable twins.

She restored to the empty lanscapes all the mythological figures of her dreams, thinking of Rousseaus‘s words in answer to the question: ” Why did you paint a couch in the middle of the jungle?” And he had said: ” Because one has a right to paint one’s dreams.”

Art Quote for the Day

” I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically. In whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me.  Anything I can not transform into something marvelous , I let go.  Reality doesn’t impress me, I only believe the intoxication , in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me,  I escape , one way or another.. No more walls.”  – Anais Nin

Art Quote for the Day

Kurt Vonnegut – A Man Without a Country

” If you really want to hurt your parents and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living.  They  are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have CREATED something!

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…