The Dog Days of Winter

The days of late have been dark, gray and cold. The urge of putting paint to canvas has been strong but the world has thwarted the attempt more than a few times. Some self-imposed but mostly the world has been crapping in the bed. What a mess!

In spite of the difficulties, I have almost finished one of the new painting I started a little bit ago and finished a small “coaster” painting that was started years ago, not to mention I have a 4 coasters ready to go, more on these works soon. I have also worked a lot in my “de-constructing the box” sketchbook with the goal of finishing it out soon. There has been a bit of doodling happening on any piece of paper that seems to need marks (especially during meetings). So the energy is being contained with little pressure releases.

A self-imposed commitment has been reached to flex the right brain and work with in the creative side. This will be hard since my day job is mostly left brain work.

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From De-Construction of the Box

How to achieve?

• Draw, draw, draw
• Non-linear brain storming
• Paint
• Push boundaries
• Ask questions (self and others)
• Work a lot (personal)
• Write about it
• Others

I have made myself a lot of promises and goals over the year. Focus and follow through is the key to my success here.

“Nature operates in the shortest way possible”
Aristotle

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detail from a painting

 

fa(i)lling

The creative well sat dry this past week, in other words, to my despair, I didn’t get much done on the creative.  It was like being blanketed with a fine coat of heavy, wet snow that chilled the creative life right out of me.  I had a nice fire going, now I need to throw some sticks and a few logs on with a gallon of gas to get that fire raging again.  Stay warm…

I won’t fall/fail for long!

dbabstraction

Enough talk, let’s take it to the next…

Re(focus) is no good if there is no action to back it up so I broke the bounds that have been holding me back and forced myself back into the work I love so.  As the shackles fall from my wrists and ankles I took off running as if something big and dangerous was chasing me, nipping at my heels.  Four (4) new works started or restarted…

The first painting I started working on is a nude that had a base laid down some time ago, some blue outlines to indicate where I wanted the main figure to be on the page was also laid down.  As a start I started by adding a wash of paint with drips and splatters to get the color vibe going for then started to block in the figure keeping a painterly and loose style through the image.  I felt that it got to a good point and I left it yesterday as it is in the picture below.

untitled-in-progress

Today I went back at it, I fought with the breasts a bit (sounds more fun than it really was) under the hands that I had already blocked out.  I pretty much had to paint over some of what I liked of her left had to get the feeling and light I wanted for the breast/cleavage area.  I also worked on the torso for a bit and added some cooler tones behind her elbow and curve of her waist and added some more splatter to the overall image.  I will post some images of this phase when I can…

I really did not mean for this post to be a talk about process of this painting but I don’t think it is a bad thing especially for the re(focus), talking about what’s on the mind is good…

I have a few commissions lined up that I am going to start in the next few days, along with an opportunity to hang a few paintings at a trendy place downtown, more on that when I have things up though!

Boy, this has been a rambley post, I will shut up now… oh if anyone wants to know more , have questions or wants to commission me out/buy a piece please leave a comment!

end of these days

Even though I deep down do not believe in “writers/artist blocks” I feel as if I have been going through something often described as artist block.  It has been brought on by a slew of “life issues” and changes that have had made life anywhere from tragic to sad to happy to generally busy.  I won’t go into the details now but if you have followed me here, fb, deviant art or livejournal you may know some of the back stories that have brought me to this point.  All these things have had a “Psychological Payment” to my creative self/life and something I will have to cash it out with great fervor.

The roads that lead me to the here and now have been paved with remorse or have the grisal of a gravel road while speeding , barely able to hold on to the road.  That is how I am going to get back my creative self, unabashed…

One technique to this goal is to draw with full body involved with no goal involved, just big chunks of charcoal, a white eraser and large sheets of paper and go fucking at it… this kind of drawing can still have purpose and meaning to it along with esthetic beauty and be a real work of art but can also be done and thrown out without feeling bad about trashing it also.

I have also returned to morning pages, a technique of writing free form, just whatever comes to mind, see last post for a little more vagueity on this…

Here is an example of one quick full body drawing I did, I also really like it.  The energy and the line work really expresses the feeling I was going through at that moment.

gesture

Drawing co-op

I wanted to take a continuing studies class at MCAD this fall, something like print making or the like.  Sadly the idea came to me to late and registration for fall was closed so I think I will start going to the open drawing co-op that they hold on Mondays.  I think it will be good to start to draw from life every week and redevelop some of those skills that I know have gotten rusty.  It is on Monday nights and is open to the public but it has no “instruction” however there is a faculty member on site to help pose the model and set time frames and stuff.  

 


006.jpgThis weekend I will buy a new news print sketch pad for the gesture drawings and a heavier sketch pad for longer poses.  I should also get a few different types of charcoal sticks and some pastels to experiment a little too! 

Not sure if there will be a major goal in mind for the co-op besides going out, drawing on a regular basis, improving skills and having fun.  What more is there at the moment?  It will help get back into a working mind set for this winter when I will pick up a formal class.

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non working artist, rise of the pheonix?

The last few years have been a major challenge for me, and for one I don’t want to go through it again as I had done.  It was riff with frustration, sadness, grief and what I will call depression even though it was something a bit different from that.  This time period I became content with not working and thinking about my life’s work, mainly art and conceptualism which makes me feel empty inside.  Of course I had spits of creativeness here and there and I tried to get back on track several times, I just couldn’t hold on at those times.  With some focus, and some effort I am planning on rising out of the ashes and as a phoenix fly with fire and passion to new opportunities. 

 

Some things that brought me down that I should have used my art for recently was the lose of my employment, the illness and final passing of my beloved father (I did a little bit but not as much as I should have), going out and drinking to much, lack of motivation, and letting others get in the way of what I need to do for myself.

 

Some things I am going to do, write every day, start up an new figure drawing group, set up a food blog, blog here more and finish updating this site, oh and MAKE MORE ART

 

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new beginnings

I have been meaning to comment on our last question (and get a new on out) but it has been way to nice out for me to stay focused on anything at all.  So here it goes, I really do not believe in the proverbial “artist block” for me it is distractions of life, depression and/or dealing with other people’s stuff that is gets in my way or creative pursuits.  Some times it is sheer laziness.  I have the desire but I can not get the will power to get off my butt to do the work.  With in the last year or so, I have been suffering form this.

 

I am going to call the “block” an artistic shutdown, that I feel I am suffering is a multi tiered event.  The losing of my job over a year ago, pushed me into a bit of a depression and complacency that got the ball rolling.  My girl then had something bad happen to her which took a lot of my time to resolve.  Then my dad got gravely ill, I spent the better part of four months visiting him most every day until he passed this fall.  All which added to the depression and zapped a lot of my drive to do anything and keep those creative juices flowing. 

 

Normally to get around it, I would pick up pen and paper and just do, even if it is just scribbling in note book or what have you.  However I keel that this has gotten to bad, so a am also working my way through the “artist’s way” by Julia Cameron.  The author suggests that it is often self doubt, that will cause blocks especially when it come to your inner voice telling you that you are no good or you will go crazy if you are an artist.  I have never felt like that or really care to get into that state of mind.  I still like some of the stuff she says about feeding your artist and feeding the creative well that will help get you motivated. 

 

Some things that I am doing to help my creative self is by writing every morning and doing something for my creative self every week. 

 

I am going to start blogging regularly about said stuff starting this week. Feel free to keep up with me on this journey.

 

Doug