Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Finding Motivation to Paint

I haven’t been motivated to do much in a while. I don’t know why it happens but every now and then I just find it hard to find the motivation to paint. I know that sometimes I feel like my work is not all that good and that there’s not enough time for me to focus on painting anyway. No matter how I feel or what I feel the only answer is to continue working. There will come a time where I will feel more inspired. I will still feel that there is not enough time to paint but it would not be a hopeless feeling, it will be a positive one, I will believe that goals are achievable and that I would be able to make the time because it is that important to me.

The important thing is to keep working in this in-between time. There are times where I find the motivation in the life around me or as I keep drawing I find it in the sketches I make or in museum visits or pouring over art books, etc. A new medium or new materials- brush, paper or a new technique, just keep going until something catches and then I’m off again.

I keep several sketchbooks. They have either different types of paper or different sizes. One of my favorites is a book of toned paper. Sometimes I would use white opaque paint or a white pencil to put in the light struck areas. Working this way I would use a black graphite pencil or black ink for the dark values; the tone of the paper as a middle value and the white for the light areas. I find working with these materials fun. The other day I stumbled on a pen I had forgotten about- a ball point pen filled with white gel ink. I used this in place of the white paint.  After several drawings I can see this pen along with the pencil and toned paper being very useful for sketching outdoors.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Art and Beauty

“Beauty is an intangible thing; cannot be fixed on the surface, and the wear and tear of old age on the body cannot defeat it. Nor will a "pretty" face make it, for "pretty" faces are often dull and empty, and beauty is never dull and it fills all spaces.”    Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Often times when I hear an artist say that they are interested in painting beauty what follows are paintings of pretty women. Though not always so, still often enough, this is the case. I find that these images don’t hold my interest.  It is not always surface beauty that moves me but images that are beautiful because I find something familiar; beauty to me seems to be the things we all share and can relate to as human beings. It can be relatable, it can be interesting, but when it’s only about pretty face‘s and buff bodies it becomes worship, an acknowledgement that these beings are better than everyone else.

 I don't try to look for subjects that are ugly nor do I try to look for subjects that are outwardly beautiful, but try to find what is interesting in the variety of people that exist. People are interesting and some of the most interesting people are hardly what society would consider beautiful or handsome.

 Socrates, who was the opposite of the Greek ideal of physical beauty, argued that his bulging eyes and snub nose are better for seeing and smelling and his thick lips better for kissing, so therefore he is indeed beautiful.