Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Living the Artist's Life - excerpt

I enjoyed reading this honest, maybe a little "catty", assessment of the wealthy in Living the Artist's Life by gallery owner Paul Dorrell.

But for the ones (the wealthy) who are awake, to connect with your art makes them feel more alive, even rebellious, especially after all the years of dull, repetitious, mind-numbing work many of them have had to do in acquiring their wealth. Unfortunately that kind of money-chasing often compromises growth, and can create an imbalance that is reflected by harsh acquisitiveness, appalling selfishness, and virtually no awareness.

When you meet certain of these people, you may see how their dignity suffered as a result of that chase, how all too often their goals were misplaced, weren't sufficiently rewarding, or were assigned undue priority. This may make them depressed, half-alive, or primitive in outlook, consumed by the misery of their greed. All too often this is the case. Their fixation with money likely screwed up their marriage, their kids, their own lives, leaving them drained of humanity, outside the feast of life, with them now trying, through art, to reach for greater meaning.

Whatever their individual natures, the rich do have a place in our system, and while it might not ultimately be as important as many of them think it is, it is still significant. Their businesses help create jobs, many of them passionately support the arts, and, when of the visionary sort, they do things for the underprivileged that you and I can only dream of. Regardless of who they are, and how benevolent they may or may not be, you must not judge them, you should never envy them, and you certainly should never allow yourself to be intimidated by them.

Be cool when dealing with the rich, be confident, but be humble. Like anyone, they are only looking for acceptance.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Watercolor: Wild Ginger, Stages 1 & 2

This is the first stage of a watercolor painting of wild ginger. What I mostly am doing at this stage is plotting out the internal structure of the leaf. Placing the veins and identifying edges. The veins are created as negative shapes as I fill in the between shapes of green. I varied color a bit to set-up the next stage of going stronger with color and making my tones and colors more accurate. There is an interesting play between a green with a strong mustardy yellow underneath and a green with a strong bluishness on the surface. I hopefully will be able to capture that contrast.

This is the next stage of the wild ginger plant that I am painting. In this stage I have defined the leaf veins better and, in the process, mottled the leaf and started to add contrast. The contrast is starting to create some depth to the plant. The stem is laid in simply at this point as it is very fuzzy and I will have to deal with that in the next stage. You can also see that the flower is more well defined. The flower is hairy also, so I have only defined things in a cursory manner and will leave it like this until it is time to do the fuzz/hair detail.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Watercolor: Wild Ginger Composition

I am currently creating a composition of a wild ginger plant to use for a watercolor painting. Wild ginger have two leaves that rise up on strong, fairly straight stems and a small flower that protrudes from the base and lays on the ground. They bloom in the spring, late April to early May, in Minnesota. They like shade and can be found in large quantities along the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

I created two drawing, one of each leaf, on tracing paper. Then, overlapping the two pieces of tracing paper, I moved the leaves around to determine what composition I wanted. Since there are just two leaves, I decided to have the leaves next to each other on the horizontal plane. I was going back and forth on whether I wanted the leaves to overlap or not. With an overlapping of these two shapes I could create a sense of depth rather easily. Since the plant is so simple, creating depth without the leaves overlapping would be harder.

I decided to have the leaves not overlap. Why? I just like the look of the leaves separated better. When the leaves overlapped it was abit confusing as to where one leaf began and the other ended.

I will share this painting as it progresses.