Recommended Reading: On Artistic Jealousy

I wanted to share this blog with you all. I thought it was very poignant with the type of topics I have been talking about lately and really enjoyed the thoughts.

The Daily Post

Jealousy: competing against others or yourself can be a great motivator or a great source of frustration. Jealousy: competing against others or yourself can be a great motivator or a great source of frustration.

At varying times in our lives, we struggle with a particular emotion or vice. When someone mentions it, that word carries so much power, conjuring up all the things we’d prefer to hide about ourselves.

For me, the word is jealousy. Jealousy. A word with an unparalleled ability to force me to look right into the depths of myself, in exactly those places where I feel most vulnerable. It’s an excellent teacher, a terrible friend. Oh Jealousy, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

I’m a huge fan of the writer Esme Wang. While she’s written novels, stories, articles, and more, I primarily come into contact with her through her blog, where she writes incredibly sincere and insightful essays on what it means to be a writer, an artist…

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Stepping bw reality and dreaming

One of the best aspects to a creative life is that we can enter a dream world that is entirely our own.  We can create our wildest dreams, thoughts or fantasies.  We can delve into our psyche and pull out the most marvelous of creations.

When we enter the creative state we are given license to be fanciful or dark and moody.  Its the best place to let your authentic self express.  Letting your vulnerability take center stage.

The creative state grabs a hold of your two worlds.  What you experience daily and what you dream of or imagine.  Your creation is a real and tangible object yet can be of the most wondrous  things.  We are grounded by our bodies and supplies in the real world but our expressions can take flight and move us in and out of our physical presence.

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Life Long Learning

I believe we all should be students for life.

There is a story that talks about if your cup is too full and overflowing, nothing new can get into it.  And there is a saying that life is a journey not a destination.

I am definitely a life long learner.  I constantly look for new avenues of awareness or just new skills to bring into my life.

I definitely consider myself as a student of art  I have a lifetime of learning and mastering the craft to come.  I shouldn’t even say mastering, but pushing my self to opening up to new possibilities in art.  Whether it is a new skill, a new medium or a new idea.  And I have a list of wonderful teachers and mentors that have enriched my life in ways just a year ago I wouldn’t have imagined.  I will talk more about them in another post.

Just as I was talking about inspiration yesterday being open to new ideas is of the same genre.  Being open to learning and changing through my art is what I want part of the process to be.  First I want it to be fun because if I am not having fun with it I am not going to do it.  This is something that I am doing for me.

Art challenges me and makes me look at life and myself differently.  I never thought I would be a painter of faces.  But I let it be a possibility and tried it and I love it.  It brings me great joy to see who will I be creating next with my brush and pen.  Now it has become a part of me and my identity.  I draw faces almost on a daily basis, but I am trying to make room for other subjects to be apart of the canvas too.

Leaving room in my cup will I believe enhance my understanding of art, the world and my friends and family; provide me with new possibilities; better opportunities and improve my life.

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Inspiration

As I was sitting down last night after a day of creating I wanted to get a piece started for tonight’s work. I was thinking about what I would create next and was letting the inspiration flow through me.  Some of us take inspiration from the things around us and others delve into themselves to find what is meaningful.  I was delving into what was meaningful to me. What I was talking about yesterday, I am trying to find my voice.  What inspires me and what do I want to say.

We use so many things to inspire ourselves, music, art, meaningful writings and the life we lead.  I believe to be inspired you have to work at your craft everyday, but also give yourself time for reflection.  I like to take walks and listen to music to get inspired.  It is when my mind frees up and I am able to relax.  Sitting at my workspace even at work I can’t let go and just let the images or solution flow.

I often think that the daily routine of life gets in the way of inspiration.  We have so much on our plates now a days that we don’t give ourselves enough time to dream.  Daydreaming is such a wonderful way to let the things in that  give us inspiration.  It doesn’t always have to be the light stuff either.  Some moody moments maybe just what you need to express at that moment.  And just let it be what it is.  Not everything needs to be a master piece.  Some pieces may need to just satisfy for that day or moment.  And you do not need to share anything with anyone.

Too much information can also be detrimental to inspiration.  Sometimes we need to set limits to what we are thinking or feeling as it can be over whelming experience to just let it all in.

There is so much to say about inspiration that it gets overwhelming to write about it.  I am going to sit in my studio and let the inspiration begin and see where it takes me tonight.

Authenticity

On the first note I am truly learning about wordpress.  I accidentally trashed my first post for the day.  Not sure if any of you saw it!  I was trying to insert a piece of art work after the fact and just deleted the whole thing!  But my cousin Jeff is a life saver.  He just sent me the earlier positing and it is below.  I have also added a bit more commentary

I feel that I am just beginning my journey as an artist.  Yes I did go to art school many moons ago, and I am a graphic designer during the day.  But it wasn’t until recently that I picked up the paints and brushes again.  This past year has been getting to know my supplies and skills again.

Lately though I have been thinking about my own voice.

As the snow fell last night I watched Christy Sobolewski’s you tube video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYNXbuIXguM  She was talking about authenticity and it got me thinking about my own voice.

Finding your own voice no matter the medium that you are expressing is difficult to find.  But the key to finding your own voice is to be you.  Putting yourself out there on the page and being vulnerable with your art can be an exciting and nervous experience.

I am in the process of finding my voice.  What are the things that make me authentically me. What do I want to say with my art?

I am taking a lot of classes and seeing others work which can influence but inspire me.  When creating art you need to embrace  all the parts of who you are.  What makes me me?  Its going to be a process as I am looking at what makes me me.  I feel as if I am still in the learning process with my craft.

I don’t believe I have completely found my voice. And this could take years for it to come to fruition.  I am ok with this.  I like to draw and paint faces this is me.  I am going to see Matisse-the Cut-Outs this weekend.  He had a love of the sea and found a way to bring it to his art.  What are my loves and passions that I want to see in my art?

I also think there is too much emphasis in being totally authentic out there if you are a new artist.  If you are just learning the craft and especially if this is something that is just for you learning and copying from others is a time honored tradition in art.  In traditional art training you copy the masters.  While in art school I spent many a day copying the techniques and drawings from the masters.  It teaches you a lot. Do you like what you did?  Is the subject matter interesting to you? Its just as much what you like as what you do not.

Pablo Picasso said “Good artist copy Great artists steal”

What this means is that you steal a great idea or technique but make it your own. There is also a great book called

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Its a snow day here in NYC.  We did not get the snow blast that was expected but the subways were shut down for the storm.  They are trying to get them up and going again.  Tomorrow it is back to normal, but I am taking advantage of today and up for some creativity.

The Blizzard

Well today’s top story in NYC is the approaching blizzard.  We are expected to get 2 feet of snow or more.  We are already getting some light snow as I write this this morning.  Should be an interesting couple of days.  I have my supplies and I am ready to settle in if need be and let the artfest begin.

Today is also the start of my Bloom True class.  I have read a couple of paragraphs to the start of the class but have not gotten to any videos yet.  I couldn’t wait until tonight to see what was in store for us in the class.  It says that it is journey to Open us up to new possibilities.

Over the weekend I did get to my studio and create.  The lovely girl is below.  I feel I took a real step forward with her. I want to continue to explore my techniques that I used in creating her and continue to progress with my creativity.

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Daily Painting

I am on a journey.  Not only to connect my friends and family with my artwork, but to also paint daily.  I recently picked up the book Daily Painting by Carol Marine.  She says that daily painting is not a literal commitment, but to paint often.  This keeps us in our studios and keeps the ideas going and keeps us from procrastinating.

I also read the blog by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer who advises to work in your art journal everyday and my teacher Christy Sobolewski always tells her students that practice, practice, practice is the only way to move forward.

Having a daily art practice not only improves your skills, but keeps you in touch with your artistic self.  Now everyday I am sure is not possible with work and other commitments, but I would like to strive for that goal.  Even if I paint 5 times a week I think that would be a great success.

Last July I tried painting everyday with my faces.  I wanted to improve my face drawing and it really helped.  Now there were days when it just wasn’t possible to get to my studio desk and that was ok.  Working at my craft often helped me to get better acquainted with my supplies and my technique.  I would not be where I am today with my art work if I had not just sat down and put the work into my art.

I have a ways to go to where I am satisfied with the art that I want to do.  I am really looking forward to Flora Bowley’s class tomorrow and discover the journey she is going to guide us through.

A Girl walks into an art supply store

Today I needed to go downtown to Dick Blick the art supply store to buy canvases. I am with art supplies like some girls are with shoes…addicted.  I needed the canvases for an upcoming class I am taking called Bloom True-the e-course with Flora Bowley.  http://braveintuitiveyou.com

She requires a minimum of 24″x24″ canvases for the class.  I got 24×36 inch canvases.  But I didn’t just get the canvases I also purchased an easel.  Wow!  What will I create with these new supplies and the few tidbits I included in my basket as I was browsing through the store.

This is a big step in size for me as I typically work in a sketch book about the size of 11×14 inches.  The class starts Monday with our introductory video and runs for 5 weeks.

Can’t wait to share with all of you the work that will be coming out of the class.  Stay tuned for the results.

Dick Blick downtown on Bond Street.  A favorite hangout of mine.

Dick Blick downtown on Bond Street. A favorite hangout of mine.

Browsing for canvases

Browsing for canvases

A wall of Sennelier oil pastels.  Look at all the wonderful colors.

A wall of Sennelier oil pastels. Look at all the wonderful colors.

More wonderful goodness and endless possibilities

More wonderful goodness and endless possibilities

Start to new piece

Start to new piece

We are Golden

I have the song “We Are Golden” by Raphael Lake and Aaron Levy going through my head since I was organizing to create last night. It’s a great song for me to create with, walk to work and just an upbeat tune in general.

I didn’t get through a finished piece last night, but I have some shots of my messy art space to share.  I am the type of creative that needs to have all of my supplies out in the open or in close proximity to me.  Some people need to be completely organized and have a place for everything.  That is so not me.  When I create I am an organized chaos type of person. There is a home somewhere in my tiny studio for each and every supply but if it goes to where it lives I forget about it.

So right now I am trying to hone in on a color palette and letting those items sit out on my little studio desk and see what comes out of the bottles, tubes and brushes.

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Writing into the Ether

Writing into the ether is going to take sometime getting used to doing.  Just putting out thought and deed is a big step for me as many of you know I am not a facebooker. What is interesting, what am I doing…I want to keep the blog and website about my art and my art life in general.  How often will I post is another question as well.  I would like to post a couple of times a week at least.

I am getting small things done with my website like scanning in high quality images and putting it up for you all to see.

Then I realized I haven’t created anything this week.  I can’t remember the last time I went through such a stretch of time where I haven’t put pen or paintbrush to paper.  Tonight I want to sit down and at least get the beginnings of a painting going and catch up on my weekly class and art YouTube videos.

But in the meantime i have updated the photo gallery from last night.

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