Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cheers to Potential and Possibilities!

Hofbrauhaus at Dusk  watermedia 12x9"

Sixty posts, twenty plus paintings, thirty some pages of color pencil 'sketches' and narrative to go with  them  for my sketchbook-fiction project  "A Day In The Life -In Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery" and more on-the-go pencil sketches than any previous years makes me content with 2011 art-wise :)  This surely has been a year of experimenting for me with finishing an illustrated sketch/fiction book, yupo, deliberate washes and paint mixing, water brushes, field kits and working on patience! 

I am pleased to post this painting - done mostly with watercolors except the sky part where I used acrylics mixed with watercolor. The watercolor paper  was a 'test-paper' for colors by a young friend of mine who wanted to paint with me sometime ago. I pulled this paper out waiting for washes to dry on couple of Yupo paintings I was working on. I needed to keep my hands busy and away from the wet yupo. Using Masquepen Supernib I sketched free hand and then proceeded to play mostly with transparent watercolors in between the washes on Yupo. The reference was a photograph I took in Munich years ago.  The underpainting worked quite well, and I felt little stress since I was really  only 'playing' around. I am totally ignoring any problem areas in the painting and enjoying the smug feeling of rescuing a good paper :) 

So, here is to a brand New Year full of potential and possibilities ! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shifting Perspective

A Day in the Life -sketchbook project page 24 color pencils 

All the good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow 
-Grant Wood, painter. 

From the book 'The Creative Spirit' by Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman and Michael Ray ( companion book to the PBS special from early 1990s with the same title) on the importance of being 'open to insights from the unconscious mind in moments of reverie, when we are not thinking of anything in particular' :  

News of the Creative Past: Well, the creative spirit has struck again, this time on a cool evening in 1865. The chemist Friedrich Kekule has just discovered the elusive structure of the benzene molecule, a major breakthrough in organic chemistry.  Kekule credits his breakthrough - and we will have to take his word on this- to a day dream.

Mr. Kekule reports that after a long day of thinking, he was relaxing in front of the fire, just watching embers fly up in a circular patterns. He says he then became transfixed and fell into a reverie, and as he half dozed, he began to see the sparks dance in a snakelike way. Suddenly, the sparks formed a whirling circle as if it were a snake biting its own tail. Kekule says he then awoke in a flash with a new, accurate picture of the structure of a benzene molecule: a ring! 

So, is there a better way to solve my problem than stretch on the sofa, put my feet up and daydream? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Magical Thing

Sunrise on the shortest day  digital photography 

Today is the first day of winter in the Northern hemisphere. But I like that today is the shortest day too :)  I shot this photograph through  the window pane with raindrops giving it a surreal feeling.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Patience Is Not Passive

memories of a bloom  watercolor on yupo  7x5.5"

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength. 
~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I have to fully agree with that quote! The little painting on Yupo took a couple of days and lots of determined patience on my part as I layered paint and waited; used a tooth brush to splatter some paint and waited;  dabbed with a wet tissue and waited; added paint in one section and took away paint in another. And repeated the process a few times!  I think finally I see the little plant in the sunshine with dried twigs and memories of a lush little field around it. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Incubation Of An Idea

A Day in the Life   page 23 Sketch Book Project color pencils

Another sketchbook page to the rescue for this post. Picking up on the text of that page - how do you solve problems?  When do you get your best ideas? 

I read today about 'Bed, Bath and Bus Theory'  -"’s the notion that the best ideas come when you least expect it, such as in the bath/shower, lying in bed or waiting for a bus." The article further stated that "we need two characteristics in particular to make incubation successful: patience and belief. Both of these are necessary for you to walk away from a problem that means a lot to you, that you really want to solve or that has a deadline."   The author of that article  Lucretia Torva concludes "One last thing to do. Assign this project to your subconscious. Literally tell your mind to take care of, then let it go. " 

I am glad to know that my coping mechanism of moving away is in a way looked upon as 'incubation of an idea' :) 
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