I recently read that the brilliant animator, Hayao Miyazaki, had a goal to surround himself with good animation and to try and do better than that animation with his own work. I really believe in total immersion into the work I want to create by studying great work.
So I will keep my pencil sharp all the time and never be afraid to study anything.
I have an updated version of my ebook "A Journey Through Academic Technique From Philosophy to Painting" available on my Amazon Author's page. It is a book that I have written about my personal approach to academic painting as well as my philosophy about everything from color mixing to paint clean-up.
And I am now introducing a children's book that I have written and illustrated, "Sarah's Big Kite". It is a great story for boys and girls with an emphasis on the importance of patience in life.
They're both available for for all digital devices.
I'd love to hear your feedback about the books and any suggestions as to what I could write about in the future. I always appreciate your thoughts and ideas.
As the weather becomes nicer, I am led outside more evenings to practice skateboarding under the streetlights. There is a reason why I am writing about the parallels of skateboarding and the creation of a painting and I will discuss some of them in this post.
I am by no means a proficient skater, but this is perhaps why I feel such excitement in the early stages. Similar to the early goings of painting, I felt that even the small steps forward were great leaps. And there is an element of the duality of my activities, a stationary activity of painting with mental strain, versus a physical activity that involves real danger as opposed to psychological fear. The fear of both are interesting to compare also, but it really is a breakdown of practice and mental preparation. The fear I have of making a "bad" painting though, is my greatest fear. But I wont lie, rolling quickly and jumping over a curb puts a living scare into me. In skating, if I decide to jump over an object or do a series of movement, it all as to be plotted out beforehand and I must get a feel for the object that I am jumping over.
So, this feeling, I think comes from practice; many hours on the board or with a brush in the hand in order to execute the objective that I have in my mind. So I muse a lot while I am alone skateboarding and painting.
As a transportational medium, skating allows me to ride up and down the street on a basic level, and jump over a curb on the next level. So I must conquer my fear of falling and practice enough to be able to jump over a curb so that I can travel to more places with ease and attain higher levels.
Not over-thinking is another element in both these activities. It is a brush and colored dirt with various media, just as a skateboard is a piece of wood with four wheels, yet both can provide so much joy. But it's not easy to clear my mind, as I ask myself ,"what if I fall?" The creativity of both activities is another element which attracts me. With practice, I can paint anything I can imagine. And with practice, I can turn the street into an analyzed area to test my limits. And I think that that is what it's all about. Testing limits. I hope you all have some activities that exercise your minds in different ways and keep you physically active. Testing limits in the gym/painting/and falling on my ass on a skateboard.
That's the other thing, I fall a lot while skating, but I know it's the only way to improve. So I know I will make a terrible painting many times before I get back up and try it again.
As I finish my degree at the University of Pennsylvania, I am on the prowl for interesting and inspiring information. I have started a facebook page called monday muses which I, and some close friends of mine will be contributing images, articles, links and updates to. It's a gathering place to share strong aesthetics and to place emphasis on self motivation.
I have connected with some very interesting people throughout my college and I want to share information that I have gathered with them.
I currently don't have my oil paints with me, so I will be posting sketches, watercolors and other studies to my fanpage in order to keep active. I will be back at the easel this summer to begin more oil paintings. I'm excited because I am using these sites to share philosophies. Join in on the discussion and stay connected every Monday!