There were a lot of ups and downs for 2018. There were good times and positives, such as traveling to Spain, getting my full-time position teaching studio art at Ridgewood High School, hitting new strength goals in the gym, painting and drawing a lot and reading some good books. But it seemed like 2018 had mostly negatives. I went through a very difficult breakup, I cut ties with some old friends, two of my pets died and the year ended with some low-life stealing my bank information. There was a feeling of general sadness that pervaded the entire year. So I'm happy that 2018 is done.
Looking forwards, I have some goals for 2019:
-Do a lot more paintings, including portraits of people I love.
-Sketch a lot more.
-Keep reading a lot.
-Continue working hard in the gym.
-Ride my motorcycle more.
-Skateboard more/spend more time outside.
-Meet some new people and make some new friends.
-Keep battling my personal demons.
-Try to be more of myself and keep trying to find out who I am.
I feel like I've never been stronger and my skills have never been sharper so cheers to 2019 (2018 can go jump in a lake) and I wish the best for you all.
Couldn't have gotten through 2018 without Cudi
Despite the rain today, I was able to get outside and do a small painting. It's another study of reflections and I spent about an hour on it. I used a limited palette for this one and I've started to think about what colors I need instead of laying out a bunch of colors; this method saves colors and forces you to think about more creatively about color. Also, if you suddenly realize that you need a red or whatever color, then just put some of that color on your palette. The colors I used for this painting were the following: Silver White, Chrome Yellow Deep, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown and Ivory Black.
I'm practicing my art as much as I can and I'm feeling happier. I think of these paintings as capturing moments that I want to remember in the future. I've always felt that good paintings capture moments much better than any photo could.
I'm getting back on track with my art and I've been reading a lot recently also. I'm currently almost done reading a great book called "The Republic of Pirates" by Colin Woodard; the book covers the golden age of piracy (1715 - 1725)-- I highly recommend it as a great read. The other big component in my life is that I'm going to the gym very consistently, which has been helping me a lot.
I was inspired today to paint a small painting of some honey suckle that my mom and I cut and put into a small glass vessel. What inspired me is a bluish reflection that you can see when you look at the glass from a certain angle. For the past few days, I would sit outside and look at the reflection and say, "Man, I should paint that." So today was the day and I pulled the trigger and painted it. This painting was also an experiment to test out some thicker passages of paint and other principles.
I used to paint thickly when I was younger, but got more into a smoother academic finish when I was in college. But recently I've been inspired by the work of Sorolla and Sargent a lot. I also recently read about Sargent in a PDF article that I highly recommend everyone should check out: Advice on Painting From John Singer Sargent. It wisely says in this booklet: The difference between a colored drawing and a painting is the amount of oil paint itself. So when I started today, I put out a large amount of each color that I needed and started painting more thickly.
The other tip from this booklet that I want to share that helped me with this painting is to paint the midtones first and then work in the darks and save the final lights and darks for the end. This is a principle that I've read about before and it really helps to control the values of the painting!
I hope that helped inspire some people! Enjoy your weekend!
I recently re-read this wonderful book that I wanted to share with everyone. It's called the Book of Five Rings, or The Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. The book was written around 1645 by the famous swordsman and philosopher, Musashi.
I had read it once before when I was in college and was excited to re-read it at this stage in my life. It's really easy to find and the copy I got is illustrated, which is cool, but not necessary. The beauty of this book is that the ideas don't only apply to being a swordsman; the book is really about larger philosophical ideas. I read it from an artistic point of view and learned a ton. Musashi was also interested in all the arts and even did some painting and calligraphy.
The final part of the whole book has the biggest impact on me. It's a list of around 21 precepts translated as "The Path Walked Alone" that Musashi lays out in a bullet point type format. It's a beautiful list and acts as a simple guide to living well.
I encourage everyone to read this book at some point and share it with as many people as possible.
Anyone interested in more information can check out: