I haven't done a blog post in while, but I feel like now's a good time. I've been experiencing a lot of development in my personal and professional life recently. My professional life is going really well and I'm so thankful that I get to teach art to a wonderful group of students; it's really an amazing experience to be a full time teacher and artist.
I've also been personally developing a lot in terms of my own artistic outlook and philosophy. My main artistic goal now is to create paintings and drawings that reflect my own world in the present moment. I don't see any purpose to creating paintings that reflect a world perceived through a camera. And I know my own work is strongest when it's not just a copy of a photo.
I'm gravitating away from a lot of online sources of entertainment also as a result of these feelings. I still post on my instagram, but I foresee myself moving far away from that also. It's a hard realization to come to because there seems to be a lot of benefit to having an online presence. But I think it's only a vapid phantom and nothing more. My only true success and growth has come from personal connections that I've made. A lot of modern sources in my life feel just end up feeling shallow when I try and embrace them. I know I'm the outlier here and I'm totally fine with that.
I've got some big news to share with everyone for 2018! I've recently been hired full time (tenure track) to teach studio art at Ridgewood High School. My students are great and I'm extremely honored to be teaching at RHS, where I graduated in 2009. Everyone has been so helpful as I begin teaching and I look forward to a great year!
While I teach, I'm also attending Fairleigh Dickinson's School of Education. It's really cool to be in grad school and I'm learning a ton about education and teaching strategies.
I'll always be painting and drawing and I will continue taking commissions through Instagram and my STORE. Please feel free to contact me through my CONTACT page anytime!
Sometimes a painting doesn't work out no matter how hard you try; I recently had this happen to me for a watercolor commission that I just finished. I was working on the first version of the watercolor and I was almost done... But then I looked at it and immediately knew it wasn't good. I've had this happen many many times, but it's always important to realize when you should fish and when you should cut bait!
1. As yourself: How far along am I? Is it almost finished? If you're almost finished, then there might not be much hope, but don't give up too easily. If you just started, then keep working and see how you feel when you push through the difficulties.
2. As yourself: Do I feel like I could do better if I redo it? This is a tricky question because I honestly feel like I could always do better, but the point of this question is to realize when you can do better and when you should just be satisfied with what you have.
3. Show the artwork to your friends and family. This is a tip that I learned really from reading the autobiography of the artist Norman Rockwell. Rockwell used to show his paintings to everyone to get opinions...even his mailman!
4. Sleep on it! I don't literally mean sleep on your artwork, but I mean get a good night's sleep and look at it again in the morning. Sometimes you'll feel better the next day and you'll have a better perspective when you leave it be.
5. Never be afraid to redo something. I know that sometimes a painting or drawing can feel like it took years to do (and sometimes they actually do!). But it's important to remember that it's never too late to do it over again. Stay strong and keep drawing and painting!
If you find yourself unhappy with your artwork, here are some questions to ask yourself and some tips that I hope you'll find useful: