15 October, 2009

Drawing at Cap'n Marrrrk's - "Red Hot" Teya models

"I had a blast. It was fun meeting new people, who were also friendly and inviting. The model was easy to work with and friendly too. I should have tried some of the food, but I was too wrapped up in drawing. I was surprised at how many people we got to fit in the space, and how many good views of the model there were. Looking forward to the next time!"

"Teya's fabulous, Mark's fabulous and Ale's fabulous, not to forget all the fabulous people who were there, I've run out of superlative's".

Finding Great Artists and Inspiration

I was asked last week how I find artists. There are so many great artists out there, how do you weed through the stack to find inspiration? In this blog I obviously have my preferences, but I try to find a variety of things that might be inspiring to a variety of people, and in order to not limit my own sources of inspiration so tightly. I definitely welcome subjects that others (particularly in the Meetup Group) want to contribute that inspire them and not just me.

There are many angles one could take but here are some places in no particular order that I look:

I find that online I can get a bit distracted by it all, but if I have a few starting points to operate from and don't stray generally too far so as to retain focus. For one I use the Meetup site as a way to connect to other artists. It is a great way to meet people and connect in real life. This is so much better than doing all your searching online, because you actually get to mingle and make art together.

From there, I write names that people give me in my sketchbook as well as the names of people I meet. I look them up. If I find something striking then I have one set of artists to be inspired by. If I really like them then I pay attention to who is commenting on their website, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Blogger etc. Those of like minds tend to come together. Blogs also commonly have followers on a side panel. These are good sources.

See if you can get an RSS feed of the blogs you follow like the one at the bottom of this blog, so that you can pay attention to those blogs that update frequently. Don't forget to randomly check the other ones now and again though.

It might be worth typing a link in the format below into the Google browser to find who links to them as well as just typing their name.

link search format

I also pay attention to communities such as these:

Here artists gather in theme oriented groups. Usually names and references of good things flow around these places. I also bookmark them on the side of my blog.

Also there are places like delicious.com and other link repositories.

Sometimes typing a subject you like into Google image search will bring up art images by people you are not familiar with. You can instantly browse for striking subjects.

Artists Magazines as well as competitions are good as well as local artist organizations.

If you want to get some subjects that are out of your normal avenues of thinking, find a blog that you follow on a subject unrelated to art specifically but that is compellingly written. Search for art themed on similar themes discussed there. For instance if they are writing about paleontology, then look up prehistoric art, follow a series of links and find something to be inspired by.

Use Google Alerts to update you on topics related to a particular subject of interest in a timely fashion. You will learn about some new sources of info.

Divine it. Toss some coins, and see what the I Ching says, type it into a search engine. Find something out of the box that way. Seriously!

Too often internet pages circulate around a narrow range of topics. Discussion can be geared toward promoting certain things related to the day and its consuming events. For this reason definitely read some classical literature for inspiration. Take up an art magazine from 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 5 years ago, whatever! Get out of the limitations of your time and current thinking. Visit a used book store and read something that hasn't got attention in a while. Often what is striking is what brings attention to the things we are immune to seeing. We may forget what we have forgotten and so our thinking and current experience has no power to illuminate our minds until we look again from the perspective of a different time and place. We see what we didn't think was similar, and expose also what we mistakenly thought was.

Once you have a set of inspirations go deep as well as wide!

07 October, 2009

Listening to this Blog in Text Mode

Did you know that you can subscribe to this blog and listen to it on your iPod, iPhone or mobile device? Yes, it's true. Just click the subscribe to podcast button on the upper right of this page. Feedback on this new feature is definitely appreciated.

Update: Keys and Pillows

Over on Sam Washburn's Blog "Illustration In Route", he gives us an update on his signing over in Maplewood:

"Had the signing at Jive and Wail this week, and was humbled by the response from everybody! It was a really exciting event and the mayor of Maplewood gave me a key to the city! Definitely the biggest honor I have ever gotten for my work. Many thanks to everyone for their help on this project."

Fantastic Congratulations Sam!

Passion For Sketching

There are some beautiful new drawings "Sketches on the train, bus station and coach" over on Adebanji Alade's Blog. I just love the energy of his lines on the older man's face. It was obvious that he enjoyed the drawing process well on this one and capturing the man's expression.

"More people!!! I couldn't resist sketching the old man above on the left. He had the dream features for an addictive sketcher!"

Adebanji's painting below made me remember Dürer's portrait of a black man for some reason as in both cases the people could have been any of the people I talk to daily on my way to work. It is amazing to me that in the case of the Dürer portrait at the bottom of this post, that I can visualize this face just as naturally in this year of 2009. I strangely can't say that of many other medieval portraits. I suppose there is just a certain naturalism to the observation.

Painting of "Daniel" by Adebanji Alade

Portrait of a black man by Albrecht Dürer

06 October, 2009

How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect

Magritte's famous pipe which is not really a pipe

"In addition to assorted bad breaks and pleasant surprises, opportunities and insults, life serves up the occasional pink unicorn. The three-dollar bill; the nun with a beard; the sentence, to borrow from the Lewis Carroll poem, that gyres and gimbles in the wabe.

An experience, in short, that violates all logic and expectation. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote that such anomalies produced a profound “sensation of the absurd,” and he wasn’t the only one who took them seriously.

In a series of new papers, Dr. Proulx and Steven J. Heine, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, argue that these findings are variations on the same process: maintaining meaning, or coherence. The brain evolved to predict, and it does so by identifying patterns.

When those patterns break down — as when a hiker stumbles across an easy chair sitting deep in the woods, as if dropped from the sky — the brain gropes for something, anything that makes sense. It may retreat to a familiar ritual, like checking equipment. But it may also turn its attention outward, the researchers argue, and notice, say, a pattern in animal tracks that was previously hidden. The urge to find a coherent pattern makes it more likely that the brain will find one.

For more see the NYTimes article.

04 October, 2009

Watercolor Washes Demos

Bob Davies on YouTube gives several watercolor wash demos shown here.

Standard Wash:

Variegated Wash:

Site of Joseph Zbukvic

Henryk, I think this might be the guy you were mentioning as well as Mike Thomas who is in the previous post was referring to.

The palette and way of laying down the paint is just the best!

Again... these are from the site of Joseph Zbukvic. Can anyone tell I have a thing for watercolor? Did I ask this already?

Adding Figures and Interest to Watercolors

Mike Thomas: figure studies, watercolor

Mike Thomas makes reference to Joseph Zbukvic DVD's and drawing cars and people. I've not yet looked into Zbukvic. Sounds like something to take a peek at.

Remarkably simple watercolor studies!

Creative Every Day

Leah Piken Kolidas runs a blog called Creative Every Day. This month she has a challenge. It is to connect with nature and self through art:

"It is the month of connect for the Creative Every Day Challenge, which has me thinking of all the ways I connect in my world. One of the things I've been loving about the home I've moved to, is that it's close to nature trails. Since I'm reading The Joy Diet with Jamie Ridler's book group, I've been using my walks in the woods as a time to do nothing. It's a great practice in staying in the present moment, letting my thoughts march by as if they were in a parade, returning and returning and returning again to my breath, forward movement, step, step, step."

Still Life With Potluck

Celebrate the start of your drawing weekend. Bring a dish to share and your sketchbook. The host will set up a still life to draw. This event is FREE. Note: there is a dog in the house.

Cathy is bringing dessert, Elaine is bringing roasted vegetables. Flammis bringing dessert #2. Judy will provide a main dish. Anyone want to bring bread, or wine?

Details and signup here.

Upcoming: Landscape Painting in Watercolor at Tower Grove Park

October 11, 2009

Grab your watercolor paints and let's head out to the park while the weather still affords such things.

Umbrella in the Park

See the full details and sign up here.

Art Stars: My Art Journey Contest - JerrysArtarama.com

"Jerry's Artarama is searching to find the next art stars in North America, as part of the largest and most exciting contest in the 40 year history of our company! If you believe you have the talent and ambition, we invite you to enter Art Stars……"My Art Journey" Contest to showcase both your personal story and art skills. There is no purchase required or contest entry fee."

1st Prize

- $1,000 Jerry’s Artarama Gift Card
- $1,000 World of Art DVD Contract
- $1,000 Trip to Burning Oak Studios
- Publc Relations Campaign

2nd Prize - $500 Jerry’s Artarama Gift Card

3rd Prize - $250 Jerry’s Artarama Gift Card

5 Honorable Mentions - $50 Jerry’s Gift Card

Everyone Who Enters - Instantly receive an exclusive coupon for a FREE World of Art DVD of your choice with any purchase of $50 or more, valued up to $29.99.

See the contest info

03 October, 2009

Loop In Motion

As of this writing, The Loop in Motion is happening today Saturday October 3, 2009. Come down and see what it's all about before the end of the day. Yesterday was a good chance to draw on the street and hang out with friends.

Aaron and Christine

Elaine Drawing at HSB Tobacconist

Chris Sketching

Ariel and her friend Erica

Christine Painting

Sept 30 - Drawing at Cap'n Marrrrk's

"I just provided the space. Everyone else provided the atmosphere and comestibles. A great night of drawing and jocularity was had by all. Kevin was fantastic model with very active poses. I would certainly use him again and recommend him to anyone that needs a male model."

"Kevin the model just happened to be a yoga master, which made the poses even more interesting, ever see a naked man in the lotus position with a cat on his lap? A superb evening."


Figure Drawing at the Guild

I don't know if they changed the cookie recipe up at The Artist's Guild or what, but the Sept 29th drawing session drew a seriously full crowd. All seats and standing room was taken. The Model Jeremy was good and it was something else to see all the artists and mingle. I wish I had pictures scanned, but I don't. Maybe next time...

Recapping September: Landscape Painting in Watercolor at Tower Grove Park

On September 20 Elaine and I made it to Tower Grove Park for watercolor painting. Although it rained in the morning, it cleared up just right for the day. I've been greedy about the fall and cant seem to imagine there has been enough of it this year. It seems like the really nice part of fall has been short this year. Hopefully it won't get miserably cold too soon. Digressing....

The light according to Elaine was perfect, and so was the number of subjects, sitters, duck-feeders and dogs walking by.

01 October, 2009

Discoveries: Blog of Joan Coch

The world is so full of amazing things to observe and some are especially good at capturing the movement, energy and light of it all. If you like urban scenery peopled with interesting figures look over on the blog of Joan Coch. I very recently found this work and blog. [Spanish]

This reminds me very much of the recent art fair in Clayton Missouri.

The color and perspective in the next one above is wonderful and unusual. They must have such amazing light where the artist lives.

Isn't this one very expressive in it's colors and compositional one-point perspective framing?