Art, My Imaginary Snowball

My purpose for writing this essay is to address the notion of “getting on with the project of making Art and avoiding making excuses”.

Perhaps I have held the final snowball. I reached into a drift and squeezed snow until it compacted. Then I sensed everything I could possibly get from it.

I wanted the experience. I had expectations because I know snowballs. Really? How about, “What is Spring?” Not in 2018. The last snowball was in Spring (so far).

Spring brings buds, and blooms, and bugs. I have those experiences. Now snowballs. Maybe a new trend.

Like when I encounter other new things it’s a signal to refresh my thinking, to be ready for new circumstances, even taking charge of new opportunities.

Now, I start– now to do those three things and I begin with the notion I shall give no concern to other person’s evaluations of me. Not a question it’s an objective.

Since I cannot fathom the intentions or motives of others I will not pick up their opinions or evaluations or judgments either because the former go with the latter like old traveling acquaintances.

I expect nothing from others — not to be nihilistic or anti-social the thinking is merely my worth is not weighed on their scales.

It is not for others to bestow praise or awards or money, to become my imaginary snowball for sensing or measuring how well I may be doing in the way of my Art. I like praise, glory, money, and success. They’re not how I measure “me” and how well I’m doing is all.

On the other side, if I get derision, rejection, suffering, and no cash, I’ll still have a fairly pleasing Art collection and the prospects of making more.

The more involved I become in my Art the more I realize I am one of the few constants upon which I can rely. Sometimes it snows in Spring sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ll get praise and then a wallop from the other side too. It’s occurred over the same piece if Art, hot and cold, like a snowball.

(c) Lemuel

16 April, 2018

Essay

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No Fear Art

I am letting you see my notes to myself.

Art, I mean real involved work has no place for the dross of fear. Fear destroys. You create.

Show your Art. If you hide not many will acknowledge your work. Do not be Invisible.

Set yourself free. You can if you set your mind, body, and soul into your liberation.

Be courageous. Put you into your Art. That is what people want. Your vitals and soul and brains and sinew. It is your story — make it the best story.

You are not a laser printer. You make the Art. You are the only you the world has right now.

Also do not work for free. Take the money. If you value your work so will others.

Set yourself free.

Be courageous.

Do the work.

Show your work.

Be fearless.

Go get ’em.

Lemuel

2018

Take the Path, Art

Apples color pencil study 2 1-10-18

I enjoy taking materials and making something. My intention is to be original and to avoid being derivative. There is only so much I can do with a still life of fruit.

I am reminded of this advice:  “Take the path.” Go on with what inspires you. Make your Art.

I have learned every attempt brings new insight. Especially be gentle with other Artists, we are all our way to self-discovery. Remember, be gentle with my own work. I cannot always see my path, always reaching.

That’s the fun part.

Color pencil on card stock ~ 15 cm x 20 cm, ~6 in x 8 in, 

Character Design Using Narrative

 

Medusa flipped Sketch 2

Sketches are an idea for a drawing or painting made to provide a view for a finished Artwork. The sketch is full of potential.

A sketch is also a short performance, a skit, maybe one scene. Make a sketch memorable make it funny. An imaginary skit has power in character development.

Yes I do Spike my Hair 7-21-17 2

I  like to make a sketch of a character that I have created its back-story. The story helps carry the development of the Art forward. I am story-making with multiple goals but mainly visual. 

Bride 1 Sketch 2

Sketches begin with perhaps no idea at all, only a few marker strokes on some paper. Insert some fun, work around the mistakes, but use some mistakes. Show the character’s, well, character. It’s all non-verbal, the front end of the business is “showing”. The back-room is explaining the character a bit to myself.

Another use of narrative is when a sketch isn’t making it. Then, I invent an imaginary scene to get the ball rolling, I need some extra “juice” to mix with “inspiration” to get my graphical ideas across on paper.

Alright, now it’s show time.

 

 

This is protected intellectual property. It is solely mine. Karma is fierce. Do not take what is not yours. If you see my protected intellectual property and would like to talk contact me. c 2018, c 2017

Being ready by Design

Whenever I am in the notion to work I do not want to have to struggle with tools, find things I need, clear off messy work surfaces and do double work type work to make something. I am a one person shop-studio- en plein air Artist. It is up to me to give myself every advantage I am able.

Junk in Plastic Boxes

Containers on a shelf. Like things with like things. 

On the bus I have my tools in a neat vintage Lands End™. One zipper and a snap I am ready to read or sketch. The other places I create are fairly organized, but just. I can wander between projects and return to the easel over many days. Tools line the drawers and parts and pieces fill bins, containers, and the occasional peanut butter jar.

I make it a rule to finish projects– they may not be perfect, that doesn’t matter, I complete my work. Work I’ve promised by a deadline gets to the person before the deadline. If something is needed by Thursday and I get it Monday the piece is ready on Wednesday before 5 p.m.

Because I’m cool? Nope. Because I don’t like things hanging over my head. Besides it’s my word that is worth more than the project I’m working on. If I lose my good name, even if it’s not my fault, then I cannot buy it back.

Brushes cleaned and ready

A process of brush care at the end of a session.

So I keep tools, materials, and work spaces ready for work. I won’t win any awards from minimalist decor folks. I can find anything and I can usually remember where I have filed most of my stuff. That’s my test. Keep like things with like things; label the drawers; use clear containers with labels; put up things as I go and simple processes like that. This keeps something like a mess from hanging over my head.

As I typed before, I admit I won’t win at perfection, zero mess, just a bit of wisdom in the seeming madness. I have a shop-vac, several brooms and dust pants, even a magnet on a rope when needed.

Note I didn’t say “rules”. When things are ‘supposed to be’ done a certain way, or controlled this way, or filled with judgment I usually baulk, or “buck-up” as the Aunties used to say.

Rules are fine but if I make a process that functions well, it will not be perfect. I might leave my acrylic paints all out, in trays that go into a cabinet when I’m finished, but I want to see my materials. It’s like when I get new color pencils–that excites me. I can’t wait to use the new pencil. I’ll even start a new page just to incorporate it into the composition or just go crazy mono-chrome.

Leaving an organized neat area dedicated to acrylics, or oils, or wood-block, or just my easels helps me organize my day-week-month. It’s like my “visual-control” for my project management. I can manage what I see and I “go-and-see” continuously as “walk-around-management” of myself. Big job.

Raygun Build Parts

Selected items ready for  a project.

I know by working with materials on a daily basis, seeing them regularly, and monitoring my progress what I need to replenish. I don’t have duplicated materials, nor do I run out of 20% gray pencils at 3:00 am Sunday morning. I don’t waste time looking for materials and resources; I don’t have waste in duplicated items–6 pounds of “sinker” nails is more than I need for this project–and I keep a re-order list and make a time to order as needed. I also keep a list of items to trade, give away, or sell.

These concepts help me keep my spaces ready to work. Organized for production is what I like to call it. It’s also a fun way to engage with the materials, to bring an idea or inspiration to the front and spring-board into the work.

I have to make the most of every opportunity I make or every time I get the chance to make something that I think is cool. When I’m ready to get busy I am more motivated to do just that.

Going to the shop or to the studio not a struggle, it’s a pleasure.  By design.

Art, Getting Busy

There are those days when someone passes by me whilst I’m at my drawing pad and exclaims, “I can do that!”

graphite-cat-wary

Graphite on card stock

I smile and keep drawing. After about a second, because I don’t want to lose the moment, I give them a pad and some pencils.

“Oh, no I couldn’t.”

But you just said your could. Give yourself this little gift, this precious time. Draw!

Some of the materials I favor are readily available at most office supply shops or even pharmacies. I chose them for that reason–wide availability.

Among my supplies I have A4 (8.5 x 11)  paper in white and a few colors, some A6 (4 x 6) plain index card stock, a few color pencils, #2 pencils, and blank journal books.

Then I scoop up my satchel and get busy.

I can do that.

Be Limitless Stray from the Path

The quickest path between two points is a straight line. In a crowded world that is nearly impossible.

I like the winding path. Un-enforced and edge-bumping ways tickle my fancy and are traceable only by having passed by that way.

path-winding-graphic

Stray from the path and be the explorer; sail for the edge of the map; do so with a kindly spirit and merry wonderment. Strive to overcome prior training.

I am sure of a shrinking list of propositions, like efficiency, production, and patterned recipes for success. I am friendlier toward my imagination and what I make when I ask:  “What if I?”

It is alright to stray from the path in Art. Meander in concept and in practice raise the hackles of design.

Fine but how to do all this “straying” and “raising of hackles”?

I suggest give up excuses. Then, consider each new project as an adventure; one that you make. Eliminating excuses means you have to perform. Excuses hold Artists back. Replace excuses with being limitless.

Limitless

Being limitless means experiment, explore, and expand a given method. Re-focus design, methods, and propositions, or generating more “What if’s”. In short it means give up relying on: “I can’t.”

  • What other tools work? Inventive.
  • What am I truly seeing here? Adaptative.
  • What if this material or method were used as if it were…. [fill in the blank] Experimental.
  • Transfer one set of learning to a new problem. Thinking.
  • Make a new path. Keep your promises. Responsible
  • Instructions are guides not shackles. Authentic voice.
  • Personal experience is the real and the imagined. Placing You in the Design.
  • Starting over is strength. Purposeful.
  • Be thankful for serendipity. Happy accident or unconscious play.
  • Put the “you” into your Art. Make your art a production, featuring your authentic voice. Produce your Art.
  • Create your own projects. That is how you can be truly Expressive.

Becoming Limitless

Back to the allusion of getting from point A to point B in that straight line method of efficiency. In my design I intend to make point B because I can.