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word dabs

Connecting with energy……

Reversion

Reversion • 40" x 48" • acrylic & oil on canvas

Have you ever been in a relationship where you’ve made a complete ass of yourself and no matter what your intention, you’ve just said and done all the wrong things; ending up broken hearted and jaded. The lines of what you need or want to do seem clouded with emotion. Yet when it’s not you in that relationship, but a friend or even a stranger, everything seems so much more clearer of what needs to happen and you advise ‘oh so masterfully’ on what they should do or how they should be….

Can you relate?
I do this ALL the time.

The trouble is I’ve sometimes struggled with the advice I spout off on this blog because it’s often hard for me to follow what I’m saying you all should to. This is a big reason why I’ve not posted in so long.

  • It’s easy to say, be yourself…. but then paint a picture and feel inappropriate to publish it.. even though I know it’s totally who I am.
  • It’s hard to tell you that in your awkwardness and socially unacceptable state that you are in fact, breaking down walls for others that also feel this way.
  • It’s tough to tell you to remain positive or to stay the course, when I’m not always that positive and find myself doing more illustrations lately than paintings… when deep down that’s not really what I want to do.

So here’s my advice if you’re struggling as I do……

Do BOTH!
To be AND not to be! That is my answer!…(at least for now)

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Support for the weapon

I need to build something that is within my capabilities to create initially
Something that is relevant and interesting and grows someone.
Something that can generate revenue as an undercurrent to it’s purpose.
Something that can attract attention and be noteworthy.
Something that is sustainable and not fickle or gimmicky
Something that uses the breath of my skill set but can include others

Is there something out there that can resemble this?
is it realistic to think what I have to say can matter?
Something that parents to other causes of meaning?
Can I create this using only my current means?
How will I sustain myself and my responsibilities during this time of growth?
How do I create something of value without extending a carbon footprint (without sacrificing something I am passionate about.)
How do I write and attach to people both probing and intent, as well as lite-life living and vain?
How do I become a positive voice more than just another one?
What really matters? Does any of it?
People always want more for less. Will this provide that?
How can we get past the gimmick of a new gadget or a new 2-minute-thrill to something that ends up 2-hour-average?
How do I break from consumption when life gears to get more knee deep in it?
How much of what I hold so dear is actually worth anything? (Do I value anything my great-grandparents left?)
Is there anything I own that fulfills currently?
What will it take to move us past the 2000’s mentality of consumption?
Why do I want to get this next job? What is it’s purpose? Just so I can start consuming again? Surely my existence is worth more than that?
Same with creating art. Why do I do it? To aid people’s need to nest out a box to feel full and then realize that’s not it either?

Perhaps it’s time for a total redefinition of purpose, meaning, service, worth, aspiration; something to pull you to not just be another sheep baa’ing in the same direction as all the others.

My experience of being an artist is anguish-filled with frustration.  Each day I surf and find artists all talking more and more loudly as a metaphoric haystack of needles seeming to not say much at all, yet incessantly nattering on regardlessly. 

You must from time to time also be thinking this…   
Would i stand out more in this needle-stack if i just returned to being straw? And what do I have that’s worth saying in this arena, as I forever sense guilt for the carbon foot print of materials I continue to burn.

I try to blog. Another hoop of suggestion to jump through, but for what reason? For you or for myself? If for you…why? Just to relate it to your life of you-ness? If for me, why? Am I really that self-absorbed in my absolution? Surely if I was, then I would be doing that and not talking about it.  

 The majority of art now throughly bores me, almost as much as my own can. Is there really nothing left to paint that ten or more other artists aren’t already doing?  Do I paint to release joy or out of total disgust and expression of struggle, experiencing the mundaneness of life and seemingly waste of meaningful existence?

How can any of us be content with needle art that sounds like mindless verbal grey drivel? Be honest about your art to yourself. Is it really worth the price of it’s footprint?

The truth is I don’t know if I have what it takes or what IT is even. Whatever I paint it never feels like enough. Never right… More a con than a creation. 

As I desire to love art, I find myself hating it more passionately. I AM art and it eats into me, as I try to move it and feel it burning into me like acid, always telling me I’m behind, I’m wrong and untalented. Untrained. A fake.  I’m a fraud and a no-one.

Who can wonder therefore why I have such anger inside me because of it.

“So stop”perhaps you might say. But to stop would mean to stop my breath. It’s in me like my thoughts that bury me in constant over analysis.

So ends another pointless vomit-filled spew of verbal diarrhea.       

Mosquito Man

When it comes to presenting your work on the web or in any digital format there’s a million ways to clean up, tweak, refine and present your art. Pretty much anything can be fixed  using a high-end camera, scanner and some sort of software like Adobe’s Photoshop.

BUT….

Before you go too wild with that healing brush, saturation of color, or clip things in and out, keep in mind your intent for the piece.

There’s nothing worse than a vibrant piece of art presented to a potential client on-line only to find the original is dull by comparison.

If you’re intentionally altering colors for digital sales that’s one thing, but if you’re trying to present an original piece of art as it really is, go steady with that computer enhancement.

It’s very tempting when sales go down to reduce your prices. Perhaps that’s a natural thing to think about doing, after all, you’ve got bills that need to be paid and rent is due!

Before you make this decision, here’s a couple of things to think about:

1. Although people like to get a great deal, few if any want to purchase something cheap. If they did then people wouldn’t buy the new styled cars or that fancy new iPhone. If you price a thousand dollar painting for a hundred bucks, does it appear a bargain… Or just a painting with little to no value?

2. It’s important for you to think about the transaction you’re about to partake in. You’re about to give someone a piece of your emotion. It’s unique; the only one of it’s kind in the world. In exchange you’re about to be given something that just about everyone has a little of; something common and in abundance… Even if not for you at this time.

Now of course I appreciate that at times you just have to bite the bullet and make a sale to make those ends meet but before you start practically giving your art away, think about what you’re doing.

If i offered you something worth a thousand dollars for a hundred bucks, the first question would most likely be, “Whats wrong with it?”

Value your art,then perhaps others will too.

Prodding on the harp of emotional inconsistency

We are in a very strange world that seems to be intend on making us fearful and worried. Here’s just a few to make sure we are on the same page.

Worried about:
Mortgage. The Economy.Your children. Your income. Your lack of income. Taxes. Food. Your health. Your bills. Your credit cards. Your debt. The climate. The heat. The cold. The competition.

The world and that worry list seems to be endless and growing constantly.
Now to cap it all you have the nerve to want to try and do something that others often choose as a hobby; a luxury, fun thing to do to relax and here you are trying to make it into a profession.

“An artist.”
What a desired title that is nowadays… and  yet how come some ‘artists’ don’t seem to create very often if EVER?! Do you still get to call yourself an artist if you never create?

Do you have what it takes?
Can you afford to do it?
Have you put in your 10,000 hours?

You may be surprised how close you are to actually making this something more than a dream, but are you working towards it?

Are you actively pursuing change? Noticeable change that others can recognize and support?

Don’t lie to them or yourself if you are not. Step up to the plate. Learn to understand the honor of this position you’ve been given with your gift and don’t use it as some lame way to get out of ‘getting a real job.’

Respect art…. and others in turn will learn to respect you in your profession.

The Balance of Belief

Have you ever said to yourself, “if people really knew the real me, it could be bad!” I think it’s fair to say that most of us think that, at least from time to time.

Could the same be said about your art?
Are you reluctant to paint or show what you’ve produced for fear of judgment?
Do your images have the potential to disgust or offend people?

Before you paint over them or choose to forever throw them into the back of your closet, consider how many times in the past that you’ve opened up with a glass of wine and bared your soul, only to find a deep meaningful state with someone you connected with.

Your art is no different.
Last year I had a show at a city hall. It was an extremely successful show until suddenly it was requested that half of it be taken down because of suggestive body parts. Reluctantly I did as I was told, only to later find that it was one person’s comment alone that caused them to be removed.

The vast majority of people WANT to connect, feel less alone and relate to some of the things you might fearfully state as ‘extreme.’
Be genuine to who you are

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