Thursday, February 5, 2015

Labor On Mates!

Some Guy!  TMDD Series graphite 6 x 8"
Starting this drawing yesterday, was the only arty thing I did besides figure out how long to cook the lobster tails Ellis brought home from the market on a whim.  I felt a bit depressed.  It wasn't the snow; the sun was shining brightly.  It wasn't the cold; I don't venture out in ridiculous temps.  It was bad painting that brought me down.

Noticing I had the wrong color shadows in the wrong places in the Big Blue Beach Hat along with seeing all the great art on FB and in blogs, I wondered what the hell am I doing?  Where am I going with this?  I think ambition, competitiveness and self doubts were rearing their ugly heads.  So I gave myself a spa day--no massage, no steam, no whirlpool, just a shampoo, pedi and mani, if you can call cutting  finger and toenails that, and a complete body slathering of moisturizing lotion.  In workout garb, I went down to the 'exercise room' and did the triathlon--elliptical trainer, tread mill, bike-- to spike the serotonins. As luck would have it, Ellen DeGeneres was interviewing a brilliant nine year old pianist who writes her own symphonies and has played at Carnegie Hall twice in her young life!  So what was I doing trying to paint something of merit at my age?   I sunk into the couch and escaped into a book. 

First, Carol Marine's which countered my  spa and exercise attempts at revival; she's so good and so cocksure of herself, plus her drive came from the second most dire of circumstances. Her husband had lost his business and  their economics needed bolstering.  I have no such immediate threats.  I put Carol down and picked up Samuel Adams. Sam cheered me up. 

Sam was quite a guy. He didn't get sad when things went poorly; he stubbornly held on to the force that drove him--liberty, freedom, no taxation without representation--and dumped the tea, an import for which the colonist didn't pay taxes, but were charged duty--in the bay.  I liked Sam's thinking. I like his drive.  I liked his integrity and morality, his courage and persistence.  His  pursuits made mine crap.  His story got me off the couch. --As for the nine year old prodigy, she had great hands--long with lean fingers; the kind you'd like to draw.  The kid was built to play the piano. She's a raw talent. The rest of us were born to labor. 

On my palette today: Viridian, Transparent Red Oxide, Ultramarine, Yellow Ochre and white. Erin's bathing suit.




 

17 comments:

  1. He looks like my brother, when young, so I won't be kissing him after all! Don't do yourself down, you have learned so much and what's more you can put it into practice. You should be proud of yourself. When faced with doubts I ask myself the question 'Who am I doing it for?' The answer is myself, so it doesn't matter in terms of masterpiece mega stardom achievements, but as long as I am happy that is all that counts.

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    1. I don't know what brought this on. I do think it might have been me noticing I put the warm shadows on the warm side and the cool shadows on the cool side instead of visa-versa--or is it the other way around? Maybe it was the stupid lobster tails? Who the hell buys lobster tails? The shells hurt your hands when you prepare them and they are full of salt! They are expensive and not worth the cost, the effort or the taste. We sensitive types can be moody. I was probably due a hissy-fit. :-))

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  2. Linda wat hoor ik nu van je jij niet goed kom op nou heb vertrouwen in je kunnen want het is zo knap haal jezelf niet naar benden maar juist omhoog ga zo door je bent een top artiest lieve groetjes Danielle

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    1. Dank u zo veel Danielle. Het is gewoon dat ik zo nu en dan denkt dat deze passie van mij is meer een vloek dan een zegen. Ik voel me alsof ik ben het maken van fouten zwepen en zij gone uit stijl decennia geleden. Gisteren was een van die dagen. Vandaag, schijnt de zon.

      Thank you so much Danielle. It's just that every now and then I do think this passion of mine is a curse more than a blessing. I feel like I'm making buggy whips and they've gone out of style decades ago. Yesterday was one of those days. Today, the sun is shining.

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  3. Love the finished piece Linda. I think you should put your brushes away and start writing books....you're a funny lady! I look forward to your next painting!!!

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    1. You are sweet to say so Hilda. We've all had bummer days. The trick to shaking them off is to not take yourself seriously. Cuttting my toe nails was a big accomplishment. My shoes fit.

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  4. Always so accurate your work and you ... always a bit unhappy about something....So are all true artists.
    Everyone wants to do better, to understand more deeply the meaning of your own art.
    I follow with pleasure the path of your thoughts, always so interesting and never predictable !!!

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    1. Discontent is what drives artists, who are always striving for perfection, a nonexistent entity. Occasionally, like yesterday, I forget that. Then I remember that my objective is to get to a level of accomplishment where only I can see my mistakes. The air is thin at that height. One needs to pack oxygen. :-))

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  5. Demon fighting time! They sneak up on you without warning, hidden in misplaced shadows and lobster tails, snapping at your patience. A life without demon-driven-frustration, Freud reckoned, was a death wish. But what the heck did he know about painting?

    You know the answer ... curse, spit, cut your toenails ... then write them out of you before you drown them in paint.

    It's not easy being 'us' but we know day follows night and carry on with gritted teeth and then... throw the demons overboard with the tea ... play it again Sam!

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    1. There was a duty on glassware too, but it didn't end up in the bay. Not soluble, I suppose? My spa day did the trick. I have learned to turn the other cheek when the demons strike. :-))

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  6. I love this guy. I know him! You cannot be a good artist if you love all your work.

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    1. I hate all my work when I first finish it--or more accurately, abandon it. Then months later see its value. It's not a good way to be. Best to not think at all and just do and get rid of it.

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  7. Buggar it...just when all was going so well.
    TRUTH - the more you know the harder it gets!
    Get two light bulbs going.
    Sending a warm and understanding hug.

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    1. Thanks Julie. It is amazing how despair suddenly descends and self doubt consumes. Thankfully, these bouts don't last long. I get angry when they happen and immediately do something, anything. to counteract that feeling of uselessness. My 'spa day' and workout helped a lot. When you feel down, you've got to get up off your bum.

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  8. Oh how familiar your current state of mind is to me, I fear that it is a common trait amongst artists whether graphic or musical. The personal exposure that is involved in making art gives us a degree of vulnerability that is not always easy to cope with. Some sort of displacement activity is usually the way to get back on track. In the meantime look a little longer at the lovely series of drawings that you've produced recently.

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    1. These bouts are the artist's bane. Luckily I do know to rant--yesterdays blog--and to get up and do something else for myself. Workouts are great. I think the sweat rids you of the poisons that bring you down. Plus Elvis and The Eagels pump me up! I haven't painted since the wrong colored shadows, two days ago, but I have continued to draw. Today I am leaving the building--out into the snow and cold. A bit of fresh air also helps to scare away the demons. Artist must be strong minded.

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