Our house cat has us trained more than we have her trained. Anyone with a cat can relate, I’m sure. She will sit by her bowl in the kitchen in just the right way so we have to step around her to move about in the space. She cranks her head to and fro – […]
A neighbor brought over an extra muskmelon today. “They are getting ripe and we’ve eaten three. I think we gave eight away already.” What a nice gesture. Country folk have a different way of life than most. We tend to keep to ourselves – giving what my city Colombian-born wife coined, the farmer’s wave as […]
Farmer’s don’t wait for the perfect weather: so artists shouldn’t wait for the muse
I talked to a local farmer today: “The harvest should be pretty good this year,” he said. It occurred to me as an artist, how at one point in the creation process I often think, “This may just turn out the way I want it to.”
And sometimes the artworks do and sometimes they don’t. While I can control part of the process, there’s a part – the muse – that is a lot like the weather is for farmers.
Preparation is one key
As an artist I can do certain key things: I can do a thumbnails, block it in on a canvas or paper, and finish it.
Farmers prepare the equipment, prepare the soil, and plant the seeds. They put in the work and sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. Like Farmers, that can happen to us artists too – the muse abandons us. But unlike the farmers, many artists sit and wait for the muse to strike, or until they feel a burst of creativity. We artist must continue to do the work. We can’t wait on the muse or a burst of creativity to strike.
Imagine, if a farmer thought to himself in the spring: “This year doesn’t look like it will rain enough. I’ll just not plant this season.” That doesn’t work. They have to put in the work and so do we. Artists should always be painting or planting the seeds for the next painting. We need to trust the muse will come and rain down upon us to help us grow.
Cats have more grace sometimes than we humans. Recently our cat “Trouble” went blind. We didn’t notice at first and thought she was just slowing down in her old age. I let her in from the outdoors one day and noticed how she first stopped at the stoop and was pawing at the threshold; as […]
Dog gone-it!!. . . . H, E, double hockey sticks! Remember when we learned to replace the swear word with this phrase? The all mighty “L” or ell is back for us creative types and offers an alternative to the more common types of compositions. Whether you are arranging family photos on the wall, working […]
Face it – all of us are trying to find meaning to life. Basically, you must decide if you are going to look out for numero uno, or be “one of those people” and give of yourself to help others. Personally, I’m “one of those people” and want to share with others what little […]
Sketch it first! Sometimes we artist are stubborn and stupid at times. We work other jobs and have only so much precious time to do our art — the last thing we want to do is spend it drawing a thumbnail sketch. We want to skip the sketch process and get paint onto the canvas. […]
Pastel birds have interested me since about March last year after seeing some Mike Beeman pastels. Here’s my latest of a Red Cardnal that perched in a bush next to our bird feeders. Step-by-Step Pastel Basically I started out with a brief sketch. On the bird pastels, I usually try to leave the […]
Serving the greater good is a basic principle of the Dharma or Buddhist philosophy. It’s not unusual for many artists to feel that they are serving a greater good by helping others around them see world issues, or just to see elements of the world they might not otherwise see. Western artists often view art […]
I soon will be publishing a a newsletter and updating my website. I have a wonderful graphic artist and photographer, Lynelle Mallady, working on some branding and an art critic and curator working on a biography that I will post here later this year. For those new to “branding” think McDonalds or Coke a […]