Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Lets read the quotes before we go on further with my post::

Never become an artist if you can't learn to draw. (Sergei Bongart)
 Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. (Cennino Cennini)
 Drawing is the backbone. It is no good having a lovely sense of light and color if there isn't the firm foundation underneath. (Alexander Creswell)
 You just cannot cheat when you draw. (Sandy Davison)
Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint. (Arshile Gorky)

I have not been listening to these great advices... ..I am sorry to say that I have been neglecting this side of art making! My only drawings have been little sketches with lines and scribbles to figure out a composition. Actually, I  have always loved to draw and did pretty good at art school when it came to drawing (well, lets not count the freshman year)! But somehow drawing took a back burner in the scheme of things. I got seduced by color and ultimately neglected something that is a backbone to an artist's skills! Like Gorky says, someone who can't draw is just not a good painter! And by ignoring drawing I think I have been neglecting the very foundation of my artistic integrity! So for the next month I am going to devote at least 50% of my efforts to drawing! I have decided to do at least four full blown academic cast drawings for this period.... I just think unless I do this I can't move to the next stage of my development! How many times have we seen a painting killed by poor drawing skill?! We actually smirk at people like that! And I am determined to avoid that fate! Seriously!So here's my first effort. Don't be too harsh! This is the first time that I have finished a drawing after almost three years!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Creative Authenticity

It seems I am reading more these days than painting! I go through these phases sometime.... I feel hungry for words, especially something that will give me strength and hope in pursuing the artistic path! The one I am reading now is by Ian Roberts, a landscape painter. The book is called Creative Authenticity. And like the last book, Art and Fear , this one deeply resonated with me .He talks about "Authenticity" in an artwork, be  it music, poetry or other visual arts.... He questions what it actually means to be an "authentic" artist ! Is someone an authentic artist just because he/she creates so called  "personal art"? I have always questioned that too! If I make a piece of art that doesn't speak with anyone or doesn't resonate with anybody else, is that a meaningful art? If our art is self-indulgent and has nothing to share other than our  skepticism, does it make for  good art? If we look at paintings by Montagna or Rembrandt, they worked within  strict confine of patron driven art. But their art is  universal and speaks to us from the depth of history because the artists created something that is imbued with their joy of creation.They might not be "personal" art but no one can deny that the artist's "soul" is apparent in these paintings. So I think it is a matter of beauty that makes an artwork universal or beloved rather than if they are personal art or impersonal. An artwork needs to express the beauty of the soul of its creator. I know in the postmodern environment beauty is an ugly word, but beauty is what makes art meaningful.At least to me! I don't mean vapid beauty but a soulful one. Bach's music will outlast Lady Gaga, even though Bach was producing music within the strict limit imposed by his patron, the Church. He was not an eccentric; he had to feed 17 children for god's sake! He did not have time to be self expressive like the GAGA! But who will remember her in 50 years, let alone few hundreds? Roberts says this beautifully, "To see the difference between "personal stuff" and fashioning an authentic, deeply personal expression, we can think of one being ego driven, agitated and afraid, and the other drawing from a source that feels like revelation.It is revealed".
What do you think?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Art /Fear

As artists most of us are scared to death sometime! If not of  the public's criticism and lack of acceptance, then we of our own creative talent! David Bayles and Ted Orland's book, Art and Fear eloquently discusses that very concept! Reading that book for the very first time, I couldn't believe that someone actually wrote a book about how I feel! How can two strangers "get" me? Of course it dawned on me that every artist must fear the same thing. First, we are afraid that we are not talented enough! At least , I am afraid that I am just masquerading as an artist! When someone buys my painting, I actually feel bad for them! I know it weird, but I am embarrassed that they are buying something from someone untalented like myself! When people acclaims my art, I try to down play it for the same reason! It's not modesty but fear! The writers of the book goes on to say that it is a really a common fear among artists! To get over that fear, what  an artist really needs to do is to work their behinds off. At the end,  quantity leads to quality and hard work tops talent.We really never hear again about those child prodigies who painted like Monet at three Mozart might had talent but he worked hard at his craft. Tolstoy wrote and rewrote War and peace for years before he finally was satisfied with the book. As of our fear regarding the public, you have to be true to your vision. Just because someone else's art sells doesn't mean we have to  try to paint like them!We might not make as much money but we did not become artists to be rich but to pursue a creative life!In the long run, it will serve me  better if I pursued my  own brand of art rather than what I  know is popular. Maybe I will not sell as much but when I go to bed at night, I will know I have put on a good days work at  my craft and I have followed my vision! Well, enough babbling for today but I really want to suggest this book and if you are anything like me, you will find solace that we are all the same in our fear!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Autumn Leaves

We all have our favorite season... Fall is mine. The crisp blue sky and the flaming oranges and reds make my heart soar in a way that no other season can! So when my gallery wanted to put on a show on Autumn, I was excited. But I didn't really want to do a landscape, which would probably capture the nature's flaming beauty the best. But I wanted more; I wanted to bring that flame and beauty physically  in my painting. I wanted to capture the essence of that moment when a leaf falls to the ground with a swish.... I read this poem by Charles Dickens, which is a sadder interpretation of Autumn than mine. But beautiful in its mournful fashion! I have included this poem in my painting but my colors add a note of cheer even when I know that the melancholy of the poem lies underneath my paint....

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around he here;
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!
How like the hopes of childhood's day,
Thick clust'ring on the bough!
How like those hopes in their decay--
How faded are they now!
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here;
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!

Wither'd leaves, wither'd leaves, that fly before the gale:
Withered leaves, withered leaves, ye tell a mournful tale,
Of love once true, and friends once kind,
And happy moments fled:
Dispersed by every breath of wind,
Forgotten, changed, or dead!
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here!
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!

Autumn Leaves, Mixed Media, 12"x12"

Here's my painting and interpretation of Autumn! I have included maple leaves and twigs from my garden, to bring a slice of my everyday  life to my creative one.......