Where Have I Been?

I'm so sorry I have been missing. Last year and this year has been a pursuit to explore and discover.  I have taken many classes some that you may have read about in my previous posts, with Melinda Cootsona and Martin Campos.  After taking the classes with Martin and Melinda, I took two eCourses with Pauline Agnew that included Pathways to Abstraction and Pathways to Abstraction The Figure.  Upon completing I took another class from Melinda on Six Approaches to Abstracting the Figure. I have been very fortunate to be able to take classes from teachers that are masters their field.

Needless to say I have been working very hard and have a lot of new work to share. The painting that I am showing above, "Red Wind" is one of my first larger paintings using Cold Wax Medium.  I love how it turned out and am very excited to present it to you.  It originally began upside down, but I felt an urge to turn it in the opposite direction during  the creation.  I do believe that we reverse images in our mind. I now discovered a wonderful image of what appeared to me as an island with a forest reflecting in the water.  The energy that swirls in the strokes is an added bonus, thus the name "Red Wind".  Cold Wax allows a transparency and texture that cannot be found with oil alone.  I love the depth created by using this medium.

The painting is available for sale.  Please contact me if you are interested at jvander51@gmail.com 


Martin Campos "Untying the Knots"

Some people can cross your path and change your whole direction~Anonymous 

I had the great opportunity to recently attend a workshop by Martin Campos, PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) instructor, artist and philosopher offered by Melinda Cootsona. My intention prior to going to the workshop was not to learn how to paint the figure, which Martin excels in but to learn how to paint outside the lines.  He did not disappoint. 

I am finding even at my age the desire to learn is powerful and perhaps to unlearn is just as important; "untying the knots that have been tied".

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Martin Campos was influenced by his teacher Alex Kanevsky, who gives us permission to destroy and resurrect.  The destruction becomes the jewels through transformation; bits and pieces left as signs of their existence.

Martin beckons us to "dialogue with painting, by eradicating and bringing it back.  You have to be willing to let something fall apart to discover what is there."

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Martin goes to the canvas not knowing what is going to happen. This can be a fearful place for me.  This is totally against my process.  Although, I allow the painting to tell me what it needs, in the beginning I usually tend to know where I am going or where I prefer to go.  Now after taking this workshop, I feel lost, but also exhilarated to discover a side of my creativity untouched.  Instead of controlling the paint, I will allow it to control me.

Anytime I experience a teacher of this magnitude with such revolutionary thoughts, it causes me to sit and ponder, to wonder where my art will be taking me now.  But, I guess that's the point; "I DON'T KNOW". What a fearful and exciting place to be! 

 

[youtube]https://youtu.be/SmckW8iDZTY[/youtube]


50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR BLOCK

 

"Break The Plane" 12" x 12" acrylic on Ampersand  $360
"Break The Plane" 12" x 12" acrylic on Ampersand $360

 Creativity takes courage~Henri Matisse

I’m not necessarily having a block, but I have had some issues with my health and my family’s health that have gotten me off track. When you are forced to take a break, it is a good time to evaluate where you have been and where you are going. It might be a good time to be open to change as well. Things seem to be better now all the way around and reading books have been a great way for me to unblock my blocks, and get inspired. One of the books I recently read that has been very helpful is “Get Unstuck Creative Block Discover New Ideas”, produced by Danielle Krysa.

Inspired by her book and adding most of my own ideas, I created a list of ways to help you unblock your blocks.

  1. Find inspiration from old books and magazines.
  2. Use reference photos, combine and mix them
  3. Go to art museums
  4. Listen to music
  5. Take something you would throw away and recreate it
  6. Pick a day to fail completely.
  7. Clean your art studio.
  8. Use a medium you never used.
  9. Use a tool you would never use.
  10. Use a feather, a sponge, and a stick, to draw or create with.
  11. Take a break
  12. Take a walk
  13. Google it, Google it deeper. Go on a “Google Journey”.
  14. Pick out your favorite paintings and art on Pinterest.
  15. Take photos with your phone. I enjoy using Hipstamatic and love trying their different lenses and film.
  16. Create with restrictions; limited pallet, limited subject matter, size or scale.
  17. Visit galleries
  18. Break your own rules.
  19. Give your critic permission to take a vacation
  20. Daydream
  21. Teach
  22. Take a common everyday item and make it into something else.
  23. Make your art into a “verb” not a “noun”. In other words enjoy the process, don’t focus on the end solution.
  24. Read creative art blogs.
  25. Do something random
  26. Work fast
  27. Do something wrong
  28. Doodle
  29. Use the IPad for drawing.
  30. Use reference photos from Flickr (be sure to ask for permission if not for personal use.)
  31. Dance
  32. Go somewhere you have never been before.
  33. Stop thinking, just play
  34. Watch a TED talk
  35. Watch a Youtube video on a new medium, how to etc.
  36. Watch a movie
  37. Give yourself a deadline to go back to work
  38. Go on an artist date
  39. Have goals and commitments
  40. Pick a theme you are interested and create a show around it.
  41. Ask yourself better questions? “How can I?” Is usually a good start?
  42. Don’t worry about what people think.
  43. Be ready when inspiration calls.
  44. Go to the library
  45. Keep a binder of ideas for times when you are lacking inspiration
  46. Push through it
  47. Do what you fear the most
  48. Use a timer, commit to being in the studio for 10 minutes.
  49. Read “War Of Art” by Steven Pressfield
  50. Don't wait for inspiration just "WORK" 

I hoped you enjoyed these ideas.  Please feel free to add what your favorite ways are to get back into the studio to create.

 


I Got Rhythm

I Got Rhythm ~36" x 36" acrylic on museum wrapped canvas
The Path of Love ~36" x 36" acrylic on museum wrapped canvas

Rhythm is as necessary in a picture as pigment; it is as much a part of painting as music.~Walter J. Phillips

My father loved music. He always had the latest albums and the latest contraptions to play them on.  My love of music began at 3 years old in Alaska. Army pals would drop by for the latest songs produced from my father's homemade Hi-Fi and find me doing my scarf dance to the repetitive beat.  I have to laugh, yet was this the moment I discovered rhythm?

Rhythm is one of the elements of composition in art. How important is rhythm in composition?  I believe it’s the soul of the painting.  It has the beat just like music. It’s where the viewer senses the feeling the pulse. It’s a repetition yet with slight variations of pattern.  Each painting stroke is as a note in music; unified yet unique.

Pattern and repetition are essential to rhythm. You may discover repetition of shapes or color that create a pattern. But, there has to be a slight variation to prevent monotony. As my teacher would say “Nature never repeats itself”.  

Rhythm is the harmony or dissonance in the painting.  It can create tension or relaxation, sadness or, thoughtfulness, joy or excitement.  It is the vibe of the painting.  

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G7UIeYGq0k[/youtube]

Do you "Got Rhythm"?

 

Painting above: "I Got Rhythm", 36" x 36" acrylic on museum wrapped canvas, price $3240

*ART20K footage completed 16,374 square inches

*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA.   You may purchase through contacting my email jvander51@msn.com or phone (408) 460-7237.  Thank you!


Vulnerability And The Big Challenge

Delicate Vulnerability 36" x 48", acrylic on museum wrapped canvas
Delicate Vulnerability
36" x 48", acrylic on museum wrapped canvas

“Armed I am with love. Disarmed I am.” 
― Manuel Alegre

Tomorrow I am going to speak about my #paint52 project for Alyson B Stanfield’s Art Biz Incubation group.  I have taken three of her workshops and been so pleased with the outcome and her standard of quality in anything she offers. 

Our topic will be on committing to doing a “big project”.  Doing two big projects in a row #paint52 and now Art20K has pushed me in many ways, just due to its natural progression and momentum.  I don’t want to elaborate for I will be talking about it tomorrow.  But, let’s just say talking in front of a group is pretty "big" for me.

The painting above was also out of my comfort zone.  I did something totally unpredictable and unexpected for me.  It felt very uncomfortable.  I posted it on Facebook and many people enjoyed the painting. I could have left it as is, but I needed to push myself further, even if it was a disaster.  I could risk and perhaps still did ruin the painting. Yet, the only way I learn and grow is to push myself.

Now what does doing big projects, talking to Alyson’s group and my painting has in common.  I guess first of all I am putting myself in a vulnerable situation.  I risk failing.  In the end I have to be all right with it not being perfect, exposing who I am and realizing I am still good enough.  Isn’t that always the bottom line, “Am I good enough”? 

What risk are you afraid to take and why?

*ART20K footage completed 6996 square inches.

*Painting above, Title: “Delicate Vulnerability", measures 36″ x 48″, Acrylic on museum wrapped canvas (no need for framing), Price $4320

*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA.   You may purchase through contacting my email jvander51@msn.com or phone (408) 460-7237.  Thank you!