Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours

I’ve gotten away from posting music on here since the wee beginnings of Purple Paintbrush, but I couldn’t help it this time! I adore this song and the video itself is a work of art so it still fits with the theme. 🙂 I just had to share. Enjoy!

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To Be on Hard Times, or Hard Pressed for Time?

photo courtesy of becky.sm on Flickr

Artists, how do you do it? Seriously. I might need some tips.

The last 2 weeks have proved to be very difficult for me to squeeze in any time to make anything. Mostly because of the extra hours I’ve been putting in at my job. I’ve come to know 9 to 10 hour days very well lately. Granted, it’s not the worst problem to have because it does pad the pockets with a little extra green. But seriously, it’s those times that I come home from a long, trying day at work 4 – 5 days out of the week that the LAST thing on my mind is getting home and finding the extra push within me to make art – one of my favorite things to do in life. What sounds better than that, you ask? These days, it seems to be:
– Rest/sleep
– A mindless hour of playing video games
– A couple of mindless hours surfing and researching stuff on the internet
– Netflix
– Personal hygiene and upkeep
– Social interaction OFFline (Facebook and Twitter don’t count.)

Before I can even glance over at a canvas, it’s right on back to the 9 to 5 and the cycle continues. Isn’t that sad? The things that have been balancing me out lately have nothing to do with picking up a paintbrush or an Illustrator pen tool.

“Man, say what you want, but that ‘starving artist’ ish is not cute.”

I suppose the argument there could be posed that maybe I just don’t want to do it bad enough. I can see why one would think that. I guess my only defense to that is, hey I’m human. At the same time I also know that sometimes, wanting something “bad enough” and focusing solely that one aspect of life doesn’t mean I’ll always benefit from that kind of drive – the kind of drive that people lose themselves in and neglect families over. There are only so many hours in a day, my situation isn’t that bad, and my body and mind can only take so much. And let’s face it, sometimes a person’s priorities just have to shift – at least in my case it’s only temporary. I know I’ll regain momentum again soon enough. Maybe these things sound like excuses, I don’t know. I guess that doesn’t make me a “true” artist then. Honestly if I could, I’d say nuts to this 9 to 5 crap, drop everything and just throw myself into figuring out how to profit as a painter…straight up. During the periods of burnout like I’m experiencing right now is when I feel that urge the most! Then there’d really be no excuse because I’d HAVE to make art my life. That sure sounds noble, but is it really THAT easy? Is that a realistic type of life anymore? Or have I been fed the wrong images of making a living as an artist? (see above)

I live in one of the most expensive areas to live in the country, and I’m not the type of person that has vast amounts of Luck paving my path. Man, say what you want, but that “starving artist” ish is not cute. Even having said that I STILL would do it if I could, because I know I’d still be able to achieve a certain level of happiness. Unfortunately I have to be realistic and continue to figure out a less extreme route. Too long of doing the “noble thing” with no way to take care of myself and unable to continue doing the very thing I gave up everything for would certainly have me yearning for 50 hour work weeks and W-2 forms again. I’m just sayin…

At the end of the day, I just seek balance. That’s all. Painting is important to me, but like all other things in my life I won’t die if I can’t get to it all of the time. I notice the void, but production always picks back up eventually. Thank God for this blog and the accessibility of it. I think this platform is probably the loophole to my creative stalls. It’s a way for me to stay connected to that part of myself and maintain an outlet for expression – which now that I think about it, is probably the root of what I need anyway. Maybe as long as I find SOME way to do that in the midst of it everything else, I’m not losing as much as it may seem.

Your thoughts? Can you relate to this at all? Please enlighten me! What do you do when your passion has to take the passenger’s seat? (Or in some cases, the backseat?) Are you waking up in cold sweats in the middle of the night over it, or is it not as deep to you? Are full-time artists really starving and broke?

Took a Breather

Been on a bit of a break this week with the memorial day holiday, overtime at work, and just catching up with myself in general. Sorry I was MIA! But I’m ready to get back on track with the regularly scheduled program.

In other news, someone has a birthday coming up tomorrow…

I Love Google Art Project

On the home page Art Project features a work of art and a “magnifying glass” that shows details as you drag the image around the screen.

I know that this has been out for a while,  but have you looked at this yet??!

For those that don’t know, Google Art Project is basically a library of selected pieces from different collections in various art galleries around the world. Google has succeeded in omitting the middle man of travel costs and language barriers, and is bringing the art straight to you through your computer. What hasn’t Google been able to do?!

The pictures are in an extremely high resolution, so what you’ll view is almost as good as seeing the pieces in person. The zoom function allows you to get up close and personal with the artwork as many times as you want. Goodbye awkwardly positioned gallery guards and embarrassing proximity alarms! This makes me particularly happy because I love looking at the different textures and brushstrokes in a painting, forever curious how some artists arrange broken color on a canvas to create an image.

I’ve only been through a couple of the galleries featured, but all that I’ve seen so far has been a lot of older sculptures and paintings. Not too many abstract or contemporary pieces, at least not that I can tell yet. I’ve been passing some of my extra minutes at work by surfing through. Not everything’s worth gasping at. I think what I like most is the accessibility and the image quality – it’s seriously legit!

I did a search for Rembrandt, an old master of the art of the portrait

Sunday Night Sugah

After work today I was supposed to be preparing a wood palette. Half a bag of sour gummi worms later, all that ended up happening was continual play of my Soundcloud playlist and the baddest-ass solo dance party this side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. No actual footage was captured, but trust me it was epic. Here are some pics and I found some cool gifs to illustrate some of what went down.

“H” to tha “ell yeah”…

A close-up/preview of what I’m painting next.

The Culprit

What I was SUPPOSED to be doing.

There was some of this…

A little bit of this…

…and you KNOW there was a lot of this! (minus the chick of course)

After all that, I realized that I didn’t even have the right stuff to seal my palette with anyway…oh well!

The moral of the story is: If you want to be productive, don’t impulse buy a pack of delicious gummi worms while running an errand for your mom…at least, that’s what I learned. I’m open to hearing any other ideas.

The Beauty of It All

Photo courtesy of CSM Art and Frame

The “Beauty” theme day during last week’s celebration of Salvador Dali inspired me to share a bit of my personal view on what makes a certain piece of art beautiful. I have to preface this by saying that this is just my own opinion, and not really a cornerstone on how one should view works of art. It’s too subjective of a topic to have any hard/fast rules telling people how to look and what to see when viewing a piece of work. That takes the fun out of it! But if you’re reading this as someone that’s just curious about another person’s viewpoint, then I gladly invite you to read on.

Compared to others that I’ve talked to, I think my taste is definitely on the simpler side and more traditional. As far as subject matter, what makes a piece beautiful to me is whether or not it seems to speak from the heart. I tend to gravitate towards work that tries to connect with something deeper within the artist, and is expressed in a way that allows the majority of viewers to feel a certain impact. Is the artist’s motivation more isolating and self-indulgent, or is the intention to present a vision of a concept that is supposed connect with the viewers? Those are just a couple of questions that I ask myself when viewing a piece. If there’s a story behind it, I’d like to be able to at least get a close guess as to what the artist is trying to convey instead of feeling like I’m just looking at an inside joke. It’s hard for me to connect with something so mysterious that I’d need to carry around an art history book just to stand a chance at possibly partially understanding the intent of the artist. I can still appreciate the effort of something that I don’t understand, but I may not feel inspired by it. I love figurative pieces (work that has a person or more as the focus), and work with strong symbolism.

Visually, I love color. Intentionally or unintentionally good use of color – expressive (abstract) and representational (realism). I think those who are able to do this well show an incredible amount of skill, patience, and thought. I love paintings with obvious brushwork, and texture. It’s amazing when an artist can render a subject with such detail and realism, but personally I also think there is much beauty in being able to simplify or suggest it. Reading what I just typed, one of my favorite painters, Vincent van Gogh, comes to mind:

A Pair of Shoes – Vincent van Gogh. 1886

This is just a quick overview of what draws me into a specific piece of work. I could really go on and on! For those who have no idea how to explain why they like a piece of art, next time just pay attention to what it is that grabs you and let it linger. Maybe it’s the size of the piece, or the subject? Maybe it reminds you of a certain era of time that you love, or your childhood? Think about any sudden emotions within you that may come to the forefront when viewing the piece. I may want to understand what the artist was trying to do, but who says YOU really have to understand the true intent or message of the artist? I think what really matters is how each individual responds to the piece. At least being able to identify what you like and why already gives you entry into a dialogue about art, then you can learn more details from there. That’s also what I think is the beauty of art – the fact that any one piece can mean so many different things depending on who views it. The experience can start a conversation between people who were once strangers, but now they’ve been brought together through an unseen person who dared to put themselves on display. I know this all sounds so corny, but I do see a certain beauty in how art can bring people together.

And that’s something I will never get tired of seeing.

When the Bed Keeps Calling You

I had to miss my painting class last week, so that why I didn’t have any follow-up pictures lately. I’m getting ready to go to class this morning, and I have to admit, I’m dragging! Not because I don’t want to go, but because I’m just tired in general from working a lot of longer hours at my 9 to 5 for the last month and a half (and counting). Right about here is where I usually give myself an excuse to punk out, and not do anything at all. But I’m going to push through it, get up, put on some scrappy clothes to paint in, and continue on.

How do I do that when clearly I would rather spend more blissful hours in my bed? I defer back to my main motivation for doing this: to do good work and get better, so I can then do good work for others.  That desire has to be the priority for me, at least stronger than staying in bed for 3 or 4 more hours on a Saturday morning (which probably would’ve been followed by more excuses to not do anything art related).

I share this string of thought, in hopes that you may think about what your motivations are at your core – it doesn’t even have to be art-related, sometimes we have to check in with what motivates us in life! Are you driven by something that you hold near and dear to yourself, or do you mostly make up excuses and let others influence you? What will you sacrifice for that personal creed? Do you even know what’s truly important to you? Either way, I’m in the struggle with you. This post is as much for myself as it is for the person who’s been meaning to start that project they’ve been wanting to get around to for so long. The bed will still be there when you’re done!