Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
How do you make this choice? It depends on the situation and your eventual goal. What makes the difference is how you make the decision. Is it with your heart or with your head? For example, do you feel like buying those shoes or that video game? Or do you need to buy those shoes or that video game? Which are you using first? Your heart or your head?
I have been reading a book written by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Kenneth Hanson called "Secrets of the Lost Bible". I am only on page 12 because it has already stirred me to thinking about how I make decisions and what I can teach my son about making wiser choices.
I will be brief: The letter "M" in Hebrew is "moach" meaning "mind". The letter "L" is "lev" meaning "heart". The word "melech" means king and the word "lemech" means fool. In other words, when you put the letter "M" before the letter "L" you are being wise. But if you put the letter "L" before "M" you are doing something foolish. You can practice this the next time you are thinking about pulling out a credit card. I still think it is okay to sometimes put your heart before your head and buy something because you want to. But you must weigh this against your values and goals. Also, consider if there someone else depending upon you to make the right decision. If you are having trouble deciding please ask a trusted friend or family member for help. And always remember to keep your receipt in case you change your mind or it's broken -- the item, not your head.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Many times I get ideas for a painting or perhaps a series of paintings. This has been going on for me and I have only just this past week begun to fully realize what I will do for my first major series of paintings. It has been an idea for me for the past 1 1/2 years to do paintings of downtown Orlando where I now work. However, this idea has only been simmering in the back of my brain for all this time because it was not ready to be born. I felt this was true and there was no guilt in not starting on my new idea right away! It did not seem appropriate to rush into such a project rashly without a lot of thought and some initial preparation.
Most of the work on any painting or drawing project is done before any paint or pencil touches canvas or paper. You must think through the process first to make sure it will have the best start possible. That is not to say that half-way through you may realize it is going in the wrong direction and not working at all. But that is a topic for another day. For now, the lesson is to realize that running into a situation without thinking first can get one into a lot of trouble. At first things may seem to be okay but watch constantly so you can make appropriate adjustments or corrections.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
How do I begin the process of making a painting? Of course, there is first the idea. Next, I consider what medium would work best for the painting. Sometimes a black and white subject such as a dapple-grey horse is perfect for a charcoal drawing on dark gray paper. You see a picture of "BJ" on the right as an example. I knew as soon as I saw the reference photograph that it would be beautiful just to be done in black and white only.
Sometimes while I am working on one painting or project I start another. This is especially helpful when I get to a tough area and I feel I will never get the painting done right! I do something else for awhile to give myself a break. When I go back to the troublesome project I work through it until it is done.
Because I frequently have several projects going all at one time, I find I usually finish all or most of them at about the same time. Of course, if there is a due date or it is a commission I do not follow this process exactly. Although, I sometimes find it necessary to step away from an intense project for awhile to relax. For example, if I am working on oil portrait I might pull out my watercolors and work on a fun exercise or work on a sketch for a new painting.
That is a part of the process of creativity in any endeavor. Whether you are at work, school or home, it is sometimes a good thing to do something different for awhile and come back to your original work. It gives you a fresher perspective and maybe some good ideas for future projects!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
If you have noticed my only other two major blogs you see I only posted once per year for two years. Maybe I set a record -- should I call Guiness? So where have I been? Well, I started this blog and it was a lot harder to keep up than I thought. For one thing, I didn't feel I had anything to say. Since 2006 I have started teaching at JoAnn Fabric's and Michaels. I teach people how to paint and draw in acrylic, watercolor and pencil. Recently, a student took one of my drawing classes. She told me she had learned a life lesson from my class. Since then it has been boiling in my brain to share these lessons online. I knew I already had a blog set up at Blogspot. I was surprised to find Google had bought them. Fortunately, I already had a Google account so I just had to take some time to reconfigure my old blog account into my new one.
Anyway, back to my original thought... My student told me she had learned a life lesson from my drawing class. I asked her what it was because I was not aware that such a thing was possible -- from me anyway! She had been trying to draw a picture of a buddhist temple from a postcard by starting in one corner of the paper and drawing every single detail in that one area first then moving on across to the next section. But when she found the drawing was growing bigger than the paper and everything was getting out of proportion and perspective she crumpled up the drawing and threw it away in frustration. After taking my class she had learned that one must look at things with a wider perspective and not get stuck first in the details. I also gave her a tip about what to do when a drawing starts to get larger than the paper -- just tape more paper to the paper and keep on going!