Monday, September 16, 2013

eye candy (the importance of taking pleasure in natural beauty)

I found this delicious little creature on my fig tree.  My dog, in overenthusiastic jealousy, knocked it off with her tail, but it managed to fly over to another plant.  It's sort of like a giant ladybug, but without the spots and with a color much more vibrant.

I take enormous amounts of pleasure in looking at living things that have naturally bright or deep colors, so this was, what I would consider eye candy.  If you don't know how to break off moments out of your dreary day to take pleasure in the things around you, then I strongly encourage you to do so!  Go for a walk, and let yourself be filled with beauty.  If you live in a city, then go to a park, or for a drive.  This cookie cutter design of life that everyone expects us to lead is far too dull to be fulfilling or nourishing.  Nourish yourself.

look at that shade of red! 

preparing to take flight

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Art Rut

Stuck in an art rut?  Do you hate most of the art/music/writing/cooking/crafting/sewing that you do?  Fret not my artsy friends, the first few years of your career or non-career as an artist are supposed to suck monster balls.  Its true, because Ira Glass said so.

Lets be honest, we oftentimes expect great things from ourselves with little to no practice.  We are lazy and childish in our artistic habits.  We dream of creating amazing works of art, but when we first begin an art form we tend to be sort of...well, terrible at it.  When my sister in law started dancing a few years ago, I'm certain she moved about like a clumsy ogre.  Now she moves with the grace and fluidity of a hummingbird.  The first time I made Alfredo sauce it was a wretched clumpy mess of cheese and liquid.  Now, after lots of practice, I'm a great cook.  When a friend of mine first started painting, her techniques left something to be desired.  Now she has grown substantially in her non-career as a painter.

What I'm trying to say is, don't beat yourself up for being mediocre, and don't let it drag you down!  Do lots of boring technical practice to hone your skills and you will eventually turn out exceptional work.  Don't only paint things that you want to paint, paint things that you think will help you improve, like still life paintings (I am anticipating your angry sighs, still life is the bane of our existences).  Or if you sing, practice your vaccai and scales every day.  If you are a cook, repeat a recipe with your personal changes until the recipe is amazing.  Second to practicing, you must have patience and be understanding enough that eventually (if you keep practicing), you will be great at whatever you do.

Don't let your dreams of greatness weigh down on your expectations, instead let them power you forward like a goal for the future.  Good luck!