Sunday, September 21, 2014

you can't run and you can't hide. Mission; drink tea and watch the world go by, if you can afford it.

This week i worked... on........ i have no idea.  Seems like i'm hitting alot of walls.

I worked some more on the Venice painting... got stuck.

Went to a show at California Museum of Fine Art in Torrance.  Great show there called  'Reallism without Borders'.

Some comp studies for new pieces... i know there is an easier way to do this... hum. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm. Hummmmmmmmm.

I worked on some smaller comps. The second one is very clearly rushed because i'm getting more stressed about the whole 'no income' thing.  Time to start a portfolio. Seriously.

Some plein air...   here is one piece.  I ran out of tape so the edges don't look as nice.

 Kinda stressing about the digital portfolio i haven't been working on since my professional fine art portfolio still owns the pedestool... but uh. Gotta work on that today. (watch me not work on it today... but seriously... i'm going to right now.)

I suppose it would be beneficial to elaborate on why i have chosen this as my next profession to make ends meet.  What i've been doing so far is modeling and taking on prototype painting projects.  Modeling would take up too much time to break even and my prototype painting gigs are drying up.   Teaching and tutoring pays about the same as modeling and i would have to develop a whole new lesson plan and adapt to a very different job.  Not easy.  I could drown even further in the business of fineart but the market for me specially as a beginner is too unstable, i don't think it would financially hold me up.  So in the past i've done some digital painting and used computers... i've gotten to know people in the business and it pays well.  If i can land very few freelance jobs i could survive.   I'm gonna try to do that, survival sounds good.  I'm currently surviving off financial responsibility, when i was getting more jobs i saved the money knowing that freelance fluctuates.

Well, back on the road of this weeks review, this week was the last week some buddies of mine and i were holding a drawing session.  It takes place at CAI, so since it's closing... here is my drawing in progress. Meghan is modeling, she's great.
I'm building a new drawing board... which is kinda cool. It's big, and exciting looking. I got the idea from a friend who took a workshop with Iliya Mirochnik at LAAFA.  I'll show progress photos, just got around to buying the materials for it this week. 

Artist retrospective this week; Francisco Goya. 1746-1828.  Spanish.

Goya lived through the Peninsular War which was brutal.  War is never clean and everyone gets their hands dirty with some of the worst traits the human race has acquired.  Goya experienced this first hand and was witness to many other unflattering social customs and built an intense body of work based on his critical truths.
Check out his etchings.

Goya, 'Self Portrait', 1815,  20"x18", Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, Spain.

Goya - Caprichos - No. 43, 'El sueƱo de la razon produce monstruos', c.1799, Museo del Prado.

Goya-  'The third of May, 1808', 1814, 106"x137", Museo del Prado.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

mind your head

 Searching for a mentor is difficult. How do you find one? Do you go fishing? Craigslist?  Stalking? Wage war?  No.  No no no.

First, i think it's important to consider your personal skill level.  Before you get a mentor you should be fairly consistent in your output and have some knowledge of proportion, value, anatomy, execution etc, so that you don't waste much time going over basics.  You should also be dedicated and patient.  Art is not a thing that becomes overnight, it's a thing to nurture throughout a lifetime.

In my search for prospect mentors i search for an artist i admire in terms of the art they create and if they understand the concepts/aesthetics i'm interested in. They will know essential academic principles and as well as the ropes of the business of art.  They need to be genuine and there should be mutual respect between pupil and teacher.  If they come at you with a paddle, that's not the way to go.

Lastly, i think the dynamic between two people needs to be put into consideration.  Is communication a cause of stress or does it come easily, are you comfortable asking questions?  How do they critique your work? Are they honest, open and do they guide you in a direction you want to go? Let them teach, be willing to learn.  Does it make sense?  Is there mutual respect?

I'll admit that the concept of a mentor is abit intimidating. The idea of someone helping you with what is the most important aspect of your life.... It is, your life, and someone who just, guides you is... remarkable. I know there is a trade there, but it's not based on your standard currency exchange, and again... being an artist is your soul.  (Spread cheese all over toast here)

I'll also mention the issue with being a female in this field is that at times people will offer a hand of help expecting to sleep with you.  I've had potential models offer the same exchange in not so many words.  Uh... they did not model for me and i walked out on people who offered to help with my education who had other ideas in mind.

So... what's next? I figured out who i would like to study with.
Hummm. Well. I'm sure there are alot better answers to this then the one i'm about to post here but.. this is what i'm doing.  I have a friend who studies with one potential mentor, this person will mention the issue.  The seed. They will have time to consider.  I will seek to see this individual in person, whether that be in a show or through cold calling to stop by their studio.  I'll probably see if they can check out some paintings i've been working on first, then if all goes well see if they can help me out further.  The idea of asking someone point blank 'will you be my mentor' just sounds... weird. The essential idea is to see them in person and ask if they would be willing to help you out or suggest a trade of sorts (in my case, modeling.. or cleaning brushes or whatever, some people have other skill they can use to trade).   If you do manage to land a mentor, work hard for them and listen to them.  That's why you're there.  Remember to shower.

So, this week;
Worked some more on the two larger paintings of mine. Not done with them but i don't know where to take them.  Started another one this week. Going to do some smaller studies as well, started sketching for those, they are figures in the environment.  In my sketching i usually like to focus on construction and anatomy. Make sure i have everything down since i'm still a newbie and all practice is golden.  I start focusing more on shape, light and simplification as they develop into paintings.

On a side note, I model for most of my paintings.  That's because to me i'm a free model, and i just happen to be everywhere i am and am willing.  So i'll shoot ref photos.  During my trip i was running around with a friend of mine for a little bit and he was around when i was inspired and i got to take photos of him.  Needless to say, it's pretty exciting to have a change of model :).   The painting i'm working on now though is just an instance in time; I was in Venice (Italy), saw something remarkable, and am turning it into a painting.  There have been lots of these instances and i look forward to bringing them to life eventually. Or simply.. working from life.  Anyhow. Life is awesome, high five. 
Five minute sketches i did weds.  I hate that my 5mins are looking the same as my 20 mins.  I need to figure out what to do here.

Plein air from this week;

Now... i'm not sure what to do. I want to work on my venice painting, i'd like to work on a still life, and i want to do a nightscape plein air.  Those all sound amazing.  BUT, i currently have no income.  I'm sending a last painting up north (small) to see if it sells, but my paintings haven't been selling where i'm sending them.  I hope the holidays will bring good fortune.  My next mode of income is to go into digital... so theoretically, i really should work on my digital portfolio tonight so i can start putting it out there and turning a little profit.  Time will tell all things, yet, time is the most useless of them all. 

Were you dying to find out what i ended up doing?  I know, i was too.
I ended up going out and painting.  Probably explains alot.

Time warp; artists in history, Jacques Louis David. Very present during French Revolution. Incredible artwork.

Self Portrait,  25" x 31", Louvre

Death of Marat , 65"x50", 1793,  Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium

The Intervention of Sabine Women, 152" × 206", 1799,  Louvre

Sunday, September 7, 2014

They say, wisdom comes with age... can that be purchased?

Two paintings i intend on finishing this week.  This is where i was painting after i modeled at CAI. Now closing.

So, i'm in a book. This book is featured in a magazine.  This magazine has e-mailed me twice about purchasing a space in their article about the book so that they could advertise me as an artist.

I said no.  To me if I were selected to be in a magazine (article) it would be because of the quality of my work and not because i purchased my way into it.  I know they do it to survive. Just be aware that alot of the art you see advertised in magazines is not there because it's great, it's there because someone has money. (this can be obvious). 

I find myself now searching new jobs.
Things are hard as usual. In my reflection i need a new direction (this rhymed... if i mumbled it it could be a song). Yes i'm still pursuing fine art, on the educational and professional realm, but i'm not making ends meet.  I need to change something in the way i'm doing things dramatically.  I need a mentor.  Is that the answer?  I was considering delving back to doing digital work again.

quick study from life i did last sunday (couple finishing touches monday morn... still life was still up).

plein air studies from tuesday.

rest of the week i've drawn, and worked on the two larger paintings.