I started this art blog* to put all of my notes from art school online in one place — mostly for my own convenience, but if anyone else benefits from my clumsily compiled notes (often with no real date), that’s good, too.
I’ve back-dated these posts, back to the beginning of when I started my first art blog, with a range (so far) from 3/20/05 – 4/20/05.
If I find more, I’ll add them on with back dates in 2005 as well.
*Note: referring to ArtNotes, which has been combined with my first art blog, which together have now been combined with my website.
It’s been 3 years since I left art school. I’ve been painting and drawing nightly for a while — it’s amazing how I’m starting to really ‘get’ some of the things I heard in art school, but somehow didn’t make it all the way through from my ears and eyes to my brain to my hands and brushes.
It was such an immersive and exciting experience to be in art school in Chicago, always doing, thinking, breathing, reading, seeing, smelling, tasting art, and always surrounded by others like me. At times it seemed like I was experiencing a sensory overload – I was like a kid in a candy store – there was so much I wanted to do and see – so much I DID do and see – our museum (hundreds of times), other museums, galleries, artist talks (like Ross Blechner and John Cage), school art openings and art openings in galleries, participating in some art shows, art camp at Oxbow, watching the beautiful iron-pour from the roof of the painting studio there, the sunset over Lake Michigan just like the painting we had seen in a slide just days before, parties, cheap dinners at great ethnic restaurants, a few nights out on the town, listening to great Chicago Blues, the occasional movie, the zoo, free music at Grant Park, riding my bike along Lake Michigan, riding the El, sliding on ice, trying to drive through snow. Getting in touch with the language and culture of my ancestors (which is so easy to do in Chicago, and so hard to do in Texas); having gobs of friends of so many ages from all over the world.
Lessons Learned (Belatedly)
With all that going on, plus full-time classes and part-time working, it’s great to discover years later that somehow the lessons I kind of missed then were planted somewhere inside that didn’t manage to get lost.
Simplify! Simplify shapes, strokes, colors.
Use any color you want for anything – experiment, see how far you can go — it’s your little painted world, after all. Why be constrained by the colors of reality? OR, why not aim for the colors of reality, if that puts lead in your pencil, so to speak.
Enjoy what you do…don’t let it get tedious, don’t have shoulds or should-nots (hmmm, is that a ‘should-not?’); explore, discover, expand, have a blast! Allow yourself to be filled with the excitement of enjoying and immersing yourself in the process and the moment…get lost in your creations…
Class notes, from Advanced Drawing Studio with Barbara Rossi, SAIC, 1991
“The creative process lies not in imitating, but in paralleling nature—translating the impulse received from nature into the medium of expression, thus vitalizing this medium. The picture should be alive, the statue should be alive and every work of art should be alive.”
– Hans Hoffman
Think about forms of nature that excite you: creatures, clouds, rocks, wood, trees, bones, water, fog.
Make lots of drawings of abstracted form merging with the landscape.