Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Many Changes

"Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist."
                                                                                                               ~ Anthony Burgess

One Liberty Place in Center City, Philadelphia

I've been having trouble sleeping lately because my brain won't shut off. I go through my bedtime routine, and when I close my eyes my body wants to sleep, but my mind is merrily chattering away. So many ideas, questions, new things to think about.

I had hinted at some new developments a few posts ago. Well, I'm in the midst of them now. If you didn't recognize the photo of the city building in that post, it was the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. I'm taking classes having my mind blown there. I've gone from someone who always claimed, "I don't paint people" to painting live models, from an artist who has never touched oil paints to one who loves oil paints, from a devotee of natural history subjects to someone who sees a potential painting in everything; animate or inanimate. No wonder I can't sleep!

The early stages of my first painting of a person. It's actually looking reasonably human-like!

I'm also working on building a new portfolio website to replace my woefully outdated one. It's a one step forward and three steps back process, but when I finally get something to work the way I want, the sense of accomplishment is enormous (as is the sense of frustration moments later when something else fails miserably). My portfolio is exclusively natural history-related, however I find myself wondering how that will evolve with all these new influences.

My tireless brain has also been thinking about whether "Inner Artist" really fits me anymore. A lot has changed since I started this blog back in 2006. I regularly teach art classes and workshops now, I sell note cards of my work locally (and am considering the Zazzle or Etsy route in the future) and I'm immersed in artistic development more than ever.  So I'm on the fence about whether to continue with "Inner Artist" or update my blog to reflect the artist I am now.

Lest you think I've suddenly gone completely off nature, I will end this post with a bird photo. Every morning I am delighted by this catbird who serenades me at my father-in-law's place, where we're staying for the summer. I hope to post some photos of ruby-throated hummingbirds for you soon, as we put up a feeder and had hummers within two days.

The next American Idol


Ken Januski said...

Now how did I miss that familiar building in your earlier post? I guess I went straight to the one below it and didn't even notice a building I should have recognized.

Your painting looks good - strong and confident. More importantly I think it looks expansive rather than cramped. Sorry to hear about the lack of sleep but it looks like it's more than made up for by all the excitement. It reminds me of my UC Berkeley days centuries ago - a time that still stays with me as inspiration, though I don't work in anywhere near the same style now. In any case I have the feeling this may be just as exciting and important for you.

Good luck with it. Perhaps we'll run into one another birding one of these days, though I'm just as likely to be looking for dragonflies with the warmer weather.

Gabrielle said...

I knew you would recognize the PAFA building, Ken. It's been an amazing experience there so far.

I've been seeing some amazing dragonflies around, so enjoy your Anisoptera-watching. I'll keep an eye out for you along the Wissahickon.

Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabrielle,

Yes I don't know how I missed the PAFA building in your earlier post. Though I've known a few people that were students at PAFA my art education occurred elsewhere so the institution itself is a bit foreign to me unlike so many Philadelphia artists I think who have had some association with it.

In any case I think it's great that you're enjoying it so much!

Yesterday we came across both male and female Halloween Pennants. I take it that they're not all that rare but they sure are striking. We recently bought some inexpensive binoculars just for dragonflies, butterflies and other close subjects. They're really a pleasure to use, until of course you try to change focus to the distant hawk!