Sunday, November 28, 2010

—departing president of eBay Marketplace
holding my commissioned painting of her. I accepted this last minute commission
just before heading to Vegas for the
International Society of Caricature Artists convention.
I knew that if I did, I would have to spend most of my drawing time
at the Convention on it because it needed to be shipped on the last day of the con.
However, I was so excited to be asked to do one for this kind of special occasion,
so I said yes.

The process...
I started with paint and collaging eBay news articles
about her into the background of the painting.

(photo by Beejay Hawn)

Then, since I was provided with lots of great stories and inside jokes about Lorrie, the drawing part was so much fun to just let those ideas evolve into visual form.
On Friday, just hours before I needed to ship it to San Jose,
I suddenly realized that I needed a colour eBay logo to collage into it
and want to thank Dan Springer for trying to get one to print, to Tracey Iverson for suggesting the packed ISCA printer and Robert Bauer and
Lorin Bernsen for letting me interupt them and for helping me.

Here is a photo of the final painting...
(Photo by Tad Barney)
Also a big thank you to my two amazing ISCA roomates Tad and Mike,
for letting me make as much of a creative mess in our room as I needed to, and for not complaining about it...:)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Perfection, Flaws and the development of a New Perspective(photo of the low winter sun outside the door of my studio at 2:30 this afternoon)

It’s really warm today. -2 C. Of course that assessment is based purely on looking at it from the right perspective. After having endured the past week of -20 C to -40 C temperatures, today is perfectly balmy. A month ago, this would have felt brutally cold, but now it comes as a HUGE relief to walk outside and not instantly feel the sharp teeth of cold, grab hold of your hands and chew them till they hurt.

I was tutoring a student in caricature yesterday and had a discussion with him about exaggerating the "flaws" (his word) that people have. In that conversation I realized, after 26 years of being a professional caricature artist, I don't view the face that way at all. I see facial features from a completely different perspective. I LOVE faces that deviate from the "norm" and would never consider those features "flaws" at all. The more unique the features are, the more I like to draw their face.

This led me to think about what we consider are perfections and flaws when it comes to our personalities. Everyday there are plenty of opportunities for us to get acquainted with what we lack in ourselves and the way those things affect our lives.

I have spent over 40 years trying to make peace with my own “imperfections”.

Then suddenly today, from a different view point, I caught a glimpse of something I hadn't seen before.....the thought that perhaps its the emptiness created by what I lack,
that allows a place for my unique qualities to grow.

On this day, where many people all over the US are thinking of what they are thankful for, I am thankful for new perspectives and this beautifully warm day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A life built on
passion, procrastination, last minute panic

and the desire to be distracted.....

I ALWAYS have a long list of things to be done....
drawing/painting related, kid related and life related.
Up until yesterday,
I thought that I always felt behind
and was struggling to keep up with that list
because I had 3 children and so many other life responsibilities.

I was wrong.
Its because of me.

Oh, how I would love to just get up every morning
and start attacking that long list in its chronological order,
but I can't.

Instead, I realized that I approach the day
(AFTER I have dealt with any immediate,
demanding or extremely important things)
with an inescapable craving
to follow what interests or moves me
and to spend time with what or who distracts me,
because that must be the real direction
that I need to go in life.

I have always been this way.

Living this way often does make it extremely difficult
to get "real things on the list" done, and I have struggled with that my whole life.
So, to figure out more, I analyzed how DO I manage to get those things done and
I discovered there are 4 ways that I get things in my life accomplished:

1). By a complete, passionate, creative submergence initiated by a STRONG need to express something.

2). By last minute panic.

3). By having something so enjoyably distracting going on while I am doing what needs to be done that I manage to get it done without even thinking.

4). By a spiraling cycle of repetitive and predictable procrastination, or in other words, there are things needing to get done that I want to do even less than others, so I get the most appealing things done first, purely out of avoidance of the less appealing ones.

I am sure that I will uncover more about this whole process
over the next few days
but right now, I have a bit of last minute panic going on
and REALLY NEED to get some drawing done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets,
how much the heart can hold.

~Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Repression is not the way to virtue.
When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished.
Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.
~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Distracted by a new kind of Silence
I have been back from the ISCA caricature convention for 3 days now and something in my studio has changed. The silence is different. It used to be rich, embracing and promising. Its presence would happily greet me at the door each morning with a cup of introspection in hand, and welcome me to another day of artistic expression.

Suddenly, however, there is a hollowness and an echo in it that I have never heard before.

For the past week I have been drawing and painting with other artists almost 24 hours a day, and the companionship was inspiring and energizing. I was afraid of being really distracted there but instead, this year, I actually found myself more focused precisely because of that energy around me.

Now, I am struggling to re-adjust to the absence of inspiration close enough to caress. Apparently the silence and I have some making up to do.