Tag Archives: creativity

Bricks

A little background info….

I’ve been away for a while, in case you haven’t noticed. I needed some time to reflect, think about where I’ve been, where I’m going and most importantly, where I am.

And it all comes down to bricks…well, sort of.

When I first really got going working in colored pencil, I lived in Greenwich, CT. Somehow, and for what reason I can’t figure out, I became drawn to drawing (Ha) buildings with bricks. I sweated tears over each individual rectangle, making sure it was perfect.

Then I landed quite happily but totally unexpectedly in Manhattan. Again, loads and loads of bricks to be drawn! I still was sweating over each and every single detail.

 

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So, then due to circumstances which are beyond explaining.  I landed in Queens, a little community called Sunnyside.  And much to my delight, I found bricks!  By now, I was taking those little rectangles in stride.

GUARDIANS, BY ROXANNE BALDWIN

Then after 20 years of ups and downs and all arounds in NYC, I ended up back in Connecticut in a small city called Danbury.  It’s as a large of a city as I want to deal with for a while.

And whaddya think I found there?  My first picture there, bricks.

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And bricks and cats.

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After this much needed break, guess what I start with?

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And a familiar door.  Yes, I know it’s October, I started this pic in May.

An Idea that Didn’t Make the Cut

Or if you’d rather..an idea that crashed and burned.

It was to be entitled, “One Person’s Trash”.

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I saw it sitting, discarded, by the side of the road.  I found it to be cute and interesting. Obviously, someone”s daughter outgrew it.  So far, so good.

But then I started thinking about that little girl, and myself as a little girl.  Also, all the other little girls who fantasized themselves to be princesses, and ended up sadly having to accept that real life is full of disappointments.

I’m sure that goes for little boys, too, and their fantasies.

So, the idea got to be kind of sad…and not what I had intended to portray.

So, back to a theme that gives me sublime joy, the various textures and colors of summer trees.  Like this picture, from long ago:

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Everything is on hold for the time being…had to order paper.  It is promised to be here by August 19, so stay tuned.

I Wanted to Sell Out!

But no one was buying. (Warning: Bad art displayed, here)

I always wanted to make a living with my art.  At first, I wanted to design posters.  I assumed that if a subject appealed to me, then it would appeal to other people.  However, I think most artists create with that in mind.

I’ve been given many suggestions by well-meaning people for making money with my art.  Design tatoos?  Most of the work suggested would really make me hate doing artwork. (Note: if you like tatoos, I don’t see anything wrong with it, they’re just not me).

So off I went on a journey to make money with my art.  My first try was portraiture, which I’m still willing to do.  It’s just hard to find enough clients with so much competition.

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I should mention the woman in this portrait was 110 years old at the time.

Then I had a great idea of doing very small pictures that I could do quickly, and sell for cheap.  Limited success there.  Here’s one that actually sold:

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Then the whole ACEO (Art cards editions and originals).  These are cards that are

2/12 inches by 3 1/2.  Many people collect them, and some artists are very successful with this.  A popular theme is cats.  I thought, I like cats!,and did my best.

I was a little bored with the subject matter, and could not compete with the ones who really could do cats very well.  Here is my sad try:

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Also, landmarks on ACEO’s seem to work.  However, I didn’t have the patience to do good drawing of NYC.

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So,now I’m back where I started from….doing pictures I like, and hoping to earn money from them on hold.  But not given up, as I learn more about marketing.

Hopefully, my meandering career will be of some help to young creative people out there.  Some will tell you “art is a product”, but in my experience, how you feel about what you’re doing affects the quality of the product you’re producing…..and bad products don’t sell.

Okay, back to work!

Help Wanted: An Inventor

For sometime, I’ve been looking for the perfect art supply.  It can take images in my mind, project them directly from my eyes, and develop the picture on the paper, with absolutely no handiwork from me.  If you can come up with it, I guarantee you’ll make a fortune.

But since that doesn’t exist at the moment, I drag my way doing hand drawing.

On this piece, I’m going to be taking it slow.  Remember, I’m throwing out the rules on this one.  Remember what happened last time I took a risk?  Right, disaster.

So, easy does it.  Or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, here’s the beginning of “Construction”.  I’m starting with a detail and working outwards:

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Art Career and the Day Job

Sometimes, at work, I feel like shouting “Quick!  Go back to school and become an accountant before it’s too late!”

 

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No, I lie.  I spent many years trying to come to terms with working a menial job, when I wanted to be an artist.  Spent many years in frustration, thinking, “I’m better than this”.

But the truth is, for anyone in creative fields, unless you’re really lucky, you’re going to have to deal with the Day Job.

It’s all in attitude.  You can use the experience to give you ideas for your art

Or you can look at it as a form of art in and of itself.

 

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You can do things well, and take pride in your work no matter what you do.  You can relate to other workers, and make their days happy.  And so on.

Sometime ago, I came up with the idea that your life is your greatest creation.  If you’re the new-agey type, you can think of all the positive work you’re doing as creating an aura of beauty around you.   If you’re not new-agey, at least you can see your life as the memories you will create of you for other people.

So, in a little while, I’ll be going into work and selling pastries.  But I’ll be having the time of my life doing it.

 

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Where’s my Mauve pencil?

No one will ever accuse me of being a neat freak.  Messiness seems to run in the family.  Here’s a photo of my studio.

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Somehow, the disorganization hasn’t kept me from efficiently doing art…in fact, I think it helps.  I’ve seen studios where the colored pencils are meticulously kept in color coordinated containers.  I think it would be very inefficient to have to stop one’s creative train of thought, to think of finding the exact spot where the pencil goes.

I keep the pencils out that I need.  There are not too many, I use a a limited palette in order to create a cohesive color scheme.

Just in general, I think creativity is a messy process.  I know some people plan carefully the work they’re going to do.  The work before the planning has got to be messy, and experimental, or else you’re going to end up with a pretty unimaginative work of art.

Even during the times one is not working, one’s creative mind is not turned off.  Creative thoughts intrude on the most organized thought process. I often see ideas for pictures during my off time from artwork.  It’s not compartmentalized.  Sometimes I use the ideas, sometimes not, but they’re always there.

So, welcome to my studio.  I have a friend who also has a messy place and says, “You came to visit me,not inspect my housekeeping”.  So there you go, I hope you come to see my artwork.

The Comfort Zone, and taking risks

I get the impression that many artists from experience know pretty well what each pencil or brushstroke will do.  They’ve mastered their particular medium, and they can create without too many surprises.

Every so often,in the artist forum, I read about artists talking about the Comfort Zone.  This mastery is what I think they mean by it.  Very little surprise, a perfect drawing or painting every time.

Sometimes I see people advocated to leave the Comfort Zone, take risks, and see the results.  Most of the time people are thrilled with the results.

For me, I don’t think I’ve ever found the Comfort Zone.  I still experiment, and maybe at this stage of my career that’s wrong….I should be working for a more consistent style. Most of the time, anyway, I’m pleased with the results.

However, not being in the Comfort Zone,experimenting and taking risks can also lead to failure.  Learning to accept this is hard, one wants to succeed all the time.

So it is with the large version of “Sunny Chair Paradise”.  I plan to do it over, more consistent with what the small sketch looked like.  As for this piece, I’ve put it aside, to see if I look at it later, I can salvage it, or that I like it better.  For now,it’s a dud, and it’s not worth the effort to photograph it.

Such is life.

Here is an example of another time I took big risks, and wasn’t sure I liked the results. I still don’t know if I do.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s called “Creativity”.

 

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