Same place, same time of day, this is now:
This was me, a mere 10 days ago, taking a photo that I forgot to load onto last week’s blog post:
Ahhhhhh…. Good book, warm Fall sunshine, nice knot garden on view, and a big fat G&T in the thermos.
It’s been raining for four days (see now pic, above). I haven’t seen the sun for four days. The only bright spot has been re-reading Big Magic:
Throw away any book, video, or blog by any other “creativity” counsellor, particularly if that “creativity” counsellor is famous only for being married to Martin Scorcese for 5 minutes. This is the only How To advise you will need.
Elizabeth Gilbert cows what she’s talking about when she talks about creativity — she’s the author of Eat Pray Love (and she blurbed my book, Le Road Trip, so you know she has impeccable taste), not to mention Pilgrims (her first book, from 1997, awarded the Pushcart Prize and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award), Stern Men (selected by the New York Times as one of their favorite books of 2000), The Last American Man (a nominee for the National Book Award), Coyote Ugly (made into a Hollywood movie), and the historical novel The Signature of All Things.
Liz Gilbert lives a creative life and she gets things done. That’s why you can take her advise all the way to the bank (the Bank of Artful Living, that is).
Now, fear (as in the subtitle, covered in her chapter on Courage) is not my thing per se, but I found her chapters on Enchantment, Persistence, and Trust to be re-re-re-readble. When I went to hear Liz speak at Word Books in Jersey City on Oct. 29th:
…and was chatting with a few ladies in the audience as we tried to keep our nerves calm for when Liz appeared on stage, I know that there are people who also love her chapters on Permission and Divinity too.
By the way, the line of ladies waiting to get into the event (reservations necessary) went down the block:
I hope Big Magic puts all self-proclaimed (but resume-challenged) “creative” counselors out of business.
Speaking of enlightenment, I realized that it’s been a while since I painted something enlightening in this space; I haven’t painted “light” like this:
Since I painted this:
in a blog post I called Painting August.
So let’s call this:
Painting October. And let’s make it a Triscuit!
I’m laying down a yellow base to use as the light that is going to peek thru the foliage:
And some bleeds of light brown and burnt sienna for the dead leaves on the foot path:
Now, the foreground tree:
Whenever I paint foliage, no matter what color it is, I dab at the paper with the tip of y brush, whether it’s a size 00 or a 10. But I take care to make sure that my dabs vary in size — it’s very important to make the blobs in different shapes to avoid the dreaded Seurat effect:
So let’s carry on:
Time to add shadows:
I can see that I need to make the shadows as dark as the tree bark here…
…so I’ll do a fix and add more darker shadows:
Now I pant in all those itty bitty background trunks:
For the finishing foliage I’m loading up my little brush with green to add to the blob of black/brown that I used for the shadows:
The trick to this silhouetted foliage is to paint it in an interesting form that frames the rest of the picture:
Like this, but not quite:
I think it needs just a little bit of booster material:
And here’s my finished tid bit:
I liked this view of October so much that I decided to try it out in a quadruple-Triscuit sized mural!
And we’ll see how that turns out next week!