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Showing posts from December, 2015

Embracing failure, starting again

For Christmas, my husband gave me the set of Andrew Davies' film adaptation of  Little Dorrit .  I have never read the lengthy book by Charles Dickens. But I love the BBC version, starring Claire Foy, Matthew McFayden, Andy Serkis, and a large and excellent supporting cast. In this work, Charles Dickens spun a complex tale of interwoven lives affected by the rise and fall of their financial situations.  Dickens indicted such contemporary subjects as English bankruptcy law and debtors prisons as well as ancient themes like greed , waste, and contempt for the plight of the helpless.  The author's own father spent a brief time in the Marshalsea debtors prison described so aptly in the book.  The experience haunted him for the rest of his life. Toward the end of the story, a protagonist, Arthur Clennam, finds himself in the Marshalsea .  As the chief financial officer of a partnership, he has invested everything in a Ponzi scheme that collapses.  Clennam hates himself

Latest sketches + art books

Just a few sketches from the last week or so.  I created these while listening to two art books on Audible. The first book I've been listening to is The Art Thief  by Noah Charney . Each chapter seems to introduce a ceaseless new series of characters.  At first, I found the book rather entertaining.  However, I had to give up this novel after a couple of train wrecks in descriptive word choice. Next, I chose Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger by Ken Perenyi.  This story is true, and Ken Perenyi still paints and sells exquisite (and genuine) works in Florida.   This book is an interesting study in getting to know people who can have a major influence over your life and your career.  I would love to visit Perenyi's gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida.  To find out more about his work, check out the book or read this article from The New York Times . Merry Christmas!

Kandinsky-inspired student project on Skillshare

I am one proud teacher today because one of my students has completed her first-ever Kandinsky-inspired painting in my Skillshare class .  Here is Aura's painting: She came up with her own ideas about pairing colors and shapes.  My favorite part of her painting is the left side, in the middle of the paper.  It looks like there is an abstract girl with glasses and pigtails peeking out from behind the shapes. I am encouraging my students to put their personal touch on the paintings.  Kandinsky had very precise ideas about color and shape theory.  He called circles "dull," and said they should be blue .  He thought more "dynamic" shapes like triangles needed brighter colors like yellow .  This came from his book called Concerning the Spiritual in Art . He also gave his students at the Bauhaus School a test that asked what colors they associated with certain shapes. To learn more about Kandinsky and other artists who taught at the Bauhaus school, check ou

Support Artists in your Holiday Gift-Giving

Every year during the holidays, I purposefully purchase gifts that benefit artists , and I encourage you to do this, too.  My gift recipients appreciate the time and care I took to find something that fits their style, talent or interests.  And I feel good knowing that in a small way, my purchase supported a master artist who brought something beautiful into the world. Let me share my holiday list  of jewelry , children's books , sweets , and cookbooks with you this year. Jewelry I find myself clicking the "heart" button on so many of Silvana Sagan 's gorgeous jewelry creations.  If you have a someone on your list who loves Bohemian or mixed metal looks, then you need to check out her Etsy shop . Children's Picture Books Who doesn't want to sit by the fireplace, curled up with a good book this winter?  My children, who are now 12 and 4, still love to read these richly illustrated books by Laurel Long .  Check out her online portfolio

Letter from Greg the Virtuous

This is possibly the best art collector/artist correspondence ever. As y'all know, I produce a series for Artomat called Little Inspirations . A keen art collector, Greg from Vancouver, happened to purchase one of these little gems in Hawaii. After Thanksgiving, he was kind enough to send me a note. (You can enlarge the emails below by clicking on them.) Greg also sent pictures of the particular Little Inspiration that he purchased: Here it is, prominently displayed in his home. And here, it is displayed alongside his bed, possibly to bring him the joy of reclaimed virtue, fresh each morning. This letter was amazing, and I really appreciated the fact that Greg was connecting with the art on a deeper level. Here is my response to Greg below. It is entirely possible that next, Greg the Virtuous responded to me with details of how he originally lost his virtue, but I must defer to the Ann Landers in all of us and draw the curtain at this