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Trying to not rush the hard parts.
And the difference 4 years can make.
I recently made a pet portrait for an old friend who has another pet portrait I did 4 years ago of their other cat. Here’s the two portraits:
It’s wild to see skill progression over continued effort. I don’t think that will ever stop amazing me.
Through seeing these two pet portraits side by side, and the initial progress on my current paintings, I’m noticing how I rush through subject matter I’m uncomfortable with. Faces (human or animal) and clouds are both subjects I am less confident in executing. In the early pet portrait I can see my rushed lines and rushed brushstrokes, thinking that if I make the marks quickly my brain doesn’t have to be involved.
But then I get the wrong lines. Uninformed lines.
And same with clouds. This piece from May (below), I painted these clouds QUICK.
I really wanted the clouds in my current canvases (below) to look more developed. So I spent more time looking at the reference, studying the shapes and colors, and patiently working through them in paint. It was uncomfortable as fuck at times, but now I see with that greater attention the clouds look much better.
Is there a life lesson in there? My brain loves to find one. Maybe it’s that rushing through the hard stuff doesn’t mean you’ll escape it. You’ll just miss learning more for the next time.
things worth sharing
VIDEO: What I Saw as a Fake Billionaire is a Vice video about Andi Schmied who pretended to be a billionaire so she could get into the most exclusive real estate in New York City, apartments worth 10 to 85 million. She did this as part of an art project to take photos of the exclusive views of the city from these apartments that almost no one gets to see. At first I was just interested in what she did, but she also makes great points about how these buildings are simply investments and the harm they are doing to the city itself.
QUOTE: “I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me—the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign and recreate myself. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” -Anais Nin
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