What else do I do in my free time? Cryptography. I have books of codes laying around my home and will pick up a copy and try to solve a puzzle if I have a moment. If I have to wait on somebody in the car, I will bring out my book of codes from under the seat and work on them. Nothing crazy hard, although I do like a challenge. Those that include both letters and numbers are my favorites. Especially enjoyable are the ones that take a long time to solve. Why? Because when I do solve them, I can laugh at myself. The quotes I use on my blog are actually simple codes I have solved while having breakfast. I don't use a quote unless it has been a puzzle first. If I am unfamiliar with the author, I will look them up. If intrigued, I will try and locate a book. Never stop learning. Back to my brushes.
"By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character." - Grenville Kleiser
I watched a gem of a movie last night called "My Dog Tulip". It is a story by J. R. Ackerley that is both charming and subtle. If you can locate a copy be sure and watch the extra about the couple that animated the film. The animation is brilliant. Not really part of the story; but it did make me long for the sight of a steam shovel. Sigh.
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“West of Eleven” is a still life focusing on composition and triads. Initially the viewer should be intrigued by the subject matter enough for the brain to immediately go to work categorizing the items; even if it is just as far as shape recognition. Simultaneously and subconsciously the brain will discern that the path the eye is following forms a triad. Once the brain thinks “triad” it should begin to see all the triads that hold this painting together. I used this shape extensively but some of the more important triads I incorporated; those that convey depth or direction, are formed by the tension between points. Some of the triads form arrows, literally pointing you in the direction I intend. Color is incorporated for stops and direction. Texture is important for interest and breaking up the visual space. I integrated both polished and raw surfaces on both sides of the painting. And let’s not forget the shadows that subsume the painting; created with color and texture they give weight and shape to the hidden central object, portray both reflected light and the depths of darkness in the unseen corner. Coming full circle of the main triad, the tension on the rope eventually pulls the focus “out of the box” and purposefully deposits the viewer where they stand at that moment. The viewer is the important part of the painting.
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." - Thomas Jefferson
When I picked up my brushes again, I began by painting one inch square watercolors, mostly portraits. My friends and I traded these little paintings on a schedule we had agreed on beforehand so that we each ended up with 24 pieces from each person in the circle in a years time. I did purchase a punch so that I didn't have to cut out the squares, which was the most tedious part. The only stipulations were as follows: 1) It could not be larger than 1 1/4 inches; 2) You had to do the work yourself, i.e. it could not include a stamp; and 3) It had to be mailed by a certain date. It was a great exercise, a lot of fun, and I received some beautiful tiny pieces of art. As one piece, it is quite amazing. Back to my brushes.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx