MIND OF AN ARTIST: STUDY A BLADE OF GRASS

My mind is a monkey mind.

I know it's my ADHD. There is a quality of my life that resembles a circus. I'm always trying to train those monkeys to perform the right way. Okay you guys get yourselves in order.

I actually become the lion tamer trying to force my creativity to perform. Not only to perform but to kick ass perform.

Here's where pressure to be a creative genius sets in. In other words here comes the artist block! I HAVE TO DO THE BEST PAINTING OR DO NOTHING! So I do nothing.

The monkeys are doing nothing so out of boredom they start to act out. Avoidance creates havoc and chaos. I end up hating myself for being unproductive. It's a great big circus ring ready to explode.

My thinking is creativity needs to be a high experience with lots of bells and whistles going off. There's no sanity. There's no peace. Every work of art has to be created from a psychedelic experience. Don't forget I come from the original hippie lifestyle. The Magical Mystery tour. But it's becoming clear that flying by the seat of exploding pants is not working.

So that is why I am choosing to study a blade of grass. Slow down get off the merry go round. Be a quiet painter. I cannot be a superhuman artist. Study a blade of grass.

Here are plein air paintings done with the mindset of "study a blade of grass ".

INTRODUCING MY YOUTUBE ART VIDEOS

A Fearless Artist must keep experimenting and showing their art.

AN ARTIST MUST GET A TOUGH SKIN – THE ART OF SAYING NO

  I always say we need to be givers not takers but I am aware of red flags of giving to the wrong people.

I’m experiencing a phenomenon that artists are looked upon as not being serious professionals and what they do has no real benefit to the world. Artists are just a group of creative people who make paintings to decorate homes or to be collected by wealthy investment bankers.  If you are an artist who is not showing at Art Basel and the hottest trend then you are invisible.

I don’t need to be famous. But I want to be paid for my creative skills. Which brings me to the point of this post.  I will not give away my time or knowledge for free.

I am shocked at how many people pick my brain about iPad painting. Promoting my iPad painting workshops has been exhausting. I am treading a new path and there are a lot of biases to break through. So I have been giving a lot of lectures on it. In order to get people to register I have been too free on details which has given them the information to get the apps themselves and screw my workshop. I have been learning this iPad painting on my own since 2011. I consistently study all the ins and outs of every art app. This is my hard work and people want the information for free.

I joined a art organization in Riverdale when I moved here last October. I went to their business meeting and realized it was a bunch of seniors who do art. And they were rude and ignored me. The fact that they were hanging their paintings in an urgent care doctor waiting room really made me run. I couldn’t associate with them because they would tear my reputation down. But they consistently nudge me to give a lecture on my iPad painting to the group.  When I told them what I charge for the lecture the director told me that they don’t pay members to give lectures to the group.  Here is an art group that doesn’t think their members knowledge is worth paying for. Thank God my membership is over next month.

I have pitched my workshop and shown what I can do and when they ask how or what app I use I answer come to the workshop and find out.

An artist works hard to learn their skills. It is not all fun and games. Artists go to college to study art. If art were easy they wouldn’t have colleges giving out MFAs. ARTISTS ARE PROFESSIONALS!

I value my talent today and I demand respect. If you want to do what I do you need to pay for my knowledge.  

MY PORTRAIT WAS DONE BY ORRIN A SUPER ARTIST I MET IN THE SUBWAY IN NYC.

Greetings From the Sapphire Lounge In NYC – My First Solo Show

When I started to answer calls for artists I was given an opportunity to have a solo show on the Lower East hip lounge the Sapphire Lounge.  You know when you are new to all this you jump at anything.  My first solo show!!!

Challenge #1 – transporting a lot of paintings from Queens to NYC.  Trying to save money I ended up with a small van and a very interesting driver who was able to fit all the paintings in the van.  Challenge #1 no problem.

Challenge #2 – unloading paintings as the rain started to come down.  Oh no the manager is not in the lounge now…got to wait.  After a half hour the manager’s assistant showed and helped unload.  Challenge #2 no problem.

Challenge #3 – Hang paintings.  PROBLEM!  Okay the manager’s assistant was not really willing to help me.  I was alone and frustrated and always relied on my son.  Now the assistant is an old man from another country that I don’t remember.  He comes look at my work.  He stares quietly.  Then says “I have to get my tools to help you”.  Turns out he is a traditional painter.  He told me he liked my work and my clouds were beautiful.  I guess he was happy to see art that he could understand.  Challenge #3 revised to no problem.

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So we hung it all and I stood back to admire the walls. The manager walks in and says great.  This is my opening night of my first solo show.  Things are good.  Then the manager tells me that tonight is a special night at the lounge:

IT’S GOING TO BE A RAPPER CONTEST!

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My heart sunk as I thought this is really going clash with my landscapes and rap music.  I learned the lesson of match your venue to your art.  But a miracle happened.

I saw the back of a very large man and he was looking at my paintings in silence.  I went up to him.  He was a rapper and he was the organizer of the contest.  We looked at each other and he smiled and said “did you do these paintings”.   I timidly said “yes”.  His smile got larger as he pointed to the big cloud.  “These are beautiful!”  I could not believe my ears.  He was emotional looking at my work.

I left the lounge that night with the rappers thanking me for the beautiful art for their show.  MY WORK TRANSCENDED CULTURES! WOW!

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DON’T PAINT LIKE YOUR INSTRUCTOR FOR APPROVAL

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This is a self portrait of my illustration teacher Max Ginsberg who taught at the High School of Art & Design in NYC. I attended the school graduating in 1970.

Mr. Ginsberg encouraged me to enter the National Scholastic Art Competition. I never would have done it. He told me to enter my charcoal life sketch I did in his class. He saw something I didn’t see in that drawing. I never expected to win an award but I did!! My drawing was exhibited in the lobby of the Lever Brothers building on Park Avenue with other winners !

Max Ginsberg is an awesome painter and is infamous in the world of art. I love the painting of the girls in the subway above. He never told any student that they should paint like him. I couldn’t paint like him ever. But he always pushed an artist who he saw had their own creativity.

I since then have gone to art schools where the students try to imitate the style of their infamous instructors. A lot of instructors bask in this flattery. When a class has a show of their work you can tell who the instructor is. Am I crazy or is there something screwy going on?

isn’t art an expression of who you are?  I love Max Ginsberg because his only objective was to help an artist develop skills and a good basic training in art.

How can you be seen for who you are if you paint like someone else?