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30 DAYS OF ART

30 Days of Art Challenge

DAY#1

Life Sketch by Andrew Gable

I have been contemplating doing this now for a while where i challenge myself to a walk a 30 days of art process where i publish something NEW i have created that day

to my social media. Initially i thought this would be a great way to share more of my art, art process, and Myself, as well as pushing myself to create new art each day. This is a quick sketch i did of my partner as we were in a cafe enjoying an afternoon coffee. For Christmas this year I asked for a small sketchbook that I could carry around in my pocket, so here is the first time I cracked it open!

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY#2

Today i worked on my orca painting. I had painted in some water ripples the previous day but wanted to restructure the flow of the ripples at the top of the painting. I had painted in 4 ripples initially but thought 3 would be better to slow the feel of the painting down a bit. So worked on that today.

Work in Progress – See More Like this in Wildlife Paintings Section

 

Day #3

For todays Art Share, i pulled a tarot card as a jumping off point and pulled the word “Conditioning” which showed a Lion surrounded by and covered in sheep. From there i observed how sometimes “conditioning” for me is like being covered and surrounded within and without by strings of memories, thoughts, pictures, emotions where you kind of have to start with one of those strings and begin untangling all the threads by just taking one point and walking it into understanding.

imaginative drawing in my sketchbook – See More Like This in Drawings Gallery

 

Day #4

Here i show some raw video of me applying a wash layer of green to the foreground of my painting. I would eventually take this further into the piece to create the affect that the Orca is submerged into his environment. As i get to know acrylics more i have naturally gravitated to using washes as a method to build the painting. Something that i never really did with oils.

 

Day #5

Well, there is a lot that goes into the creative process these days. Especially with social media. After about 3 hours of trying to get this short video clip up tonight i finally gave up after the program crashed without saving my progress. Dang! But Tomorrow is a new day so here is my art challenge post for tonight. The screenshot of me working on the video!

 

Day #6

 

In this video I am working on “Home” an Original Acrylic Painting – See the Finished Piece HERE

 

Day #7

For tonight I decided to do another drawing for my post. These types of drawings I mostly do from imagination. Once I get the main pose figured out I will then go and find different reference photos to specify particular parts, though for the most part, I like the process of just keeping it lose and more free flowing for these drawings.

View Available Drawings – http://andrewgableart.com/product-category/drawings/

 

Day #8

I decided to continue with the graphite drawings again today, this time doing a composition with multiple figures.

View Drawing Collection Here – http://andrewgableart.com/product-category/drawings/

 

 

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Portrait of a Mountain

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When I go out to paint, I will at times have specific things that I am going to work on. With this painting, the word that was prominent within me as I headed out to paint was the word “Portrait”. I wanted to create a portrait of a mountain. for me, I didn’t want to just go out and paint some general mountain scene. The more I have been going out to paint here in Whistler BC, the more I have noticed an inclination within me to document specific areas or scenes around the area. Actually this inclination, if I trace it back, came from a visit to the new museum that was build here in Whistler called the Audain Art Museum , particularly the EJ Hughes gallery. I was inspired by Hughes’ attention to detail and specificity in capturing all the details so quintessential to the area that he was painting. Since then, I have been practicing this into my own work. So when I went out to create this particular work, my aim was to paint a portrait, something specific, something unique, not just some general mountain. Now I wasn’t exactly sure how I would do this, but it is what I aimed to do. As a result, I noticed I payed closer attention to the peaks on the mountain as well as the way the ski runs gave this mountain its unique characteristics. The above painting is a depiction of  Whistler Mountain as seen from the north end of whistler.

Definitely will be doing more “portraits of the landscape” as I develop my plein air painting series.

Enjoy.

 

For purchase details e-mail  – andrewgable@hotmail.com
View this painting

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The Value of Plein Air Painting.

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I have been thinking about writing this blog post for a while now about the relationship I have with plein air painting and the relationship plein air painting has with the rest of my art practice.

When I was in art school I was a drawing major and so I studied drawing and I drew a lot. I had a few painting classes and learned some basics but it was really just a drop in the ocean of the understanding needed to really establish a strong foundational core for your painting practice.

I remember for my final graduation piece for the big grad show, for some reason I decided to do a painting. A big one! Like 8 feet by 6 feet or something like that. Even though I had never really endeavored to do anything like that before. I was astounded how long it was taking me to complete this piece and I remember working literally right up to the last day deadline and the painting was still wet when they hung it in the show.

I realized something about painting during that big final piece I did for my graduation. I realized that there was still a lot about painting I didn’t know, naturally, though, I realized I in fact knew even less than the obvious small amount I did grasp to some degree. Or that there was so much more to it than I anticipated. It was humbling.

That summer after graduation I began learning to paint.

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And literally the first painting I did to begin this process was a landscape plein air painting. My reasoning was simple. “Learn From Nature”, I mean I read that statement over and over and over in all the art books I studied in school, and I had already established clear feedback from my drawing practice that I leant an immense amount about drawing when I draw directly from life and so seeing as how my new home summer studio after my graduation was out in the country side surrounded by nature; the landscape was a ready subject ripe for observing, and in my eyes the perfect aid in teaching myself how to paint for real; to lean the basics, the fundamentals and to create these into a Solid Core Foundation to fuel and support my artistic expression. And so this is what I did.

I spent that summer not only painting the landscape, but also painting a lot of self portraits, portraits of my girlfriend at the time, still lifes, interiors, ect. I took every opportunity to paint directly from life. And this is the crux of this blog post. I did this, I painted from life, and I painted plein air, because it taught me the fundamentals. I started learning how colors interact on a flat plain, and how to make something look and feel real. I wanted to know the rules. I wanted to develop and know the basics, so that I had a stable foundation from which to branch off and explore other means and methods of painting.

20160408_134249Plein air painting always gave my studio work a liveliness and vitality. And so even when I was focused very much on studio work, I always found time to go out and paint plein air as the foundational process to strengthen the core of my painting practice and really understanding the structure of how paint interacts on the canvas to form the appearance or illusion of space and objects

So I still go out today and paint the landscape. Its like my baseline.

Even when I am not doing a lot of painting, I have maintained an application of painting the landscape. Simply as that very basic, building blocks, process of painting.

So if you are an artist and you are looking for a way to develop your skill. Or you are wanting to begin your artistic journey, I’d highly recommend plien air painting or painting directly from life anywhere, whether that be still life’s, or portraits. Or if you are a drawer, and not yet into painting, then the same applies if you haven’t yet, to draw from life as that regular study of the basics, and development of the fundamentals.

So one primary reason I paint plein air is because of what I explained in this blog. It is how I learn, practice, and perfect the basics and fundamentals of painting.

 

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Painting on Green River in Whistler, Canada, April 2016
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The Psychology of ARTWORK and Blending Realities

Self Portrait Drawing - Andrew Gable

Doing art for me throughout my life was always a very Self Reflective Process. In my 20’s as I got more into art and eventually studied it at school as a drawing major, it became more and more a tool that I would use to understand and investigate myself, where this way of approaching creating art in a way started to become my purpose within it. Art became a mirror through which I could reflect the world back to myself. What does this color mean? What does this posture mean? what does this abstract shape mean? and what does it say about me? What does it show me about myself?

So as I have walked my process as an artist, my interest in the psychology of art has burgeoned. What art can show us about ourselves or where art can become a tool to support ourselves as individuals and as humanity to become stronger and more effecitve is something that I have spent a lot of time considering and also creating actual works of art around.

Even when I look back at my older work where this interest to have my art be more aligned with psychology, mental health, the depths of human nature ect, wasn’t as concrete, I often will find pieces that I did are great tools now for me to reflect on and relate to the human experience in a way that does shed some light onto the mysteries of human consciousness, even though at the time of their creations I wasn’t 100 percent clear with what I was doing.

Internal Patterns Drawing By Andrew Gable

 

With the drawing I did above, I remember I wanted to create a face out of these sequences of abstract and semi-recognizable symbols, shapes, notations ect. Where in doing this I could represent the “inner appearance” of the being as well as the “outer appearance”. In looking at this piece recently I noticed an interesting point about human consciousness that I find holds true in my own life and awareness of myself today.

What I find for myself is that often times it is hard to distinguish between what is reality, and what is our interpretation of reality. What is truth and what is just merely our opinion.

What I have noticed about myself and my own life is that I will create ideas in my head about something that isn’t actually true at all.

let me take an example from my Art Career. I have had situations where I have engaged with a potential collector about purchasing a piece of art. And everything seemed to go really well and all is in agreement to connect at a later date to finalize the details. But then as a few days pass, I start to think they have backed out and eventually I come to the conclusion that “they aren’t going to buy a piece” and I am so sure of it, I believe it completely to the degree where I start reacting within myself, like feeling disappointed and basically thinking “maybe next time” Then, adversely to this idea I created, they contact me and are excited and move forward with purchasing a work of art they connected with.

In this situation my inner and outer realty become one and its hard to distinguish between what is real and true and what I am just making up in my own mind.

Now as a point of Direction within myself and my life, I have taken the approach to align myself and focus myself with What is Actually Real, as the Physical Facts, and to stop indulging in my mental reality because I have noticed how I can so quickly create false realities within myself which I become so preoccupied with that I cannot distinguish anymore that these ideas are simply existing in my head and not actually real which only becomes clear when reality asserts itself and shows  “see all that shit in your head was not actually valid” when the exact opposite of what I was certain would happen actually plays-out.

So the Drawing above called “Internal Patterns” illustrates this dimension quite nicely where you have the inner and outer structures of the face kind of seamlessly blending together where its hard to tell what is happening on the inside and what on the outside.

Its like this with our experiences of emotions and feelings as well, where it just all seems to merge seamlessly with our outer realities and we then think that it is our outer reality that is causing the inner experience maybe not seeing that our inner experiences are being triggered from a past memory or event or belief system that took years to create.

So just wanted to share this point that opened up when I was looking at this drawing “internal patterns”

View This Drawing on my Galley Here – http://andrewgableart.com/product/2745/

 

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The Secret To Becoming An Artist

Original Drawing By Andrew Gable

 

My Expressive Period.

Throughout my process as an artist my style of the work I do has shifted, changed, and evolved. In retrospect I can begin to see specific phases and stages of the development of my art, and within that I can see the particular “values” that I was holding during those years that ultimately ended up shaping and forming the work. One such “value” that I see in looking back over the artwork that I have created during the years that is quite a prominent thread running throughout almost all my work is the point of “Expression”. Now in one period in particular I can see this point of expression was quite dominant and andrew gable artI held to be of the utmost importance when I created my work. I remember during this time that I would never pre-plan anything. My focus at the time was simply “creating in the moment” as a result I would be preparing my canvases and I would have no idea what I wanted to paint, but that this was done on purpose, and as such it was a kind of a rule. So, the rule, was that “I have no rules”, lol. This aspect has changed throughout the years, but I still do see it existing within me and it still does come up in the creating of my work in varying degrees. I can never recreate work I did in the past. It was specific to my beliefs, values, and situation at the time. My theory during my ‘Expressive Period’ was that I couldn’t use “I don’t know what to paint” as an excuse not to do art. In fact this reminds me of a very influential statement I read when I was around 16 or 17 years old that struck a chord within me and that would in a lot of ways serve as inspiration, direction and motivation for my art in the proceeding years, and even today, this statement I read at that time is still a part of me.

original drawing by andrew gableThe statement came from an Italian Renaissance workshop by way of conversation between the Master artist and his curious apprentice. Perhaps maybe the inquiry of a young Michelangelo or Leonardo. The young artist was curious about what made a great artist and what the secret was. The Masters response was grounded, and sober. “Draw Every Day Without Fail”…..When I read this, I stopped in my tracks. I realized the simplicity of becoming effective at art or anything that one wants to do. This statement was so inspiring to me and supported me during my early development and beyond which in part was why I adapted a way of working where I would not allow “not having good ideas” as a reason or justification to not create art.

 

So I would simply paint, whether I had a ‘good’ idea or not, or no idea at all. This allowed me to move through drawings that were very much free-flowing and expressive.

As adults we tend to get stuck in patterns, and hardened into routines and ways of being and doing things where if you observe a child, they are much more free and expressive and not so hung up on if what they are doing is right or wrong or what other people think about it, they just express, unconditionally, and so for me during my expressive period, my art was unconditional in a way, I was just exploring and expressing as an artist.

View my Drawings Gallery

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Inside The Artists Studio Update

Stone Carving, Andrew Gable, in progress

Today I worked on a new project that I started yesterday. It’s an alabaster sculpture of a sitting polar bear. My first one in this sitting pose. The alabaster is nice because it is a softer stone which allows me to work more with hand tools if I so chose. Sometimes I will spend some time shaping with a small rasp because in these moments, I can just turn the power tools off and slow and quiet things down for a moment. I especially do this while working on the faces of the animals that I carve.

 

stone art andrew gable
I was also finishing up another Custom project this week of a Samoyed dog sculpture where the clients wanted some stone inlays done and so I was busy with that this week which can be quite a tedious process.

Other than that I have been spending some time in the evenings after carving re-designing my website, aligning it in a way that is current and representing WHO I AM at the moment in my life and in my career. I have done this so many times, maybe 6 or 7 times since I first put my website live in 2012. The website is really an ongoing, ever-evolving process.

So this has been an interesting time for me as I continue to explore different directions with my art where lately I am pushing in a few different directions to see which one of these gets some traction. That is honestly what I like about being an Artist. I like the diversity and range of things that goes into doing this professionally where at this stage consists of carving stone during the week, and then doing some drawings on the weekends or in the evenings. Also, I work quite closely with the gallery that sells my sculpture, and I usually spend 1 day a week on the gallery sales floor speaking to customers and packaging any recent sales that I have had. Then in my spare time, I will work on my website, adding content, writing blogs, sharing photos, and doing my social media stuff. There is quite a lot to maintaining an engaging digital profile as an artist which I am still getting the hang of but find it deeply creative. Doing my online work is quite interesting to me because the internet is vast and it is a great place to showcase artwork as well as being able to interact and engage with people who are interested in my Art. Ultimately it is my goal to make sure that anyone that ends up on my website or any of my art pages, knows that there is a Real Human on the other side and not some ‘automated robot marketing machine’ which I think could actually be beneficial to have as a particular personality suit hat one has in ones closet to wear strategically enough to encourage sales of the work. But for me, one who has always been more of a recluse, I see its as important to really share who I am though my media channels so people that like my work can get to know me on a more personal level.
Okay, just thought I’d do a quick update from Inside the Artists Studio.

stone sculpture, contemporary art by andrew gable

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My Purpose and Directive For Creating ART

Questioning Existence

What interests me about art?

For me creating art is an extension of my own life process of understanding who I am, and understanding Life, and really just exploring what is here as my existence, as this existence as a whole. This might seem a bit existential but for me its just who I am and how I have always been.

 

What is the point of our existence, of our lives here on earth, of life itself. Doesn’t everybody ask themselves these questions? I assume that a lot of people do ask themselves these questions but maybe just don’t verbalize it much or give it that much attention. Art for me is a way to focus in on these questions for myself.

 

Art is also just Fun! Its so cool to create a piece if art and then to stand back and look at what you created and think about how you could never have imagined such a creation where there is a dimension of creating art that is completely unexpected or uncontrollable in a way.

 

The art I make is like windows into existence for me to look into and reflect on the questions I posed above about life and understanding it.

 

My Art is also about my own Self Development. A vehicle within which I can support myself to practice things like Self Discipline, Expressiveness, Openness, Forgiveness, Precision, Planning, Deliberateness, and the list goes on.

 

I also like to use my art to express what is going inside me. Sometimes I aim to express specific experiences that I have, or have had, other times I ‘let it go’ a bit and just express and then Look as I am creating to See what is HERE and what I can see or articulate. So art can be therapeutic for me as well.

 

How and Why I do art does change over time. At this stage of my Art Process, I have been moving more and more into doing ART as a Career, and this has opened up many other dimensions for me to consider and learn about.

 

But fundamentally, with my art, I want to create something REAL!

 

Something of Substance. So much of our reality these days is actually designed to manipulate, to hide, to cover up the truth, and this is done on conscious and unconscious levels where we as a species have conditioned ourselves to not go beyond the surface and delve into the depths of ourselves.

 

So for me, one of my purposes with my art is to Add Depth to our lives. To have it be something of actual Value. It doesn’t have to be pretty or nice to look at. But it has to have substance.

 

My art I realize is an Exact Reflection of Myself and will only reflect Depth if I myself am imbued with that same depth through my own personal process on this earth of introspecting and becoming Self Aware of myself, human nature, and how this reality really works.

 

So, I don’t claim that my art has all of these qualities I am speaking about here in this blog, though it is a Directive  and Purpose I have with Myself in My Art, for it to be and become these points that I mention, and of course, I am open to any other dimension that might open up as well in terms of how I could move and express myself within my art expression.

 

I was thinking the other day about ‘What Makes Good Art’ as I have heard that question asked so many times. I thought to myself, ‘well, it would be the same as what makes a good conversation’ Art is really just something normal. It is just an expression of ourselves, like a conversation we have with someone. So “What Makes a Good Conversation?” Depth, Intimacy, Realness, Honesty, Enjoyment. Good conversations are not always pretty, sometimes tough love is needed, or constrictive criticism. And again sometimes great conversations happen unexpectedly, like art, or they are just goofy. Sometimes they are planned, like a meeting that has a lot of structure. Good Art like Good Conversations can happen in different ways. I thought this was a good analogy to understanding what art is and what makes good art.

 

andrew gable original sculpture, contemporary art

 

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Embracing Selling Your Art – The Final Stage of the Creation Cycle

 

original art for sale

One important part of my creative process as an artist is the part where I actually have to sell the work that I make. To me, in this day and age, selling the work is an important part of the creative cycle that initially begins with the conception of the work, then moves into the actual creation of the art work, and then finally closes upon the sale of the work,  which then fuels the next creative cycle to begin.

Selling my artwork wasn’t something I became interested in until about 5 years ago around which time I realized how selling the work was actually a part of the creative process in itself.

For me, learning to sell my work has been quite an education process.

3 years ago, I started working closely with an Art Gallery which represented my sculptural work. After a few months of working with the gallery, I began spending some time on the gallery sales floor selling the work in the gallery and selling my own work. That is, if I was able to.

I was so nervous in the beginning, and still to this day, I am still very much learning the whole sales process and how to do this effectively and with integrity. But those early days, whenever a customer would walk into the gallery, immediately within myself a surge of anxiety would shoot up into what felt like my entire body, and I would freeze and go into a fear. Now from the outside you might not notice this happening, but it was quite an internal experience to have happen each time someone walked into the gallery. But during this time, I had already made a decision within myself to Learn how to sell my art and so fundamentally I understood that this meant walking through that fear/anxiety experience. In practical terms, this meant, moving myself out from behind my desk, even though there was a ball of anxiety in my chest, and walking over to greet the customer. Often times the words coming out of me initially were a bit shaky, but It was actually a cool process to walk through what seemed like such an extensive amount of anxiety to within minutes be able to be standing there chatting with customers about the work feeling much more relaxed, calm, and stable, within myself. That anxiety and fear would eventually just go away once I pushed through that initial intensity of it and just say ‘Hello’ to the customers that walked in, and then push myself to start talking them about what ever I could find or just make up to get the conversation moving. Ultimately, it was my job now to make conversation, and so I just would dive in and start talking often, having no idea what I was about to say. I remember one instance where my words were so jumbled I couldn’t even understand what I was saying, but I just smiled, and they smiled, and I just moved on, and found some other point to communicate about.

I just knew that, getting over this anxiety was something I had to do and in the moment, the only way I knew how to do that was to just walk through it and face my fear in a way.

I have become much more comfortable over the past 2 years in speaking and interacting to customers but I definitely do see still emotional reactions that I can support myself to overcome.

Ultimately, I really enjoy the whole sales aspect of creating art and would encourage any artist out there to embrace this side of the creative process.

Original Drawing - Tree of Life by Andrew Gable

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Embracing Myself and Embracing The Art I Make

 

Studio Wide View

 

So I am in the process of re-designing my website…….again. I have re-designed and re-aligned my

Fire - Original Drawing by Andrew Gablewebsite probably 10 times over the past 4 years since I put it online for the first time. To be honest, I find creating the website just as fun and engaging as creating the artwork to go on it.

This time around I am doing something that I haven’t yet tested out, and that is, to include ALL of my artwork. What I mean, is that you can now find my drawings, my paintings, and my sculpture all included on my website where previously I have tested out focusing on just one or two of those areas.

20150126_153738I initially tried separating my work because I found it to be quite contrasting, however at this stage, I am rather more embracing those differences which is actually all coming from ME anyways which means it IS ME, and so I have decided to simply include ALL of me into my website this time around. I hope this will also make the overall experience more enriching for myself and for those who come onto my website.

Recently, I also carved my second figurative piece where my main focus with my sculptures is wildlife. This again, is me simply testing out new ways to make art and not to pre-judge it, which really just prevents it from coming into existence so best to just do it and see what the response is.

And man, the inner talk I had going on as I walked this process of doing my second figurative sculpture was quite a lot and I had to often just collect myself, center myself and continue the carving process even though  a part of me just wanted to abandon it.

So Overall, as I walk my process with art, I am at the moment practicing embracing MORE of Myself and stopping that whole tendency to want to edit and control myself which in some ways is just based on Self Judgement.

I finished the figurative piece, and find it to be quite interesting, and already have more ideas to do more of them. So, I am grateful I didn’t allow my own self judgement prevent me from trying something new here.

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Using Photo References and The Meaning of Life

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Why I use photo references.

When I carve my wildlife sculptures I will use allot of photo references. I get my images from the internet of the specific species of bear I am working on in different positions.

Essentially I am getting as many angles as possible so that I can understand how to sculpt the animal in 360 degrees.

When you creating a painting you only need one angle because a painting is flat, and so you only need one angle. Painting is a different process than sculpting. There are similarities but there is differences also.

When I started carving I decided to use photo references in my process because I wanted to understand the accurate way to sculpt the particular animal I was working on. I have spent years working from memory or ‘no references’ and seeing what kinds of expressions come from that. I have spent years working directly from life doing life drawing and life painting and seeing what kinds of expressions come from that.

One thing I have noticed is that when you work from ‘imagination’ you are working from a picture. You are working from a picture in your mind. That picture in your mind was formed from all the pictures of the particular point you are referencing throughout your life. So, then, what is the difference between using a photo reference that you hold in your hand versus using a photo reference that you hold in your mind.

I have found that my mind tends to be a bit more transient where to hold a physical photo reference really helps grounding me in the information I am looking at where in the mind it seems the information I can extract is less specific and I lose sight of the image easily.

So maybe it is a question about access?

Accessing the information you have acquired where for instance I have found I am not able to access as much detail by looking at an image in my mind versus looking at an actual photo.

Now this brings me to the point of DIRECT SEEING.

One point that I am practicing when I use photo references is ‘Direct Seeing’

People have the tendency to ‘interpret’ things. But within this often the ‘truth’ get lost. Throughout the last 7 years of my life, I have more and more aligned myself with DIRECT SEEING. This Direct Seeing process actually has little to do with art. It has more to do with my real life and who I have become within my real life, and the CONSEQUENCES that INTERPRETATION has had on this World, and so I have recognized for myself the value and imperative for DIRECT SEEING rather than Interpretation where Interpretation is EASY. It is something that we do all the time. Have you ever read a news article where you kind of just scanned and jumped your way through the article to get the general gist of what was being said. That is Interpretation. DIRECT SEEING would be to read the entire article thoroughly and to understanding completely what was being said. I see the later as more valuable and substantial to the human being and human development.

One reason I have aligned myself with DIRECT SEEING and practicing this within my life is because I have realized how little I actually know about myself, and how LIFE FUNCTIONS where for instance from my perspective, the fact that we don’t actually know where we come from as Life is a result of a kind of INTERPRETATION, of not bothering to look at the facts. I realized that in my late 20’s that I had no idea how I created myself. I had thoughts, and emotions and experiences existing within me and I had no idea where they came from, and from a certain perspective I found myself overwhelmed by what was going on inside of me and so I began a process of DIRECT SEEING, of pushing myself to SEE HOW THINGS REALLY WORK, and stop trying to fill in the gaps with interpretation where you don’t actually understand the functionality of something but rather have an incomplete picture yet you have convinced yourself you understand. As a result, we LOSE DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLE of ourselves as human beings, as creators, because we don’t know how we work.

So I began to align myself with practicing DIRECT SEEING – Seeing what is really in front of me.

Another example is in communication, when you interpret someone’s words or – here’s a good one – where you create an IDEA in your mind about someone, like someone you like but have never really talked to at length, and then you think you really like this person, but then you finally go and talk to them and who they really are is NOT AT ALL what you interpreted and made-up in your head. So Interpretation is essentially just ‘making things up’. And I see this as making things up based on the information YOU ALREADY HAVE, and so from that perspective you don’t LEARN anything new, you just “Interpret” which is an expression of using what you already have and forming a particular opinion or idea or form.

So when I began carving 2 and half years ago, I used photo references to start to build up my information base of the animals I carve. I did not want to “make anything up”

I questioned what information I would use to fill in the gaps for instance when I was carving a bear and I didn’t have a direct reference for something like the back of the foot, or the shoulder. I could ‘make it up’ and it would probably look fine, and at times I do. But I at this stage push myself to understand the actual information and how it really works and fits together.

Look at the state of our world right now, wars, poverty, violence, everywhere, total destruction really. Yet no solutions on how to really go about fixing it. Most people have no idea how the system we live in functions or how money actually works, and i would challenge if those running the country even understand how things really work. Could anybody that truly understands how things work justify using violence against another life form as an apparent solution? To me, war and violence stems from a lack of understanding or ignorance of who we are as life, and so, I see DIRECT SEEING is important to start cultivating in this world to answer some of these problems we face.

So that is why I currently use photo references. Who knows, maybe someday I will lose the references and take the artwork in a different direction.

I am not to strict with myself. I am fine to interpret, but this must be a deliberate decision and not something done out of laziness.

When you write a research paper. It is important to do the research about the topic. If you do no research, you could probably write the paper but the content would likely be generalized and uninformative. This is the approach I take when I carve an animal. It is a research project, and I must do the research, about how the anatomy fits together.

Id like my projects to be expressive and Informative so I use photos as sources of information to utilize.

I also think that people respond better to ‘realism’ I think interpretation is easier and so that if I focus on developing a certain degree of realism that it will give me an edge in the art I make because I am actually creating something more ‘rare’ and so using photo references is also linked to this point of creating something that people will find valuable and see as unique. There is allot of art there, and I see ‘realism’ as a challenge that the minority of artists take on in their work. I don’t think it makes one persons art better or worse. Its a personal choice also of where I am at and what I see will benefit my own personal development and human being. For others, perhaps practicing letting go would be more beneficial to them in their lives and maybe someday I will be at that point, but for now, I focus on adding that dimension of realism to the sculptures I am creating.

So there is some insight into why I currently use photo references while I carve.

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My Creative Process for “Feareless”

SEE THE FINISHED PIECE HERE

 

Timeline

With this piece, the first thing I did was I actually cut and sanded a small portion of the stone to see what kind of stone it was. Then based on the different parameters such as stone type, color, size, ect, I decide what I am going to carve.

I was wanting to do another carving of a grizzly and after I noticed that this particular stone was brown alabaster I figured it would be perfect for a grizzly.

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Next I will decide what is the most effective way to utilize the stone to do the carving. Once that is determined I will cut a flat base which will be the bottom. I have learned over time that this stage is crucial. Doing a nice flat cut in the beginning will make sure all 4 legs of the bear will be firmly planted on the ground and will make the piece nice and stable in the end.

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I will often use a wax pencil to rough out a basic drawing of the pose. This is just a general guideline to get things started and to begin to get the size of the bear in place.
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Alright so here now I am starting to bring the shape out. With this guy and what I will do often is I will start to establish the face right away. I find the face can sometimes be the most intricate so I like to get started on this right away and start to lock it in. Once I have that in place, I can use it as a way to measure the ratios and proportions of the rest of the body.

Also during these early stages I am identifying any problem areas in the stone which would require me to alter the design. A problem area is like for instance a crack or fault that might end up breaking away later on.

Often the most fragile parts of the stone is the outer edges where once you start getting into the core of the stone its allot more stable.

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A Bear Emerges!

This is such a cool phase of the carving process where you start to see the character of the animal emerge. Here you can already start to see this guy coming out even after only a few cuts. At this stage I am working mostly with a 5″ diamond blade on a hand held grinder. This allows me to carve fairly quickly. I will explore different approaches to carving a piece where sometimes I move quickly and sometimes I will slow myself down quite a bit. This is to see the overall affect that this creates in the final piece. Whether moving fast or slow, I try and remain comfortable and natural in my movements.

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Okay I have the overall shape pretty much locked in. Now its just a matter of refining some areas before I get into polishing.

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Okay getting close now. I have the muscle definition pretty much where I want it and rounded off the feet. Next step is about 4 or 5 layers of sanding and polishing and then a coat of sealer and wax to shine and protect it.

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The final step before polishing is usually the nose, the eyes, and the mouth. I decided to keep the feet relatively simple for this guy.

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Done!

Looks Great.

Sanded, Polished and in the gallery. Really loved the patterning and coloration in the stone for this one. It kind of reminds me of pebbles or rocks or stones so thought this suited the rugged Grizzly Bear perfectly.

See you next time.

 SEE THE FULL PICTURE INVENTORY OF THE FINISHED PIECE HERE