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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.

 

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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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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

 

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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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Overcoming Creative Block and Becoming Inspired to Work

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The point I want to write about today is the point of Inspiration. The reason I want to write about this is because I find there is allot of misconceptions about inspiration. I often hear people talking about “waiting for inspiration” or “the don’t feel very inspired” and so because of this they end up not moving themselves. Or not doing something that they in fact would really like to do.

I discovered early on that inspiration is cool, it is a powerful force, though there is another force that is even more powerful than inspiration – YOU!

I do not require inspiration or motivation to work because I am the one who decides if I am going to work or not.

Its quite cool because many days I have no inspiration, and other days I do. Yet I work all the same.

Now through the years, I have refined this application and yes, it is still a work in progress where some days I get trapped by that whole ‘inspiration excuse’ where I just really really really don’t feel like working. And so I still have work to do to really take back my power so to speak.

I find this word ‘inspiration’ is often attached to creative work, and artists.

And then there is the whole concept of ‘writers block’ or ‘creative block’. But I have found for myself that this is no different than simply not wanting to do something. I have been grateful to have adjusted my approach to creating art to where I now align my application to PRINCIPLE not Inspiration, or if I feel like it or not.

I have created allot of my best art when I didn’t really feel like getting up and going to work, but I did, and I pushed through the resistance and got myself moving and then suddenly things weren’t all that bad and even often after I walk through that initial “feeling uninspired” and just got myself moving and working on what ever piece of art I had going for that day, that suddenly I was inspired.

So

In a way, I see that one has to become inspiration for themselves. Where one must create their own inspiration and not wait for it.

Yes, it might be tough, you might not feel like it, it might be uncomfortable, but its worth it!

So my suggestion when facing a creative block is to firstly realize that it could just be “you just don’t feel like doing anything” and that is not really creative block, that is just the plight of the human being who has become more inclined to instant gratification than disciplined self movement.

So my suggestion when facing creative block or facing that experience when you just don’t have inspiration, is to take a breath, gather yourself here, and remember that there is a force more powerful than inspiration – and that force is you and sometimes you just have to force yourself into movement, into action. Its normal, its natural, so dare to move and dare to improve . It’s a challenge, but why else are we here on planet earth. And this suggestion can be for anything, for something artistic, something business related, maybe you notice your environment is getting a little messy and you have been wanting to clean up. Perhaps we have given too much of our power away to this interesting thing called Inspiration. Now its time to realize that we must be the power that moves us through our lives. Inspiration is like luck, it may or may not play a part, so we must base our Living Expression and Actions on something more predictable and Stable, and that is US, our own SELF Movement and SELF Motivation and SELF Inspiration.

More Links about this

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creating-in-flow/201209/10-creative-block-breakers-actually-work

http://www.artbizblog.com/2009/01/get-out-and-gain-inspiration.html