Thursday, August 9, 2007

Some things I have learned and re-learned

" In a great man's work, at its fastest, no line is thrown away, and it is not by the rapidity, but the economy of the execution that you know him to be great." - John Ruskin

Being open to possibilities for creative exploration is not always easy. Consistent practice is important and it is worthwhile to set some goals. As long as those goals are not so rigid that they are either impossible to attain or create burnout before they are achieved. You never know where new inspiration will come from or in what form.

Here are a couple of books that have helped me rediscover the creative process. The first, by Dory Kanter,
Art Escapes: Daily Exercises and Inspirations for Discovering Greater Creativity and Artistic Confidence

is packed with ideas to get those creative muscles working. Most of the exercises were things I knew, but had forgotten while I was busy doing stuff other than creating art. It was a pleasure to be reminded of the simple activities one can do in small, managable bits each day that will lead to greater creative discoveries. Kanter also gives instructions for making your own sketching kits so your supplies are always together and ready to go with you.

Another book I spent some time with this summer is John Ruskin's
The Elements of Drawing
This is a 1971 edition of his original book published in 1857. Written in his straightforward way, John Ruskin outlines the steps needed for observational studies in drawing from nature. Although dated, I still gleaned practical advice from Ruskin's text and some timeless gems of wisdom.

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