Avoiding the Dreaded “Art Fart”

Baikan, Kawashima

I’ve been collecting hundreds of reference images lately, but I’ve always had a habit of collecting things that I just happen to like, so some of those will probably end up here for you all to see at some point or another. Most recently, I have been looking at a lot of Japanese art- mostly paintings and prints- to study differences in composition, areas of artistic interest, colors, that sort of thing. I find that I have a Western sense of composition that is combined with an Eastern way of mark-making. Someone told me once that I should draw everything with a Sumi-E brush, which was flattering in a sense, but not practical -so I don’t do that.

I am very obviously influenced by Asian art, as my mother is Korean and we have many Korean oil paintings, silk screen paintings, crafted wood furniture and ceramics in our home, but I never realized exactly how much those seemingly ambient surroundings effected my subconscious until late 2009. Since then, I have paid very close attention to my surroundings and the elements within them like color, patterns and texture, and have noticed that a lot of my color choices in my work come from those very surroundings- even though they weren’t intended to. So now my life has become a huge visual and subconscious observance of pretty much everything. Which is overwhelming, to say the least. But it is also richly informing, being able to look at most anything and gain some sort of inspiration from it to incorporate into my work. I highly recommend this kind of gathering to anyone in an artistic or visual slump, or any other kind of slump, surely because it will help the rusty cogs to turn again in your mind.

But sometimes it is okay to just sit around and drink tea, too.


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