The following passage by E.H. Gombrich was a revelation to me, maybe an epiphany. I had been looking for a way to break out of my old habits when I found this. It became the central idea of a “Self-forgiveness Theory.” It says to keep trying, modifying, and correcting -- that the eraser is the tool of more expressive realism. In almost mystical terms: trying to create perfection is impossible, but forgiving yourself and your drawings for being imperfect and constantly refining your vision is possible.

“Seen in this light, that dry psychological formula of schema and correction can tell us a good deal, not only about the essential unity between medieval and post-medieval art, but also of their vital difference. To the Middle Ages, the schema is the image, to the post-medieval artist, it is the starting point for corrections, adjustments, adaptations, the means to probe reality and to wrestle with the particular. The hallmark of the medieval artist is the firm line that testifies to the mastery of his craft. That of the post-medieval artist is not facility, which he avoids, but constant alertness. Its symptom is the sketch, or rather the many sketches which precede the finished work and, for all the skill of hand and eye of the master, a constant readiness to learn, to make and match and remake till the portrayal ceases to be a second hand formula and reflects the unique and unrepeatable experience the artist wishes to seize and hold.”

Art & Illusion: A study in Psychology of Pictorial Representation, Page 173

-- E. H. Gombrich

Monday, December 1, 2008

Start by Drawing

Start by Drawing -- These drawings are not really trial and error drawings, but they are the result of a lot of trial and error drawing. They are a synthesis of my heavy-handed diagram drawings, structure/form drawings, and searching line drawings. These drawings are the result of a more unified conversation between left-brain and right-brain approaches to seeing.

The love of the line and the yearning for perfection are still in these drawings; just like schema, children's drawings and primitive/naive drawings.

More to come: Just had to start -- New Year's resolution!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Wishes

Here is a holiday animation that I made for my friends. I am posting it as a fun message to any reader; if you like it, send it to your friends. Looking forward to sharing ideas and demonstrations in the New Year. I plan to post many links to favorite artists and art suppliers.

1. Just tried to view the animation and it is not working. I will try to find out what is wrong and fix-it soon. Got to think about it. Trial and Error. 2. Actually this is my third upload and this time I got animation, but the format (W x H) is wrong and everything is bunched together. Looking forward to another shot. Got to figure this out.

3. OBVIOUSLY, THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO UPLOAD AN ANIMATED GIF, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. In art, as in life, sometimes asking for help can cut out a lot of nearly useless trial and error.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

To be honest, I am learning to be a trail-and-error painter। I have been painting most of my life and because I have some drawing skills, my painting has been more of a fill-in process. For several years, I have been trying to become more of a spontaneous painter. Breaking old habits is hard. Learning to see what I put on the canvas and to adjust it accordingly, is my goal.

This is the first, maybe second, post on this blog. I am trying to get everything set-up for the New Year. Please check back after the January 1, 2009. Wishing you the happiest of holidays.