Homework? For Fun!?

Since coming back from vacation in Germany, it’s become clear to me that my life needs to include a lot more art. And, most importantly, I have a loooooot more to learn. Making art is amazing, and the fact that I’m only scratching the surface of what there is to know about it is mindbogglingly exciting! How sad would it be if I were already bored…

So I’ve decided to get serious about making sure I keep learning about art in my day-to-day life. For me, that means homework. 😉 But homework that’s fun! Homework that I’m doing voluntarily, and that I’m designing for myself.

The lesson plan is very much a work in progress, but this week I’ve been focusing on value studies– something I often struggle with as my drawings or paintings become more complex. But solid values, planned out in advance, make a piece that much stronger. (And values that are weak, suck the life right out of it). So I’m practicing!

Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to:

Learning (and re-learning, and keeping ideas and concepts and techniques I already know fresh) takes time. And energy. And it doesn’t always look very pretty.

But boy, is it refreshing to be back in the saddle. 🙂


Street Art in Berlin & Bonn

I just (as in, two days ago) got back from an amazing trip to Germany with a friend of mine. It was filled with shockingly good food (Persian walnut and pomegranate stew anyone?), fun adventures, and… also art!

We didn’t travel to Germany looking for art, and in fact only went to one art-specific museum, but something I learned from Berlin in particular, is that art doesn’t need to be put in a concrete box to exist in a city. The street art in Berlin is astounding! There were several instances of entire buildings whose sides were done up in murals.

Here is just a tiny sampling of what we (literally) stumbled across:

(Note, some of these are from the East Side Gallery, which is the remaining Berlin Wall… transformed by art. Others are from Berlin’s streets, and a couple are from Bonn.)

There was something wholly liberating about seeing such vast quantities of street art. It hadn’t been painted over, or scrubbed out. The city embraced it, and that was so freeing to see.

Traveling always leaves me in a different place, mentally, when I come back. It reminds me that the world is very, very big. And (most importantly) that there are more ways to walk upon it than I can even begin to imagine. It’s exhilarating, in a way, to look at your life and realize it could be so, so much bigger.

(And filled with so, so much more art!)