daily-ish notes…

  • re: waiting for paint to dry.

    Watercolour painting has forced me to become more patient than I’m used to.

    I’m used to pushing through. I’m used to getting stuff done sequentially and quickly. I’m used to checking off items from a to do list to complete a task.

    But then I paint.

    Watercolour sometimes forces you to sit and (literally) wait for the paint to dry.

    Just wait. Not do. Not touch. Not proceed. Just wait.

    That can be a good type of hobby to have.

  • on photo expeditions, part one.

    I went for a long walk with the dog this morning with the intention of not only getting out into the spring air, but also of snapping a small collection of reference photos for future painting efforts.

    I nabbed some landscapes of the river valley.

    I captured a few perspective shots under the bridge over the river.

    I pointed my macro lens at a dozen little wrinkled berries left over after winter.

    I took about twenty pics of the dog, too.

    I think I might be set for the rest of the month’s daily art.

  • on plein air lunch breaks, part one.

    I’ve been taking my pocket sketchbook to work with me, the little one, the wallet-sized, fit-in-your-jacket-pocket, discrete-to-carry-around moleskine that I started sketching in almost a year ago but have only filled about a dozen pages, that one.

    The goal, and one I need to more consciously aspire towards now that spring is here and outdoor sketching is a reality, is to find somewhere to sit downtown and draw, downtown where the architecture is more interesting than the cookie-cutter suburban sprawl of single homes, four storey condominiums, and mini-malls.

    I did this yesterday. I went and found a small bench in a nearby park, and inked out the basics of a small restaurant brewery built into a gentrified commercial building from the last century.

    Plein air season is here.

  • of ai, part one.

    Almost everyone is talking about or writing about AI these days, and in particular with regards to things like the arts the latest generation of artificial intelligence tools are creating a massive shockwave of speculation and curiosity.

    This morning I watched a demo reel from a gaming engine company for their newest updates to an AI-based procedural scenery generator. A few numbers input into an editor and a second later the software creates a photo-realistic three dimensional environment with things like life-like trees, roads, insects, and atmospheric lighting.

    Meanwhile, I spend hours with a pen, paint and some paper sketching something that almost looks like a proper tree with some smudgy blotches of colour.

    While it’s tough not to feel incredibly inferior to a machine when that machine can outpace my artistic efforts in the blink of an eye, there is another (sometimes elusive) perspective that reminds me that there is much more to art than just perfect pixels.

  • for finding inspiration, part two.

    I sometimes see artists depicted in film, fiction and media and consistently those artists tend to be singularly focused on a single point of inspiration.

    They draw a thing.

    Not things.

    A thing.

    It makes me wonder, as I search each day for something unique and interesting to draw, if I need to focus more — though not singularly — on drawing a thing, one thing, repeatedly to define and hone myself as an artist.

    I’m not sure what that thing is yet, or if that is merely a trope in fiction, but… finding that thing could be an interesting challenge in itself, no?