Mark of the maker

The two women held up a large item partially encased in bubble wrap. “Where does this go?” they asked. I stared. It took a second to recognize the stained glass lamp – because one side of it was caved in. “It hangs above the dining table,” I said. “But … it’s broken.” I was running … read more Mark of the maker

Playing with 13 Rectangles

In making a fused glass version of Kandinsky’s 13 Rectangles, I intended to explore his philosophy of color while translating the painting from oil to another medium. I certainly learned about his use of values, which I didn’t expect; and a bit about blending, which isn’t possible in glass the way it is with paint. After playing with 13 … read more Playing with 13 Rectangles

Emotions for sale

What emotion are you selling? the webinar host asks us. That’s the question you have to answer. Good question. Another question might be, Why do you want to sell emotion? I’m watching the second in a series of free webinars about marketing your art. The host is selling us the emotion of happiness, the artist’s … read more Emotions for sale

Decision fatigue

I read that high-powered executives try to limit the number of trivial decisions they have to make each day, so that they can save their mental energy for the important decisions. They have a rack of identical suits, they have tightly scheduled routines, they let someone else order lunch. There is actual science behind this. … read more Decision fatigue

Copying a master

Art students are always told to study the masters, and to copy them. Coming from a journalism background, I was at first taken aback by this approach – it seemed at worst a kind of plagiarism, and at best an exercise that would stifle originality. But once I tried it a few times, I realized that it … read more Copying a master

Accent in Pink, 1926

When I browsed my Kandinsky book this morning, his painting Accent in Pink jumped off the page to embrace me. The diamond-shaped rectangle stretches its “arms” wide and reveals the energy emanating from the center. The energy take on many colors, black, dark green, three shades of blue, gray, pink, red, emanating from a mottled gray square … read more Accent in Pink, 1926

Making room for art

About a year ago, I took a few drawing classes that made me very unhappy. The teachers offered little in the way of actual instruction. There were no learning objectives set out, no clear progression of skills outlined for us. We drew the model and the instructor made random comments and remarks that were intended … read more Making room for art

Kandinsky on materialism

Feeling deprived of spirit and art, I started the morning by re-reading Wassily Kandinsky’s “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” That got my day going right. One of the quotes I highlighted: Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and … read more Kandinsky on materialism