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« June 2005 | Main | August 2005 »

July 17, 2005
art history
Backyard Party

Well, if I can't get myself to make art now (see previous entry), I can show you what's come before. This is most of the artwork that remains from my high school years and from the oil class I took after college. The oil class era is actually missing a couple of pieces that are hanging up in my parents' house, but what's here will give you an idea of what all of those are like (i.e., pretty bland and not very skillful).

They're in a very rough but pretty accurate chronological order, with the oldest pieces first. When you enlarge an image, you'll see some of my thoughts about the piece underneath. The slideshow feature does not display these comments.

Some of these are kind of cool and most of them aren't. I never thought of myself as an "artist," because I never took art—and by "art" here, I generally mean the act of painting—very seriously. The term still doesn't sit very well with me. I've decided in the past year or so to try to take painting more seriously, and that's resulted in not being able to start anything new. As with everything creative, I need to find some kind of balance and take the process just seriously enough.

Honestly, sharing this work is pretty embarrassing. But I envy my past self for feeling free to do whatever came into my mind during art class. In the comments for one of the pieces, I talk about wishing that there were a thing called the "Creativity Hour," where everyone would have to work on a creative project for an hour every day. I can't force people to be creative, and I don't like the idea of "forcing" it on myself, either, but maybe it's something I should try. The idea is problematic, though, because my job uses my reserves of creative energy but unfortunately points the energy in directions that are usually meaningless to me personally.

Well, if you decide to take a look, have fun.

File under CREATIVE WORK. Posted at 05:25 PM | Comments (4)

July 16, 2005
summer magic

It's easy to fall for the magic trick of summer, for the cheery disposition the season offers generously to anyone who can appreciate that the sun is still out at 8 p.m., and that it's warm, and that there are lots of stupid movies to see. I like this mood-altering quality, and so I fantasize about summer for months until it comes, because it lets me feel happy even when I'm not accomplishing anything. I can ascribe my good mood and laziness entirely to summer (or, perhaps more accurately, to seratonin and, I guess, heat) and can therefore remain blameless when, in my daily life, nothing really happens.

But this—this lack of desire to be creative when I'm in a good mood and don't have something to prove to myself—is among my largest problems. This time when I feel confident and happy is obviously the time I should be using to do all those things I really want to be doing. But it doesn't seem to work like that. "I feel great! Do I really have to work on my book? Can't I just go shopping?"

I think some part of me knows that getting into creative projects means confronting the fear of failure, which means stressing out, which I want to avoid, in order to maintain my summer high. I think it's that simple.

The answer, of course, is just to confront the problem, because the reward of conquering it is much greater than the pleasure of getting a new shirt from American Apparel (but oh man, I am so addicted to American Apparel).

This is more self-involved than usual, sorry, I'll stop. Also I saw Batman and it wasn't good. And the Dark Water remake disappointed me, too. Next up: Wedding Crashers. The subway newspaper Metro gave it four out of five stars, so it must be good!

File under DAILY. Posted at 02:40 PM | Comments (2)

July 01, 2005

Just so you know, Swann's Way gets MUCH easier to read after Combray. Not that I didn't enjoy Combray. Before, though, when I thought it was all going to be like Combray, I figured it would take me like a year to read it. But now I think it'll take a little less than that.

Something about the above reminds me of "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey."

Lameness score of entry: 91/100 (A-) Way To Go!

File under BOOKS. Posted at 12:10 AM | Comments (4941)