Dedication & commitment: true of all, but not necessarily to the extent of the monastic Brancusi, the obsessive Giacometti, the monomanic van Gogh.
Reclusive and gregarious, monastic and hedonistic… all preferences can be found among artists, but what you will find is never by halves. Hone your own preference.
Never stop studying the works of others, great and not great. Copy and transform.
Keep building the skills of observation, drawing and the manual aspects of your art.
Keep building the technical and historical knowledge of your art form. Read widely, not just in your own field.
Music, art, poetry, theatre, dance, film…diet of the muse. Depth of tragedy and love, leavened with humour and the everyday. Everything is potentially a gate to the sacred. Stay open. Stay vulnerable.
Feeding: and preparation
Draw anything, everything, frequently. Always carry the means to draw. Gathering materials and training the eye-mind to really see and understand without words.
Turner and others: Travel to dramatic, picturesque locations. Using a pencil, small, simple line (contour) sketches done quickly (maybe with abbreviated notes re colours) on site. Could also do thumbnail tonal studies (notan or 3 tones). Multiple views of each site—panoramas, vistas, close-ups, details. Possibly apply a watercolour wash later.
Constable and Chinese artists: Spend a lot of time getting to know a place. Long looking, observation and immersion in place and subject, without drawing. Looking for the essence of subject. Multiple studies of subjects and motifs. Developing a practiced hand able to produce image without involving the mind.
Transform sketches, don’t merely try to copy. Work from memory, not sketch or photograph. Follow the gesture, the feeling. Begin without the end in mind, trusting that your preparation, as above, will come through.
Monet, Degas, de Kooning Re-work and develop the motif.
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