Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Final Post to Images by Bil

Hi folks the Lord has sent me on a new task so this will be my final post to Images by Bil.  I recently started a new blog Bill Somogyi Traveling in a Wheelchair on blogger.  For the past two years while I've handled the loss of the use of my legs easily, I struggled with God's purpose.

Recently God has revealed the plan.  I have started a new blog (shown above) and registered the domain name:   My site will be pictures I take, paintings I do and and information on all the wonderful places accessible to people in a wheelchair.

I plan on dwelling on the positives and ignoring the negatives of traveling in a wheelchair.  There will be no negative reviews or complaints about where I can't go because there are so many places I can go.  God has given us this wonderful gift called life and it is my hope I can show folks in a wheelchair it's still there for us to enjoy.

My motto is: "With a little patience the world is more accessible than you think!"
Please stop by and follow me if you want and pass it on if you know someone who is wheelchair bound.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Oh what a wonderful day.  I finished the challenge and this song has been in my mind all day.  I'd like to thank the folks who started the challenge and also say "Job Well Done to all those who completed it.  For me there were a few days when it was tougher than others but all in all it was fun and I always found the energy to get it done. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for You

Yes you!  You wrote a play, wrote a book or maybe painted a picture or took a photograph and the question for me is what have I learned about you. Too often we worry about anticipating our audience’s reaction or acceptance to the work we are creating that we wind up ignoring the most critical component.  You! 

Working on a personal project, no matter what it is, succeeds when you put you into it.  Don’t forget, you have the unique perspective of fear and love for the subject that cannot be reproduced by anybody but you.  By harnessing your feelings and injecting them into your work we see something from a different vantage point then what we are accustomed to.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Xanadu

Thank you, thank you, thank you Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton John, especially Jeff Lynne who wrote the song Xanadu.  I don’t know what I would have done without you.  This truly is a case of me drawing an idea from my past because I didn’t have a clue what to do for the letter X and then this song popped into my mind.

Xanadu is actually a real place in Mongolia.  The emperor had two summer palaces there during the Kublai Khan Dynasty.  I would’ve never known that one.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge also wrote a poem about Xanadu.  Who’d a thunk? (I know thunk isn’t a word but it’s the best I can come up with to describe my amazement there is more to Xanadu than I thought.

Rule #22 Sometimes it pays to draw ideas from your past.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Wow

William Somogyi (Me) in Love Park Philadelphia, Pa
Wow I can’t believe this, I have about 10 minutes to get this post done and posted.  Wow 22 consecutive posts and I almost blow the challenge with only 4 posts left.  Wow I was so busy today, I got home late from work, decided to unwind by working on some photos and I forgot all about my post. Wow what else can I say but WOW!
Wow 11:534no tags just get it posted.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Victory

Vic Morrow
No rules from me tonight, I’m basking in the fact I only have 4 posts left to complete the AtoZ Challenge.  Finishing this challenge will be a victory for me.  I wound up having a very busy month yet found a way each day to sneak a little time to complete my daily posts.  Yes a well deserved victory.

More important than the victory is what I’ve learned putting myself through this challenge and the things I’ll be able to carry forward over the next year.  I’ve learned I can keep focused, start and finish a goal yet still be creative at the same time.  I’ve used my artistic ability over the years as a crutch as to why I can’t be more organized and pay attention to the little things.  This challenge taught me I can do both.

Rule #21 Carry this Victory forward throughout the year.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unearth

Unbelievably Ben Franklin probably stood in this very spot I took this picture.
Merriam Webster defines unearth as:

to make known or public : bring to light <unearth a scandal>
Examples of UNEARTH
An old document was unearthed from the files.
They unearthed evidence that he had accepted bribes.

I was a little undecided (another “U” word) about what to write about and then unearth just came to mind.  I believe we all have a passion and fire burning inside of us.  For some it takes longer than others to unearth and bring it to the surface.  For me it’s a love of our colonial history.  I’ve always been fascinated about our nation’s revolutionary period.

What makes the statement above more amazing is, I’ve lived within 25 miles of Philadelphia, Pa for 55 years and rarely after my childhood have I visited the birthplace of our country.  That all changed when I found myself wheelchair bound a couple years ago.  Determined to not just sit around like most of the people I was with in the physical rehab, I vowed that when I got out I was going to move forward as if nothing happened.

Since that time I’ve embraced our history and have incorporated it seamlessly into my passion for painting and photography.  Every chance I get now, I’m reading about that period in time, researching new places to go and sketch or take pictures and am never at a loss for something to inspire me.  Have you discovered something that has unearthed your passion?

Rule #20 find something to unearth your passion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Time and Technology

For me, technology has given me a lot more time for my artistic endeavors.  I rarely leave the house without my laptop or digital camera these days.  No matter where I go or what happens, I’m prepared to capture the moment and take notes for future reference.

No longer do I have to schedule time for writing, I just pull the laptop out when an idea pops into my head and I’m off writing because I want to instead of because I have to.  I used to schedule time to go out and take photos whether they were for the actual photo or a reference for a painting.  With a digital camera by my side all the time, there is no disappointment because the sky was bad that day.

I now do a lot of digital painting.  With my trusty laptop by my side, I can now paint when the mood strikes me.  This freedom I’ve been given by having my tools at my disposal all the time has definitely increased my creativity because I’m doing it when the mood strikes me, not when I have to.

Rule #19 technology can help with that old nemesis, time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Scheduling

When it comes to the arts, scheduling works on certain levels and not others.  For example we need to schedule the mundane tasks like cold calling a gallery or publisher but certainly can’t schedule when our creative juices will flow.

I guess that’s why scheduling is so important to us.  The more mundane, yet important tasks we complete the better our chances of having free time when the creative juices start to flow.  I hate checking suppliers pricing and availability of products like framing wood or mattes yet unfortunately it is something that has to be done.  So I schedule it each month or sure enough I’ll need something at the last minute and it’s out of stock.  Talk about putting a damper on creativity.

So what do you hate to do yet it is important to your livelihood?

Rule #18 schedule the boring tasks to free up creative time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Rest and Relaxation

Railroad Station
Ah rest and relaxation. I took some of my own advice today and had some fun and relaxed.  I hopped on the train and went to Philadelphia and just strolled around in my wheelchair without a care in the world.  Amazing what a little relaxation and fun can do for you.

The photo above just may be one of the best I've taken in my life because I was just doing it for me.  As an added bonus besides getting Railroad and Relaxation into my post for "R" words if you look at the set of doors on the left that's my reflection of me in my wheelchair taking the photo.

Rule #17 don't forget rest and relaxation to recharge the batteries.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quotas

When it comes to the Arts, quotas have no place in them.  Art, whether it’s painting, writing or even acting come from a special place inside us and quotas of any kind will disrupt our creativity.  If it takes you two years to write a book, So What!  Six months to finish a painting, So What!

We are at our creative best when we are relaxed and enjoy what we are doing.  We will certainly be ready to jump in the saddle for a new project if the last one was enjoyable.  Want to get burnt out?  Write two books or sculpt to art pieces in the time you would normally take to do one.  How long do you think that type of schedule will be enjoyable? 

I know, I know we all need money and are looking for fame.  REALLY?  Is that the real reason you do what you do?  Not me!  I do it for the love of what I’m doing and I’ll bet if you think about it so do you.

Rule #16 Quotas, forget them and do it for the love.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Playing


I'm going to cheat today and talk a little about Playing.  I'm going to be 56 next year but seriously I'm a big kid.  I rasied my kids in later life on my own so naturally I went to work everyday and then went home and did wash, cook and dishes etc.  But guess what I certainly didn't like it.  Many a day I'd look out my office window and wish I was in a park, at the beach or just napping along a stream fishing.

Now that the kids are older and work has learned it better learn to get along without me now and then I can play.  Who cares what it is, a video game (Don't tell my kids), or any other fun thing I can think of when I'm not a dad or a boss.  It charges up my batteries, clears the head and then my creative juices can flow.

Rule #15 Pretty simple learn to Play!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Onward


Orange Flower
Merriam Webster defines Onward as : toward or at a point lying ahead in space or time : forward

For those of us still in the AtoZ Challenge “Onward” is what we are currently practicing and something we should take with us when the challenge is over.

If you’re like me there have been days where this challenge has been a lot harder than others. Some days it’s because I have a busy schedule, others I just draw a blank for the day’s letter. For some reason no matter what my obstacle has been I’ve moved forward and still remain in the challenge. It really has become a challenge to me, one I want to see through to the end.

It’s my hope I carry what I’m doing with this challenge onward to other projects in my life. If I apply the same grit and determination, my other projects are sure to have a better chance to succeed.

Rule #14 carry what we’re doing with this challenge onward to other projects.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Negatives

We all have negatives in our life, it’s what we do when confronted with them that really makes the difference as we move forward.

Three years ago I found myself in the hospital on two different occasions for a total of 5 ½ months. I am now wheelchair bound which puts quite a damper on things when you like to hike, camp, travel and enjoy the outdoors. A single father of three, I was determined to put a positive spin on my situation because I was worried my kids would feel obligated to stay home and take care of me. 

The two youngest just entered college in the last 2 years and needed to know they were free to enjoy life and prepare for their futures without constantly worrying about me. Thanks to God, Google Maps and the internet in general I’ve been able to adapt to my situation and turn my negative into a positive.

I’ve always believed there was a reason for everything. Surely God had a plan for me or this wouldn’t have happened. God knew a little more about me than I did myself so it took me a little time to figure it out.  I’ve never been one to let things or obstacles get in my way.  I never give up.  I always see good in everything and everyone.

Armed with my love of photography, painting and now maybe a little writing I’m on a new journey in life.  I’ve been doing a lot of research and am now starting to travel.  Recently I took an 800 mile train trip by myself with more trips planned for the future.  It’s my hope to start a web site to chronicle my journeys so others in my situation can explore and enjoy the places I plan on visiting.

My site and chronicles will not focus on the negatives of being wheelchair bound but the many wonderful places still accessible to us.  God has given us this wonderful gift called life and happiness is there for the taking if we just open our hearts.

I’m fortunate; I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa.  The train system in our area is fabulous and quite a few of the stations are accessible to wheelchairs so that’s where I’ll be starting my new adventures.  That being said Iceland is in the back of my mind so who knows.

God Bless my friends Smile God Loves Us.

Rule #13 Negatives, turn them into a positive.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Manic Monday

Marilyn Monroe
As I finish my midway post for the A to Z Challenge.  Just what I needed: a Manic Monday.  What is it about Mondays? I know it’s not just me.  The Bangle sang about it.
The Mama's and Papa's sang about it:  Monday Monday
The Boomtown Rats Sang about it: I Don't Like Mondays
The Allman Brothers and Countless other Musicians Sang this one: Stormy Monday
After listening to these guys I don't feel so bad about my Manic Monday I know I'm in good company.  There's a few other Monday songs I figured I'd leave them for others to post.

I had 3 other videos up but I think it was a little too much for blogspot.

Rule #12 Manic Monday's, don't sweat them we're not alone.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lists

Linda Ronstadt

I had no intention of doing a post on lists until this week. I’ve be joining quite a few blogs because of the A to Z Challenge and cannot always keep up with all the posts but did see some I found very interesting and wanted to read later when I had more time.

Ah Lists! I grew up with lists. My mom lived and breathed them. Her lists where done in pencil on the back of an old envelope. She was a genius with them and eventually learned to manipulate herself with them. Every morning she would make a list of the chores or tasks she wanted to accomplish for the day. She’d already be up, showered and dressed, have the coffee made and breakfast started yet they were always put on the list which she would immediately cross out as done.

The task of cleaning the kitchen for example:
Clear off table: 8:45
Wash Dishes 8:55
Wipe off Table 9:05
Wipe Off Counter 9:10
Sweep Floor 9:15
Dry Dishes and Put Away 9:25

There was a method to mom’s madness. If she just put clean kitchen on the list there was only one thing crossed out. With cleaning the kitchen divided into 6 tasks we now have 6 items crossed off. Having the 6 items from the kitchen and 4 or 5 she did before she even started the list crossed off she could look down at the list and think to herself look at all the things I’ve accomplished already.

Fortunately we don’t need the old envelope for our lists, we have things like reminders in Outlook, our phone or for some even our watch. We can even set reminders on our television to watch a certain show when it comes on. For me I saved the posts I want to read later in a folder in Internet Explorer called Blog Catch-up.  In a sense aren’t we creating lists just not the way mom did?

Are you using lists for your art of craft endeavors? If not, why? Are you making lists for the things you need to do? Do you have a list of places you want to call or submit something to? A list of books you should read? A list of things you’d like to try?

Rule #11 keep realistic lists and use them.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Kindle

Kent State Massacre
No, No! Not that Kindle, I’ll leave that one to the writers. I’m talking about the verb kindle.

Merriam Webster defines it:
transitive verb
1: to start (a fire) burning : light
     a: to stir up : arouse <kindle interest>
     b: to bring into being : start
3: to cause to glow : illuminate

I hear terms like:
     I’m in a funk
     Writers block
     Mental block
     I can’t get inspired
     I can’t come up with something new
     and on and on

When this happens delve into yourself and find what kindles your fire or passion. Step back from the project you’re working on and work on something for fun or passion. More often than not, this little break will recharge your batteries and clear your head allowing you to continue with your project reinvigorated and with a new perspective.

I used to like to do jigsaw puzzles. I can remember staring at those pieces on the table for 15 or 20 minutes not being able to find a piece that fits. I would get up and get a snack and on my way back to the puzzle I would see a piece that fits 10 feet away. Go figure!

Do you know what kindles your passion?

The sketch above is a moment in time that I am really passionate about. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s war was an issue on a lot of people’s minds. Never did it dawn on us that college students protesting the war would be shot and killed by our own National Guard.

Rule #10 kindle your passion by stepping back, digging down deep and having some fun.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Journal

A journal is something I’m sure most writers know about. For those of us who are not writers a journal can also be a great asset. While the word journal has a few different definitions my favorite is:
“c: a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use” Merriam Webster
With the technology we have today keeping a journal is easier than ever. No longer is a journal a marble black and white composition book or a diary with a key. Your cell phone for instance can be a great journal. Most cell phones allow you to take a picture, save a note and record a voice message. Advanced ones will allow you to save the gps coordinates.
So why would we need a journal you ask. Let’s say we’re a photographer out for the day armed with only our cell phone, iPod or laptop. We come across a great old building or window display and wish we could take a picture. Cell phone to the rescue! Snap a quick picture, jot down a note on your phone with the address so we can come back at a later date and then set a reminder to check your note and picture later.
This same photographer comes upon a gallery or meets someone of interest on a bus and again pulls out the trusty cell phone and creates a note, sets a reminder and also puts the info in his phone as a new contact. At the next bus stop is a great photo supply store, a quick search on the web reveals the store has a website. Viola website saved for future use.
Oh and of course we can still jot down ideas that may pop into our mind.
As you can see there are countless reasons why a journal is of value and with new technology easier than ever to incorporate into our daily routine. I get scattered from time to time so I have a reminder set for 8:30 pm every day to check what notes or ideas I may have forgotten about but saved to my phone.
Rule #9 start keeping a journal whether it’s the old copy book version or new technology.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Ideas

Ideas a new House

Quite often over the years I’ve been asked where do I get my ideas. I don’t know if there is any surefire set of rules for coming up with ideas so I’ll just tell you a little about myself and where my ideas come from.

I started off my adult life working in construction to eat and keep the electric on. When I finally felt comfortable enough to start looking for work using my art, creativity and ideas instead of my back I didn’t really stray too far from my roots. I never thought about it until this post but I guess I became a one man marketing company for everything homes. I’ve done work for interior designers and furniture stores to builders, painters and mortgage companies.

My career has been fun and varied. I create marketing and ad campaigns, newspaper, magazine and electronic ads, billboards, logo’s, brochures, radio ads, the list could go on and on. Despite all the different things I get involved in there is one constant.  All my ideas come from the same source. LIFE!

The fact I was a single dad of three gave me a certain perspective on life that I was able to draw from and use in my work. Over the years I’ve done ad campaigns like a three month long weekly cartoon strip based on four crows buying a new house and the idea came from watching cartoons with my kids.

While cooking one night and checking the recipe I got the idea of doing an ad for a builder called the Recipe for a Dream House. It was nothing more than a recipe card with a picture of the house and standard features listed instead of ingredients. The ad was supposed to be a one shot deal for Thanksgiving, it was so successful I wound up doing five more over the course of the next 4 months.

The picture above as I bring this to a close is one of my latest projects. I was getting board a few years ago and started to study architecture. I had compiled some ideas and thoughts on houses and raising kids in them and decided it was time to present these ideas to the world so I designed a series of eight houses I called Family Functional Houses drawing off my experiences raising three kids.

Two of those models have been the top sellers for a local builder, the same builder I did the Crow Cartoons for nine years ago. He’s still shaking his head wondering how does a guy drawing cartoons with no degree or background in architecture design a top selling house.

Simple! LIFE!

Rule #8 ideas, find out what inspires you and cultivate your ideas from it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Honestly

Honestly Look in the Mirror
I know, I know! Honestly doesn’t seem like a term that fits into my theme of rules for creative people, but it really does.
We need to honestly look in the mirror from time to time and ask ourselves are we honestly giving our best effort. I can tell you if we’re not, it more often than not will show in our final creation.
Have I honestly set aside time to write, paint, draw or whatever your passion is? Have I honestly set aside time to explore my creativity? Have I honestly put everything I have into a project? Have I honestly done the little things like cold call, look for new ways to promote myself, grown in my craft or shared my gift with others?
The next time you think to yourself all I need is a break. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve honestly done everything you could.
Rule #7 honestly practice and work at your craft.

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Gifted

Golden Sunset
I’m not sure where this post is going to go, we’ll see what happens in the end. I have some opinions on the subject that hopefully will come together and make sense by time I’m done. Damn I wish I was a gifted writer!
Merriam-Webster defines gifted as:
1 having great natural ability: talented <gifted children>
2 revealing a special gift <gifted voices>
I’m not saying I disagree with the definition, I guess my real problem with this and most other definitions of the word is it seems to be used to place or define one as: above the general population. I realize that a special talent differentiates individuals from others, where I think the term falls short is the fact that everyone is gifted. A fact conveniently left out.
We all possess a gift.  For some, unlike me it is writing. There are people who hear a song and immediately start playing it on the piano or guitar; others see a beautiful statue where I see a rock. I had an administrative assistant who could remember thousands of telephone numbers off the top of her head.  Talk about a gift.
I guess where I’m headed with this post is it’s not the gift, or the fact one is gifted that raises some people above the rest of us. It’s how they treat it, respect it, use it and share it with others that make them different.
A couple questions to ask ourselves:
1 Do we respect the gift we’ve been given and explore it to its full potential?
2 Do we use our gift for the betterment of ourselves and those who surround us?
3 Do we share our gift with those less fortunate? A writer for example could help write press releases for a local charity or read a book to children at the local library. A photographer could help at a local charity or animal shelter taking pictures for their press releases or website. An artist could donate a piece of work for a benefit gift. The list could go on and on. There is no shortage of people, places or causes that would benefit from your gift.
Rule #6 use your gift.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fun

Fun! Fun! Fun!
I saw this image from Breedstock and the above is the result of me having Fun.
This just may be the most important rule in life.  Whether it’s writing, painting, acting or singing, pressure puts a huge damper on your work and tempers your creative flow.  The greatest decision I ever made was to drop a photography class in college and never take another art or photography class again.  I had a professor in the mid 70’s who would never give me an “A”.  I would get an “A minus”, “B+” but never an “A”.

I asked her one day what gave her the right to give me a “B+” on a project when it met all of the criteria.  She very nicely told me I was a great photographer but my work was too much like Look or Life magazine and she wanted to see more creativity.  I explained to her there were 2 types of photographers, one that creates and one that observes.  I was the latter.

Armed with her criticism our next project was toys.  I wish I still had the photo.  I had my brother color half a page of Mickey Mouse, broke a red crayon in half and hollowed out the center.  I used red nail polish as blood and took a picture of my brothers hand holding the snapped crayon and red nail polish coming out of it on Mickey’s black ear and titled it “Mommy Why Do Crayons Have to Die”.

I finally got my “A”, my photo was the topic for the next 45 minutes of the class and then I proceeded to drop the class and never return again.  My reason was, if this is what I have to do to make others happy I’d rather do art for myself.  The decision paid off.  While I struggled mightily in the beginning and made a living everyway but art I started to find myself, my style and my passions and was able to refine my skills the way I wanted. 

For the last 25 years I’ve been paid for my creativity or lack of it if I am to believe my professor.  I basically do what I want with little or no questions and have fun doing it.  The lack of pressure and expectations has allowed my creativity to flow and flourish.  I wasn’t looking to make money from my art and I have.  If I was under a gun and had to produce like a factory doing projects I had no passion for I doubt if I would have ever made a dime.  Staying true to myself brought the best out in me.

Rule #5 have fun! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Expressionism

Expressionism 30 yrs of it in this painting.
History and the dictionary will tell you Expressionism started in the early 20th century, most notably in poetry and painting.  I don’t buy it.  The playwrights of ancient Greece or the middle ages with their satire towards the government may have something to say about that.
With expressionism we present the world from our unique, subjective perspective often distorting it to evoke emotions or ideas from our audience.  For an artist, musician or writer this is a good thing and should not be tempered.  With expressionism we unmask our fears, loves, hatreds and just about any other emotion we may have about the subject of our work. 

Too often, especially in visual arts I hear an artist say I hope the audience understood the message I wanted to convey.  If you have to ask that question then you haven't put all your emotions into your work.

Rule #4 Expressionism, express yourself, get in touch with your inner feelings and don’t be afraid to put them into your work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Discipline

Dawn on the Lake

Ah Discipline!  Talk about a dirty word to an artist.  It’s what makes us different and creative, yet the lack of it is our worst enemy.  Let’s face it we’re dreamers, we’re very opinionated, we generally look at the world in our own eyes and would rather question rules than follow them.

That being said, we do need certain structure in our lives if we are to succeed in our artistic endeavors.  Are you a writer who has been working on a novel for ten years, a photographer with 5,000 photos in a box that need to be sorted or a painter with 100’s of paintings in the attic or basement?  If so, your lack of discipline is your biggest enemy. 

We need to set aside time to write, time to sort, time to expand our craft, time for networking, time for volunteering and time to market our works or you just may be the owner of the greatest novel never read, the best song never heard or the greatest painting never seen.

Late Edit:  I ran across this post and it is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about when it comes to the ugly things we hate to do and need discipline for. Spunk on a Stick Blog.

Rule #3 Discipline, take a look at your shortcomings, set rules for yourself and start following them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Creativity

Canal Tow Path Manayunk, Pa
Most people will tell you creativity is something you are born with.  You either have it or you don’t.  I don’t want to get into that debate but I will tell you I think it’s something we need to practice and set time aside for.  The A to Z Blog Challenge is a prime example.  Too often we get absorbed in working on our projects and never exercise or expand on our creative side.

Set aside an hour or a half hour a week and dedicate it to exercising your creative side.  If you’re a writer go to a park take in the sites and write about it from a child’s view, if you’re a painter try painting something with only 2 or 3 colors, a photographer go out and take pictures of the letter “L”.  Not the actual letter but things around you like buildings or sidewalks that form the letter.  After all creativity is nothing more than:

something new which has some kind of subjective value (such as a joke, a literary work, a painting, a musical composition, a solution, or an invention etc).  (Definition paraphrased from Wikipedia.)

Are you allowing some fun time for your creativity to come to the surface?  If you're like me and do work for others all day, even though you are being creative, do you think the fact you need to meet others expectations your creativity may be strangled?

Rule #2 Creativity, religiously set time aside and try something new!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Basics

Black and White 12" x 18" Painting

What does the movie “Stand By Me”, the song “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry and hopefully my painting above all share in common?  They rely on the basics.  Stand by Me, a very successful movie was based on a short story.  Johnny B Goode only has three chords.  My painting is black and white, it relies on texture, shading and a simple subject not wild colors, special effects or a complex composition.

They are all simple, yet all beautiful in their own right.  The Basics!  No matter what type of art you pursue, learn the basics, practice them and then learn them some more.  Live, eat and breath them.  When you do, you’ll find that when you get stuck or are in a rut having the basics to fall back on will get you out of your funk.

There's a reason why every art student has to paint a bowl of fruit, every photography students has to shoot in black and white and every musician practices scales.  For writers I've heard the term "Who What When and How" thousands of times over the years so I can only assume that is your fruit bowl.  When we've learned the basics, only then are we prepared to explore further horizons and find our true style because we no longer have to think about them they just come natural.

Rule #1 Learn the Basics!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Art

A Beautiful Philadelphia Skyline 20" x 30" Painting

The definition of art is a debate I’d rather not get involved with.  Is architecture art?  How about the art of negotiating?  In my opinion life and everything in it is art.  Hell, I’m from Philadelphia, put an Italian Hoagie or Cheese Steak in front of me and I’m going to tell you they are works of art.

I’ve chosen art as my theme for the A to Z challenge for a reason.  I personally am not a writer and therefore I am out of my league in this challenge.  Most of my fellow challenge members are writers.  That being said I do have some interesting opinions and comments about how one should pursue their love for art and will be presenting my own rules and theory’s on the subject no matter what your passion is.

If you’re a writer, photographer, painter or stained glass maker hopefully my rules will help you out.  Of course I'll be providing one of my digital paintings each day to.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A - Z Challenge

No I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  I entered into a blog challenge called the A - Z Challenge.  You can see the logo and link to this challenge on the right if you want more information.  Basically the challenge works this way:

Every day in the month of April except Sunday you need to submit a post with at least 100 words.  Each day your subject matter needs to be the next letter in the alphabet.  Sounds easy enough except for 1 thing:  My blog posts while usually having more than 100 words also have an image.

Time is at a premium right now so I need to get a jump on my sketches and paintings if I want to keep up.  This image of Jimi didn't make the cut.  I opted for Janis Joplin instead for my letter "J" post so I figured I'd post it now for folks to see.

The A - Z Challenge is open to all so why not stop by and enter it.  It'll be a lot of fun and help get those blogging juices flowing while introducing you to some new friends.