My name is Will and I am an obsessive notetaker.
I get sidetracked easily.
If I’m listening to something that has piqued my curiosity, it can send me down a rabbit hole of research….usually halfway through a painting.
And then the copious note-taking follows.
It got so bad at one stage, Vanessa had to prevent me from buying new notebooks because after furiously filling them with fascinating insights, I’d annoyingly lose where I’d put them or worse couldn’t decipher what my own scribbling all meant.
On a positive, my last birthday present was The Remarkable Tablet (an e-ink notebook that feels amazingly close to writing on paper) which has helped add order to the chaos and made the kitchen table decidedly neater.
Some of my research notes do come back to inspire my practice and if they bring me a new understanding or appreciation, I figured they are worth sharing.
So here are my top 5 art inspirations that I’ve read, experimented with or listened to this week, when I should have been at the easel, with the hope they might inspire your own work too…
I’ve enjoyed listening to:
This is a great podcast that I’ve been re-listening to. This episode looks at the 19th century English artist Elizabeth Thompson, one of the first female painters to achieve a rapid rise in fame, and how, once the excitement died down, she all but disappeared from the art world…but why?
I’ve enjoyed watching:
TED TALK: Video: You can see this uplifting Ted Talk with Conductor Benjamin Zander on the transformative power of classical music. It gave a new perspective, made me laugh and brought back memories of childhood piano lessons.
Online Art Shows: BP Portrait prize can now be viewed virtually, look out for the fab painting by fellow QEST Scholar Jamie Coreth, it’s a masterclass in painting silk!
“The creative life is not linear. It’s not a straight line from Point A to Point B. It’s more like a loop, or a spiral, in which you keep coming back to a new starting point after every project.” – Austin Kleon
Materials I’ve been testing:
Medium: I’ve been experimenting this week with Schmincke Medium-W an oil paint additive, which comes in a gel and liquid form. The gel is fascinating, you can mix in with traditional oils to make them water-mixable!
Mix 2 parts paint to one part gel and create an oil colour that can be mixed and thinned with water – and most impressively cleaned up with water, however, it does change the handling properties of the paint, transparency and drying time. I found the consistency was really nice to do a quick oil sketch with.
On my Easel this week:
On my easel, this week is a painting study observing form and comparing low-solvent to non-solvent thinners. It’s part of the upcoming Water-Mixable Oil Course that is shaping up nicely, I’ll keep you posted.
Have a creative weekend!