Painting White Right / The Art of Arting

If you don’t already know, white has a tendency to lower the vibrancy of hues. Most amateur artists use it to lighten colors, but it can create an overall deadening effect because it can suck the life out of your painting. Three tips:

– Titanium white is cool in hue and dominates colors.
– Zinc white (mixing white) holds colors more, but has a lower tinting strength.
– Experiment mixing your colors with lighter non-white hues to see if they will give the effect you want without the side effects of white.

Just know that white will always be one of your most used paints, regardless of your techniques.

Perspiration ≠ Inspiration / The Art of Arting

If you haven’t felt inspired in a long time, maybe it’s because you’re rushing around too much. Find one of the things that speaks to you, rejuvenates you, something you feel you’ve needed for some time and have chosen not to do, maybe because it doesn’t always sound as appealing as something easier and more distracting, and do it for a little bit. For me it’s just a little outdoor silence, maybe sitting at the park, maybe reading and reflecting. For you it could be something completely different, although you might need to do something that lets your mind wander or find a sense of calmness, like a balm for the constant. Schedule that time, if you have to. See if it helps.

Blurb / The Art of Arting

Writing a blurb is challenging. I guess it’s appropriate that this is my first entry in this series, because it’s the one that brings both the least pressure and the most pressure, causing me to second-guess what thoughts I announce to the world and how I present them. I’ve run through quite a few ideas:

-how comforting a creek is
-how not to write a blurb
-what kind of art advice could people use?
-maybe something about hearing my neighbor singing while doing the dishes

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. This is really about getting the ball rolling, which could, of course, be profound in some way, if I didn’t draw attention to it maybe being profound. I think that might be a key to art. Undersell what you’re doing and hope that somebody reads into it. Or maybe put an idea into it and see if anybody can find it without you pointing it out. Both of which I’m struggling to do here.

A Video Game About Farming is Changing my Methods / The Art of Arting

One of the challenges of creating content on the internet is that excitement can peter out pretty quickly, either from the creator or from the audience. Expectations, time, interruptions, and so on can all derail a project or series that was conceived and initiated with the best of intentions. Personally, one of the most difficult obstacles is in my dedication to long and in-depth projects. I can easily get too ambitious and take too many things on, leading to distractions and broken promises, or at least a lack of a satisfying finish. My days can fill up with a mix of different pursuits, as well as the time I grant myself to decompress from them (which results in a lot of wasted time on the internet), all amounting to a lot of incomplete work.

I recently have been having an experience that is making me reassess my methods a little bit. This might sound weird, but it’s all because of a video game called “Stardew Valley”. The game is about managing daily tasks in order to generate rewards and build up a farm. At the beginning of the game, the player character inherits a plot of land that is overgrown, with zero crops, zero money, zero energy, and a whole lot of potential. Before too long, the days fill up and the skills improve, the land gets cleared and crops get planted, the harvests are reaped and the money is earned, leading to more improvements and a cycle of reward. What starts out as a very overwhelming prospect of renewal turns into a daily ritual of care, generosity, gain, and creativity.

Now there are lots of rabbit holes I could go down when comparing a video game to real life. There are things that don’t cross over perfectly. However, for my purposes, the lesson I would like to implement in my own endeavors is one of routine. I have always struggled with building a routine for myself, either because I try to do too much or I fear that I’m losing certain freedoms. I’m finding it a more attractive premise for the mere fact that with a reasonable routine, tailor-made for me and my preferences, shortcomings, quirks, and desires, freedom will come along with satisfaction. Freedom very rarely leads to satisfaction when there is no work or effort involved. I’ve had my fair share of days that I looked forward to for weeks, where I was going to have the whole day to myself, doing whatever I wanted, saying “yes” to all of the leisure and “no” to all of the constructive routine, all culminating in a day that felt wasted and disappointing. There’s very little more defeating than a day that was meant to be restful and delightful turning into a day of waste that goes by too quickly and agonizingly.

So, I’m building in small daily goals. Slam dunks. Things I can point to and say, “That was satisfying.” That was fun. That will build upon the one I did yesterday. The one I do tomorrow will build upon this one. And so on.

And here’s the first of my goals:

My goal is to post a thought everyday. I will post it here and on my website. If I can do this everyday for a month, I have another aspect that I would like to build into it.

Thank you all for sticking with me as I continue to discover what I have to offer. Honestly, I’m less interested in “creating content” and more interested in doing things that amount to something helpful. The whole “content” thing is getting tiresome. I encourage you to keep finding the things that bring meaning and joy to your life and the lives of those around you.