My art stuff takes me to a zone beyond words.
Coming from a writer, this might sound strange. But the word-crafting process can get incredibly anal. Oh, the frustration and loneliness…
To restore my inner life, I dive into a world of color. No words. Just color. Rich, wild, intense color. Pale, whispery, quiet color. And gimme those grays!
Why I paint
I began oil painting around 2009. Then in 2015, I discovered watercolor. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m also fond of doodling on my blog posts. I enjoy making quilts and collages, too.
Finding my art head changed me in a million ways, including my relationship to words. For instance, the old me would see an apple and think, take laptop to Apple Store Genius Bar for repair. Buy $2.99 HoneyCrisp apples. From here, control freakish anxiety spiraled. Clean kitchen. Pay bills. Do this. Do that. Hurry, hurry, faster.
Sure, I still keep a to-do list. But my approach is less manic. Now, when I see an apple, I say to myself, hmmm. Then, mmmm, juicy reds and yellows. How interesting, the way the light reflects from from that one quiet spot, making a superstar out of a purple-y-green shadow. Wow. What a voluptuous piece of fruit. Just look at those surfaces and curves.
This new inner conversation feeds my mission to live in the moment. More and more, I’m hitting the pause button to exhale. All around me, there’s color, texture, light, volume and shapes. They are beautiful sources of inspiration and love that provide hope in a terrible world. Having this inner life brings me serenity.
- Watercoloring gives me the courage to go abstract:
- But I still adore oil painting:
- Every once in a while, I’ll even sit at my sewing machine and quilt a tiny blanket for a special baby:
My art process
- How to live the life that you want. This popular 2011 post is a bit embarrassing now. (In it, I wished out loud to be more, um, sexy.) But blogging and the art process are about being in the moment, right?
- Improving vision naturally with Marc Grossman. Creativity is good for your health! My eyesight went from legally blind to acceptably near-sighted. Dealing with emotions and simple exercises made the difference. My holistic eye doctor explains it all.
- This page is about the visual arts. I also have tons of writing blog posts, including how-to, resources, etc. You can access them by clicking on the classes tab of the nav menu.
Related blog posts
- In June 2015, I went on a 10-day painting vacation to France. The highlight was painting in Claude Monet’s Giverny garden. I blogged every single day. Click here for the full list of blog posts. Then again, if you only want the highlights, just read about how I spent $9k on this trip, my day of reckoning, and, what I learned about abstract painting and life.
- Finding myself: 3 reasons why we can all learn to draw. I used to find drawing too hard. Then, I met a great teacher. Now I love drawing. This post includes how-to illustrations, books, and more.
- Learning to see: Drawing hands and feet. A how-to post about drawing the two trickiest body parts because of all the finely articulated joints. If you want to gauge the quality of an artist who works in realism, look at the hands and feet. Are they realistic too? Or clumsy?
- Developing my artistic self. This 2011 posts describes how I got started with oil paints and includes how-to painting videos with one of my teachers, Karen O’Neil.
- Check out my latest abstract oil paintings. I’ve evolved quite a bit since this 2013 post. But these are still some of my favorite works. And the lessons about letting go stay with me every day.
My field trips
- Art trend: Collage, from Picasso to Facebook, Twitter & More. Fascinating museum talk with collage experts who explain how collage works. They also reflect on social media and the impact of collage.
- Check out Islamic art at the MET. Field trip with the South Asian Journalists Association. I enjoy hanging out.
- 10 reasons to see “Kung Fu.” Reflections following the 2014 opening of this Off-Broadway play about Bruce Lee, written by my friend David Henry Hwang.
- 5 reasons why “Beasts of the Southern Wild” inspires me as a parent — & daughter. Reflections after 2013 neighborhood screening of this Oscar-nominated film by local boy Benh Zeitlin. Includes interview with his parents.