Today I dropped Koa off at UT Austin for his third and final band camp of the summer. The dorm he is staying at is right next to the Blanton Museum of Art, so after Koa was squared away, I decided to check out the artwork. As a bonus, I bundled my ticket with parking so I saved a few bucks. 😁
As luck would have it, I bought my admission at about 3 pm, right when a free guided tour was starting. It was “Best of the Museum” and we stopped at nine pieces of art and had discussions about each one. It was very interesting and illuminating! I’ve been interested in art all my life, but I find it hard to understand the purpose of it. Some of the art we saw today from the early 20th century was clearly made to make a social statement, but other Italian art from the 1600s was more of a depiction of a typical everyday scene. They were very different, but both are “art”. I suppose the hangup I’ve always had in understanding art is that for some reason I thought art should have a singular purpose, but that is clearly not the case. Some art is meant as a protest against the status quo, some art is religious and devotional, portraits can simply be a likeness of the subject, etc. I guess the art is more about the artist’s vision, rather than the objects in the art themselves?
Listening to the museum docent describe what the artists may (or may not) have been trying to say opened my eyes as to what art might mean to me. I’m excited to think about it more, and maybe I can use my creativity to make some more meaningful art. The first step is figuring out what I want to say, which honestly could be a challenge.
It’s funny to think that although I’ve been interested in art since elementary school, took classes throughout high school, majored in Art Studio and minored in Art History, then interned at a museum, that finally at 50 years-old I am giving serious thought as to what art means to me. All this time I’ve just been making things just because I liked the aesthetic. But there can be so much more, right?
For the past week I’ve been wearing a wrist brace in order to let it heal properly. For several months now, I’ve been dealing with a nagging soreness when I flex my left wrist too far in either direction. I think I originally injured it lifting a suitcase in the summertime, and I have kept injuring it with regularity since then, so it never gets a good amount of time to heal. The pain is not too bad, but there are certain times when it hurts more, such as when I stretch for some keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop (like ctrl+t), reach back for the seatbelt, or play the ukulele.
The Vive wrist brace is sized pretty small, so I think anyone with larger hands will find it uncomfortable. My wrist is 6 3/4 in diameter, which is on the skinny side, and it’s pretty snug. The brace has three adjustment straps, and I like to leave it loose, which is comfortable but gives me adequate support and warning when I bend my wrist near the limit when it would begin to hurt.
Also, the brace is great for helping me play my Kala ukulele with better form. One of the reasons why my wrist has not healed is that I used to strain it almost every day due to my bad fretting form. But playing while wearing the brace keeps my wrist straight (and forces me to bend my fingers more) which is so great! In fact, the wrist brace might be a good idea for anyone who wants to improve their bad form.
Anyway, after a week of wearing the brace off-and-on, I can definitely tell that there’s less pain. Even when I don’t use the brace, I am more aware of my wrist position and more hesitant to use my left hand in situations that could potentially put excessive strain on it. It’s nice to be on the road to recovery! I’m not sure how long I will have to wear the brace, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to give up my ukulele hobby, which is a source of joy for me. 😀
こんばんは。How’s it going? I continue to enjoy sketching on the iPad, and the convenience and speed it provides. What is really nice is that I can work through mistakes a lot faster than with pencil and eraser. It lets me try new things without fear of wasting paper or actually needing to buy new stationery or art materials. Also, because there is no cleanup involved, I am more likely to start something completely new. If I simply want to push paint around, I can do that instantly. It’s not physical paint, of course, but I end up scanning the real-world watercolors and pencil sketches to share in the digital world anyway. I suppose drawing digitally, and on the iPad in particular, streamlines the process, and breaks down barriers that were standing in the way of creativity.
Digital drawing for me also goes hand-in-hand with decluttering. I feel like I can reduce the number of pens and paints I keep around. My sketchbooks have been “silent” lately, although I still use notebooks for daily journaling using my favorite fountain pens. But I don’t mind not using the sketchbooks because I don’t really like seeing them laying on the desk. It kind of made me feel guilty of not using them. So I put them away, and the desk is even more clutter-free, even though there’s still lots more that can go. It’s nice to know that I can have all my new artwork contained in the iPad and the cloud. Maybe it’s just a phase, but I am finding joy in NOT creating physical drawings.
Anyway, here’s the latest drawing. I keep getting closer to my own style, or at least I find myself gravitating to this style. A couple of things that are on my list are more body poses, and also male portraits. And the digital medium will help me in those efforts for sure!
Have you ever noticed that your handwriting is neater and letters are more elegantly formed when you are in a good mood? Or is it just me?
When I am having a normal day, my writing is just regular, which is to say, not particularly even nor uneven, mostly adhering to the lines of the paper although it takes some effort. But if I have less stress, or am in a really good mood, I make fewer mistakes and the words look much nicer. I also can write faster without giving it much thought or effort. It’s kind of like I am in the zone, and it feels great.
Sometimes, when I am writing or taking notes, and I notice that my lettering is extra sloppy or I have to cross out a lot of things, I take a step back know that something is bothering me and then try to identify what is causing my stress or bad mood. Usually, it’s a small worry or concern about a task that I have to do. And just by identifying what is causing me that mild distress, it becomes less of an issue. Maybe not knowing the cause of the stress actually causes more stress, if that makes sense.
Hmm… I wonder how much truth there is to that theory. 🤔
While going through some of my old clothes, I came across two items from my alma maters, Torrance High School and UC Irvine. The one from high school was my old cross-country jersey. It was cool to look at it again before putting it in the trash. Its last bit of usefulness was to remind me of the good times I had running in high school. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy cross-country. Haha. But it happened, and it gave me experiences and I learned about myself.
The other item I found is a pull-over from college. I really like the classic design and color, but it’s uncomfortable and not soft anymore. Actually, I don’t think it was ever very soft. Anyway, I was going to throw it away but then Bay decided he wanted it. I guess he’s into “college mode” or something. I’d eventually like to get a more comfortable replacement for the pull-over because I am sort of proud of graduating from UCI. It’s not really high on my list, though. 😄