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I’m doing pet portraits?

drawing of a parrot
26x 30 water crayon on paper

This was a complete departure from taking myself or anything I do seriously. I think It’s a good thing. Yes, I suppose I do “pet portraits” now. My art professors back in the day would have scoffed. But, then again I doubt if any of them ever cared to remember me.

It’s up to ME to decide if I’m happy making art and enjoying it. Why? While I’m not saying THIS is a great work -honestly -It’s fun, upbeat, cute. But I also think I rushed it a little so my friend could have what he asked me for in a hurry -while I’m doing freelance work and holding a 9-5, and doing family stuff. DISTRACTIONS.

It has a few flaws that could also be what makes it work. The perspective is different and the contrast and tones are different from the source photo.

I made something else -and my friend LIKED IT. I can’t just keep making things in my basement studio nobody will ever hang up or even see. WHO LOOKS AT THIS SITE ANYWAY? Who the hell am I?

As with anything I do, I know it’s done when I can’t look at it anymore and/or anything added won’t significantly do anything special to it. I thing deciding when something is done is almost as hard as starting.

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Making art again and then stopping again

Well this should be relatable at least to us mortals that weren’t born with a paintbrush in our hand or brought up as some master’s apprentice or never ever just decided something we made sucks so bad we really hurt over it.

Self doubt and criticism are signs you are going in the right direction.

They say perfection is a moving target and the closer you get to it, the father away it is. The Kruger Dunning effect which most us are aware of just reminds us that the best we can settle for is at least finding comfort in mediocrity or at least feeling that way ….IF you are not completely disillusional.

So accept that about everything just find comfort that you know you need to be better. But then comes someone who is way way better and you wonder about getting THERE. My point is, from my own experience Beating myself up is DEFINITELY the toughest part. Besides I WANT to be proud of a few pieces I put up but I also know they aren’t THAT good are they. But they ARE.

My soap box

I can’t hate on Bob Ross but I for one, cant’t stand that people can’t differentiate ‘high art’ from what he was doing. If you want to have fun go for it! BUT…. Try to understand things like deep emotion and much of what makes a great work of art what it is vs what I equate to building models and putting ships in bottles.

Look at this:

It’s not “bad”

Copy-write Bob Ross -Please don’t sue me for posting this

Now Look at THIS:

The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne WH Turner

I rest my case.

We are up against ourselves and anyone who honestly can’t see the difference or don’t want to…. that and not getting paid for what you love as easily.

I hope I can at least take the first steps to change that and if you tell me art is a “hobby” I might have to kick your ass.

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The Letter Ayin

see the artwork here!

The illustration explained:

The eye ‘Ayin’ is looking towards hashamayim superimposed over the clouds ‘anavim’  relate to Tehillim 119:18:

“Unveil my eyes that I may understand the wonders of your Torah” 

The inset drawing showing the shape the letter ayin with the eyes and optic nerves connecting towards the heart -relating to the  Midrash Tachuma: “The eye sees the heart desires and the body commits the averos”. 2 This is also true with choosing to internalize the Torah.

Some meanings of the number 70 

The letter Ayin in the Aleph Bais is numerical value of 70. There are many examples of how the number seventy is relevant in the Torah in connection with this letter.

Some are:

  • 7 days of the week/ creation
  • Every 7th year is a Shmitah year
  • 49 days of Yovel
  • 49 days of Sefirah
  • 70 original nations of the world
  • 70 people that descended to Egypt
  • 70 members of the Sanhedrin
  • 70 names of Hashem

The underlying significance of 7, 49, and 70 are connected with purpose and completion, many mitzvos in the Torah, and rising higher spiritual levels. (Additionally, some wisdom is hidden -the word SOD (hidden also has the value of 70).

The letters that form the Ayin 

The letters that form the Ayin may be composed from different letter combinations: Nun Vav Zayin, 

The letters that form the Ayin can also be composed of the letter Vav and Zayin 

-The use of all four letters: Yud, Vav, Zayin, Nun can spell G’Noz meaning the hidden light of creation(also note the word ‘sod’ as stated above is the value of 70).

1 Dovid Leitner, Understanding the Aleph Beis (Feldheim Publishers, 2007) 293

2 ibid 294