This year I had my first autumn experience. My eyes had never seen so much beauty all at once. As an artist I know I will never make something as beautiful as a creation made by nature, and I don’t ever want to try. There is something unexplainable about being in the Awesomeness of nature that no words can describe. It can only be felt by the senses.
As a Floridian, autumn was never a big deal and now I understand why. It’s always summer there, and I dare say a tropical paradise like no other place on Earth. There are two coasts to choose from and you can grow food and garden year round, and swim in the ocean in autumn. However, once you’ve lived there for a good decade your body becomes removed from the experience of the other seasons.
I’ve never lived in an extremely cold climate but I have visited cold places during winter. After seeing my first autumn I like to think that the beauty of the changing leaves is a gentle reminder from nature of the reality of our impermanence. Our lives are more fleeting than the changing leaves. The leaves will come back next year and put on another spectacular display but the next second in our life is never guaranteed.
A lucky few have been gifted with effortless talent for their chosen craft or field. There rest of us have had to work tirelessly for decades and that is perfectly beautiful too.
I have been drawing and making pictures since I discovered that pulling a pencil or paintbrush across a surface was calming and kept me out of trouble as a kid. I simply never stopped.
I was terrible at it, making ugly whole-hearted little paintings. I have grown after years of devoted practice not talent and call myself an artist because I see it as a lifestyle. A commitment to live a creative life which in turn becomes a fuller life full of wonder, play, and intellectual curiosity.
Today, I think I am a confident painter rather than a skillful one. Time spent creating something of our own gives confidence to those of us who need it most regardless of what the final piece looks, sounds, or reads like it is never time wasted. It is time spent learning about all the potential burning inside. Or in the least it keeps us out of trouble by engaging restless energy in all of us.
Before he was Rubin the Mango Spirit. He was Rubin, a little one.
Jotting a story down sometimes with pictures first, sometimes with words first. It’s always a different process with each story revealing itself in a different form. Just jot it down, scribble it down, make stick figures, whatever it takes so you don’t let it run away with whatever moments you have. Stories are impatient and temperamental they want to keep moving.
Most of 2019 has been spent working on digital mediums. Learning new techniques using digital software and keeping my digital design skills sharp. But I have missed the feel of a pencil scratching the surface of a blank piece of paper.
The above painting was made using traditional materials. Gouache and Watercolor. Every time I look at it I am reminded of the tiny moments that came together to make this image. There is no going back once you start a watercolor painting. You have to commit or start all over again, and perhaps that is what I like about traditional media. The assertiveness it demands. That I had to just keep moving forward because the option to go back and erase was not available.
Have you ever wondered what sort of mysterious happenings take place in the Florida swamp lands? I wonder all the time because one of the things that makes the state of Florida unique is that due to the weather it is the home to a highly diverse and extensive population of plants and animals. Including book fairies who meet in hollowed-out ancient Cypress trees and fill them with books.
Consuelo – A miniature painting ( aprox. 4″ x 5″ inches)
I used Gouache paint on watercolor paper. Gouache is an opaque watercolor that can be applied in thick layers to create a graphic aesthetic. As opposed to the usual transparent look of regular watercolors.