Monday, May 26, 2014

Some of my art work from the past year.

I’ve been fairly productive as a painter this past year. I took a couple of painting courses at the U. of North Florida. I’ve also done quite a few paintings for my own edification. I’m still very much an amateur, so don’t expect too much. The quality of my paintings are pretty uneven. Almost every painting is something new for me, attempts at doing something I haven’t done before. I have to try different things in order to improve both specifically and generally. So, here are a few of my paintings.

Rosenlaui, Bernice Oberland, Switzerland
Acrylic on canvas paper, 10 1/2” x 14 1/2”

Bridge in Venice
Acrylic on canvas paper, 7 1/2” x 10 1/2”

Chillon Castle, Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Acrylic on canvas paper, 10 1/2” x 14 1/2”

Acrylic on canvas paper, 11” x 14”

Acrylic on canvas paper, 11” x 14”

Still Life
Oil on canvas, 18” x 24”

This gives an idea of what I’ve been doing. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Guayaberas: I love mine

Writing at last!

I hope I'm not over-reacting to my recent work, but I seem to be finding my way into writing again. During the past two or three weeks I've revised the three short stories I wrote I can't even remember when. Was it last year, or the year before? Anyway, I've revised them and will now re-post them on Critique Circle for hopefully several critiques. If that goes well, I'll probably self-publish them as a group on Amazon and sell them for ninety-nine cents.

I'm surprised that I'm writing again. Only a couple of weeks ago, I was wondering if I will ever write again. I even wrote a couple of blog posts discussing the issue, but I did not publish them right away, because I wanted to write all three posts I had in mind before publishing the first one. Before I wrote the third one, I was writing again. So I haven't posted them. Maybe I'll put them in a page on my blog just to show what I was going through at the time.

I'm now taking a look at one of my novels and seeing what I can do to make it as good as I can. This is where I'm hoping I'm not over-reacting, because I'm only beginning this project. But I feel comfortable with where I am.  I even purchased Scrivener, because I’ve read so many good things about it. I even hope to download my self-published novel Only the Lonely to Scrivener and, because Scrivener formats automatically to Mobi, I’ll upload it back to Amazon, formatted correctly. But truth be told, so far I’m finding Scrivener mind-boggling. Hardly anything works the way I think it’s going to work. Well, I won’t go into it. I’ll just say it’s going to take awhile for me to figure out how it works.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Need to Learn



According to Ashley Montagu, one of the neotenous drives of of a child is 'the need to learn.' It's one of the traits that should be lifelong, but which affords me an opportunity to experience again what it is like as a child to learn new things. I remember from my childhood lying in the grass and playing with grasshoppers or crickets, or playing in the deep ditch behind my house and catching crayfish, tadpoles, and minnows. That interest in learning continued in high school and especially college (I almost majored in Biology prior to switching to English) when my interest moved more toward the world of ideas and culture. After college, my interests in learning took many paths: religion, philosophy, psychology, and, of course, literature. It was all self-directed study. I was an autodidact, and as far as I'm concerned it served me well.

Now that I'm older and retired, I've re-entered more structured learning at the University of North Florida. So far, it has been the study of art--drawing and painting. I feel that I've re-entered the childlike experience of the 'need to learn'.

A whole array of study possibilities have opened up to me. I'm looking at all that I can learn and trying to decide which subjects I want to study. Among them are Chinese, various writing courses, computer courses, art history, and of course more fine art courses.

I feel like a child again. It's an exciting time in my life. It's a rare opportunity--to be a child with the experience of an adult. It suits me just fine. You might want to give a try. You might feel young again.