Slow-Life Drawing

Ballast_point_park_drawing

This year I’ve been experiencing a more unplugged life than the past couple of years.  So far the first things I’ve noticed is that time feels slower paced, more spacious, and solitary. It’s as though each day is a page being turned without hurry in a crowded room.

horseshoe_crab1

The other day I went to visit the ocean to recharge with the smell of sea salt and the steady hum of the waves.  To my surprise several Horseshoe Crabs were mating by the shore.  I recorded the moment in my sketchbook which is starting to become a visual journal.

Ballast_point_park_drawing1

I usually don’t use reference for my drawings or paintings. Over the years I have tried to work from memory. I’m now going back to basics and committing more time to life drawing to better understand my subjects and how their existence makes my existence possible.

horseshoe_crab2

 

with smiles,

-Yan

Art & Play

Journey to Water.jpg

Sometimes I plan pieces from beginning to end. Other times I find them while playing and moving my paint brush around the paper.

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The new piece “Journey to Water” was  a piece I “found” and I slowly tinkered away at it for brief moments at a time.

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I keep finding inspiration for color palettes and textures while taking walks by the ocean and the park.

 

with smiles

-Yan

Stack of Possibilities

I keep an old Whitman’s chocolate box in a corner on my tiny art desk. Inside that box are cut pieces of paper that I have kept after cutting up unused sketches, color swatches and just blank pieces of paper I couldn’t bare to throw away and waste. This once tiny stack has grown and instead of tossing paper I cut it and pile it inside the box. Why? What is the purpose of collecting scraps of paper in a chocolate box?

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This simple and a bit raggedy little box has become an important part of my end of day routine. This chocolate box has freed me to embrace my curiosity, let go of expectations, mute the noise I’ve absorbed during the day and just have fun. Especially after a long drive home or a stressful day.

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I sit down and begin to move my hand WITHOUT any expectations, desired outcomes or questions about the usefulness of these scribbles.

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At the beginning I felt stuck, uninspired, scared of making mistakes yet by the end I just feel at peace. Once I feel satisfied I put the stack of layered scribbles inside the box until another day.

Spirituality & Health

 

S&H March 2018

Head over to a grocery store or health food store and pick up the March/April 2018 issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine. One of my watercolor and gouache paintings is featured with a very interesting article about protecting our ‘Flow’  by Allan Hamilton MD. 

Protecting the flow is an ever important aspect of the creative journey. Specially in our social media times where attention vampires are everywhere trying to drain every second of our focus and addict us to multitasking. In fact, halfway through writing this I got up to do the dishes and clean the bathroom before I realized I had lost my focus for the writing. Multitasking is a habit I’m trying to wean myself away from as much as is realistically possible in my daily life, and definitely in my studio time and art making process.

S&H March 2018_Yanuary

Many of you know that creative practices take a lot of work and energy, hours upon hours. It’s not magic. Sometimes I have to uninstall Apps for a while to focus on the work that I love and have been doing since I was a kid simply because it filled my soul back up with joy after a long day or a difficult time. As well as to regain the clarity that living on this Earth is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.

with smiles,

– Yan

https://spiritualityhealth.com/

S&H March 2018_Cover

Poetry Illustration

One of my favorite projects of 2017 has been collaborating with poet and musician @eyesofapearl

I had the pleasure of translating her writing into illustrations.

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New Growth – eyesofapearl
stargazing-yanuary_copyrighted
Stargazing – eyesofapearl
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Self Study – eyesofapearl

The Journey Continues

 

Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico, watercolor & Gouache on paper

2017 was a  year full of new habits such as devoting more of my free time to big goals, like improving my writing skills, reading more, painting everyday whenever and surrounding myself with positive friends and artists that love making things.

Here’s a few pieces I finished during this busy 2017 year.

 

 

BowHeads
War Heart, watercolor & gouache
DReamHouse
Dream House, watercolor & gouache
Somewhere in Guatemala
Somewhere in Guatemala, watercolor & gouache

A Cure for Creative Blocks

The cure for a creative block for me is:

     1. Leaving the house

• This creates opportunities for new experiences that will influence the work in unexpected ways

 

  2. Exploring a new place/more closely observing a familiar place

• Experiencing something new opens up space for new ideas and noticing something new in a familiar place strengthens observation skills that will develop a refined eye for things such as, seeing how light falls on a tree or how grass is made up of infinitely different greens.

 

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   3. Physical labor that benefits someone other than myself

• This tires the body and slows down a spinning wheel of thoughts and worries by putting them into perspective and in relation to the bigger picture of life and others’ lives.

 

Picking Lemons