Archive for September 19th, 2012

stones1I fell in love with the work of artist Greg Stones a couple of years ago on a visit to the Blue Heron Gallery in Wellfleet, MA. I went back to the Wellfleet’s Blue Heron Gallery last week while on an annual tour of the town’s many galleries, and was thrilled to find a new selection of original works by Mr. Stones.

I was first drawn to Mr. Stones work due to his whimsical subject matter – thinks like dueling penguins and sock monkeys, alien invasions and… wait for it… zombies. I also like the small scale of his works and more than anything – his incredible talent which allows him to create such detail with gouache on paper.

stones2While looking at Mr. Stones’ works that were on display at the gallery, I fell in love with his “A Last Moment” – a pencil sketch with only part of the image colored in with paint depicting a young man seemingly saying goodbye to earth as an alien saucer descends in the sky.

I love the relative subtlety of the work – it is a serious image with a hint of Mr. Stones’ more whimsical pieces. I love it and I bought it. I can now say I own an original Greg Stones Gouache on paper.

Meanwhile, my taste for Greg Stones’ work was not yet satisfied. Upon exploring other works on his website, I purchased prints of “Big Foot with Bike” and “Dog Ponders Saucer” – both of which I just love.

I love “Big Foot with Bike” for Mr. Stones’ wonderful whimsical concept and of course the bike:

BIGFOOT

I like the “Dog Ponders Saucer” as it reminds me of winter here in New Hampshire and I could totally see that being the general reaction to an alien invasion here:

DOGSAUC

See more works by artist Greg Stones here.

Visit the Blue Heron Gallery in Wellfleet, MA here.

STEALEvery time I go off on vacation, especially in the summer, I pack a few books and load up the Kindle with the great intent to read as much as possible as I relax. Inevitably, I end up reading a lot, but hardly ever the stuff I brought with me.

While traveling, it seems I get exposed to new and different books that seem to scream out at me. Often the vacation homes we rent have a ton of compelling books on hand, and my traveling companions always have books that look better than the ones I brought. Meanwhile, if you travel with the crowd I was with in Wellfleet, MA for vacation last week, books are one of the most common gifts exchanged.

Such was the case last week when my friend Lynda came back from a short shopping trip in town with a gift for me, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. She saw the book and instantly thought I would like it, and she was right.

About Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon: “You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age,Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side. When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to createSteal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherver they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.”

In Steal Like an Artist, Mr. Kleon really doesn’t share anything revolutionary about being artistic and the creative process, but he does present a nice template to gather your thoughts and act on your creativity. I guess that’s the point – nothing is original so why not just repackage it?

In short, Mr. Kleon sort of gives us permission to be the artist we want to be. If the world needs anything it is more people with imagination and the freedom to express themselves.

Steal Like an Artist is not a long narrative, the thoughts and exercises are presented in short burst with great design in a nice small format. Which means I polished this puppy off in no time but know I will be returning to it many times.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.