Marc Taro Holmes an artist is an author of The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location (2014), from North Light Books. As well, he is the instructor of two online classes in location sketching (2014/15) available from Craftsy.com.
My thinking was – “I need something to hang over my writing desk. This will be the inspiration to finish these books!”
Finishing this second painting was a battle. Maybe you can tell?
But – that makes it perfect for writing inspiration. It’s a visualization of the writing process.
Messy. Rough-hewn. Terribly unfinished in parts. Yet, there are passages that sing. Little fragments of the first draft survive untouched all the way to the final work.
10×10″ Oil on panel, “Magic Realism”
So, for now, I’m still focused on visual arts. But I’ll keep working on my writing in the background. And in the meantime, I’ll keep working on these typewriters. I’m curious if I’ll have a show of these paintings before I have a finished novel? Hah! We’ll see!
Tremendous thanks to all those who’ve ordered the new book!
I hope you don’t mind me asking > Can you write me a review on Amazon?
I hate to bother you on top of your generosity – but those early reviews make a huge difference for independent authors. The number of reviews, both good or bad, affects how often it shows up in Search, and how likely it is to appear in Amazon’s “Readers Also Bought” lists.
Thanks so much!
In a month or so I’ll report on how things are going. I expect some of you will be interested to hear what this experiment in self-publishing artwork is like.
Available now on Amazon in Print and E-Book. < affiliate links, thx ]
This book has always been my personal goal for this year’s marathon. Not just finishing the paintings on time. But doing something worthwhile with them.
I’m proud of each of my books in their own way, but this one is special for me.
I feel I’ve made something more mature. More artistic.
This slim volume is my most personal book to date.
This whole month of talking about the marathon, I’ve been intentionally quiet about the real thinking behind the paintings.
The story that so many of you have been seeing in the art.
I’ve always been in love with the technical aspects of painting. I can talk shop for hours. All that ‘what brush do you like’, ‘what are your favorite colors’.
The new book has none of that. But it’s full of everything else. All the reasons why the paintings came out of me as they did.
I have loved blogging and sharing stories about travel and art on this blog, and in my other books. But, as a plein air painter and an urban sketcher – the work has never been about anything personal. Not really.
Painting on location is almost a mechanical process. You are a kind of art-camera. You record what you see like a documentary filmmaker. Yes, of course, it’s art. Every person’s view of a place is unique. But still – it’s always been easy to stay on the surface. To avoid being too serious. Just go to some nice places and enjoy your visit. Make some pretty paintings.
This project has been an entirely different experience for me.
In recent years with the slow-motion decline of my parent’s health and the final sputtering end of my career as a commercial artist, and the realization that my dreams of full-time travel-and-art are no longer compatible with reality (I’m getting too old, and frankly, too broke), I’ve had to face some serious questions about why I do art.
What is the motivation to live this lifestyle? Is it even worth it? What is the value of my lifelong dedication to the craft of painting? (In particular, my brand of painting quickly, directly, expressively. Work that I love, but that might fall below the level of ‘real art’ in some people’s eyes.)
This book seems like my first real step towards the future.
(Sorry – you’ll have to indulge me in some self-congratulation. Which, I think is a crucial skill for a fine artist. You need to do this for yourself, or how else do you keep going? :)
So yes! There it is!
I hope you’ll be interested in this new type of book from me.
I hope you’ll find something worthwhile in my analysis of my own paintings, my own motivations – and in seeing a tangible example of what I think the whole process of living creatively might look like for an artist today.
And – if you do pick up a copy – please do leave me a review on Amazon.
I want to know what you think, and, leaving honest reviews is an immense help to the author. It’s the lifeblood of bookselling these days.
Well – I do believe I quietly crossed the finish line a while ago. If I look back, this is painting number 34 of 30 – if I’m counting right?
It’s been a tremendous experience for me this year. Looking back at my primary goal – to produce a body of new work with a consistent feel, and new confidence with watercolor – I feel well satisfied.
I had a secondary goal of sending some of this work to the Canadian watercolor society. That’s in the judges’ hands as we speak. I’ll be able to report back soon if they are also fans of Direct Watercolor :)
I have one more bit of news, but I’ll push that off till tomorrow.
I hope all of you hit your thirty – or are expecting to make it in the next few days. Feel free to post your success stories in the comments! Let’s get the last few paintings out and take a well-deserved break!