Do You have The Character of a Creator?

The overwhelming response for ‘ Secrets of Creative 
Thinking from Artist’s Point of View ‘ is moving the 
deep layers of my inside. It has inspired me to write 
more about it. 
 

Landscape        Artist : Magunta Dayakar


 In present times, everyone needs little or more creative thinking to survive in jobs, professions and business. A number of books have also been published on it, but the problem is most of these books are not reaching the general people’s understanding level.

As a professional fiction writer I know how to reach common people’s understanding level. Using those skills I will try to explain the character of a creator, which is needed very much to do creative thinking.

To achieve the character of the creator, you require some characteristics in you. It won’t come to you like an inheritance. There is only one way… you have to acquire them.

I am confident that I have considerable understanding about how to achieve the character of a creator ; I will share my knowledge with all of you in my Wednesday Column from 3rd week of the November

From The Painter’s Heart

Since the age of twenty, I have been surviving last 
forty five years as an artist and novelist; In between 
I also had a brief stint in acting and directing 
movies. 

So much of life, so many experiences… misery, pain, 
depression, joy, pleasure, excitement … finally a 
feeling of elation. 
 

Under the Trees     Artist : Magunta Dayakar

But, some emptiness inside as if something more I want from my life … what is it? Whenever I thought I have found my freedom, it would go away from me.

Then these words used to flash in me. “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” (the three rules of mountaineering)

How truthful they are! What next ?

Then I used to remember Russian-American Fantasy writer Vera Nazarian words…

“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options. You can climb it and cross to the other side. You can go around it. You can dig under it. You can fly over it. You can blow it up. You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there. You can turn around and go back the way you came. Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”

After recalling these words, I pushed myself to move towards my path. Now, walking on that path, I have been reminding myself that my life is …to stay on the mountain and make it my home.

At this moment I am recalling the words from the economist,author and Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld’s “Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”

Creating the Light for Composition requirements

For a realistic painter creating light in paintings is 
the ultimate challenge. To create light in paintings 
the artist has to understand the intricacies of Value, 
Color and Composition. But that’s not enough, there 
is more to it than that.

Morning Light         Artist : Magunta Dayakar

The 18th century great English painter Joshua 
Reynolds said ‘A mere copier of nature can never 
produce anything great.’ 

He used to create light in his paintings for his 
composition requirements.

Here the key lies …’ Creating the light for 
composition requirements.’
 

This is the most interesting and ultimate subject for 
artists and art students.

Do you think, to do abstract or semi abstract painting,you don’t need to learn drawing and other skills of Traditional Painting? Is it true?

Many people, art students and some artists think, to do abstract painting they don’t need to learn drawing and other skills of traditional painting. It’s an absurd notion. It’s like jumping into the deep waters without learning swimming. Imagine, what’s going to happen then.

The same will happen to anyone who wants to do modern or abstract painting without learning the skills of traditional painting. These skills of traditional paining are the language of Art.

Here I am giving four figures.

                             
                                 Figure 1 : Photograph ( Taken by me)

        

Figure 2 : Value Plan ( Working from the photograph using Composition   approaches )

                  

                  Figure 3 : Abstract Painting ( Painted from the Value plan)

Figure 4 : Semi abstract painting ( Changing Abstract Painting to Semi abstract painting).

Me, My Child           Artist : Magunta Dayakar

If we take next step, we work the semi abstract painting into a realistic painting.

In fact, every realistic painting will be planned as an abstract structure by composition. From then, it would be worked as a semi abstract painting. The next step … it will be fine tuned into a realistic painting.

This is the way the artist who has a good understanding on the language of art, works realistic painting.

Once again we look into the approach …
Your subject ( Photograph or some other from the life which inspired you)

If you like to do abstract painting stop your work at first step ( Figure 2 )

If you like to do semi abstract painting stop your work at second step (Figure 3)

or If you like to work realistic painting continue to next step, that would be the realistic painting.

Sketching, Value, Color, Edges, Perspective and Composition …these are the things every art student has to learn whether they paint abstract, semi abstract or realistic painting. You call them … Language of Art.

I will discuss about them in the coming weeks.
 

Read this snippet
Ignorance
(Excerpt from my kindle book ‘ Everyday Experiences of a Struggling Artist ‘)

One day a young lady came to me.

” I wan to learn Modern art. ”  She asked me.

” What do you mean by Modern art? ” I asked her.

” … modern art … modern art … ” she didn’t know what to say.

Simply she was bewildered.

I waited for her reply.

After few moments of confusion, she came out with an answer. ” Modern art is … something, artist expresses in a free manner, which does not need to follow any rules. ”

” Which rules are you talking about? ” I asked her, trying to know what’s in her mind.

” We don’t need to bother about drawing, we don’t need to worry about strict painting methods. Just we paint the way we like. ”

I didn’t talk anything immediately. I was silent for some time, then I asked her, ” Who said to you modern art is like that? ”

” … many said. ” a little bit of hesitancy in her voice.

” It’s a wrong notion, ” I tried to explain her in a sympathetic tone. ” whatever happened in art in the period of 1860 to 1970, related to experimenting with different materials, ideas was called Modern art. So many isms and styles were there. Every artist understood the rules. You could not call them as rules, call them as ‘ Language of art’. Take for example Picasso, do you think he didn’t apply the rules in his works? He applied it in every work of his. Not only he, other artist’s also did the same, whether they are Abstract art, Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, Suprematism or Surrealism, whatever they are, those artists followed language of art, which you called ‘ Rules. ‘ So if you want to learn modern art, first you learn language of art. Then whatever way you want to express your emotions, you go with it. ”

Again a few minutes silence,

She asked me, ” I have understood what you said is true but … I am confused. Then why are they saying that you can learn modern art without bothering about any rules? ”

I smiled at her, and said… ” Ignorance. ”
                                            

How to teach Painting to adults who want to learn it as a hobby?

How to teach Painting to adults who want to learn it as a hobby?
A very big question!

Usually they won’t even have basic drawing skills, but they want to paint beautiful paintings like professionals within a few days! How is it possible on earth?

But some of the art teachers try to meet their expectations. In that process the results are disastrous, highly unsuccessful. After a few classes those adult students would lose interest in learning painting, consequently those art teachers also lose the students. At the end both sides end up being losers!

Having taught painting to adults for the last 15 years, I have understood how to teach painting skills to them in a few months time, which they enjoy for their life time.

A teacher has to make them understand, learning art is not just doing some colorful paintings, it is more than that. It is understanding life. If they understand life they will be able to enjoy it, whatever day to day problems they would be in. It’s a great relaxation. This is the teacher’s responsibility to help them to understand this great truth.

I am going to write about this in every Sunday Column from next week.

 

Portrait of Two women                             Artist : Magunta Dayakar

( I have done this painting in oils from black and white Photo which was taken probably in the nineteen sixties. I work portraits only from photographs which I feel comfortable with. When I saw the photograph, I was inspired by the plein air feel in it. So I did this.)

 

Read this snippet 
They didn’t teach her how to paint
( Excerpt from my kindle book – Everyday Experiences of a Struggling Artist)

I met her in one of my friend’s house. She told me that she is an artist. She did few paintings also. Now she is not finding time to paint.

I listened silently.

She invited me to her house to see her paintings.
For courtesy sake I said ” Sure. ”

Later I forgot about it.

Suddenly, One day she came to me, and told me that she wants to attend painting classes again.

She told me what happened to her in previous art school.

‘ She went there to learn. They offered her a package . In that package, they will help her to finish three oil paintings. For that she had to pay six hundred dollars that includes material. She could choose one still life, one landscape and one figure work ; sizes should not cross 24×18 inches.’

She felt a lot of joy. For six hundred dollars she would get three oil paintings. She would also hang them in her house and be able to do painting later. She was excited.

She paid happily. She finished three paintings with their help and she hanged them in her house. She thought that she could paint on her own.

But the joy was short lived.

From that minute problems started for her.

Whoever comes to her house used to appreciate her paintings and they asked her to do few paintings for them. She enjoyed their appreciation and requests for her work.

One fine morning she started to work. Within a hour she was in a depression.

The reason … she was not able to paint. Slowly, reality dawned on her. That… ‘ in her art classes they did everything. They didn’t teach her how to paint. So she could not paint on her own.’

Once she understood the reality, she stopped to paint.

From that day, she began to say to the friends and relatives that she could not find time to paint.

But her interest in painting did not wane. Someone told her that I teach in a truthful way. So she came to me.

After listening to her, I said, ” As a student you won’t get finished paintings in learning period, you will only learn how to paint. Once you learn how to paint, you will be able to finish paintings on your own. You can hang them in your house or exhibit them in a gallery. Till that day forget about taking finished paintings to your house. Is it okay for you? ”

She said it’s okay and joined.

Few months later, one day she came to me with an invitation that she is going to exhibit her paintings in a gallery.

After that I heard, she never stopped to paint and didn’t complain that she is unable to find time to paint.
                                                   ………..

Every Art Student Should Know

                  My Mother    Artist : Magunta Dayakar              

Every subject has its own words. If a student wants to study the subject in depth, he has to understand those words well. The subject of art also has its own words. To the art student they are confusing ; so he will ignore them instead of learning them. But they are very essential to become a good artist. That’s why every art student should know those words and their expressions.

In this Column I will explain them in a narrative manner along with visuals.

Secrets of Creative Thinking from Artist’s Point of View – Concluding Part

When camera clicks a scene, a figure or anything; it 
is just capturing its appearance.

Put this aside for a moment.

Sometimes when we are deceived or exploited by persons close to us, they may be relatives, friends or business partners; we will be advised by others that we should have been more careful about studying his true character which he had hidden from us.

” … Before associating with him in business you should have understood his true nature.” We are told like this.

That means the way that person appears to our eye is not real. When you understand what he thinks inside, how he behaves in different situations.. you will have understood his true character. That is reality. This is how we should analyse our friends, our relatives and our associates.

That’s why whatever you click with camera, that’s not real.

Melody of Nature          Artist : Magunta Dayakar

Then again we will question, ‘If camera’s image is not real, how about Giotta’s drawings? Why do you say they are realistic?’

The answer is simple.

Giotto sketched those sheep from his experiences. He used to take them every day to feed and followed them everywhere. Observed them, most of the time to know what they are doing. Doing this act everyday, he had understood them, their body language, their movements, when they will search for food, when they like to take rest, when they will run … everything about them. That way he understood the inside and outside of the sheep.

Next… by everyday doing sketching, he achieved certain level of skills; Those skills helped him to execute what he experienced in his mind.

This is the same as what Walt Disney did.

He visualized the park before it started. In his mind he had seen the functioning of it. How the children would play, how the elders would enjoy, the way the excitement would flow. If he finds some flaw in its functioning, he corrected it … before it started. He knew where the water pipes were, how tall the buildings were, he knew how the park ticked. He knew each and everything about it.

Robert Williams commented the same.
” Good drawing is not copying the surface. It has to do with understanding and expression. We don’t want to learn to draw just to end up being impassioned in showing off our knowledge of joints and muscles. ”

Nick Meglin expressed the same.
By observing nuances such as these, you will be more aware of the ‘norm’ so that your own ‘distortions’ will be the result of conscious choice.

All these people what they said, how they acted, the way they visualized are the creative acts. To be creative you have to see the inside of the things and you have to analyze and interpret them. Finally you have to bring something new out of these acts.

Defining this with more clarity …..

To be a creative person first you must be an intellectual. Intellectual means gathering all the information about a subject.

Then you should be an intelligent person to analyse and interpret that information which you have collected as an intellectual.

Finally, using that information and analysis you have to visualize something new. This is Creative Thinking.

To think creatively first one must be an intellectual, next an intelligent person, If you push for the next step from that point it will lead to Creative Thinking.

That is Third Eye.

What is this Third Eye?

How Giotto got it?

Once again we will look into Giotto’s life.

He was a rural boy and uneducated, living in the village surrounded by hills. All his daily work was every morning he had to take out the sheep to the hills to feed them. Once he reached the hills, he did not have anything to do other than watching the sheep, how they look like when they are in hungry, How they look at their lambs, how the lambs are hopping, moving around mother sheep, how the mother sheep reacts for its babies sounds, how the the male sheep is looking at them, their body fur, the shine of their color in sunlight …. continuing this process day by day, month by month, his senses and mind were wholly absorbed by those sheep attributes, structures, movements … everything.

Slowly Giotto’s mind started to create his own world. In that world he had started to visualise the sheep the way he wanted to see. That’s his world. It was created by his vision, his intuition, his insight. You call this as a whole .. The Third Eye. This is Creative Eye. This eye will penetrate the surfaces, appearances and will go to the soul of the thing or a person. The people whoever achieved great things had this third eye.

Read this quote again…

‘ To think creatively first one must be an intellectual, then an intelligent person, If you push for the next step from that point it will lead to Creative Thinking. ‘
Here the question is … How to push up to that step?

For that you require a character. It is the Character of a Creator! Without that character no one will become a Creator.

What is that character?

Here I am giving twentieth century great artist and teacher Robert Henri words from his book ‘ The Art Spirit’

‘ … When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.

The world would would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him ; for he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself, not outside it. ‘ This is what Robert Henri said.

Conclusion : The one who only thinks what or how he has to do his work to the extreme, one who won’t think about what others think about him, one who won’t care about failure or success, The one who won’t think about himself … will be the person what Robert Henri defined.

Painting – How to Learn it – In a Professional Way?

I had been teaching art for nearly ten years. Some students had learned it for hobby and some others to become professionals. They all asked one question…” How to be a good artist?”

Always my answer is … ” Be on the right path,”

” What is that right path? ”

” …like any other subject, art also has some basics. Learning and practising them is the right path. You start this journey with observation.”

” …observation !? ”

” Yes. Observation is the key to drawing. What is drawing? Drawing is nothing but using only a line and a curve. You should acquire the ability of using this line and curve in different shapes and sizes. That means you have to understand the shapes and sizes of the things. This is seeing the things as an artist. We call it…learning to see. This is Observation.”

Let me narrate one incident which happened in my class room. One of my students was copying a drawing. She was little bit confident about her ability to draw. After one hour, in middle of drawing, she understood something had gone wrong. And she also understood, where it had gone wrong.

She drew one of the shapes in the picture, a little bit big. So all connected shape with that particular shape gone wrong in their proportions. She lost.

I told her again, what I said previously to her…’’ Don’t draw. Look at it. Judge heights and widths and their relations. It will come.’’

She had started to work again. This time she began to see their heights, widths and their relations, instead of seeing the picture.

Then she got it.

I asked her..” What happened In your mind in the first and second attempts? ”

She told me that in her first attempt she concentrated on the picture … how to copy it? In her second attempt, she did not bother about the copying the picture. She concentrated only on heights and widths of the shapes and their relations. This was what she said.

To learn art, start with Drawing. To draw you require good observation skills.

Observation is the key to drawing. That is … ”Learning to see ”

Somewhere I read this story.

There were two great Zen masters in the country. A student went to one of those masters to learn.

“I would like to learn from you but I dislike to work hard. I will learn at my comfort.” the student said to the master.

” No. I won’t take you as my student. I teach only to someone who works hard.” The master said.

Then the student went to the other one.

He said the same to him.

The master said ” O.K. You can join. I have no problem.”

The student was surprised by his words. He asked the master, “ I went to another great master one who is equal to you. He didn’t accept me as a student, because he wants only hard working students, not a student like me. But you are accepting me…! What’s the reason for you to accept me.”

The master said with a mischievous smile ” He has concern for student’s growth which I don’t have.”

Tail Piece: Find a teacher who has knowledge and concern for the student. If you don’t get right teacher, your time and money will go into a dustbin.

Mr. Venkat Family Portrait   Artist : Magunta Dayakar

I painted this Venkat family portrait five years ago. To paint a portrait like this an artist requires a lot of patience and an extremely calm mind apart from painting skills. A little bit of wrong judgement in terms of value applications will ruin the whole commission. Just imagine… when your survival depends upon the outcome of the painting how much intensity you should have in your work.
It’s not just one thing you should check in this kind of painting, there are so many like .., Sketch, Value, Color, Edges, Composition … finally Harmony and Unity.
Sometimes you should have to compromise with certain principles of composition to satisfy client. You should know when and where to do that. These many things a student has learn to become a professional artist.

Secrets of Creative Thinking from Artist’s Point of View Part 4

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Some people advise to others …” Think creatively.” but they won’t explain how to think creatively.

There are many books about ‘ Creativity‘; but they won’t give you the clear map of how to achieve it.

Arts, Industry, Business, Technology, Education, politics … everyone want to be creative but don’t know how to achieve it.

Many people in the world think creatively. But many of them may not be able to explain to others how to achieve it.

Nobody, and no books didn’t explain it with clarity on how to achieve it.

As an artist and writer, I am doing it with confidence; purely for my pleasure more than any other reasons.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Many people think what we are seeing is reality! Is it true? Scientifically it is not.
Eyes will see everything upside down. The brain will map them to normal appearance. It’s believed that for the first few days newborns see the world upside down, as their brain just hasn’t learnt to flip the images yet
.
Is it not amazing that what we are seeing with our eyes is not real! Then what is the reality?

To know the answer for this, I will narrate a story to you.

Swinging                            Artist: Magunta Dayakar

In thirteenth century there was an artist Cimabue, he was honored as the first painter of modern times. One day he was riding through a valley. On the way he had seen a boy with a lot of sheep. He stopped to talk with the boy as he was tired from his journey and wanted a break.

In a moment, He saw it. He was surprised at what he was seeing.

It was a drawing of a sheep on a flat stone which surprised him. It appeared full of life. He asked the boy, ” Who drew it? ”

The Shepherd boy face blushed with embarrassment and slowly he answered ” I drew it with this ” and showed a sharp stone.

More surprise in Ciambue. Again he looked at the sheep drawing on the rock. Rarely will he see that kind of life in drawing even if it’s done by a professional artist.

‘ What makes this boy’s drawing capture so much life? ‘

To know the answer for that question he started to talk with the boy. After talking for sometime he got the answer, why that drawing had that much life.

The boy used to come every day to the valley along with his sheep to feed them. Once he comes there he would forget everything, even the sheep. He used to observe everything whatever exists around him. Flowers, shrubs, bushes, stones, sky, hills, clouds and his sheep… He knew every movement of them by heart. How the flowers would glitter with sunshine, how the clouds were running in the sky, how the sheep would rest under the shadows of trees, how they move to find and eat grass, take rest, run from one place to another place ….

Slowly with time his heart was filled with those images, even in sleep he started to see them. Then one fine moment he took a piece of stone, sharpened and started to draw on the flat surface of a nearby large flat shaped stone. He had drawn everything what he knew through his heart. Everything, whatever came from his heart captured life.

After knowing the boy’s story, Cimabu took him to Florence to train him.

Later the shepherd boy became the first Renaissance painter who introduced accurate drawing from life which is called representative art. The boy’s name is Giotto.
While Byzantine period ended with Cimabu, Renaissance age started with Giatto.

Now, again we will come to our question, ”…What is the Reality? ” Why Cimabu was surprised by the shepherd boy’s drawing? If the camera clicks the same visuals, will it not get the same effect?

‘… Impossible.’

Why?

Is not realistic whatever camera snaps? Does it not appear so? If not …why?

Before answering this again I will go back to Walt, Robert and Nick Melin.

Read these lines again …

Walt …

Once construction of the park began, Walt wanted to know always, everything that was going on in the park. He knew about everything. He knew where the water pipes were, how tall the buildings were, he knew how the park ticked.

What’s the essence of these lines? Walt Disney wanted to know everything about his park and he knew about them by the time it was completed.

When children were playing in filthy conditions in the park, why only he got the idea of constructing a park where children and parents can enjoy their time. Why other people in the park didn’t get the same idea?

Analyze Robert Williams’s words

”I re-studied my anatomy and worked on drawing from the inside out. I advanced backwards and filled in the missing stage. “

See the phrase … Inside Out.

Not just surface details, getting to know everything what lies inside. Is this not the same as what Walt Disney did? Knowing everything about his park!

Read Nick Meglin’s words once again…

”By observing nuances such as these, you will be more aware of the ‘norm’ so that your own ‘distortions’ will be the result of conscious choice.”

What is the essence of these words? Knowing all the things about the thing, then you will know what you have to do.

All these people are saying the same… ‘When you want to do something about something, know about it completely… the inside and outside of it.’

What is this Inside and Outside?

How to understand it?

How Giotto sketches are different from camera snaps?

If the camera snaps are not realistic … are Giotto sketches realistic?

If they are realistic …why?

Not only artists, whoever wants to be creative they should know the answers for these. Let us find the answers for these questions… 

(To be continued in next week)

Painting – How to Learn it – In a Professional Way?.

(The language of art is very difficult to
understand so I am explaining it through some
stories and narrative explanations to make the
student understand it.
If the student knows what needs to be learnt
then the second step starts with how to learn.)

I will start this column with an interesting incident in history, which happened in early 14th century.

To decorate the Vatican Church, the pope sent his messengers all over Italy to find the best artists of the time. They went town to town to know who are the best.

Shilpa    Artist : Magunta Dayakar        

In their search they heard about Giotto.

So they went to him and asked him to give some work to present to the Pope to judge along with other artists’ work.

At that time Giotto was admired as a great artist who changed the course of art. He introduced realistic faces, figures and natural appearances as it appears to our eye. He was recognized as the first Renaissance painter who introduced accurate drawing from life which is called representative art.

Even though he was a very popular artist at that time in Florence and other cities, he always behaved courteously with others. So he didn’t take it as an insult to present a work for judgement along with others.

He smiled at them, took a sheet of paper and a pencil, dipped the pencil in red ink, drew a circle with a sweeping force, put a dot in the centre of that circle and handed it over to the messengers of the Pope.

The messengers stared at that circle in confusion, they could not believe their eyes. … ‘Is this work to be submitted to the Pope? What would be his reaction?’ They questioned themselves.

They asked Giotto, the same.

Giotto smiled with the same courteous nature and replied to them, ” … Yes. You present this.”

They left with disgust. Presenting this kind of work to a powerful person like Pope, something unimaginable. They imagined the mood of the Pope when he sees it.

Later Pope saw that drawing. He had disbelief written all over his face. The drawing appeared as if it was drawn by a compass. He felt that only a master can do that great magic without using compass.

The rest is history. The Pope called Giotto to decorate the church with his work.

Tail Piece:
Learn Drawing. It is like the spinal cord of art. All great masters including modern and abstract artists mastered this. If you don’t have the drawing skills however successful you are as an artist, you won’t have the pride to be called an Artist.