Monday, September 16, 2013

New Book: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Daily Rituals: How Artist Work by Mason Curry

Routines can be mundane or extraordinary. B.F. Skinner started his day with corn flakes and coffee.   James Joyce played the piano, and Jean-Paul Sarte consumed amphetamines.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry is a fascinating look at the daily routines of 161 famous creative geniuses. Included are daily patterns of  artists, writers, poets, scientists, and composers as recorded by interviewers, family members, servants, and secretaries.

Picasso painted at night; Gunter Grass wrote in the mornings. Herman Melville visited his farm animals for a break from writing, while Erik Satie took long walks. Some were strict about daily routines, while others had no routines whatsoever.

Many of the people included in the book were fortunate to have servants and/or family members to take care of daily household tasks. Most did not have typical 9-5 jobs.  The work habits of many of the women reveal that they often hid their work from visitors and often did not have a permanent work space.

What can we learn from this book? According to a piece written by Curry for Slate, it is difficult to pin down effective work habits.  Each person has their peak time of day for productivity and individual rituals:
Given how much time I've spent reading and thinking about artists' schedules and working habits, you might expect that I would have some insight into what makes for an ideal daily routine. Is there some combination of sleep, work, exercise, coffee, and focused head-scratching or brow-furrowing that is most likely to lead to creative breakthroughs? Or, at the very least, are there some basic guidelines that will stave off blocks and guarantee a minimum level of intellectual output?
Short answer: no, not really. 
Find the full interview here:

A must read for those interested in this topic (via NPR) is the Onion's essay Find the Thing You're Most passionate About, Then Do It On Night and Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life,31742/?ref=auto

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today: Open Drawing at KU and James Turrell at the Spencer

Feel like opening up a sketch pad today?  KU has an open drawing from 11:00-2:00 in room 405 of Art and Design.  Bring drawing supplies.  The cost is free and Sarah will be modeling. 
Come early to find a place. The last session was packed with over 30 people.


James Turrell will open a new show at the Spencer Museum. "Gard Blue" will start on an exclusive note as only Museum members are invited to the opening on Saturday.  If you are an early riser, Turrell will present a Sunday lecture about his work in the auditorium at 11:00 that is open "to the public."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nerd Nite 20

The Nerds in Lawrence have been prolific.  Nerd Nite celebrated their 20th series last night. Prompted by a community book reading of "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan, the focus of the night was on the history and culture of the 1930's Dust Bowl.  The term "rape of the land" seemed to have double meanings as presenters talked about depression era Kansas politics, farm equipment, and art.  People in the audience tweeted and snickered as size and anatomy of plows were discussed ( they got bigger and stronger with improved technology).  We learned that in the 1890's, populist Sockless Jerry Simpson did not wear socks, and derided those representatives who wore silk socks. 

Presenter Beth Beavers, editor of  the magazine "Farm Equipment" was a perfect choice for describing Depression era farm tractors and plows

"Erosion #2; Mother Earth Laid Bare" by Alexander Hogue 
Kate Meyer gave a presentation about Dust Bowl Art

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Model and Bad Behavior: Drawing the Body in Lawrence This Week

Jen young is preparing her costume for Fatso's

Lawrence is exploding with figure drawing opportunities this week. Be sure to check some out.
We love Jen's post about her costume she will have for her model session at Fatso's on Monday. The theme for drawing this month is Batman and the title is "The Art Night Returns." Check it out at 7:00.  It's $5.00 at the door, and bring drawing supplies.  Here is the Facebook post:

Open Model at KU
KU hosted a great modeling session yesterday.  The room was packed.  Here are some pics from the event:
People drawing at KU for Open Model

Freestate student Maria Ferrerra had some great drawings at Open Model

Graduate student Steven Prochyra monitored the session