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Making the Greek Gods cool again

I don’t like talking about politics and religion, but I’ve noticed that Western art and Western culture are severely lacking in schools nowadays. If it weren’t for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I don’t think most kids would even know about the Greek Gods and Goddesses.

However, I don’t bitch. If I see a problem, I either do something about it (if it’s important) or ignore it (if it’s not important).

In this case, I’ll do something about it.

I started painting Greek Goddesses awhile back. Not the major ones, but more the lesser ones that nobody’s heard of. Like Brizo, the Ancient Greek Goddess of Sailors and Fishermen.

I’ll even give a background story about the Goddess. For instance, women on the island of Delos left offerings to a creature they called Brizo for good luck, so their husbands, sons, and other family members came home safely.

Ancient Goddess Brizo
Greek Goddess Brizo painted on wood

This creature morphed into a lesser Goddess. Brizo became the Goddess of Sailors and Fishermen for the Ancient Greeks.

More recently

I’ve talked about the importance of painting the same painting twice. For Selene, I’ll paint her a bunch of times since I really like the poses I’m getting with Allie. She’ll be posing for me later on today, but here’s the second one already.

Ancient Greek Goddess Selene
Selene

Selene is the Moon Goddess. She’s the daughter of Titans, the Gods before the Gods.

Selene’s had flings with both Zeus and Pan, but her most famous fling is actually with a mortal. One day, she gazed down on Earth and saw a young shepherd that she fell in lust with named Endymion. She ended up begging Zeus to extend his life and she bore him at least 50 daughters, all of whom grew into beautiful women.

Different accounts differ on some of her other children. Some say that the infamous Narcissus was her son. I leave it up to the viewer to believe which accounts they want to believe.

Fun

I take artistic mindset very seriously. If you’re not having fun with your art, you’re going to quit. You could tell I’m having a blast. You can see it in my paintings.

Find something that you’re passionate about and paint it. I’m quite passionate about Greek mythology and high fantasy. I mix them both into my pinup art.

I aim for fun over high art. My music is high art. My painting? Fun. It’s pretty obvious. I don’t claim to do high art in my paintings. Rather, I’m a pop artist.

I’d love to be famous though. Actually have an influence over culture. And one thing I’d do? I’d make the Greek Gods and Goddesses cool again!

The Olympians and Hades

The Greek Gods overthrew the Titans, who overthrew the previous Titans. Long story. But at the very least, Zeus is the King of the Gods.

He is married to Hera, his sister, of whom he cheats every chance he gets. Zeus is the God of the Sky and Thunder. You’ll often see him throwing a lightning bolt.

Poseidon is God of the Seas and the brother of Zeus. He’s also the God of Storms, Earthquakes, and Horses. What do horses have to do with anything? Who knows? But you’ll sometimes see Poseidon riding a chariot pulled by a hippocampus.

Hades does not live on top of Mount Olympus, although I still have to mention him as he’s one of the most powerful of Gods. He is the oldest of the three brothers (Zeus and Poseidon) and together, they overthrew their father, the Titan Cronus.

Hades lives in the Underworld, often also called Hades. Hades got the Underworld, Zeus got the Skies, and Poseidon got the Seas when they overthrew the Titans.

Let’s revisit Hera. She’s the most powerful Goddess and the Queen of Olympus. She’s the Goddess of women, marriage, and childbirth.

Yes, the Ancient Greeks believed that the Gods and Goddesses lived on top of Mount Olympus. (And if you’re wondering, Mt. Olympus wasn’t successfully scaled until 1913).

Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest and Agriculture as well as fertility and the sacred law.

The city of Athens is named after Athena. She’s the Goddess of War and Wisdom.

Apollo is supposed to be the best looking of the Gods. He also has the most titles. He’s the God of everything from Sun, Light, Oracles to Music and Knowledge.

Aphrodite is someone I paint a lot. Why? Well she’s the Goddess of Beauty. She also gets Love and Sexuality and is the most beautiful of all the Goddesses. So of course the other Goddesses are envious of her and they made her marry the ugliest of the Gods.

Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt, Wilderness, and Wild Animals.

Ares is the God of War. “But I thought you just said Athena is the Goddess of War.” Yeah, Greek mythology is inconsistent. You’ll see a lot of overlap. You’ll also see that different areas favored different Gods and Goddesses. There’s a lot of inconsistencies. Just bear with me.

Hephaestus is the ugliest of the Gods and is married to Aphrodite. He’s the God of Blacksmiths and pretty much everything related to tools and crafts. He’s even the God of Volcanoes.

Hermes is known as the Messenger of the Gods and deals with everything from Trade to Thievery.

Hestia is the Goddess of the Hearth, and is a virgin Goddess.

And last, we have Dionysus, the God of Wine.

Under the Gods, we have all kinds of various creatures. The ones I’m most intrigued by are the Nymphs.

And last we have the Fates, which whatever they decide is what happens, whether the Gods like it or not.

This is a very brief summary of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I left out all the Minor Gods and Goddesses, the Titans, the Demi-Gods, and human heroes and legends. I also left out the monsters.

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Artists are like Lesser Gods

Artists are like Lesser Gods, creating worlds that peoples will remember hundreds of years after the artist’s death. How many little girls have spent years in the worlds of Tchaikovsky? In the Nutcracker or Swan Lake?

How many smart high school kids got stoned and talked about visiting Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights? Or Boris Vallejo’s fantasy worlds? Or my favorite 20th century artist – Frank Frazetta. He created so many beautiful but dangerous worlds in his lifetime.

Heck, look at Luis Ricardo Folero’s works. I borrowed a lot from him.

Long after the artist dies, his legacy survives. Some for hundreds of years. The greatest ones longer. Imagine how long we’ll still study Leonardo and Michelangelo.

This was meant to inspire you, not just to create, but to create worlds. Memorable worlds.

Muses

How many muses will be remembered hundreds of years after your death? And do you ever wonder if all the stories of the Ancient Greeks were modeled off of real people?

Lizzie Siddal was the muse for several of the original Pre-Raphaelites. I even wrote an orchestrated piece inspired by her death.

Will I ever get famous? And will they remember Allie or Roxy? Or both?

Opium Tales Roxy
Roxy done earlier today with a Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Point Pen over a pencil sketch

Keep all this in mind when you create. Are you painting for fun? Or, are you painting for a legacy?

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I’ll let you in on a secret

I’m going to let you in on a secret. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time.

Actually, half the time? Heh. That’s generous. Most of the time.

And I’m not talking about watercolors. I’m talking about life.

The thing is, neither does anyone else. We’re all just winging it.

Life doesn’t come with a handbook. You don’t get a set of directions to tell you to do this, then do this. And now? Do this.

You’re on your own.

And you know what? That’s OK.

Inner voice

You know that inner voice that talks to you? Some of us even talk back to it and have a two way conversation with it.

Well, mine used to be a complete asshole. It used to say things that you’d say to your worst enemy. And it will also fill me with doubt. I’d be scared to try something new because of that inner voice.

Well, I retrained mine. Mine is now a coach. And a friend.

It took years. We’re all at varying levels of functionality and dysfunctionality. I don’t think anyone’s 100% sane nowadays.

But once again, that’s OK.

Training my inner voice to be supportive was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. Now, rather than making fun of everything I do, it tells me how I can do it. Like a coach. But, a real good coach. Like a Vince Lombardi or Phil Jackson.

Our brains are rewireable. We can literally program them to be good at the things we need to be good at.

Persistence, Habits, and Repetition

Everything becomes a habit. Habits don’t have to be a bad thing. For instance, I do a 5 minute sketch every single morning. That’s a habit. Once you start replacing bad habits with good habits, your life will get so much easier.

I changed my diet too. I only eat twice a day rather than three times a day. No snacking whatsoever. Someone brings donuts into work? No thanks. I’ll pass. I’ll only eat birthday cake if I really, really like the person. Otherwise, no thanks. I’ll pass.

Once you start developing good habits, you can literally be good at anything. I’m pretty good at guitar because I practiced at least an hour daily. When I was a late teen, all my other friends wanted to get drunk on weekends. Instead, I practiced guitar. Then, they wonder why I passed them all up within a year.

Everyone thought it was natural talent. Nope. Persistence and discipline.

We improve by developing skill sets

What would you say if I asked you “what are you good at?” Would you be able to give me a list?

Over the years, I’ve developed some life skill sets and got good at the important ones. I learned nutrition from a coach, weightlifting from a coach, home finance from self-help books, guitar from jamming with friends, and piano from a piano teacher. I got good at all those things.

You can learn from other people. Or books. Or nowadays, even YouTube.

When Allie approached me about taking my art seriously, I started off with colored pencils. I started watching people painting on YouTube. Oils and acrylics looked really cool. However, I live in a tiny ass apartment. I thought watercolors would be more practical. Thus, I decided to try watercolors and been in love with them ever since.

Selene Greek Moon Goddess
Allie posed for my Selene Gazing Upon Endymion painting

Life gets way easier once you have some skill sets

Life gets significantly easier once you’ve acquired some skill sets. I put health at the top, relationships second, and finances third. Once you get good at all three, you’ll have a pretty good life. Guaranteed.

I had to learn all that stuff on my own. Like I said above, I hired coaches for health. I learned about healthy relationships by watching functional people. You get treated by how much you allow. For instance, if someone treats you like shit, did you cut them out of your life? If not, why haven’t you already?

This isn’t a finance blog so I’m not going to waste time here, other than I learned that if you live within your means and put 10% of everything you make into your investments, you’ll be doing pretty well within a decade.

“But I want it now!”

Grow up. Life doesn’t work like that. You have to work for it.

I use finance as an example for that mindset because it’s the most obvious. That said, you can apply that to everything.

If you want to be a great artist, you’re not going to be selling a million dollar paintings in one year. You’re going to be busting your ass for at least a decade.

I’ve been drawing daily for almost a decade now. I’ve been playing guitar for over thirty years and piano on and off during that time.

And that doesn’t include drawing and doodling for decades before that. I used to make silly cartoons for friends of stupid shit we did. They’d laugh.

So the art was always there. I only decided to take it seriously this decade.

Keep going

So keep going. Develop the skill sets you need for what you want to accomplish.

We’re all just winging it in life anyways. If you’re actually good at the important things, you’ll do well in life. And that will significantly help your art by allowing you to focus on art rather than the world falling down around you.

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Life is teamwork

When was the last time you expressed gratitude towards another person?

I’m grateful I have a supportive wife, who’s also my number one fan and number one critic. I’m grateful I have a son that’s in his mid-20s and is completely independent.

I also think, where would I be today if Allie never approached me about replacing my former model? Then after Allie did, Roxy did. So, I was in a rut, and suddenly, I have two beautiful young ladies modeling and inspiring me to paint.

And musically, I’m by no means doing this alone. Last month, we finally released Opium Tales Volume I. It took forever. Everything went wrong. I lost musicians. Gained musicians. Musicians got sick. I had a musician get stabbed and miss a recording session. Yes, he’s fine now, but was quite a scare.

My voice is not good. I can sing on time and on key. However, my tonal qualities are terrible.

Thus, I only sing harmony vocals. Instead, you get to hear two lovely ladies sing on the three songs that have vocals. Two are instrumental.

We practically have an army of musicians. You’re hearing three different bass guitar players, tons of string players, me playing all the electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and synthesizers.

We also have a small army of sound engineers. Randy Burk is the lead one. He also plays all the drums and percussion.

You are not alone

Now, this is probably way more than you care about. But that’s not the point.

You have friends with talent. You may even have some talented family members. Have you ever considered working with them?

This may surprise you. I struggle with language. I’m not that good of a reader. I like reading Harry Potter books because that’s about the level I’m at. Yes, seriously.

My math skills are off the charts. But reading? I’m not that good.

All these smart friends of mine tell me “Roman, you need to read such and such book. It’s a classic!”

And I pick it up and struggle through the first ten pages.

I couldn’t finish Les Miserables. I got about twenty pages in before giving up. Yes, there are kids who can read better than I can.

So those lyrics I wrote? Took me forever.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think they’re good. They just took forever for me to write them.

Ask for help

Now, you know what I’m really good at? People. Yes, people.

I’m a people person. Always have been and always will be.

One of the few extroverts left. I strongly think too much phone usage has killed people’s social skills. You see it everywhere. You ride the train and everyone’s on their phone. I remember back in the days when people had these things called “conversations with strangers.” A thing of the past. Unless the stranger is over 60.

Anyways, next release, I won’t be writing any of the words. The vocal lines, yes. But the actual lyrics?

I asked friends for help. And they’ve responded.

People like to help. But, most people are afraid to ask.

The thing is, don’t be one of those assholes who asks for help, then doesn’t appreciate it. You do that and nobody will want to help you.

Appreciation

So, simply show some appreciation. It’s not that hard.

I remember a week ago, I held two doors open for some bitch on the phone and she didn’t even look up. Didn’t acknowledge I was standing there, holding the doors open for her lazy ass. She just kept her eyes glued to the phone. No thanks. No smile. No nod. No nothing.

Now, that’s someone I won’t be inviting over to my next BBQ or cocktail party.

I always show appreciation for those who have helped me. Always. No matter how small it may seem to them.

And yes, I’ve done pretty well in life. But it wasn’t at all without help.

In my late 20s, I didn’t know what a 401k or an IRA or a stock purchase plan was. I just started working at a corporation after doing manual labor, waiting tables, and delivering pizza for years. Suddenly, I realized I needed to make more money because my future wife and I had a surprise baby. As you know, babies cost money.

So, I had to change my path. I went the corporate route. And I didn’t know what to do with my salary.

You may laugh. But seriously, I didn’t know.

Some older guy with a house told me all about 401k’s, IRAs, stock purchase plans, and saving a downpayment for a house. I literally didn’t know any of that.

And I don’t even remember his name. It was so long ago.

Thanks

So give thanks when appropriate. Of course I thanked the guy and offered to buy him dinner. He laughed and said it’s nothing. But you know what? It’s not nothing. My wife and I have now been to Europe three times, the Caribbean three times, and South America. We’re going to do a Panama Canal cruise in January.

It’s not nothing. It literally changed my life.

And if Allie never approached me about replacing my former model, I would never be an artist today. I’d still do my music. But I wouldn’t paint.

I used to do photography and dabble in drawing. That’s it. My former model, bless her heart, had a nervous breakdown and got fat, then of course stopped modeling. I wish her best. I’m really hoping her new boyfriend and her get married and do well. It’s going to be a struggle though.

So thank you Allie. Thank you Roxy. Thank you wife. Thank you Randy. And all the string players, other session musicians, woodwind players, brass players, sound engineers, and my future lyricists. Thank you Sarah and Liel for your lovely vocals.

Life really is a team sport. We need each other.

And thank you reader for reading all this. It’s therapeutic to get it off my chest.

Now it’s your turn. Think of someone in your life that has helped you. And tell them what they did for you and how much you appreciate it.

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On Flamenco guitars, Mistresses, and the Spanish Inquisition

Pepita Godoy's mistress

It’s pretty sad that most Westerners know nothing about Western civilization. Schools nowadays are so much more into indoctrination than actually teaching kids anything useful.

Culture is everything. Well, not quite everything. You gotta know some math and science and other shit.

But as an artist, when people talk about culture, I’m happy.

So, let me tell you a personal story and a dangerous historical story and I’m going to combine the two where we meet.

First, the mistress and the danger

Back in the old days, artists often relied on patrons. Goya had several. One of whom doubled as a close personal friend of his – Manual Godoy, who later became Secretary of State, then the Prime Minister of the Spanish Empire.

Funny background – Godoy was a regular guy. But he was a damn good guitarist, fighter, and bullshitter. Those abilities got him far in life, and he eventually impressed the Royal Family. They liked him so much that he eventually rose to Secretary of State.

But, he had a problem. He was madly in love with Pepita Tudó. Which was fine, but for political reasons, he had to marry another woman.

He ended up having Pepita as his mistress and the affair lasted until his wife died, whereupon he married Pepita.

So decades before he finally married Pepita, he hired his dear friend, Francisco Goya (who I argue is Spain’s greatest ever artist) to paint Pepita nude.

The public saw the clothed version of that painting, seen above. The Spanish Inquisition however also came across the nude version of the painting and threw a fit.

Both Goya and Godoy were called before the Spanish Inquisition for some explaining to do. This could have been the end of Goya’s career.

Luckily, Goya was super smart. He pointed out the painting’s similarities to other works of art by other artists that weren’t so controversial. And he made the Spanish Inquisition look like a bunch of philistines.

To save face, the Spanish Inquisition called it off. Thankfully, that painting remains to this day and is now side by side with its sister painting in El Prado in Madrid. So yes, I’ve seen them both in real life. Pictures don’t do them justice. At all. You need to see them in real life.

Inspirations

After visiting El Prado in 2015, my wife and I went to the Gothic District in Barcelona. We saw a Flamenco group perform. 8 musicians. 3 dancers. A performance I’ll vividly remember until the day I die.

I stumbled across a luthier in the Gothic District in Barcelona and just happened to have a lot of money on me at the time. I got lucky. He had a bunch of violins, some cellos, and two Flamenco guitars in stock. I walked away with a Flamenco guitar and brought it back to the States.

Opium Tales flamenco guitar Pepita
Pepita – my Spanish guitar

What did I name her? Pepita. Of course.

The story didn’t end there

You probably already know the story of Goya. If not, here’s the summary. Goya went on to be the greatest artist of his day and lived so long that he got to see a lot of his paintings make it into the Prado. Imagine that!

As for Godoy and Pepita, happily ever after?

Not quite.

Pepita was more his fuck buddy. Yes, he was in love with her in the beginning.

But, he really fell in love with Queen Maria Luisa, the Queen of Spain, the wife of Charles IV, and the granddaughter of Louis XV. You may know Louis XV as the father of Louis XVI, the King who got his head chopped off with his wife Marie Antoinette.

Godoy and the Queen had a secret affair. Godoy died almost two decades before Pepita did and before she died, she painfully told a reporter that the Queen was the only woman he truly loved.

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See more bands and other life advice

I’m taking my wife in a few weeks to see Billy Idol in Vegas. He’s her second favorite singer after Frank Sinatra. Of course, Sinatra died a long time ago so we never got to see him.

But no way we’re going to miss Billy Idol. My wife has been a fan of his forever.

I’m more into Metal and Classical music. Classical music is not going anywhere. For Metal, we finally saw Iron Maiden last month. Yeah, I missed them in their heyday. But better late than never, right?

Who are you your favorite bands? And more importantly, have you seen them perform live?

I’ll go to my grave regretting never seeing Prince or Dio. I got the opportunities to see them both (not together of course) multiple times and didn’t go for whatever stupid reason. Now, I can’t. They’ve both passed on.

I got a chance to see Dio in a small club, a club one of my former bands actually played at. It was cheap too. I really had no excuse whatsoever. I just didn’t go.

Prince – even worse. He played a small club four nights in a row and the show we should have gone to, Carlos Santana jumped on stage and jammed with the band for a few songs. Imagine seeing two Guitar Gods on one stage.

Prince died later on that year.

So if you get a chance to see your favorites, definitely go. It’s something you must do while they’re still around.

And it’s not just death. Bands break up all the time.

I did get to see Pink Floyd in 1994 and Judas Priest twice, once with each singer. Yeah, a lot of Judas Priest fans don’t acknowledge the Ripper years but I thought Ripper was fantastic. Of course, nobody could ever replace Rob Halford. I’m just giving credit where it’s due.

Judas Priest is my all-time favorite band. I do regret not seeing them in the 80s. But I was broke back then.

Work with live models

If you’re an artist, and you’re serious about it, then you absolutely need to work with live models. Some things, you just can’t pick up without them.

In this painting in progress, you can already see some personality seep through. Jin is on the left and Allie is on the right.

Opium Tales work in progress
Jin and Allie as speaker girls, work in progress

It’s funny because Jin’s actually an introvert. Allie’s more an extrovert. Both fascinating girls. Totally different personalities though.

Like I said, personality will seep through into your paintings. That makes the paintings that much better. We are all human after all. And when we paint humans, they want to see humans.

My favorite paintings with people all involve models that you’re wondering what’s going on in their heads. Like Ophelia with Lizzie Siddal. I even wrote a neo-Classical tune called Lizzie’s Opium Waltz after Lizzie Siddal. Inspired by a painting.

She died on opium at the young age of 32.

Don’t worry. Jin and Allie are both doing quite well.

Love

Love is underrated. It seems like so many people nowadays are scared of it. But without love, can you really truly be an artist?

OK, even worse. I think you should get your heart broken. Let’s be real. So many great songs were written after the songwriter got his or her heart shattered. Right?

So yeah, don’t be afraid to love and lose. You only get one life. And your biggest loss may turn into your best pieces of art.

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Does your artwork have a common theme?

Does your artwork have a common theme? If so, great. If not, does it need a common theme?

Honestly, I like artists who are somewhat consistent. And I notice that when you could recognize someone’s work, it sells better.

So a partial answer to the second question – yes, if you want to sell it.

You should be able to recognize my artwork right away. It has a common theme to it. Sure, I do mostly fantasy pinups. But even when I’m not doing fantasy pinups, it still looks like something I did.

Speaker Girls pinup art
Allie modeled for both speaker girls

I’ve done the same theme twice in a row and will probably do it four or five more times in a row. I’m on a speaker girl kick. Why? Does it matter why? That’s what’s been motivating me recently, so I just go with it.

Also lately, I haven’t been doing that many full nudes. They’ve only been topless. I don’t know why that is. It just is.

I got a friend from Los Angeles coming over tonight. I see her once or maybe even twice a year.

She’s a professional model who’s getting more into business than modeling. Which is great. Let her go over all the bumps in the road so I could pick her brain and figure out where the bumps are. I actually am looking forward to her becoming successful. I take picking people’s brains very seriously. The more successful they are, the more I want to pick their brains.

How to develop a common theme

Who are you? No, not just your name. Who are you really?

If you can answer like this, then you need to do some serious soul searching. I highly advise you to take this seriously because potential buyers will want answers.

My name is Roman. I’m a Neo-Romantic composer and a fantasy pinup artist. Oh, you want to hear more about my art than my music? You’re interested in my art? Well, thank you.

Yeah, I call myself a fantasy pinup artist but I’ll go into more depth. You remember those planes in World War II? Remember they used to paint pinup girls on the planes?

I absolutely loved that style of art! But, I grew up in the 80s and got heavily into fantasy.

So, I thought recently why not combine my love for pinups with fantasy? Just imagine if rather than the usual pinup girls on those planes, they let me paint witches, mermaids, sirens, naiads, faeries, or succubi.

Know yourself

So that’s why I mean by knowing yourself. If you have to, make it conversational like I did.

My themes are very consistent. My artwork is very recognizable. That’s why I have no problems selling it. You either like it or you don’t. But you know I did it.

Good luck. And keep painting.

And, have something prepared when someone asks you “what’s your art all about?”

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If you’ve done it once, you can do it again

Humans are complicated beings. But there are pretty much two different mindsets.

No, most people aren’t either or. They’re a percentage of each one.

You got a scarcity mindset. These people believe that if I win at something, that severely lessens your chance of being successful at it. Needless to say, these people aren’t exactly fun to be around. They won’t be happy for you when you start achieving awesome things. Rather, they’re way more prone to jealousy and bitterness.

When it comes to art, they’re the type of people who think that greatness can only happen once. Like if a musician nails a song, that’s it. He could never do it again that good. It’s perfect as it is and could never be replicated. Ever.

It’s a shitty mentality to have. I can assure you that great musicians can have epic performances of the same piece as many times as they want. Do you know why? Because for one, they’re great musicians. And for another, they never ever have scarcity mindsets.

The other type of mindset to have is the abundance mindset. They know you have unlimited opportunities for growth. If you’re awesome at something, rather than being jealous of you, I’m picking your brain. Or if I can’t get a hold of you, I might copy some of your tricks.

Applying the abundance mindset to art

I never fret that if I did something cute one time, I couldn’t replicate it. I think that’s the dumbest thing in the world to believe.

In my last article on cleaning watercolor brushes, I showed a painting I killed because I accidentally got gouache in the watercolors and Roxy ended up looking like a zombie.

Bad Roman. But you know what? Do it again!

prepping a pinup watercolor
redoing a painting I killed

Here’s the same painting redone. I just got done inking Roxy. Now, I have to draw the speakers and another kitten. Then of course erase the pencil lines before I begin to paint.

And just like this, I have the same painting.

When you have an abundance mindset, you don’t fret so much about mistakes. Imagine for instance if Tom Brady after losing a Super Bowl for his first time said “screw it! I never want to do this again.” And just quit.

He’s used to winning Super Bowls. Suddenly, he’s on the losing end of it.

He could have quit. And he’d have three less rings. (As of 2019 – they’re the favored team for this upcoming season so he might have yet another).

But love or hate the guy, either way, you have to admit he has an abundance mindset. He doesn’t have that negative scarcity mindset.

Too many artists I know, especially musicians, have scarcity mindsets. They think that if their sister band got big, then they’d have no chance. Like for some reason, their competitor succeeds so they can’t? That’s the dumbest thing in the world to think. If that’s how you think, you’re never gonna get ahead in the brutal world of art.

If you do something awesome, you need to know that since you’ve done it once, you can do it again. Change your mindset to an abundance mindset and your chances of succeeding in this industry will skyrocket.

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3 totally random artistic musings

The more I write, the more articles I will have just like these. They’re musings – things that inspire me. I’m quite sure they’d be useful to you as well, because it’s a good thing to share thoughts. You and I are human after all. And we’re both artists. It’s always a good thing to know how other artists think.

It’s OK to become obsessed with a color

Yellow. More specifically, yellow medium gouache. I’ve done three out of the last four paintings using this color as the primary color.

I’m about to have several paintings for sale at the local bar. And three of those paintings are using yellow medium gouache.

Why? Because I took a chance doing these gouache silhouette paintings and you know what? They work. They work big time. I love this color because it makes the black really stand out. Plus, it’s kind of a vague color. What’s in the background? The sun? Fire?

I had these gouache paints laying around collecting dust and I thought to myself “why not?” Sometimes, you just have to do things like that as an artist.

Well, now I’m going to use this color until I run out of it.

You need models who are good dancers

Well, not everyone paints humans. But I do. Specifically, beautiful women for my fantasy pinup art. If you’re new to this site, I use primarily two models – Allie (the blonde) and Roxy (the brunette). They’re both very close friends of mine and both excellent dancers.

You see, a girl who can dance can also model. Even better, a girl who can dance can do pretty much anything. Dancing is grace. Dancing shows character. Dancing shows that a woman likes living life.

I don’t like devoid personalities. I’ve worked with models in the past who may have well been good looking zombies. Because that’s as much personality as they had.

I got lucky. Neither of my current models are models. Of all the models I’ve worked with in the past before I started working with Allie and Roxy, I’m only friends with one of them.

Several of them I enjoyed their company. One of them I really wish I got to know better because she had a lot of brains and was a downright fascinating person. Another one made damn good soaps and lotions and I’m still a customer of hers.

But now that I’m a painter and not a photographer, dancing adds a whole different layer for modeling.

You want models who can dance
You want models who can dance

That image above covers the first two random artistic musings. That was the specific medium yellow gouache I was talking about. Both are of Allie, from live model sketches we’ve done recently.

Running is underrated

“What? What does that have to do with art?”

Last night, I drank way too much. We killed a bottle of Japanese whiskey (quickly becoming one of my favorite drinks) and on top of that, I split a small bottle of absinthe with two other friends.

Drinking too much though is no excuse not to get out of bed. The alarm still went off at 7AM and rather than not doing anything, I got up and ran. Yeah, I should have stretched. My calves didn’t feel too good afterwards.

However, running helped get the remaining alcohol out of my system so I could paint.

Heck, I don’t even like running. I do it because I don’t want to die. I hate doing anything cardio. I love lifting weights. But cardio? Hate it.

Running is probably best of the worst for me. So that’s why I run. It’s my favorite exercise of the exercises I hate but still have to do. If that makes any sense.

After the run, I pretty much came back to life. Stretched. Then got a lot of painting done.

I don’t like wasting days. Running salvaged this one for me.

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Art is for the soul

Art is for the soul
Art is for the soul

Why buy art? Why should you own art?

Well, let me ask this – why do you own any music?

Same thing.

Think of it this way. Exercise is for the body. Reading is for the brain. Art is for the soul.

You work out so you don’t die. Your body needs exercise. The more you exercise, the more you increase your chances of living a long, full life.

Reading will give you those same results. Except for your noggin. I’m sure you’ve met that smart guy or gal who’s well read. And it shows.

What about for the soul?

That’s great and all. But what about your soul? What really makes us human?

Opposable thumbs? Breastfeeding?

Or is it something even more complicated?

We made tools. We learned to control fire. We invented the wheel. And we eventually sent rockets into space and walked on the moon.

That’s great. Our greatest accomplishment as a species so far. Until of course someone walks on Mars.

On the other side, as humans, we need our Beethoven and our Tchaikovsky. But we also need our Leonardo and our Michelangelo. And more recently, I happen to like Waterhouse and Frank Frazetta.

That’s where the soul comes in.

If you really want to nurture your soul, create art. And be sure to support your local artists as well.

By the way, if you’re wondering why I use Romanian a lot, it’s because I’m learning it. My goal is to be fluent in 2021.