Here’s my recent drawing called “All Things Necessary.” It’s inspired by the discoveries that I made while building the class Magical Inkdom. When I taught IT professionals back in the 1990s, we teachers used to say that you learn best when you teach a class. We had to constantly learn new technologies, and it made us professionals not only in teaching but also in learning.
However, some things take time, and even if trying to find the best ways to work with both ink and watercolor enabled this piece, the idea behind it goes much further back in my artistic journey, to the year 2014.
A Great Idea but Not So Great Execution from 2014
I have archived many of the old blog posts because back in 2014 I wasn’t very good at writing, and the posts are too short for the search engines. But I found the blog post in my personal archive and here’s what I wrote back in 2014:
“I often get these ideas that cost a million. Like the big painting that shines in gold and silver. It would look like a reproduction of the beautiful doors I saw last year when visiting the Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Someday I will make it! So I made a small prototype. It is a wooden block that is covered with all kinds of stuff found in my crafting space.”
This idea has haunted me since I made this crafty block, or I could say since I visited St. Petersburg, Russia. I have two blurry photos from that trip that I look at quite often. One is the golden door and the other is a handpainted plate at The State Russian Museum.
I felt I had found the aesthetics that I also wanted to create. First, I thought I would literally need real gold. Here’s how I ended the blog post:
“So, if you follow me, then you know what I will do if I win in a lottery! Real gold, jewels … wow, it will look astonishing.“
I wish I could turn back time, and say to myself: “Don’t lose this idea! Keep creating, and once your skills will grow, you will find the way.”
Dumping the Idea – “It’s Too Superficial”
The problem with me has been that when my skills haven’t met my vision, I have let go of the ideas around it. I have said to myself:
– “It wasn’t what I wanted to create anyway.”
– “It was too superficial, I want to create deeper stuff.”
– “The idea was great but not what other people would want to see”
– “Only rich and overly successful people could do that.”
– “There will be new and better ideas that are easier to execute.”
And so I have felt lost many times in my artistic journey because I haven’t been able to re-create that golden door, my true desire.
Getting Back to the Idea with More Skills
But for Magical Inkdom, I wanted to create gold. There my main message has been that we can make the wrong right, and define what’s magical to us. So I drew some golden frames, and they looked magical! (Instructions will be published in Lesson 4.)
Of course, I couldn’t just have a little bit of gold and settle with that. So I began a new piece, approximately 18 by 18 inches. It’s the biggest ink drawing that I have made so far. I knew my skills are there. I didn’t need a sketch or a prototype but just pour out everything that I love.
While I colored the drawing with watercolors, I thought about the appropriate title. The most accurate that came to my mind was “Kaikki tarpeellinen” meaning “All Things Necessary”. This kind of golden luxury may seem unnecessary and even overwhelming to many, but it’s necessary for me. I need to load this daily into my mind to keep my zest for life alive.
All Things Necessary: It’s a world where Salvador Dali travels to the Rococo era, and then back and forth between the Renaissance age and the 20th century.
It’s a world where golden birds lay Faberge eggs and land on golden fingers.
It’s a world where people, animals, and physical items share the same qualities and play the same symphony.
It’s a world where a cembalo plays a bit too loud, where all the gold hurts your eyes, and where the chaos is suspiciously acceptable.
It’s the same place that I was trying to find in 2011, when I was madly drawing circles, and when some of you started following this blog.
All Things Necessary for Moving on in the Artistic Journey
This new piece has made me re-think about the whole discussion about the artistic journey and finding a visual voice. I have blogged a lot about it, coached people for it, but it’s not easy to dig out a quiet seed that needs a lot of time and care to grow. Our artistic vision, the road sign, can be an ugly “prototype” like my old craft project that we carelessly toss away!
Let’s hold on to the things that keep deeply touching us while growing our skills in drawing and painting.