I create context. I also write blog posts:

Borbay Shares His Process… And Why I Could Never Do the Same.

Posted: July 25th, 2011 | Author: | 2 Comments »



I’m a huge fan of the artist Borbay. (I should say this right off the bat: I don’t know anything about art except that there are pieces I like and pieces I don’t. I don’t know why I like them or don’t; some works just catch my eye. Borbay’s did.) The first introduction to his work was this piece, “Long Beach Bungalows“. Something about the colors, the subject matter.. I don’t know what it was, but I love this painting. And then I read the post below it, a step by step process of his work on location. And I’m hooked. I can’t paint, but I want to know how painters do it. I want to know where he started, how he got past the intimidating white page of the canvas. Where does a painting start? How do you choose where the first stroke goes? It seems more of a building process than I would have guessed.

Today, I got on Twitter, and he’s taken the process-sharing one step further: he’s got a live stream of his workspace up online, and he’s letting us watch him put paint on the canvas.

I’m sitting here watching — I’ve got this post open in one monitor and there he is painting in my other monitor — I’m sitting here watching with my jaw dropped. Not because watching him paint is so intriguing (the actual brush strokes are cool, but it’s not all that active), but because he’s letting us into the process itself, a process I find in my work to be very singular. It’s one thing to talk about how you created something after the fact, when you have a clear head and a finished product. It’s another thing entirely to show a work in progress, as you’re literally progressing, before you can show where it’s going to end up, before you can prevent people from making judgments based on an unfinished product. Maybe I’m alone in this thinking, maybe creating is a singular process to me and me only, and there are others out there creating beautiful things who don’t see it that way; that’s cool. In fact, I’m envious.

I just think it takes a ton of courage to put it out there like that. To let everyone see the product before it’s polished. I don’t know how painters do what they do, so I can only think about it the way I do writing, but there’s no way I could expose myself like that. There are times the first draft doesn’t look anything like the second draft, and you’d think less of me if you had seen it. There are times when I don’t get the words right, but instead get them quite wrong. You’d think less of me if you had seen them. There are times when I incorporate bad ideas into my writing, when I go in the wrong direction and need to pull myself out of it in a later stage. You’d think… well, you get the idea.

And that’s what’s so refreshing and enlightening about watching Borbay work: creating something is a messy process, one where you’re exposed, and he’s not afraid of it.

I am.


It’s All Downhill From Here

Posted: July 8th, 2011 | Author: | 1 Comment »


All my life, I thought 25 was like, the age to be. I don’t even know how to describe it, other than this vague feeling that being 25 years old would probably be the peak of my life.

And why not? It’s a nice, round number, a quarter century. If I were a professional athlete, I’d be at the top of my game *right now*, right this very instant.

But I’m not a professional athlete. And I’m not yet at the top of my game in any respect (hopefully).

In fact, it didn’t even occur to me until just now that that’s how I’ve felt my whole life. I mean, I had known it, obviously, during the parts of my life when I was thinking it, but I had forgotten that in the last few years. I had lost sight of the greatness that lies just before me. But I’m reminded of it again and that’s great, ’cause now I can do whatever I can to make the most out of 25, right?

Right.

Except for one thing: tomorrow, I turn *26*, so the window of opportunity is closing rapidly.

Really rapidly.

Really really rapidly.

So um, I can try to explain away the feeling, knowing that I’m not past my prime and that the only significant part of 25 is that I can now rent a car without paying the “You’re under 25 so we’re going to charge you more because statistically speaking you’re probably going to crash this car” fees at the rental place.

But it’s tough to go back and tell 14 year old me that I was wrong (also, even if I could, it would be really time consuming, because this is hardly the only thing 14 year old me was wrong about).

So what can I do to go out (of 25, at least) with a boom? (Bear in mind that I’m on Long Island, so I don’t know terribly many people — even my girlfriend is out of town right now.)

I’m thinking that porch swing above looks like a pretty good way to spend the final hours of 25.

So what if I’m over the hill in the eyes of 14 year old me? There’s a lot of hill to roll down before I hit rock bottom.

Right, 35 year old me?


17 Tips For a Successful Job Hunt!

Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

A few months ago, I spoke to a class of graduating seniors at Keuka College, my alma mater. We talked about the challenges they face in looking for jobs and some of the ways the job hunt has changed recently. Driving home, I came up with a few more bits of advice that I wish I had thought of during our discussion, so I wrote them down. You can read them here.

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