Posts Tagged ‘studio’

Learning To Loosen My Grip

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by jmbroekman 4 Comments
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Above and at right are snapshots of the studio painting wall with a few of the small 4″ x 6″ oil sketches done on the note card flat-backs. For more of the sunflowers, click here!.

Learning to loosen my dog-with-a-bone grip on everything.

It is a battle of internal wills. My procrastinator side has been winning these last few weeks, but I’m hopeful that today, finally, the get-it-done side will prevail. The procrastinator within has had some good arguments: why do I need to do this post anyway? do you really think anyone is going to read it and be helped by it? it’s summer, there are so many better ways to spend your time. The list goes on. But in truth, I need to formulate some ideas for the possibility of having to give an artist’s talk on Great Cranberry Island next month. I’d like to be better prepared than I felt I was last year to make a public presentation.

So maybe this will be the start of a few fast and furious posts, on a blog that has been long neglected. Or at least, maybe I will finally get this one posted. Which, if you are actually reading this, will prove to be the case!

Learning to loosen my grip and getting it right – two sides of the same coin

This may very well be a continuation of the “getting it right” post from earlier this year. Learning to loosen my ironclad grip on trying to get it right. Loosen my grip on the pencil, the bow, the neck of the cello. Cello lessons applied in the studio. Trying to relax that illusory hold on controlling the world at large.

In the past few weeks in an effort to loosen my grip, I’ve been making small quick oil sketch paintings on leftover note card flat backs. The waste-not-want-queen is alive and well; as is the Avis girl. It’s the latter that I am attempting to put on a train to elsewhere. She’s the one who can’t give up trying harder. Holding on with all her might. Using leftover scrap materials (the flat-backs that go in the packs of note cards to describe what’s in the pack), is my way of making a stab at caring less. It’s decidedly not-beautiful paper, so who cares if what I put down works or can be called a painting with a capital P? Inevitably this is what I need – an attitude of “so what”. It’s the attitude that frees up space in my head so that courage and curiosity have a void to fill. I take bigger chances; allowing myself to just go for it with abandon––loosen the grip on what I think it should be, what I want it to look like. Finally let it be whatever it wants to be. Using scrap materials, crummy paper, pushes me to be quick, loose and decisive, and most importantly not so labored. It is about letting go of all that tightly held effort.

Now maybe I can go out and enjoy some of the rest of the summer!

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12.31.16

Posted on: December 31st, 2016 by jmbroekman 2 Comments
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Drawing Table Portrait; 31 December 2016

Hopeful New Year

Today marks not only the end of 2016 – a year many I know are happy to see go, but also the 12th anniversary of my mother’s death. I’ve been thinking of her all week. Thinking that I’m glad in some ways she is not here to witness what I believe will be a disastrous new administration in our government. Which leads me to my next thought obsession: what does it mean to hope?

What is hope? Is it merely an emotion or simply the opposite of despair? Where does it live? I guess since mid-November, I’ve been having trouble finding this elusive thing called hope. None-the-less, I am going to keep looking. And here is where I think I’ll find it: in the freshly fallen snow laden branches in the woods; the expectant look of a silly dog who can’t wait for me to snap on my snowshoes and head into those woods; the shed full of wood to keep my studio warm all winter long; that cozy warm studio; and all the people in my life who bring me laughter and light. Here’s hoping you too will find hope, strength and joy in all kinds of unexpected places in the year ahead.

Studio Update

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by jmbroekman 5 Comments

It’s been a long cold winter

And I realize I haven’t added anything to this so-called blog in a few months. Being studio-less has been, shall we say, a bit challenging. So, I thought I’d post some photos of what’s been going on in and to my humble little studio.

First we had to make a mess, and I mean REALLY BIG MESS.
destruction1destruction 2When I say a mess, I mean a real mess

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It is almost an entirely new studio: new rafters, siding, insulation, sheetrock, windows – and 8 more feet of space in the back! It isn’t quite done yet, but now getting really close and exciting. It has been a long haul, but I know when the winds blow next winter I will be toasty warm, and forever grateful to Curtis and Andre for their hard good work, Jenny Scheu for encouraging me to make this big mess, and my mom, who unbeknown to her helped finance it.

Happy New Year

Posted on: January 9th, 2014 by jmbroekman 2 Comments
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It’s January again

That means, time to start another drawing a day extravaganza.This time, however, is proving challenging at best since I don’t have a studio in which to work. None-the-less, I’m doing my best. Turning my office desk into an everything desk. Really, it’s become more of a drawing table to some extent. Problem is, most of my tools are packed up, and I find myself constantly moving things here there and everywhere.

So the new year has my world turned a little bit upside down. Nothing like a little more chaos to distract me in my quest for moving through the world with more ease. I suspect 2014 will prove interesting in any case. Here’s hoping your year is off to a good start, and that you stay well, warm, and happy.

Treasures Lost and Found

Posted on: November 10th, 2013 by jmbroekman 2 Comments
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Happy finds in my mouse and squirrel ridden loft

Serious demolition has begun in the studio. Half the building is down to bare studs. The chore that I was most dreading – cleaning out the loft space – is pretty much complete. There is little that can’t be done when you put a mask on your face and your mind to that which seems insurmountable. It was disgusting up there. But lo and behold, even though I thought every last thing was going to find it’s way to the dump or a bonfire, I was wrong.

I knew my old prints of many moons ago were there, but I dared not hope they’d be anything salvageable. There were several old portfolios, all zippered up and miracle of miracles, un-infested. What a great surprise I got when I finally hauled the portfolios down and opened them up. The contents within were pristine.

I’m pretty sure the litho at left was done when I lived in NY and worked at the Art Student’s League. That would’ve been over 30 years ago