“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal: while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.”
This rendering isn’t perfect (none of my renderings are!), but I had fun letting my imagination wander, and I enjoyed pairing unusual stone cuts and colors in this pendant design:
And, to close this post, a wise observation…
“There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.”
(Josiah Gilbert Holland)
When you design, paint or do anything creative, it sometimes helps to have outside inspiration. I took this picture in Vermont recently and happened to glance at it when I sat down to do my design for the day:
Because I’m learning that it is important to incorporate “play” into your creative work (something I often forget or put off), I then “doodled” this sketch from my memory:
Even though I love flowers, what I enjoyed the most about doing the sketch above, was drawing in the knots of wood in the wall behind the flowers. The lines of wood grain splitting and then closing again around the knots led me to isolate that motif; quite quickly, a concept for a bracelet emerged. Here is the finished bracelet rendering:
The sights and sounds of NY –
Blinding sun glinting off the Hudson River by Riverside Park yesterday,
a rude heckler yelling “Yah! Go! Keep it up” as I did my jump-roping and “burpees” in the park,
Jews gathered in groups along the parkway path reading and singing in observance of Rosh Hashanah today,
the “fwap-fwap” of my Nike windbreaker as I braced head-first into the 30 mph wind gusts on my early evening walk,
and this curious seed pod I picked up, put in my pocket, (and only remembered when I laid on my side and thought my hip bone was going bad),
all led me to create this pendant rendering tonight:
I’m dedicating this rendering to my parents, who are celebrating their 42nd anniversary tonight.
As I’m finding my “NY City legs” – figuring out how to set up my drafting table, hooking up my printer and getting my scanner to work – today’s rendering felt a bit forced. When I finished it, my thought was
“Oh, this isn’t original…I’ve done this exact same design before!”
So I decided to dig through my design archives to see just how much I had plagiarized myself. Much to my surprise, I realized that while today’s design is, indeed, a reworking of a motif that I seem to love, it is significantly different not only in rendering technique but in feel. In a more critical vein, I’d say that I’m still seeking that “Ah hah!” moment with this motif. However, with a little distance (nice that I’ve saved my designs) I see merit in each of the variations to date; proof, too, as George Balanchine once said
“There are no new steps, only new combinations.”
I’ve posted the new variation below with the previous incarnations, in reverse chronological order underneath:
“Success is steady progress towards one’s personal goals.”
One of the beauties of my Design a Day project is that it has kept me motivated to keep producing even when I don’t exactly feel up to it. Take tonight’s rendering…when I started to sketch, I felt demoralized, tired and defeated. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to produce anything worthy of posting here. Worse, I didn’t exactly want to either. However, the thought of falling short of my goal of posting a design a day for one year straight with only 19 days to go, was enough of a motivation to get me going.
Furthermore, something happened as I started to paint. I found a sense of calm, peace and energy that I didn’t think I had. My earring design is merely a watercolor and gouache painting on vellum paper; however, the shift in my mood is golden:
How about you? What step will you take today that will move you closer to your goal?
Two days ago I posted a rather sumptuous gold, diamond and emerald earring rendering for my Design a Day (Day 344). I was visiting my parents in NH and did the rendering in my parents’ atelier – a combined pottery and jewelry studio. The following pictures give a glimpse into our activities that day:
Adding some orange highlights…
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