Tuesday, July 3, 2012

watercolor bed, danny gregory and success

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
John Lennon

I think i need to clean up and fill up my little watercolor set...
or get a new one. 

oh yeah, babay... :-)

A quick little watercolor i did last night.

I need to get some new sketchbooks soon too,
and i think i'll try the Moleskin sketchbooks.
I've never tried them.

Have any of you out there tried them?

I know they're a bit more expensive,
but it's money well spent to me.

I'll bark about paying $3 for broccoli
but i don't mind paying $20 for a sketchbook. 


I love painting things that have exaggerated darks and lights.
Like these creases in the clothes...

Although these were obviously done too quickly.

I've been re-reading a few of my Danny Gregory books.

I had forgotten how brilliant this man is.
So many important words for artists to read.

If any of you still need permission
to call yourselves artists,
read his book "the Creative License".

It'll help you find your wings.

This page is one of my favorites,
although it's one of the rare ones without any illustration.

Haven't we all struggled with this?
If we're so good, why aren't we making more money?

There are genuine artists
who never seem to be able to break through
and then there are those who paint the same thing
over and over and over
in different colors
who have no sense of discovery 
or of the importance of art in the world
but they play the part
and they walk the walk
and they talk the talk
(usually bullshit)
and they get the government grants.

I can almost hear my father's voice here...
"y'a pas de justice dans le monde"
(basically, "life isn't fair").

I always think back at Vincent Van Gogh,
who sold only one painting during his lifetime,
and they now sell for millions.

But is that what it's about?
About selling?
Was his art not art
when it didn't sell?

Why did it all of a sudden become more valuable?
It was always the same art.

Was Van Gogh considered more of an artist
because his paintings eventually reached in the millions?

Would we ever have known about him
if his art had remained unsold, in obscurity?

Is that the measuring stick we use
to determine whether one is a successful artist or not?

It's certainly not my stick.

I don't think it was Henry Miller's stick either.

Art needs no measuring sticks.

The only sticks we need
are those attached to our paintbrushes.


  1. You're so right Pauline! I love that page. Have to print it out and hang it on the wall in front of me. Or better yet: buy the book!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post ...!we need to spread the word!

  3. I guess you have to do what you love just because you love it--like Van Gogh. If you make money at it one day, that's a bonus. And if you do, you'll be making a living doing what you love which very few people seem to be lucky enough to do. So, just put your heart and soul into what you create for the sake of creating, I guess, eh? Is truly is wonderful in itself. :)

  4. I need this book, your whole post gave me goose bumps, my gauge for excellence!! I agree and have thought the very same things Danny writes about. I wonder how many other creatives have thought this! Love your water color of clothes hanging off the bed....great job.

    I wrote down a quote from the book "Risk and surprise are the food and drink of creativity" so true!!
    Thanks for sharing I agree with everything you said one hundred percent!! It's probably a time to stand up and be heard as an artist!! Thanks for sharing this brave post!!

    Hugs Giggles

  5. Love your 'quick' watercolor. If only! Thanks for adding yet another book to my list. I need to keep Amazon on standby at the rate I'm going... Enjoy your new moleskin. Let me know if I should add one to my next book order! xx

  6. I too will be buying this book. Thank you for the book suggestion.
    Your post gave me lots to think about. Do we need to make money to consider ourselves an artist? Absolutely, not. Is it a concept that we need to get over? Yes.
    If we are creating, we are an artist. We just need to know who we are, what we love, and claim it. Sometimes, easier said than done.

    I do know I love your watercolor.

  7. PRIORITIES! haha. :) And also, 'the only sticks we need are those attached to our paintbrushes'?! That's going on my quotes list, a Pauline Leger original! Brilliant. Lord woman, your posts are always so thoughtful and interesting, and you are so versatile as an artist. I really think you're fab. xx

  8. Fantastic post ! This really spoke to me! And that addage, 'do what you love and the money will follow' is true sometimes too! Just do what you love and it will come thru in all you do and people will notice. The trick is not to want the people to notice ! AT least for me:)))
    I like the two quotes "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

    John Lennon" and your dad's ""y'a pas de justice dans le monde"
    ( "life isn't fair")! NOw I have to ideas for index card challenge I am involved in:))) Thanks for the enlightment, again! Your blog is a refreshing part of my days.
    Fran T xoxoxo

  9. PS when I wrote: 'The trick is not to want the people to notice ! AT least for me' Of course its good to an extent to want people to notice but, for me, I will obsess about it which can paralyze me and just get me to stop being creative :/

  10. I love your sketches, Pauline, and your posts are truly inspiring and motivational. Thanks for the encouragement. I so agree with you re. your thoughts on art.

    Re. Moleskine - Be sure to get their 'watercolour' notebooks, NOT their sketchbooks. The sketchbooks are made of card-stock and, while they are okay for light watercolour washes, they don't take watercolour very well....better suited for pen and ink, coloured pencil etc. I like their Folio watercolour sketchbooks but, bear in mind, I'm no expert when it comes to watercolour mediums. I like their little pocket watercolour notebook too...great for carrying in your bag.

    Have a lovely evening! xo

  11. I am not a fan of their watercolour journals, or their sketch ones actually because I am not a fan of the yellow tinge to the paper.... I do like a crisp white so that the colours stay pure, and I love my derwent ones.... they have the crispest cleanest paper and they stand up to a bit of abuse... not sure if derwent is that common over there... I also have a couple of Daler Rowney ones that I love... but having said that I love writing in moleskins so maybe give one a shot... I know lots of people who love them...xx

  12. Very wise words.... I am going to download Danny Gregory onto my Kindle tonight! Thank You xo

  13. you are completely right. for centuries artists have only been considered artists cause someone (likely a critic) said they were so. this is what happened with Van Gogh.

    as for the moleskin journals.... i tend to really like them. I happen to have two -- one watercolor and one sketchbook. I really want to try out their new mixed media one.

    hope this helps. thanks for sharing

  14. Always like to visit for a little inspiration. AND a laugh or two. I am a Daler Rowney journal kind of girl. Thick pages and nice and white. julie

  15. Always like to visit for a little inspiration. AND a laugh or two. I am a Daler Rowney journal kind of girl. Thick pages and nice and white. julie