For the past few days, I’ve been involved in one of the least entertaining activities in the world, one that never seems to end and consumes your very existence, bringing inconvenience to every facet of your life. Yup, I’m talking about moving. I’m definitely not being melodramatic when I say that moving from an apartment into a new house is one of the most frustrating things to ever happen to me.
In reality, this isn’t that big of a deal, but it has caused me to become extremely restless. It’s not because of the inconvenience of manual labor or sleeping on the floor or having to eat ice cream with a fork since all the spoons are at the house and not the apartment. All of those things are fine and can easily be overcome. What’s been irking me about the whole thing is my difficulty in creating anything. I’ve failed to complete several blog posts due to my brain not working properly, I’ve been unable to continue learning how to draw due tot the lack of tables, I’ve been unable to make my small Flask have any functionality due to my incompetence and, worst of all, I’ve been unable to wear any clothes that weren’t sweatpants and a sweatshirt due to having to move things.
My mind is so used to doing anything productive that going several days without doing anything that really uses my brain has left me feeling terrible about myself. Sure, moving boxes and carrying heavy stuff is productive in a way, but it fails to satisfy me in any way. Because of the mental unrest, I’ve been feeling terrible about myself and just have struggled to stay positive in the recent days. I had never realized how much creating things, be it CS homework or blog posts, has such a positive impact on my life and the lack of it can have such a negative impact. When I read this article about the health benefits of art, it all made sense.
As the year comes to a close, I’ve decided that one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try to create something every day. I don’t mean I need to write a 500 word blog post or draw an amazing portrait or design something really cool. No, that’s nearly impossible. At the very least, I want to be make anything that leaves a unique impact on the world, however small. This could be a small drawing of a potato on the side of my homework if I’m feeling lame or an awesome photo or even just a bombass photo.
I needed to write this post in order to create something after all of these days. Now, it also serves to keep me accountable in terms of what I want to do in the future. It’s a New Year’s Resolution, so therefore the odds are already against me, but even the intention to create more is better than what I’m doing right now.
This post is inspired by a painting that I received a poster of from a really cool person who went to the Netherlands. The work is called “Children of the Sea” by Jozef Israëls and depicts a few children, surprisingly enough, in the sea. Most critics believe that the four children are siblings and the offspring of a fisherman.
The oldest child is closest to and stares at his future in the miniature sailboat in front of him. This same child holds up his youngest sibling, representative of how as the oldest child he must take upon the burden of supporting the family. His closeness to the sailboat underscores the same idea. However, none of this is depressing or sorrowful, but just a simple fact of life that the artist shows to us. The color scheme is peaceful and relaxing, lacking any strong colors or gloomy colors that would suggest any emotion the artist wishes to relay to us, the viewers.
This work and the many like it that Israëls painted in his lifetime were met with incredible commercial success that seemed unfounded. One analysis of his work explained how he “systematically ignored or violated almost every principle and practice by which other artists have won fame — draughtsmanship, technique, coloring, beauty of subject, decorative treatment, even community of experience with the people portrayed” and still managed to become an important figure and a leader in Dutch art.
His popularity can be contributed to how he perfectly fit with the times around him, since his style was a result of the times. The loose brushstrokes and brown-ish tinge are distinctly Dutch elements, with some influence by French realism. His works transformed throughout the ages, becoming gloomier but always maintaining popularity. Children of the Sea remains one of his more popular works, representative his works of his more joyous periods.
I don’t think I’ve written a blog post about photography before. The art form frequently gets forgotten as an art form, instead thought of as a way to hold memories in a visual format. The proliferation high quality smartphone cameras and the lowering prices of larger framed cameras have made the art much more commonplace than ever before in history. Digital photography is so simple to get into, making it a super accessible creative outlet.
I’ve had a dSLT camera for over 4 years now, but have taken an incredibly small amount of pictures with it. Despite my proliferating interest in photography, my Sony has just gathered dust, while my instagram feed fills up with decent shots I took with my iPhone. The common phrase is that “the best camera is the one that you take with you” and I want the best camera to be the best camera in every possible way. That is to say, I want to improve my pictures by taking them with superior equipment and actually make that investment in the camera worth it.
For that reason, as I depart for Chicago, I will be taking my camera. Who knows if I will have a chance to use my camera, but I want it to be with me so I can take even one picture along the way. I’ll do my best to figure out how to use it properly and share the pictures on my blog in some way. I wanted to post about it to create a level of accountability so I would actually commit to something for once. Let’s see how it goes.