Saturday, January 25, 2014

Symbolism and Kristin Calabrese

I had a meeting with Stephen Westfall and he told me to look into Symbolistic Painters and Symbolism in General. I think over the past year I've transitioned from doing Realistic paintings to Naturalistic Paintings with Symbolic Undertones. Im a very spiritual person and it definitely effects my work and I like there to be invisible meanings beneath the visible in my paintings.

Kristin Calabrese's work I think definitely has meaning behind the subjects she is portraying and I think  her and I are very similar painters. I included pieces of her work in this post.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Really Great Article I Think Everyone Should Read

Why You Should Stop Trying To Be Happy

Oct. 10, 2013, 2:47 PM 3,785 5

If you have to try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you have to
try to be happy, then you will never be happy.

Maybe the problem these days is people are just trying too hard.

Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you obtain, but
rather something you inhabit. When you’re raging pissed and throwing a
socket wrench at the neighbor’s kids, you are not self-conscious about
your state of anger. You are not thinking to yourself, “Am I finally
angry? Am I doing this right?” No, you’re out for blood. You inhabit
and live the anger. You are the anger. And then it’s gone.

Just as a confident man doesn’t wonder if he’s confident, a happy man
does not wonder if he’s happy. He simply is.

What this implies is that happiness is not achieved in itself, but
rather it is the side-effect of a particular set of ongoing life
experiences. This gets mixed up a lot, especially since happiness is
marketed so much these days as a goal in and of itself. Buy X and be
happy. Learn Y and be happy. But you can’t buy happiness and you can’t
achieve happiness. It just is. And it is once you get other parts of
your life in order.
Happiness is not the same as pleasure

When most people seek happiness, they are actually seeking pleasure:
good food, more sex, more time for TV and movies, a new car, parties
with friends, full body massages, losing 10 pounds, becoming more
popular, and so on.

But while pleasure is great, it’s not the same as happiness. Pleasure
is correlated with happiness, but does not cause it. Ask any drug
addict how their pursuit if pleasure turned out. Ask an adulterer who
shattered her family and lost her children whether pleasure ultimately
made her happy. Ask a man who almost ate himself to death how happy
pursuing pleasure made him feel.

Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their
energy on materialistic and superficial pleasures end up more anxious,
more emotionally unstable and less happy in the long-run. Pleasure is
the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the
easiest. Pleasure is what’s marketed to us. It’s what we fixate on.
It’s what we use to numb and distract ourselves. But pleasure, while
necessary, isn’t sufficient. There’s something more.
Happiness does not require lowering one’s expectations

A popular narrative lately is that people are becoming unhappier
because we’re all narcissistic and grew up being told that we’re
special unique snowflakes who are going to change the world and we
have Facebook constantly telling us how amazing everyone else’s lives
are, but not our own, so we feel all like crap and wonder where it all
went wrong. Oh, and all of this happens by the of age 23.

Sorry, but no. Give people a bit more credit than that.

For instance, a friend of mine recently started a high-risk business
venture. He dried up most of his savings trying to make it work and
failed. Today, he’s happier than ever for his experience. It taught
him many lessons about what he wanted and didn’t want in life and it
eventually led him to his current job, which he loves. He’s able to
look back and be proud that he went for it because otherwise he would
have always wondered “what if?” and that would have made him unhappier
than any failure would have.

The failure to meet our own expectations is not antithetical to
happiness, and I’d actually argue that the ability to fail and still
appreciate the experience is actually a fundamental building block for

If you thought you were going to make $100,000 and drive a Porsche
immediately out of college, then your standards of success were skewed
and superficial, you confused your pleasure for happiness, and the
painful smack of reality hitting you in the face will be one of the
best lessons life ever gives you.

The “lower expectations” argument falls victim to the same old
mindset: that happiness is derived from without. The joy of life is
not having a $100,000 salary. It’s working to reach a $100,000 salary,
and then working for a $200,000 salary, and so on.

So, I say raise your expectations. Elongate your process. Lay on your
death bed with a to do list a mile long and smile at the infinite
opportunity granted to you. Create ridiculous standards for yourself
and then savor the inevitable failure. Learn from it. Live it. Let the
ground crack and rocks crumble around you because that’s how something
amazing grows, through the cracks.
Happiness is not the same as positivity

Chances are you know someone who always appears to be insanely happy
regardless of circumstances or situation. Chances are this is actually
one of the most dysfunctional people you know. Denying negative
emotion leads to deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and
emotional dysfunction.

It’s a simple reality: shit happens. Things go wrong. People upset us.
Mistakes are made and negative emotions arise. And that’s fine.
Negative emotions are necessary and healthy for maintaining a stable
baseline happiness in one’s life.

The trick with negative emotions is to 1) express them in a socially
acceptable and healthy manner and 2) express them in a way which
aligns with your values.

Simple example: A value of mine is to pursue non-violence; therefore
when I get mad at somebody, I express that anger, but I also make a
point to not punch them in the face. Radical idea, I know. (But I
absolutely will throw a socket wrench at the neighbor’s kids, though.
Try me.)

There’s a lot of people out there who subscribe to “always be
positive” ideology. These people should be avoided just as much as
someone who thinks the world is an endless pile of shit. If your
standard of happiness is that you’re always happy, no matter what,
then you’ve been watching way too much Leave It To Beaver and need a
reality check (but don’t worry, I promise not to punch you in the

I think part of the allure of obsessive positivity is the way which
we’re marketed to. I think part of it is being subjected to happy,
smiley people on television constantly. I think part of it are some
people in the self help industry that want you to feel like there’s
something wrong with you all the time.

Or maybe it’s just that we’re lazy, and like anything else we want the
result without actually having to do the hard work for it.

Which brings me to what actually drives happiness….
Happiness is the process of becoming your ideal self

Completing a marathon makes us happier than eating a chocolate cake.
Raising a child makes us happier than beating a video game. Starting a
small business with friends and struggling to make money makes us
happier than buying a new computer.

And the funny thing is that all three of the activities above are
exceedingly unpleasant and require setting high expectations and
potentially failing to always meet them. Yet, they are some of the
most meaningful moments and activities of our lives. They involve
pain, struggle, even anger and despair, yet once we’ve done them we
look back and get misty-eyed about them.


Because it’s these sort of activities which allow us to become our
ideal selves. It’s the perpetual pursuit of fulfilling our ideal
selves which grants us happiness, regardless of superficial pleasures
or pain, regardless of positive or negative emotions. This is why some
people are happy in war and others are sad at weddings. It’s why some
are excited to work and others hate parties. The traits they’re
inhabiting don’t align with their ideal selves.

It’s not the end results which define our ideal selves. It’s not
finishing the marathon that makes us happy, it’s achieving a difficult
long-term goal that does. It’s not having an awesome kid to show off
that makes us happy, but knowing that you gave yourself up to the
growth of another human being that is special. It’s not the prestige
and money from the new business that makes you happy, it’s process of
overcoming all odds with people you care about.

And this is the reason that trying to be happy inevitably will make
you unhappy. Because to try to be happy implies that you are not
already inhabiting your ideal self, you are not aligned with the
qualities of who you wish to be. After all, if you were acting out
your ideal self, then you wouldn’t feel the need to try to be happy.

Cue statements about “finding happiness within,” and “knowing that
you’re enough.” It’s not that happiness itself is in you, it’s that
happiness occurs when you decide to pursue what’s in you.

And this is why happiness is so fleeting. Anyone who has set out major
life goals for themselves, only to achieve them and realize that they
feel the same relative amounts of happiness/unhappiness, knows that
happiness always feels like it’s around the corner just waiting for
you to show up. No matter where you are in life, there will always be
that one more thing you need to do to be extra-especially happy.

And that’s because our ideal self is always around that corner, our
ideal self is always three steps ahead of us. We dream of being a
musician and when we’re a musician we dream of writing a film score
and when write a film score, we dream of writing a screenplay. And
what matters isn’t that we achieve each of these plateaus of success,
but that we’re consistently moving towards them, day after day, month
after month, year after year. The plateaus will come and go, and we’ll
continue following our ideal self down the path of our lives.

And with that, with regards to being happy, it seems the best advice
is also the simplest: Imagine who you want to be and then step towards
it. Dream big and then do something. Anything. The simple act of
moving at all will change how you feel about the entire process and
serve to inspire you further.

Let go of the imagined result; it’s not necessary. The fantasy and the
dream are merely tools to get you off your ass. It doesn’t matter if
they come true or not. Live, man. Just live. Stop trying to be happy
and just be.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I havent been able to paint because I've been in and out of the hospital because for some reason I keep having seizures. I have however been looking at a lot of artists so I just compiled a few paintings I like and will put them in this post I suppose.

I saw her show in Chelsea two or three weeks ago.

Just a few throw backs of Charline Von Heyl's Stuff because I still cant find anything as amazing

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Painting

Have been working on it for over three weeks, and finished it today in three minutes. Really brings up the question of time and if it relates to "good art" or not. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Link to my Pinterest

I have like 5 million different pages, I wish I got graded on a blog before thesis, because when it becomes an assignment I just don't want to do it anymore.

Here's a link to my pinterest, it consists of pictures that i love to paint, and contains my obsession with patterning and texture. 

Mihoko Ogaki

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Not about that painting life

Because over 60 hours spent and it still looks like shit

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Video Art

I love making videos, so I decided to take a media class this semester, the first is a project I did by myself, and the seconds kind-of a joke project me and a few other people created.