Robert Diaz

Drawing what I see, day and night

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Find Your Purpose (Robert Diaz's Kandinsky Circle Project)

Nicole -- thank you for creating this wonderful project, leading us on this fun, creative journey! I always find myself wanting to paint and this class provided the perfect opportunity.


Inspirational/Focus Words

The words I focused on (or at least attempted to initially) were:

  • Warmth
  • Togetherness
  • Wonder
  • Spring


Journey Of A Thousand Brush Strokes

I began my painting with a focus on the Kandinsky circle in the bottom right corner. My red background was actually lighter than what you see in the photo above. Like the background, the color of the circles also changed a bit over the weekend.

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The first circle started as a forest green, more in line with the Kandinsky circle, before ending up more of a burnt orange.

Deciding on a color for the second circle gave me the most trouble. It actually started as a violet, but much brighter than the second Kandinsky circle. I overcompensated and then it became a dark, washed out pink. But that didn't feel right either. I then shifted to a very leafy green lightened with white, before settling on the final yellow-green mix.

The third circle went from white, to a midnight blue. I really liked having a darker shade here to contrast the innermost circle that I knew I wanted to make yellow. That became more of a slated black. I felt like the canvas was calling for black.

The innermost circle was always yellow, though it became much brighter by the end. I layered the yellow on a little more to hide the red background that was still showing through.  


On To Personalization

During my morning & evening train commute, I typically have my sketchbook in hand, drawing people. I will draw the person in full when time and line of sight permit, but during the past week, I found myself sticking to faces.

Here's a photo of faces of fellow commuters that I doodled this past week in my sketchbook: 

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I really enjoy looking at people's faces, all so different and that fill me with wonder. Personalizing my painting with very simple silhouettes was a very easy decision for me. Given that the shapes are pretty distinguishable as faces/torsos, I suppose I have disqualified this as abstract. Nevertheless, it is art and I am very proud of it :)

I also added red dots to match the number of silhouettes. We're all here for a reason, I truly believe that. I can only speak for myself, but my reason for being weighs on my mind quite a bit. I search both inwardly and outwardly for meaning. I guess I just want to know that I am making an impact, in some shape or form. And given the multitude of ways that we interact with each other every day, I also believe that our purpose(s) intersect and are infinitely shaped by the purpose(s) of others. Our existence is a precious thing.


Reflecting On Things

I do wish I had taken more pictures throughout. I guess I didn't expect the process to be so nonlinear and chaotic for me. It was this chaos that made the experience that much more special for me.

I think my lack of formal training, along with fears of making mistakes and usual frustration with the results keep me from making painting (along with any other worthwhile/passion-driven pursuit, if you think about it) more of a common activity. That's especially the reason why I am so grateful to you. You got me through the scary part of simply starting. I actually had your course replaying over and over again as I painted. Watching you put to practice those lessons and tips kept me focused on the art. Next time, though, I would probably crack the window open a bit to keep the room properly ventilated.

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