Saturday, November 10, 2007

Paying it forward

I was browsing Vivien Blackburn's blog and came across a new blog meme - Paying It Forward. The concept of this is karma - you get what you give. Vivien will provide 3 individuals with a piece of her art work on the promise that they make the same offer on their blog. How could I resist the opportunity seeing one of Vivien's beautiful little watercolours or sketches in person? So I left a comment and hopefully will be lucky enough to have been one of the first three individuals to do so.

So often we guard our knowledge in art in the hopes that it gives us an edge either on drawing or painting techniques, materials, where the latest sale of art supplies is or imparting knowledge to students. I have been trying hard to dispel that trait in my life by sharing what I know and what I possess with others. It can be something small such as sharing tools with an budding artist or sharing the latest news about an opportunity to enter an art show. Or it can be more elaborate such as taking the time to create a personal gift of art or spend time to show someone how a drawing is produced.

Karma does come to those who give. So I, thanks to Vivien's (and many others) posts I am offering some of my work to those who will, in turn, do the same on their blogs and in their lives.

I will provide an art piece - I don't know what size or medium at this point - to the first 3 artists who leave comments on my blog. This time of year being busy, so the work may not go out til later in the year or in the new year, but it WILL go out. Those who do sign up must promise to share their abundance with others and do so publicly on their blogs.

For those who were not in the first three to comment, consider doing something for someone to make their road to art easier. It doesn't have to be a big thing, even a random supporting message is often what someone really needs to help them over the hump of a particular day. Share your good ideas and deeds with me. We can all do with inspiration to help others.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pareto's Principle

I'm deciding on an image to use for a class on drawing animals in coloured pencil. I'm toying with using Tripod as the model and am just working out the final lesson plans now. I have a lot of it in place in various forms from other classes. I just need to pull it all together in 4 blocks to make up the sessions. Sometimes the curriculum development becomes trying and I'd rather just draw!

Years ago in a business management class at college we were taught about Pareto's Principle The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule and the law of the vital few) states that in many things, 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist is credited with it. He observed that 80 percent of the land in Italy (and every country he subsequently studied) was owned by 20 percent of the population.

Over the years, he and many others observed this rule in action in different spheres. Some examples:

  1. Relationship: Twenty percent of the people you know (friends, colleagues, family) provide you with 80 percent of nurturing support and satisfaction.

  2. Business: Twenty percent of customers will account for 80 percent of profit.

  3. Productivity: Twenty percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your success.

  4. Gardening: Eighty percent of garden peas are produced by 20 percent of the peapods.
The value of the Pareto Principle is that it reminds you to focus on the 20 percent that matters. Of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. When the fire drills of the day begin to sap your time, remind yourself of the 20 percent you need to focus on. If something in the schedule has to slip, if something isn't going to get done, make sure it's not part of that 20 percent.

I've discovered in building the art side of my life that it seems to involve everything except art itself. There is marketing and promoting, planning, scheduling, developing curriculum, teaching, critiquing, framing, travelling, schmoozing, art shows and all the other things that take place for a piece of art to seem to appear out of the ether. I spend about 20% of my time devoted to the art of drawing or painting. I fit it in whenever I can as I know that my art production is the key that drives all the rest.
Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 Rule, should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the 20 percent of you work that is really important. Don't just "work smart", work smart on the right things.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Yoga of Nine Emotions

The yoga master trying a new position...

I have never really tried yoga. Not seriously. But after delving into this aspect of it, it piques my curiosity and makes me want to explore more.

I have been asked if I can draw the 9 Rasas in the form of female masks. I didn't have any knowledge about this concept so did a little research and found the following information from Rasas Info :

The nine Rasas are the essential aspects or energies that define a set of emotions and moods that thus belong to the same "family" or Rasa. While the nine Rasas themselves are clearly defined energies affecting body and mind, the resulting emotions (Bhavas) manifest in many varieties and their understanding is affected by personal and cultural backgrounds. Knowing the nine Rasas help to understand why a certain mood comes and stays even though it's original cause may be long gone and how to use that knowledge in achieving more emotional control.

The Tantric tradition recognizes nine principal Rasas that relate to quite clearly defined moods or emotions (click the individual Rasas for more details) :

Sanskrit Term

Principal Meaning

Further Meanings & related emotions



Beauty, devotion



Humor, sarcasm



Curiosity, mystery



Calmness, relaxation



Irritation, stress



Pride, confidence



Compassion, pity



Anxiety, worry



Depression, self-pity

Its quite an interesting theory and I wonder if it does work. Perhaps with concentration techniques which are part of yoga you can bring and expel your Rasa at will. The masks themselves would be fun to do, using appropriate colours and details of expression. So often portraits are done avoiding expression, they tend to be serious mostly, neutral canvases. To depict a series of emotions and bring them to life would be an interesting exercise.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Study for 'Hotdog'
coloured pencil on Canson paper
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I started this drawing while I was waiting for students to turn up for a class. I've had the reference for awhile and can't really remember where it came from but it was always amusing. I'll try to find time to continue working on it in spare moments and see what comes of it.

I have a couple of other irons in the fire right now too. Tonight I'm choosing three drawings to submit to the City of St. John's Art Procurement program. The deadline is November 14th for submission so I want them packed up and ready to go, as I will be out of the province all of next week. I return from my trip on the 16th and the next day have a 3 hour demonstration to do with 2 classes the following day. Let's hope jet lag doesn't take its toll.

This year I'm hoping to enter a piece in the Provincial Arts and Letters Competition. The deadline for that is February 15, 2008, so I have time to finish off the representational self portrait I've been working on. Its a large piece and I haven't done as much as I'd hope to have done by now. I was a little lost in terms of ideas for the right side of the image, but more ideas are coming to me now and I will make some inroads on it when I return from Saskatchewan.

These will be my first juried attempts for a long time, so I'm taking my time deciding on the pieces. Choosing art is very much down to the jury's likes and dislikes, as well as budget. As in art shows, you never know who is there or what they're looking for. Its very much a lottery. I'll take my chances with the rest of the world.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


This is my second line drawing of a lion. I did the first yesterday morning at 5:30am (time changes screw me up). I taught a class last night and a person needed more paper, so I told them to take it out of my book. Of course too late it was noticed that it was the lion I had drawn and their drawing was on the reverse. I just tell myself that the practice is good for me and besides, I didn't have the heart to not let the person take their drawing efforts home with them.

I've been reflecting on control or lack of it and how it forms around some individuals and not others. There are various forms of control but all are designed to control your environment so that it remains the same and you never go outside your 'safe' zone. Some people control work, some control their immediate living zone, others control people to ensure that they remain in control of any variables in life.

I was listening to a song tonight on the way home by Great Big Sea, a popular Newfoundland music group and the words made me think more about control and how the controller wants life to change but to also remain the same. Consequence Free. Perhaps there's a bit of control in all of us.

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) is taking action to respond to the community of craft artists affected by the Southern California Wildfires. They say:

We are reaching out to artists, arts organizations, galleries, businesses and others in the affected areas to offer assistance and to locate information about the arts community. While it is still too early to know the extent of damage, we do know that the situation is severe as news reports indicate. We also know that this area of California has a significant population of craft artists. We have already heard from a jeweler who lost both her home and studio and CERF Trustee and clay artist, Lana Wilson, had to be evacuated from her Del Mar home.

Please help us spread the word that CERF is available to offer assistance to craft artists in Southern California. Please also be aware that your support of our work during these times is essential so that we can deliver aid quickly and effectively.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Blizzard revisited

Mother Goose
graphite 9 x 12 Bristol smooth
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I came across this drawing while looking for paper in my seemingly bottomless art cupboard and throught it was about time I finished it off and put it to rest.

This drawing was based on the adventures of an orphan gosling - Blizzard - who I become mother to a couple of years ago. This was his sleeping position and I could go around and do what I had to do and this kept him quiet - at least for a short time. I'm still toying with an idea for a background for this, but haven't decided on anything yet. It may be some generic shadowy background unless something else appeals. The inside of the barn might be an option. Or in the case of Blizzard - the sofa!