Monday, November 9, 2009

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

WIP Preliminary Drawing

I'm reading "The Black Swan" by Taleb. Halfway through it. Here's a paragraph guaranteed to keep me in bed in the morning: "Many people labor in life under the impression that they are doing something right, yet they may not show solid results for a long time. They need a capacity for continuously adjourned gratification to survive a steady diet of peer cruelty without becoming demoralized. They look like idiots to their cousins, they look like idiots to their peers, they need courage to continue. No confirmation comes to them, no validation, no fawning students, no Nobel, no Shnobel. "How was your year?" brings them a small but containable spasm of pain deep inside, since almost all of their years will seem wasted to someone looking at their life from the outside. Then bang, the lumpy event comes that brings the grand vindication. Or it may never come."
Last year my dog made more in guide fees than I did in sold paintings. Lately I've been dwelling too much on that fact.


  1. Oh my gosh, Jeff. Keep going, keep going, don't get bogged down in demoralizing muck. I've been fawning over your recent posts. The young teen below, whom you found so many faults goodness, what faults? And the quick sketches before that. The bottom one, the portrait of the woman with half her face in shadow, the beauty in that one made me hold my breath. This sketch is so very romantic and dramatic, like an old Cagney movie. Cue the saxophone and swirls of smoke. These are such wonderful pieces!

    Do you know what I uncovered yesterday? I unpacked two fantastic paintings of a skinny rabbit banging a gong. Remember those? I still love them.

  2. Thanks Bella. I see how far I have to go and sometimes I forget to look behind. I'm glad you saw the exact same thing I saw in the model above.

    Moving sucks period. It's worse when you're unpacking memories. Hang in there.


About Me

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Elmira, New York, United States
In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles. I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.