I don’t like Post Modernism.

I don’t like it in music. At all.

We are big time supporters of ballet. I have utmost respect for both the dancers and the musicians.

However, every once in awhile, a ballet company will produce something Post Modern and it was usually complete garbage.

The dancing would be fine. Musicians play the notes give them so not blaming them either.

But the music? Complete noise. Often atonal and without purpose.

We actually walked out of a ballet once. We noticed we weren’t the only ones either.

I forgot which one, but it started off with industrial noise that droned on and on and gave us both headaches.

Rather than producing beauty like Swan Lake or the Nutcracker, Post Modernism pushes the boundaries of what they call “art” to the point where it’s just crap.

You’ll see the same thing with art

Back in my college days, I didn’t major in Art because I didn’t want to.

However, I did go to the exhibits every chance I got.

You had some really talented artists in the Art department. Then, you had pretentious idiots who couldn’t draw if their life depended on it. Yet, their teachers still passed them.


When you figure that one out, please, let me know.

Drawing is the bread and butter of art. No matter what style you fall into, if you can’t draw, then don’t call yourself an artist and expect me to take you seriously.

Just like music. I want to hear a beautiful melody laced in a composition that makes sense. That’s why I’m such a huge Tchaikovsky fan. I don’t think anyone ever wrote better melodies than Tchaikovsky.

When it comes to artists, I’m a huge fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. When it comes to straight beauty, nobody ever surpassed them.

You can look at my three favorite artists and it will all make sense. I love a lot of artists! But Waterhouse, Mucha, and Frazetta influenced me more than anyone else.

I love beautiful architecture too. My favorites are Gothic, Baroque, Art Deco, and Storybook homes, which was an obscure American style that heavily influenced Walt Disney.

I love nature too. I love to simply go in the outdoors with a pad and some pencils and just draw.

Don’t be afraid to say you don’t like something

Nowadays, so many people are spineless. If they don’t like something, they’ll still smile and say they like it to be nice.

Don’t do that.

For one, criticism is how people grow. I pay an art teacher to help me get better. I don’t pay him to tell me I’m perfect and I should never change.

For another, it is lying. And dishonesty is a bad thing.

That’s why I’m very open about what I don’t like. I’ll voice what I don’t like almost as much as what I do like.

You know what that means? It means when I actually give someone a compliment, it’s real! It’s not fluff. It’s not telling someone what they want to hear.

Back to drawing

But back to drawing, I draw daily. I start off the morning with gesture drawings. Then throughout the day, I’m working on either a painting or a large drawing.

Despite the fact that I’m more known for my watercolors, I took one piece of advice to heart. When I first started, I looked at a bunch of online watercolor artists.

Most of them bored me. However, the ones I liked, I tried to read everything about them. If they had a bio, I read it. I also read their blogs if they had one.

I distinctly remember one older gent who said something along the lines of “when I first started, I wish I practiced two hours of drawing for every hour of painting.”

I took that to heart. I knew right then and there from an older gent who had been painting for over four decades that drawing is the artist’s bread and butter. If he can’t draw, his paintings will suck.

I keep it simple

For my drawings, I don’t even use fancy equipment. I keep it as simple as possible.

I only use those American made #2 pencils you can buy at Target, an eraser, and my fingers for smearing.

That’s it.

Super simple.

That forces me to focus on technique. Not the tools.

It’s all about fundamentals and consistently improving fundamentals. If you’re doing that, everything else improves.

It’s like Mr Miyagi from the old Karate Kid movies. He said to make sure you got strong roots.

I apply that philosophy to my artwork.

1 Comment

Pros and cons of painting on a watercolor board – Roman Riva Art · September 9, 2022 at 2:17 pm

[…] The bread and butter of my artwork is the drawing. […]

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