Occasionally we have artists from overseas joining the Taipei studio for short term studies. These requests are considered on a case-by-case basis depends on the artist’s needs and studio capacity. Ray Seitz was the first international student we had at the Taipei Twin Bridge teaching studio. Ray went to Taipei in 2007 and again in 2007. We have kept in touch over the years and very glad about the progress he has made. Below is a recent update from Ray on his art journey. Ray was trained as an engineer and rediscovered his passion for art after a life threatening accident. To read more about Ray’s story and his art journey, please click here.
It has been too long since I have last written, I cannot believe that time has flown by so fast. It seems the older I get the faster time goes. I sat down to write six months ago but did not finish. I got all excited to make a few videos for you of my drawings and paintings as well as with my studio. I shot the first videos but the results were not satisfactory so I had to get the proper camera mount and now finally I have a good videos. Well the first couple of times I made the videos they still were too fast and I had to re shoot them but now I think I have the hang of it.
My days have been filled with practice. I have been working hard to come to a greater understanding of drawing through copying your drawings as well as working from my best friend David, my cast. I now have quite a stack of drawings and feel that perhaps now I am ready to explore the charcoal. I think I will begin with the still life painting soon also. I have been working in my sketchbooks memorizing the forms of the body as well.
I have been painting a lot of the small landscapes in both oil and gouache. I have really come to love landscapes very much. When I see a great landscape it is like I have bitten into a perfectly seasoned dish that I wish so much to be able to make:) I have been painting larger landscapes also to practice larger paintings as well as an effort to make some money with them.
I break my day up into three blocks of three hours. I copy one of your drawings for three hours or draw the cast. I paint small landscapes for three hours. The last three hours I paint on something larger that is a multi-day project.
I have also been teaching drawing classes up at my local library. It is free to the students and a wide range come in. They all want to know how to draw better but then none of them practice at home. I have learned a lot about people and myself by teaching. I really never wanted to be a teacher, but I have developed some good friendships through it. This last two years I have really let go of the fear of being a starving artist. I embrace the work and the process and make a strong effort to see a little more clearly each day. I try to understand and chase after life to capture it and place it on the canvas or paper.
I still look at your drawings, pictures, or videos daily and I send you and your family love. I think back often fondly of my time in Taiwan and with all of the lovely people there. I think that I was blessed to be a part of such a family and it makes me feel very special. It is bitter sweet for me that I did not realize how special everyone was at the time because of my youth perhaps, but I cherish you and everyone I met.
I am very happy pursuing my calling to paint and draw. I remember when I first came and you said that it is a lonely journey. I can understand fully why you have said that, but I also take comfort in the fact that those things that I invest time in do truly return the love. I know that my little sketches, studies, and paintings shine my heart back at me. I also try to shine my heart toward you. I try to find the purity of the color, or the strength of the stroke and send you the joy that I feel because I feel a part of your family. I try to share a part of my heart.