Video: Danny Gregory’s The Art of Breakfast

.

This short film is a watercolor delight. Artist and designer Danny Gregory is currently best known for his new graphic-style memoir (A Kiss Before You Go) about grief on the loss of his wife.  But he is one of those artists whose body of work and powerful creative presence have touched a great many people over a long period of time.  You are likely most familiar with his marquee book – An Illustrated Life. See more on his website, here.

There are 43 comments

  1. Carole Brejcha

    Thanks Danny, always inspirational and charming.
    What a guy…Love that Jack T was the videographer too. .I go way back to the beginning with you and love to watch….Carole JOY

    Like

  2. anngrafics

    This blog totally rocks! I really love the process and the product here and the fact that it comes from something so simple that we all do every day – eat breakfast (or we should eat breakfast). I love the filming as well and the music. This is just a little gem of a movie. The eyes look, the pen translates. I was married to an art teacher and he always kept visual journals. My four children do the same today to varying effect. I have tried, but I lean more toward the words than the art, though I scribble and doodle all the time. Just lovely! Now off to explore the Kiss book . . .

    Like

  3. Stuart Marsden

    Creating art without apparent purpose can only be evaluated by the person who emotionally put pen/brush/pencil to paper and truly enjoyed the whole process, people who comment on it adds to the whole experience.

    Like

  4. Linda Boardman Kerr

    I can’t add much that’s not already been said here. To compare a sketch book, esp. a small one, to an independent piece of paper is like comparing plums to watermelons. If you want to display your sketchbook, there are surely ways you can do that. (Prop it up, open to a certain page, against your coffee cup or a table lamp–then sketch it!)
    I love the portability of mine and the stories it tells. It’s very personal and not necessarily for public consumption. I am a recovering alcoholic (23 years) and have replaced my need to drink with many things, journal keeping being a huge one! All thanks to Danny.

    Like

  5. Carol Lee Beckx

    Today we are so bound by the search for “perfection” and a “product” that we lose sight of the immense joy in the process of being caught up in a drawing in our personal journal.
    The video is wonderful – I am sure many after watching want to pick up a pen and draw.
    Go on it will change your life!

    Like

  6. jane w.

    Danny, GREAT video and the fact that your son did it with you is even more awesome… love your books and your art which is an incredible inspiration to me. Because of your first book I am back (trying) to draw.:) I have to ask a (stupid?) question..Is this a water color book you are drawing in? I want to watercolor my sketches and not sure if I can.. thanks if you can answer.

    Like

  7. Larry Marshall

    Danny, your response was right on. I would only add that Barbara should read your books. Those who view art as things that hang on walls need to come to understand that the process of art is the important part.

    It’s sad that creative ventures are seen by our society as something a few do so the many can buy it. In such a society the many are really missing out.

    Cheers — Larry

    Like

    1. boomerontario

      Wow people, what a great conversation.

      I have to add that one of the reasons I picked Danny Gregory for a post was that – like many of you – I was inspired by one of his books (An Illustrated Life), which I took out of my library a year ago when I had no idea how to start my very first attempt at drawing, for The Sketchbook Project. I had never tried any kind of sketching, but understanding how others scribbled, doodled, drew and painted helped me imagine how I might do it. I didn’t post specifically on his new book because it is so moving I couldn’t find the words.

      The point here is there’s little on a wall in this genre that matches the power of his day-to-day journalling work. And I love the video.

      Like

  8. Cris in Oregon

    Its amazing how much a waste Danny’s work is.. he is now on Oprah’s best reading list with his new, A Kiss B4 you go.. painting on two pages.. art book… Yep a waste.:) and I agree with Lynn, Danny IS an inspiration to all of us Artists who just want to do something for ourselves.

    Like

  9. Virginia Hanley

    From my perspective, nothing Danny Gregory has done in art journaling and sharing them has been a waste. He has touched me to the heart and inspired me to be the artist I knew was inside.

    Like

    1. Ed Eckels

      I guess DaVinci wasted his time scribbling In in notebooks also.

      One more comment,
      Danny- you couldn’t have picked a better song for that film. It was perfect.

      Like

  10. Kerry McFall

    An art journal is infinitely precious to its creator, and infinitely cheaper than therapy, blood pressure meds, or a bottle of fine wine. Given that they can be re-purposed or recycled (cut ’em up and paste into a mixed media “frameable” piece, or add a few sage comments and give them as gifts to your friends and heirs) they are the opposite of waste!

    Like

  11. Christie

    I think those of us who journal are aware that what we create is not transferable. Perhaps that is the intent. What goes in my journal is for me or people I choose to show it to. What I paint on paper and frame is for general consumption. Ideas come from those entries, but it is a totally different thought process IMHO.

    Like

  12. Brenda Swenson

    Many people think art has to be for sale to be of value. Art created for the sake of enjoyment and self expression has value beyond a price tag to the artist. If I painted only to put art on a wall I would cease to create. When I work in my journals I don’t care if anyone sees what I did. On the other hand when I do a painting it has a different purpose…to leave my home and grace someone’s home.

    Like

  13. Dee

    By these “standards” any sketch done by anyone is a waste. I would think that surely by now Barbara has reconsidered and realizes that her understanding of art and it’s purpose is restrictive and narrow. Process not product does not make sense to those who have never made that creative transition.

    Like

  14. Linda Kelly

    I loved the video, and as someone who is learning to sketch and use watercolors due to Danny’s influence, I truly appreciate his comments about art often being about the process and the ability it gives you to capture memories and feelings – the things you learn along the way. Not so much about hanging it on a wall and sharing it with the world.

    Like

  15. Lynn Cohen

    Danny, it was this video of your breakfast and this spread, perhaps too, that got me going with my weekly art jaunts to Tacos Jalisco to draw in public and other local spots in my area. You are my mentor whether you meant to be or not, knew it or not, you have INSPIRED! And now MY art is in a book, taken from MY daily/weekly art journaling/journals that I did for ME, just me, but also shared them on my blog. So many people gave me so much positive feedback that I did self publish them just recently! I am so darn proud of my book, but yes, I too did the art for ME, and it was a happy happenstance that others happened to enjoy it too! So keep spreading as far over the page as you like, and know that even those so called ‘not hangables’ are inspiration for those of us just starting out in the art journaling process/fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Like

    1. boomerontario

      Hey Lynn – Congrats on your book. Just went and browsed your site. Great reactions you’re getting. I love this part of blogging — conversation, getting introduced to new sites, and the passion of art. Heavenly!

      Like

      1. Lynn Cohen

        Thank you! I am having so much fun with this evolution in my life with drawing for the past 2 years…and now a book and people are buying it…it’s a bit surreal. And life affirming at the same time. Never say never! Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you’ll visit often!

        Like

  16. Rosemary

    I couldn’t agree more. I also teach watercolor journaling and have shared it with so many people who now love sketching, painting and writing in their own journals – some say it has changed their lives; that they see the world in a whole new way. What could be less of a waste than that! – And….can I quote you?

    -Rosemary

    Like

  17. Barbara Backer-Gray

    See, this is why I don’t get art journals. Here he’s made something wonderful, and it’s spread over two pages in a book. What a waste! Now he’s going to have to do it again if he wants it to be on one whole piece of paper, and it’s never going to be the same. At least, that how it would be with me.

    Like

    1. dannygregory

      Thanks for your comment, Barbara.
      For me, making art in a book is the be-all-and-end-all. I’m not especially interested in hanging pieces of paper in frames on the wall or selling them to strangers but rather documenting my life and my experiences and moods and in the process learning more about myself and all that surrounds me. I make a piece of art like this most every day and have filled lots of volumes with memories and experiences. It’s the process that I enjoy and value, not the resulting painting. It’s art with a “small a”. So I don’t see this experience of turning my bagel into a colorful spread in my book while sitting in my sun filled kitchen as “a waste” any more than making this film with my son was a waste. At least, that’s how it is with me.😉

      Like

      1. Barbara Backer-Gray

        Oh no, I didn’t mean that your art and making it was a waste. I hope you don’t get me wrong. I’m in awe. And I figured that you produce art like this pretty much every day. I was talking from my own perspective. If I start a drawing, it’ll probably be a total flop, but there’s always that chance that it’ll be great. To me, that happens once every few years, and when it does, I want to have it on a whole piece of paper. And if it works out, I can’t ever reproduce it. But maybe that’s exactly why I should do it in an art journal, because it would take the pressure off, maybe.

        Like

      2. oolung

        Great answer! (Although I like making both kinds of art and of course will be massively happy if one day someone will be willing to pay for it, ha ha!) I have a thick notebook with little drawings made when I just hang out somewhere and just like having it with me, leafing through it from time to time and being able to add something new whenever I want. BTW, I’ve seen your work elsewhere (and on your website) and I really love it. Good luck in your work and life!

        Like

    2. Nicola

      “Here he’s made something wonderful, and it’s spread over two pages in a book. What a waste!”

      I disagree. There are many reasons to keep one’s art in book form. I don’t think, for instance, anyone would call da Vinci’s journals a waste. I just finished my submission for the Sketchbook Project, and the entire point of that endeavor is portable, personal art. Honestly, if I were to have made that art on one piece of paper, it would not have been the same.

      There are many and valid reasons to make art in a book rather than to make art on one piece of paper or canvas. You are right in that re-making the art wouldn’t be the same–it would lose something in the translation. Which, to me, means it doesn’t need to be translated to a non-book form.

      Have you read Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art? Wonderful examples of many different ways of illustrating one’s journal, and most are in book form (though not all).

      Like

      1. Barbara Backer-Gray

        No, I haven’t. I’ll get it. As I was responding to Danny’s reply just now, I realized that art journaling might help me in that it would take the pressure off to produce something awesome every time.

        Like

        1. Nicola

          Paradoxically, one of the great things about Drawing from Life is that a lot of it *isn’t* drawing, so maybe that would reduce some of the pressure?

          And Danny’s books are wonderful too. They have been important in my creative journey.

          Also, 1000 Journals Project is an interesting book in that vein.

          You might check out the Sketchbook Project as well–it is a fantastic project and the sketchbooks are so wonderful and varied. And *anyone* can participate!

          Enjoy the creative journey!

          Like

    3. Sharp Barry

      I got into journalling a few years ago after someone gave me Danny Gregory’s first book for a birthday gift. I liked the author’s approach i.e. the process is the important thing and not the end product. I wrote down something he posted on his blog once in reply to a reader – “As I draw, I avoid evaluation. I avoid thinking of the purpose of the drawing. I avoid commenting on what I am drawing, even in the quality of the line. I am empty and the drawing fills me up. Drawing is meditation, not production.”
      Nothing you do with love in the moment is ever a waste.

      Like

      1. Barbara Backer-Gray

        Oh my goodness, I’m shocked at all the responses to my semi-joking remark from my own point of view, which is that it would be a waste to me if I did anything in a journal, because if I ever do anything worthwhile, it’s completely accidental and unexpected, and when it happens, I want it on something I can show. And I’m very well aware that Danny Gregory is a very talented artist, and he can afford to do this kind of amazing stuff in a journal, because he can obviously whip out something great any time he wants. And I was jokingly expressing my jealousy.
        Sheesh.
        At the same time, I am getting some very useful insights on why art journaling could be useful, especially for the likes of me. So thanks for that. But again, I never meant to be insulting with my “what a waste” remark!

        Like

        1. dannygregory

          Yikes. Dear Barbara , sorry that I seem to have initiated an avalanche of response to your comment. I’m sure it is not personal! I think all of us have had this experience of people misunderstanding the benefits of drawing in a book of creating art without any apparent “purpose”. And unfortunately you seeseem to have drawn Fire for bringing up the subject. I think you’ll find keeping an illustrated journal can be a lot of fun and can combat some the feelings you described about not feeling content with the quality of your finished drawing. Just have fun and consider joining the everyday matters community On Facebook or Yahoo. A lot of friendly folks who like to share their drawings. Sorry again for drawing a target on your back.
          Danny

          Like

            1. Antares

              Hello Barbara, I posted this response on Danny’s blog, but it appears to have “disappeared”:
              “In all fairness, she is commenting about herself. It is difficult for some to make the mental adjustment that between sketchbook and finished work, there is a medium between the two; the art journal.”

              Since he asked what we thought and I did not want to repeat myself I linked back to a post I had written about the visual journal here:
              http://antarescryptos.blogspot.com/2012/04/visual-journal.html

              I don’t think you offended, you provoked discussion on creating art and that is a good thing. Personally, I do not like painting across two pages either.;)

              All the best and keep creating.

              Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s