Sunday, April 25, 2010

Because I am an artist

Something strange is happening to me.

Every time I look at someone, at some point I catch myself examining where the shadows fall on their face so I can sketch better.

Leftover hardware from hanging a new light fixture is quickly squirreled away in my studio because I just had a flash of the perfect wall hanging to make for our newly decorated dining room.

My little pencil case containing my sketching pencils, kneaded eraser, ruler, and circle template goes with me a LOT of places, just in case.

I have purse sized sketch pads and notebooks which are filled with ideas, sketches, and scribbles.

I used my colour tool to shop for my silk curtains and other accessories- I took it to the store with me and agonized over shades of red, red orange, and orange.

I go to bed with grandiose ideas of new projects and things I want to do to make our home more lovely.

I plan my day so that I always have time in my studio- even just to dream if nothing else. And I do that because I have come to believe that what I create is important- THAT I create is important.

I am not the same person I once was. I see and experience things so differently than I used to. I am compelled to create, it is not a choice!

I may never sell anything I make, or become well-known for anything I do.

But one thing is becoming crystal clear to me:

I see things differently because I am using an artist's eye.
I experience things differently because I believe I can re-create my feelings about something with my art.
I am compelled because I have things to say- and I believe that someone wants to hear them.

Because I am an artist. Yep- ME. Little old me. Suzi says so. But you know what? I say so too!

And I will keep saying it out loud to keep things happening on this wonderful road of discovery!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just one sentence

I have started an Art Journal. I think they are very cool and I bought one at the beginning of the new year, determined to use it to learn some things, to play and experiment.

But guess what? It is a bit of a daunting task.

What do I write?

How should I illustrate and decorate the pages?

I did a little sketch looking out of the window at the Stanley hotel while we were there for our anniversary. Even though I really don't know how to. Then I stuck it on the first page of that journal, made a Zentangle frame for it and wrote a few thoughts.

Then the journal sat.

I got a book called "Journal Spilling" by Diana Trout (LOVE it!) and made a couple of pages with ideas from that.

Saw a Suzi Blu art journal video and she suggested blurting out all over the page with all the pent-up bad stuff- then putting gesso all over, right over top of it to make it all go away, decorating it and making it into a new page.

I LOVED the idea of that, because I do like to vent on paper- but don't want to look back on all of that crap! It was thrilling to get "permission" to alter the event! And I did a couple of pages with new vigor.

Learned to draw some pretty girls with Suzi Blu and started putting them in too.

I haven't done a lot in this journal yet, but I keep reading about what others do, especially those like Teesha Moore who is SO generous in sharing what she knows and does.

In my reading, and I'm sorry I can't tell you where, I read that if you are having trouble starting or keeping up an art journal, start with just one sentence.

One sentence? I can do that!

I currently have a small pile of sticky notes with "one sentence" on them- and a head chock full of ideas for each one! I have woken up in the middle of the night with great additions to each of these pages!

Now I need to get them on an actual page... stay tuned! I will post a photo when I get the first "one sentence" page done.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Angel class

In addition to the Goddess & Poet class I originally signed up for, I got the Angel class too, but that class assumes you know how to make either a Goddess face or a Petit Doll one, so I had to pretty much finish the G&P class before moving on.

There is just a month left in the critique that comes with the class and as I want at least a little bit of feedback, I thought I had better get into gear! lol

So here is my first angel. I don't know if she is done yet, but she is wet with paint so my hands are tied right now.

Heather Thomas commented on my lioness yesterday about not adding things just for the sake of adding, and I know she is right. What I am looking to see if I need more of is shading, shadow, or integration of colour somewhere.

I have discovered that painting is much like quilting in that you have to think carefully about what you want to come forward and what should recede, where you place your colours for the effect you want, and not adding some random thing just for the sake of having it.

I am so far from understanding composition, colour, and perspective. But I am learning as I go, and I do try to put my (very) limited knowledge to the best use I can.

I think it will be very interesting to see how my work progresses as my understanding of these elements increases.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

the Lioness again

Okay, so I didn't like the off-balance of the quilt; the shapes under her neck stood out too much and so I have been looking at it hung up on my design wall.

Since then, I have enhanced her face with paints, coloured the bottom with oil pastels, sprayed walnut ink on the bottom, added some melted textiva, and burned bits with a wood burning tool.

Now the bottom is darker and more uniform than it was, but I am still not sure I have it right. It is hanging up again so I can look at it some more...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Next painting

I got lesson five done this week too. Lots of layers and embellishments.

Many times during this assignment I did things that I REALLY didn't like. But, I didn't panic, just added something else and kept going until I DID like it.

This piece is just 6"x12", but a tad too long for the scanner so I had to photograph it. Unfortunately I just can't seem to get a photo that shows the colours the way they look in person.

Last week I ordered a field guide for my camera, as I really need to learn to use it better before our trip to Italy this summer.

Who knows, maybe I will also learn how to take better photographs of my art along the way... (I have a sneaking suspicion that my problems may be partly due to poor lighting).

Anyway, here she is, my Rain Goddess. If you click on her, you can see it a bit bigger than it is in this post.

And Holly, if you read this and see it- when you are here this summer, hopefully I will have a bigger collection of works and you can have a good look in person to see what you would like to take home with you. I am very flattered that you like what I am learning! Love you!