I decided in October last year that I was going to take risks, learn new things and tackle the art forms I wanted to learn more about. You know, those “I will get to it ONE DAY,” but does that one day ever come? Well, this year it is here, that one day. I have set out to learn all I can about assemblage, collage art, watercolor, abstract art, encaustic and so much more. It is a year about experimenting without feeling bad if it doesn’t turn out. It is a year of playing and being a student again. Jumping in to the online classes that are challenging me out of my comfort zone but letting me explore who I am inside. It is a year of revitalizing my love of art, in all its forms.
The Dome, the art above, is my third abstract art piece. It is not the best but I learned so much in doing it. I like the process of thinking about it, letting it rest for a day or two consuming my thoughts and dreams. It started with the double butterfly collage, the city line and the water reflection. When I came into the studio the next day it was begging for a dome. Who knew this sci-fi artist was inside? I sure didn’t but I just let her have control and create. I love this piece because it isn’t perfect, I didn’t have control and it threw me out of my comfort zone in size (20″x12″), colors (interior house paint) and the biggest brushes I have ever seen (size 40 and 50).
So I am asking you, what is on your ONE DAY list? And, what are you waiting for? Unless you make the time, you will never have the time. You are so worth it!
Last year made me think about these three things, a lot. What I was doing? Who I was doing it for? Did the outcome make me happy? My answers. Managing, not creating. Everyone else but me. If stress, frustration and counting the days until the New Year only made me happy it would have been perfect, um no! A big change was needed. Do you ever feel that way? Like you are mindlessly going through the motions, surviving but not really living. Well, that is exactly what my life felt like. Constantly doing but doing all the wrong things. I knew it would take drastic measures, huge gumption, courage and a different mindset but I vowed 2017 was going to be a year of simple pleasures. My goals: get off the road, create more just because, monthly challenges to make me step out of the box and take classes that really took me out of my comfort zone. I approach each day walking into my studio with an open mind, excited to be inspired by what today will bring and simply put, enjoy having a paintbrush in my hand again. Last year I created 23 new pieces in 365 days. It is so sad to see that little number, my heart breaks knowing it, having written it for the world to see. But, that was last year, a new year is upon us. I am so grateful to have put that in the past and to only look forward from here on out. I will do better. I will do art. I will find my simple pleasures. I will find myself again. I will, I must! I am so glad that ideas have not left me after being neglected for a full year, they still present themselves in a whisper and percolate until I am ready. I have already created 15 pieces of art in the last 28 days, I have been uncovered…
The Turtle is part of my January Challenge, painting every day. This particular piece had three challenges for me. One, the color blue. It is not my favorite color by any means and I have a really hard time working with it. Especially blue everywhere. Two, tarnished silver. I have never created an image with silver so this was really difficult. I had my photo as a reference but I really think I got caught up in all the wonderful nuances of the metal but just couldn’t quite make it translate. I know the little tray at the top is way too smooth, need to go back and grunge it up a bit. Three, those blueberries. I totally love the color variations blueberries have and that magical frost that covers their skin but transferring that into paint and texture, isn’t so easy. Since I didn’t know where to start, I actually put in the dark values first then added each layer of light getting smaller and more intense as I came up to the shine spot. After doing several, the process got easier but still no small feat. I am pretty happy with the outcome, it’s not perfect but is art really about perfection, I don’t think so. Doing is the best practice and I’m thrilled this piece pushed my artistic abilities. My challenge for you to find something that you have been wanting to do but fear stepped in. Give it a go, you might just surprise yourself with the end results!
My New Year is starting out great. I challenged myself to paint everyday in January and so far it has worked like a charm. This painting took two days to complete but what I learned along the way has made me excited to work with acrylics and my paint brushes again. While I have done almost all of my glass objects in colored pencil, I thought I would try one with paint on wood and a little bit of paper as a background. There are pros and cons with any medium, it is all in the handling. The paint, meaning I couldn’t use a ruler and a pencil for my straight lines. No problem, with paint, I can just wipe it off again and again and again until I am satisfied, right? It took me quite a while to get those nice dark oh so important edge lines on the bottle but when I finally did it, I smiled like the Cheshire Cat! I was really nervous about adding that yellow orange hue to the glass shine but thought it added so much to the design, I just had to try it. So I mixed the color, tested it on the piece, wiped it off then quickly gave myself the go ahead to just do it. With a nervous hand, a little gumption and the belief that it will be okay, I held my breath and did it. Whew! The end result looked just like the reference photo I had taken and I even surprised myself by that. So, the moral of the story here. Trust in yourself. Give yourself the courage to try new things. Know that everything takes practice, practice, and more practice. In the end, always be happy you found time to do art, shared a piece of yourself with the world and can look forward to the next day in the studio. This year is going to be artistically amazing, can you feel it? I know, right!
This hand painted nativity is one of the first things that goes up when decorating for the holidays. It reminds me so much of the past, present and future. I discovered Juliet Martin (the designer of this beautiful jewel) when I was learning how to decorative paint and fell in love with her unique perspective of creating a story with your art. This lead me to selling my painted stuff at local craft shows and consignment shops, putting me in touch with my customer. It also made me want more. To changing colors to fit my decor. Changing lines to rearrange designs to make it more unique. To finally believing that I could start designing, creating and painting to make a living with. Who knew it would lead me down this path for 20 years as an artist? Something I am so grateful for each and every day!
While, you may see a beautiful little nativity scene, I see my artistic life. The past, that my painting needed improving but I was willing to learn, challenge and grow with each stroke. The present, the sun shining its brightness on my gift, being an artist and living an artful life full of inspiration. The future, the hidden treasures carried by the Wisemen. In reality, only limited by your imagination and the courage to go after them. It is a season of birth, celebration and the wonderment of miracles. Believe in yourself – who you are, where you want to go and what you want to achieve. You hold the key, believe in its power!
From me to you, have the happiest of Holidays and Merry Christmas!