Do you think outside the box? If so, how far do you go?
Years ago the Society of Decorative Painters asked a group of artists to design around a theme of “flowers” and each of us were sent this wood piece to work on. The first thing I knew for sure was that there would be flowers of every shape and size represented and beautifully painted. The second thing I knew was I would not be doing a flower. It was that instant. A challenge had presented itself, how can I do a “flower” piece without painting a bloom. So I thought about gardens, wallpaper, magazines – could I make these work? Then I wrote down things I could include seed packets, water, seed pods, bees, butterflies, dirt, a greenhouse etc. As I sat there writing these lists, a wonderful idea popped up, a “flower” before, during and after. I started gathering all the things I wanted to include and laid them out on the board, the one thing missing was a connector to bridge the two sides and that’s where I came up with the paint strip. Even potting sheds need to be painted from time to time so it was perfect.
As I sat painting this piece, I wondered how many others would think outside the box and go against the norm. Out of 20 artists, I was the only one without a flower on my piece yet “flower” was so well represented it fit in perfectly. So, challenge yourself to think outside the box, you just never know what creative vision you might come up with. It’s nice to stand out, have a different voice, a unique sense of design. It’s great to be YOU!
Orange is showing up a lot for me the last couple of months and I like to think that it is due to the excitement of what is coming in 2018. It represents creative energy and frankly I love the color! It decorates my studio with its enthusiastic character and just makes me smile. As I researched it online, this is what was said about orange – Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. A lot of encouraging words for sure and I truly believe orange is showing up to keep me fascinated with the new year and what it holds for me. This past year has been about taking time off of work and just moving deep inside to discover what I really want, need and to explore what offerings will move me in the direction I want my business to go. I want to paint! I want to help other creatives find what moves them! I want to be present, extremely present to what my artistic heart and soul are discovering every single day! This is what orange looks like to me, a place to find myself and the courage to head in the direction of what’s next. What color speaks to you? I would love to know…
For the past 4 years I have taken online classes with many instructors on many sites but one has always stood out. The quality, content and wide range of techniques offered is something I am pretty particular about. I love to learn and I do the class when I register for it. I make the time, otherwise what is the point. The continued art education that I have gotten from Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network rivals Art School in so many ways. As I started doing my own online classes, it has been a HUGE dream of mine, to one day be a featured artist on her network. Guess what? It is here. My art dream happened and I still can’t believe it!
I am thrilled that it is different from her other classes. A lot tighter but also a complete project from start to finish. It represents me in every way – the quirky tunnel of hidden discoveries, the nature elements, the muted color palette – I am highly accounted for! It is realistic yet so easy to do when I break down the steps for you and show you the simple way I build up acrylic washes to achieve my details.
The tunnel is just fascinating, trust me, it is my favorite part of the book. The fact that we take one sheet of mixed media paper and create the book from start to finish is just astonishing! In the Garden: A Tunnel Book Course does just that. It helps you discover the garden in the most wonderful ways yet you get to be the artist and choose the colors that appeal to your taste. It is so fun and I do hope you will join me, I would love to create with you In the Garden!
Here’s the course information http://jeanneoliver.ning.com/group/in-the-garden-a-tunnel-book-course and if you would like to see the beautiful video trailer they created oh my it gorgeous https://vimeo.com/210364646
This year is a year for digging deep, figuring out what I really want to do and how to create what I want to deliver. This is no easy task, believe me. It requires diligence, studying, research and asking myself a lot of difficult questions. It is also extremely helpful because I am seeing clarity like never before. I mean, pulling blinders off to see the sun shining right in your eyes clarity. It feels great but it also brings forth reservations and an uncomfortable thought of vulnerability and transparency in what I need as an artist, teacher and all around creative being. See, it is about digging deep, right?
So with this question “what would be utterly breathtaking for your business?” I was taken aback, stunned almost because I had never really thought about my business in this way. Think about that question for your own life for a moment. It is powerful, extremely powerful. It means being amazing with limitless possibilities and dreaming big for yourself. For what you want. For what would bring a smile to your face and let your heart sing every single day. See, powerful. Write down your answer, it is important, it is a goal to lead you down a path of optimism that anything is possible! For me, the answer came like this. “To see a growth of students that truly love what I have to share in opening them up into a new area of art, a more personal side that lets them be free without restraints and conditions, a risk taking that involves trust from both of us. It is a thriving community that sees my creativity and inspiration as a part of their own.” As I type this I know it is possible, I feel it coming. Something big, something scary, but something so beautiful that it will transform the creative muse within each of us. I do hope you will join me in this inspired adventure, it is going to be life changing, I guarantee!
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!
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!
I have picked a word for the last 5 years and they have served me well because I figure out what I need to focus on and let it guide me throughout the year. So, what do you need this year? What direction are you heading? Where do you need help and guidance? Where do you want to be when 2018 rolls around? These are all questions I ask myself when leading up to a new year. It helps define my word for me and gives me a place for guidance.
I had three words that I was contemplating – faith, leap and trust. They are all very similar but in some ways very different to me. Faith – belief and trust in God; allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; a system of religious beliefs. Leap – to spring free from a surface or over an obstacle; jump. Trust – assured reliance on the character, strength or truth of someone or something; a basis of reliance, faith or hope; to place confidence; to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgivings. As you can see, they complement each other but I had to pick just one. Trust wrapped them all into one as hope, belief and strength.
What will “trust” do for me this year? I need to…
Trust myself and create what I want without worrying about the money it will bring in. Trust that they universe has lead me down this path for a reason. Trust that the right creative students will find me, be inspired by me and would love to create with me. Trust that this path is much larger than I can even dream. As you can see, Trust and I have a very big year planned. I hope your word gives you this kind of direction into the new year and makes it creatively successful, however that looks for you!