Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Do You Work Thru Difficult Times?

"Splish Splash" Oil 5"x5"
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This is a quote from a newsletter I read this morning: "When You’ve Hit The Artistic Wall: Frustration and Creativity"...By: Lee Hammond,

"I know it’s difficult to not take bad outcomes personally, but that’s what we do. To truly succeed as an artist, you must move through it, and know that art isn’t easy. If it was, EVERYONE would be doing it! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There is a reason they call it Art-WORK!"

This is something we, as artists, deal with many times. Not all our art comes easily! Many times we wonder ... as the successes come, and then we become a little dissatisfied with our progress... why?

What questions do you ask yourself?


Do you work through a painting that is giving you fits? Or ... do you say to yourself, I think I'll play today with my art and just see what comes out of it?

The painting above is one I did several months ago when I was feeling very frustrated... so I changed the medium (pastel) I was working in at that time, to this one (oil). And, I decided to work small and not feel the pressure of having a lot of art supplies tied up, or time, ... and I actually did three paintings... oooh, let's call them pieces of artwork, that morning.

Another thing I do, is take the pressure off by not calling them paintings! It sounds silly maybe, but it works. It frees me up to have loads of fun and not care quite as much about the outcome. This was not for a show, or a gallery, or to sell... but guess what? It worked, I loved the freshness of the pieces, and chose not to go into them and try to correct every little thing that "could" be considered wrong!

When I do pieces like this... they get relegated to my "Studies" group of artwork! You might be surprised at the price of this piece, unframed... have a look! And, enjoy!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

We are Artists, right?

Interpret, Don't Copy!


"Sea Grape & Palm" Pastel 11"x14"
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Art starts with a feeling and everything should support that feeling. The concept for a painting could maybe be boiled down to just one word. Write it down and refer to it throughout the painting. When you look at your reference, do you see intrigue, or mystery? Maybe it is about the feeling of calm, or just the opposite... excitement? Write the word down, and make a quick thumbnail.

Make some notes along with your thumbnail. Colors and direction of light are important words to write. Is the scene you envision high key (mostly lighter half of the value scale) or low key (mostly in the darker half of the value scale)?

Do you want to use specific colors ... maybe a limited palette? Favorite colors? Or maybe use colors that you usually shy away from. Is there a color that has an inherent property or feeling... like blue is soothing, red is energetic, etc. Start with those colors. You can add to them if there needs to be some adjustment. Don't feel constrained by choosing a specific palette... unless that is your intention and to push the boundaries!

Begin your painting with some kind of plan, and refer to your plan or notes during the painting process. Revisit the original intention for the artwork during the painting to make sure you are still with your plan. Or has it taken a different course? Of the course if the painting has shifted, sit and think about whether you need to go with it, or put it back on course by making changes that take it back to the plan.

Remember, above all... my motto is: "It's the journey, not the destination!" So, enjoy... and have fun!