Here’s another fairly recent painting from my gallery show. Please excuse the horrible glare in the photo. It isn’t there in real life.
I caught Jacob in a beam of light through our big sliding glass windows, and I couldn’t resist painting the play of light and shadow. I also love to paint my children when they’re doing art, which is often!
I’m back…I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since my last post. Talk about inconsistent posting! I’m going to have to change the name of my blog soon if I don’t get back on track somehow. I’m very sorry to anybody who actually follows this thing. It seems that it has taken much longer for me to adjust to being back in Bella Coola than I thought it would. Right now I feel like my life isn’t my own! I’m taxi cab, housekeeper, maid, servant, gardener, wife, toddler entertainer extraordinaire. I can’t remember the last time I had a day to myself, or a minute for that matter, unless I’m sleeping, which doesn’t seem to be happening very much lately either. I can’t remember how I had the energy to pull off a painting a day before I went to Hawaii, either.
Well, enough excuses for now (although valid!) I have been doing art though! I am well into one of my Barkerville pieces, although I’m keeping this one secret until I’m done, and I’ve been totally absorbed in a commissioned piece for the last month. I think I’ve re-started four times now.
RULE NUMBER ONE–When it comes to commissions always, always, always, did I say always? make sure you know exactly what the customer wants! Don’t let them say, (like I did), “oh, just go with it, we trust your judgment”. As nice as this feels initially, and as good for the ego as it may be, DON’T DO IT! Always get an exact idea of what the customer wants. Do sketches, a gazillion of them if you have to, until you get it right. Show the customer all of them, and let them pick.
I have been hired to do the poster for the 10th annual Discovery Coast Music Festival, here in Bella Coola. We get some really great acts for such a small town so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area.
Anyways, they told me to “run with it” and I’ve been running for a month now, trying to get it right, not following my own good advice. I spent a week on the original idea, which was then rejected because it had a Viking in it, which may apparently be taken the wrong way from the native population here?? I didn’t know I was making a political statement, just a pretty poster, nonetheless, it hit the scrap pile…then I started throwing a few more ideas around.
The one in the picture above is my second attempt, which I think is pretty darn cool considering I’m not a graphic artist at all, but it wasn’t “colorful” enough…another two days down the drain. There was another one in there too that hit the recycle bin, and now the one that I’m working on presently, which should be done by tomorrow. So…if I can get it together enough by then to do another post, I’ll show the finished artwork.
Okay, this isn’t really only the third painting session, but I didn’t dare show you all the previous two or three before this! Frightening! For literally 15 painting hours, I went backwards. Once again, I seemed to forget everything I learned. I’m starting to question the whole inspiration thing. Every successfull artist I’ve ever read about says you have to work even if you don’t “feel like it”, but it seems like every time I try that, I screw everything up! The skin tone has gone from yellow, to orange to purple and back again! But, yesterday, I “felt like” painting, and everything I knew came flooding back to me. It was like I was working from instinct instead of thinking about it. Anyways, I’m pretty happy with the results. I still need to tweak some values and richen up the skin tone a tad, but I’m feeling positive about it again.
As always, constructive criticism is welcome, so feel free to comment.
Three of a Kind ~ 6″ x 8″ original oil on canvas panel $60.00 CAN
I finally got some photos taken of the paintings I’ve been working on this week. I did a series of three tomato paintings and this is the first.
It’s called “Three of a Kind”. If you want to see the rest, you’ll have to come back tomorrow.
~Whatever you dream you can do or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.~
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whew, finally, the kids are asleep. Blissful silence. I long for this part of the day. The quiet hours. I don’t get enough of them. In fact, I think I get less sleep because I try to cram so much into these few hours before exhaustion forces me to my bed. For many of us, it’s the only time to create. Do you ever have creative blocks though, those days (or nights) when nothing will come, no matter how much you want it to? Personally, I have few. My creative stumbling blocks come from an over-stimulated mind, too many things to paint…so little time…which one first…
Well, here are a few ideas to get you kick-started.
1. CONNECT WITH YOUR “INNER ARTIST” – That part of you that’s naturally exuberant and joyful. Approach your art as child’s play. Make mistakes…on purpose. Laugh.
Make a picture with your kids’ crayons, or markers or lipstick. Dive at the page…scribble…make a mess. Then start. Defile the blank page, or canvas, don’t let it intimidate you.
2. START LOOKING: No, really looking. How often do we actually notice the details?
What color was the “Starbuck’s” lady’s shirt, or even better, her eyes? Walk into a room and look at the details. Actually see the flowers on the table, the way the lilies curl, how the shadows are kind of blue. Then, close your eyes and try to remember. Do this several times a day, and it’s guaranteed that you will start to remember the details more and more often. This really helps when you’re trying to paint from photos and you just can’t quite see what’s in that shadow, or in that blurry background. You can think back to what it was like when you took the picture and the details will come back to you.
3. CHALLENGE YOUR INNER CRITIC: Ignore the nagging voices that tell you you’re no good at this, you can’t paint. Who do you think you are, trying to play guitar. Musicians, artists, never make it…and so on and so on. They might be our mother, our father, our University college professor, or just our own insecure doubter. Don’t give them any credit, or they’ll steal your power. Instead, say, “Oh yeah, I’ll show you what I can do! And do it…CREATE! Because that is what we are meant to do.
4. IDENTIFY FEARS – There can be fears just under the surface of every choice we make. Fear of being rejected keeps us from asking someone to join us for coffee. Fear of failure keeps us from starting or finishing a new project. Name one fear that’s guiding your actions today. Write a poem about it, or a song, or draw a picture. Now, identify one small step towards the action you’ve been afraid to do and commit to when you’ll do it. If the action is small enough to be done in two minutes or less – do it today!
5. PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN: Look at the world through their eyes, as something to be discovered and explored. Experience things as if it were the very first time. Wail on that guitar, even if you don’t know a song. Do some finger paintings, just to remember what it feels like. Sing at the top of your lungs, just to feel the joy of singing. Walk in a puddle without your shoes and socks, just to feel the mud squishing between your toes. It helps you get in touch with your senses, and your kids will think you’re great, too.
Well, I hope these help.