I know, this isn’t it, but this is proof that I’ve been doing something creative while on holidays. I got this tired looking portrait of my DH last night while he was watching TV. I haven’t had the light to paint at night since I’ve been here, and that is usually the only time that I have to paint…AFTER THE KIDS ARE IN BED!! That’s my time, when my muse can come out and work uninterrupted. It’s amazing how much one can accomplish in those few hours before sleep comes knocking. So, I bought a clip-on light today with a full-spectrum bulb, so I’ll be able to paint in the evenings. BUT…My painting’s almost finished! I have been working, really. A few more days, I hope, and it should be done. It is a big one, 18″x 24″, no more of these 6 x 8’s for me, I’m going big! I felt the need to breathe, stretch out that painting arm. That said, this one is sure presenting me with some problems…Have you ever started out, and the underpainting turns out amazing, and the first layer looks amazing, then one part looks really amazing, and then all of a sudden, the whole thing looks like crap!?!!???!@#$%^&*()_!!! I can’t believe it, the first few days I’m like “Wow honey, this is going to be the best painting I’ve ever done,” and now I can’t even stand to look at it!
Well, I bought “a BOOK” today, and it’s going to get me out of my rut, I know it!(fingers crossed behind my back) Is it that I put too much pressure on myself? Did it become all TOO Important?
All of the above… and, I met Jia Lu the other day, maybe that is what it was. She is an absolutely incredible, internationally acclaimed artist whose paintings sell for like, $120,000. She is so sweet, and unassuming, but I almost cried when I met her, I felt so inadequate. It made me question my abilities, my art, my purpose as an artist…all of those things. I was depressed for about four days after, and my husband said I should stop trying to put pressure on myself to paint while we were on holidays. It was affecting him and the kids, and well, me. But it was good, because last night I had an epiphany, an AH HAH moment. I realized what it was that was bugging me about the whole thing. I hadn’t been totally sure before what my purpose as an artist was. Being a mom of two small children, with very little time to paint, I spend my few hours before I drop off from exhaustion, doggedly painting from whatever good photographs my crappy little digital puts out that half-ass inspire me, or, I ask photographers who are much better than me for permission to use their work. I realized last night, that the problem with this, is even though for the most part, I paint from my own photography, that these photographs lack intention. I mean, I take the picture because I see something that is paintable, but there is no conscious thought, no planning, no intention other than to create a pretty picture. So, that the painting produced from such a photograph, is just a reproduction of something pretty, with no thought behind it, even if I tweak it and omit busy things, etc…
What touches me about Jia Lu’s work is the creativity, the thought process behind the painting, etc…I hope I don’t sound like an insane lunatic, it’s just that I think I’ve finally GOT IT! I need something more.
So I decided that I will get models, and set up scenes, and if I have to “photograph” them because of the time restrictions of being a parent, I will, after doing some value and color sketches. Or if I see a scene that screams out to be painted, I will ask people for permission to take their pictures. (Oh yeah, that’s another thing. I am a people painter. That is my passion. That is what touches me.) I’ve tried to paint for ebay, or what the market demands, or on commission, but the artist inside of me rebels, and I end up getting stuck and blocked.
So to all of you artists out there, IF YOU WANT TO BE A HAPPY ARTIST, BE AUTHENTIC!!
( Not that I would pass up a thousand dollar commission if it came my way! LOL!