This painting was made for my mother to give to a friend as a present in September of 2012. I will always love the drama of a stark dark background with a simple focal image. Plumeria hangs in a home in my hometown of Stephenville, Newfoundland.
This year for Thanksgiving I got something a little different than traditional meal with family…… a visit from my grandmother. A full 2 days of just me and her (and to be selfish ….. no sharing her attention with anyone else)! It was nothing less than awesome.
We did a little shopping for her, ran a few errands but mostly just hung out and spent some time together. She is such a sweet soul. In the midst of our visit we had a little painting lesson. She has wanted to paint for some time and has been making progress but wanted a few pointers from how I approach a project. We set up….. aprons and painting attire on……. we paint.
2 sessions in one day and she did an amazing job. A few months shy of 80 and she is full of life! It was so nice to have her here with me.
Thanks for the visit, Nanny.
This is such a loaded question!
As unique as every artist is this question will always have many different answers. I can only speak for myself and my answer is ……. sometimes I don’t know and sometimes I do.
I struggled with this when I first started painting. I would force the work, feeling like I could only have one painting in progress and had to work on it from beginning until end and carried some imaginary schedule in my head that stated a set amount of time it was suitable to be working on one item.
I needed to let that go. I quickly learned in the process that it is just that….. a process! Each person is different and there are no rules. Painting is the one part of my life where I hold the control! I was putting unrealistic expectations on myself for what? To add another restriction or schedule to my already busy life? Through the last few years and several “stern” discussions with myself I have learned to break this bad habit. It is very true when people say we are our own worst critics because I know I certainly am.
I always feel I can add to a painting. I can feel completely done and if I stare at it long enough I will find some little thing that could have been altered just slightly or added or “it needs extra varnish” or “if only I made this just slightly sharper” or “if only I thought of this (insert some random idea)”. BLAH BLAH BLAH! It’s nothing but noise and not what I need to be feeding my creative brain with. I would notice myself leading my conversations with people about my art with these comments. Awful! I had to stop clouding my brain or the admirer/potential buyers brain with this self doubt or uncertainty.
Let people look at your work and enjoy it how they see it!
Don’t get me wrong I still have these type conversations with myself because I need to work through it to actually figure out if I am actually done but I have a better handle on when to stop. I now have no issue with walking away from a painting for a while or even a year if needed. I have dozens of works on the go at the same time. I sometimes take months to finish and other times can be done a piece in a few hours. Sometimes I need to take a step back and sometimes I can just feel it’s done. I often times will be working on a piece for hours/months and will just suddenly coat it with gesso and start from scratch. And all of that is okay. There are no mistakes or “mess ups” because I make the rules. When I sit, talk less and just do that work I am done when I am done and there is no question about it.
I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess.
I brought my camera along last week for a dog walk with a friend. It had rained quite a bit the few days prior which puts a damper on summer outdoor activities but it certainly covers the world with a layer of droplets that are fantastic for photography. This particular trail is enclosed with tall trees that provides this feeling of coverage that is beautiful. Here are a few shots from the walk:
_ Newly finished addition to the pack. It's been a long time since I've finished a representational piece. It feels great. I can never get sick of flower pieces.
_ I was asked in general conversation last week if I was an artist. As soon as I heard my response leave my mouth I cringed.
“A pretend artist”
I have mentioned with previous posts that I have struggled with embracing my creative side and identifying with it. So my response was wrong! I am an artist. For many reasons…..but the real reason is simply because I create.
That is the beauty of art. No one gets to decide that for you. Art is subjective and that is beautiful. Bad on me for not answering with how I feel when I paint or create anything that comes from within me. Art may not be what I do Monday to Friday but it is what I do and it is what makes me happy. Everyone should have something that makes them as happy as painting makes me.
_ I love the sense of completion when I put the final touches on a piece. I just finished this little number moments ago. It’s a little extra special because it’s a present to someone whom means a lot to me in honor of another person whom means a lot to me.
I lost my grandmother a few months ago. My aunt had been taking care of her for a long time. My nanny loved bleeding heart bushes. My aunt had put one in their yard last year. No one could have ever known that it would have been her only/last summer to enjoy it. So this piece is in memory of my nanny and in thank you for my aunt Inez for taking such good care of her. She selflessly gave up so much of herself to make sure nanny’s last years were comfortable and happy. Her heart is endless!
Thanks for visiting my blog. Welcome to my creative journey.