Friday, April 27, 2012

Fundy Shoreline WIP

This painting is closer to being finished. Some refinements and final adjustments - mostly on the foreground rocks, the buildings and the boat.

And then it will be shown at the RNS Art Show and Sale.

This has been a challenge for me - working on a larger piece (36" x 24") I think I need a larger studio so I can step farther back when accessing colors and values.

Hmm. Yes. I do believe I need a larger studio indeed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's my painting and I'll change it if I want to

How often has someone (well-meaning indeed) looked over your shoulder at your art and expressed a concern that something is wrong; that tree is not in the same spot or that building is a different color? You know the scenario.

As a beginner, I painted everything exactly as it was presented. I did not have the experience or skills to, good heavens, change something. Though my art teacher once asked me in a still life class why I had changed the color of the cloth. I wanted it to match my kitchen.

But as we develop our skills, our confidence grows, and we know that to create better compositions, we need to create masses consistant with planes, balance, better lines and lead-ins.

And we are free to remove the unnecessary. This leads to, in my opinion, one of the harder lessons. John Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting ( a bible for any artist) has a wonderful illustration of how you can take one scene and focus on different aspects. Make it ABOUT something.

And you grow your skills in color choices. James Gurney has written a great book on Color and Light that clearly demonstrates how to choose a limited palette to create harmonious paintings.

Take time to enjoy a history tour of your artwork. See how your skills have grown and you have developed a style. And sometimes, it is good to switch it up - step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

For anyone thinking of starting to paint - don't be intimidated. Rules will come. Just call it coloring - we were not afraid to pick up crayons as children. Have fun.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Being unconventional and squinting your eyes.

I was pleased to see local artists attending Krista Hasson's Unconventional Watercolor Art Show this afternoon. Krista's unique use of wax, watercolor and rice paper created glowing pieces of art. The comments I overheard were all very enthusiastic and positive.

Krista's ability to produce incredibly detailed and realistic artwork has morphed into something loose and exciting. I think we were all picking out our own favorites.

Congratulations Krista. Well done.

On another note, I stopped on the way home to capture some images at a local nature trail. Quispamsis has created varied trails though wooded areas, along streams and in this case, along a marsh. I got lucky and found this show-off.
The problem with my camera is that there is no "through the lens" view-finder - only the LCD screen which is not viewable in most daylight conditions. So I am essentially shooting blind. Time for a camera upgrade. Oh, Bruce honey...birthday hint.

I have a difficult time narrowing down something interesting to focus on. There is so much information. I found a solution. It may not be the safest, but if I close one eye, and partially close the other, then I can see light patterns more easily.

So if you happen to come across what you think is a crazy lady stumbling through the woods, its just me - looking for that perfect shot.

Have a great weekend all.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Goal setting 101

Goal Setting 101.  I have my business degree. I have read all sorts of books on goal setting. But I seldom apply them to my artlife. These books all talk about SMART goals:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time Limited.
Does such goal setting limit our creativity,
or drive productivity?

Who wants to take time to track hours spent sketching?  Is it realistic to paint 30 pieces within 12 months? 

For me, I just want to paint. And keep painting. I don't want to think about registering my own website domain or creating the perfectly designed website. For me, I paint like I do jigsaw puzzles. As soon as I put the last piece in, I tear the puzzle apart. As soon as I have completed a painting, I am on to the next one.

It is in the creation, that I find such joy - not the result.

But the truth is, I should dedicate time and effort into the business aspect - which means a good website to showcase the artwork, make it look as good in a 2" x 2" space as it does in 20" x 20" and make it easy for others to discover my work. They just might like it.

So for a while, I will be SMARTER (no jokes, please). And I will continue to spend my days with paint under my fingernails, spots of gesso on my shirts and a big smile on my face.