Monday, August 26, 2013

Creative Heart

I am a member of a Facebook art group called Everyday Matters.  The artist who started the group is Danny Gregory.  The artists in this group are very talented.  They use journals to record everyday scenes and most of them use watercolor as their medium.  I would give anything to be able to paint the way they do.  At best, my attempts at watercolor have been very feeble.

I think probably my biggest problem has always been that I compare myself to others too much and it intimidates me.  I just feel that others' artwork is so much better than mine, or else I really love everyone else's artwork, but really don't like mine.
I dabbled for a short while in oils.  I liked the result, but the preparation and cleanup was just really exhausting for me.  When I think back on it, that was probably because I was working full time 5 days a week and then going to art class one night a week for about 5 hours.  By the time class was over and I had cleaned everything up I was feeling really grumpy and out of sorts.  I would go home just exhausted and practically fall into bed with my clothes on.  There is one piece of artwork that absolutely hated when I was creating it, but after taking some time away from it and going back, I know realize that I really love it.  I don't know what type of art we were trying to duplicate in the class, but looking back on this, it must have been cubism.

I kept thinking that I really wanted to make art, but if it was going to tired me out like that and make me grumpy, then maybe oils should not be my medium of choice.  Watercolors are alot easier because of cleanup, but they are not necessarily easier when painting.  I guess when I'm painting I like alot of control and watercolors don't give me that, plus I've realized that when it comes to art I'm just a perfectionist and you can't really be like that when painting.  I keep trying to adopt Bob Ross's attitude that "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents."  I really wish I had that attitude, but I just don't.
I really envy artists who can just take their watercolors with them on a walk or a hike and when they find a pretty scene, can just sit down and start painting it.  And, for a real artist, it doesn't even take fancy, expensive watercolors.  I've seen gallery quality artwork made from children's watercolors.  That is the test of a true artist.  For some reason, I've never been able to do that.  It must be that control thing again.  I would love to possess the freedom to just do it and not worry about the outcome.
I know that I have a creative heart.  I love the arts and creating things too much to not have it.  I just think I've been searching for the right outlet to express my creativity.  I still don't feel like I've really found it yet.  I've experimented with creating all kinds of art and crafts.  I've knitted, crocheted and quilted too; and, yes, I feel these things are all considered art.
When I was working full time, a lot of my coworkers admired my artistic ability.  I don't even feel like I have artistic ability.  I've just managed to make a few things of art that have come out ok and that others have admired and mostly because they, themselves, feel that they didn't have the talent to do the same thing.  Everyone has a talent and ability to make art or do anything that they want to do.  Sometimes they just don't have the confidence to try it.  I'll try just about anything related to art.  The worst that can happen is that it will go "tits up", as my husband says.  We always get a good laugh out of that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some Artwork

This painting is called Santa and His Friends. I painted this a couple of years ago and I hang it above my fireplace every Christmas.

This is a painting of a friend's dulcimer.

This is a fun watercolor I did awhile back.

This is one of my favorite pieces. I did this in a life drawing class. It's a Chuck Close technique where we used stamp pad ink and our thumbs to create a portrait. The portrait came from a picture I found in a magazine. You can see the little squares I drew on the paper before I started the portrait. I have left them on the paper because I want to make another one similar to this.

And, finally, this is also one of my favorite pieces. This is a painting of my cousin's dog. I really had fun with this one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I work in an academic library and I've been working on a special project related to Table of Contents in books. This morning I came across a chapter in a book titled The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem Van Loon. The title of the chapter is "A Chapter of Art". I was intrigued by the first few paragraphs about how we relate to art as babies and children. Here is a short excerpt:

When a baby is perfectly healthy and has had enough to eat and has slept all it wants, then it hums a little tune to show how happy it is. To grown-ups this humming means nothing. It sounds like "goo-zum, goo-zum, goo-0-0-0-0," but to the baby it is perfect music. It is his first contribution to art.

As soon as he (or she) gets a little older and is able to sit up, the period of mud-pie making begins. These mud-pies do not interest the outside world. There are too many million babies, making too many million mud-pies at the same time. But to the small infant they represent another expedition ito the pleasant realm of art. The baby is now a sculptor.

At the age of three or four, when the hands begin to obey the brain, the child becomes a painter. His fond mother gives him a box of coloured chalks and every loose bit of paper is rapidly covered with strange pothooks an scrawls which represent houses and horses and terrible naval battles.

Soon however this happiness of just "making things" comes to an end. School begins and the greater part of the day is filled up with work. The business of living, or rather the business of "making a living," becomes the most important event in the life of every boy and girl. There is little time left for "art" between learning the tables of multiplication and the past participles of the irregular French verbs. And unless the desire for making certain things for the mere pleasure of creating them without any hope of a practical return be very strong, the child grows into manhood and forgets that the first five years of his life were mainly devoted to art.

So, is this how it is, then? When we are children we happily create and make art and then when adulthood hits, we become so involved with learning and learning how to make a living that we forget all about the joy of making art and creating. It's sad, really. I like to think about slowing down sometimes and playing like a child. Stopping to smell the roses and spend some quiet time creating. Probably alot more of us would pursue our artistic talents if we did that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Art Saga

When I first started making art and painting in oils, I was really proud of myself and my accomplishments. I am no great artist, but I was happy with what I managed to put out. I have certainly seen artwork by other artists that goes for thousands of dollars that in my view didn't look as good as mine. After several attempts to sell my art at what I considered reasonable prices, I never managed to sell even one. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder. What is art to one person's eye may be junk in another person's. I had several of my paintings in an art and framing gallery for about 3 or 4 years without selling a single one. I was so frustrated that I told my husband that we need to go get them and by the way, let's just drop them off at the dump on the way home because nobody wants them and I don't have any room in my house for them. Right now they are in my den collecting dust and taking up space.

The comic strip Pickles is my favorite one right now. When I saw this strip about her frustration with her artwork, it just hit home with me. It sounds so much like the way I feel about mine right now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Virtual Sketch Date

While we were at Spring Creek I painted a small watercolor painting from the Virtual Sketch Date blog. It's a Rhododendron bud. It's really pretty and I thought I would try my hand at painting one.

I had alot of fun with it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vase of Flowers

One day this week I was in Hobby Lobby and I saw a kit by Jane Seymour called Painting with Jane. They had a watercolor kit and a drawing kit and I bought the watercolor one (it was on clearance). Yesterday during my lunch break I tried to use some of her techniques for painting a vase of flowers in watercolor. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others' artwork. Of course mine will never be as good as hers or anyone else's. Maybe I shouldn't say "as good" and just say that it's not the same. I need to stop criticizing myself in that way. I did use her instructions that are on the DVD that is included in the kit. It was fun, but now that I can really see it, it just looks sort of messy in a way. There I go criticizing again. But, this time I'm really criticizing the technique. I guess I've always liked things nice and neat, and with this technique you just sort of haphazardly paint and then go back with a liner pen and draw in details. I guess I really like coloring inside the lines. I'm used to drawing the details in pencil first and then coloring in and then going back with a marker and outlining the details. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has their own technique. There is really no right or wrong when it comes to art. I'm going to try to make another painting today. This is a great learning tool, plus included in the kit was a nice watercolor case with about 10 watercolors in it that is very portable. Can be taken anywhere, just put it in your pocket or bag and go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gingerbread Folks

Night before last I decided to sketch the gingerbread boy and girl that sits along side Fred, the penguin I posted a couple of days ago. I used my Canon Linen watercolor book and watercolor pencils, Niki brush, and micron pen.