Spring is a busy time! In my effort to hold my resolve to do art everyday, I also need to pay attention to the things going on outside my cubby. There are many exhibits coming up, and now is the time to make use of my folder of things to do. Earlier, I organized them by months so I wouldn't miss an entry deadline. It is the end of March, so I'm pulling out prospectus for April to see what work I can submit. This year, I'm keeping a running list of the work I have submitted, so I don't commit the same painting to different shows. I am also in a group on the planning end of a fundraising art auction for the local League for Service, a charity organization, and working with the WV Watercolor Society to put together a regional exhibit here in Clarksburg at the Caperton Center.
With all that going on, (In addition to my JOB that keeps the lights on!) I devised a way to "make the most" of the short time in my cubby. Currently, I am working on two portraits. One of my husband (a labor of love), and a revisit of my "Make your own Sunshine" little girls under the umbrella. Since I am familiar with both subjects, it is sometimes difficult to get "distance" and look at the paintings technically instead of emotionally. By actually working on both paintings at once, I am able to be detached from the subjects and paint the lights and shapes that will make better paintings. That is the plan, anyway. So far, It seems working!
The Colorwheel Exhibit at the Tamarack Gallery is in full swing! The reception was well attended in spite of the dismal weather forecast and a major rock slide blocking traffic. I was pleasantly surprised to see my "experimental" still life exhibited along with all the other fabulous paintings and photos. The metallic embossed foil is fun to work with. I had a nice journey traveling with my Mother, and we used the day to reconnect, which always feels good.
This is also a good way to meet with artists from your local area without distractions. I met several artists I speak to regularly, but the act of being out of our normal environment helped us to focus on our discussion of art projects.
Another benefit of attending these art receptions is networking with other artists and learning about their process, how they work art in to everyday and what are their challenges. It helps to keep me grounded to see other people's art and to realize the process may be different, but the goal of self expression is the same.
Wow. What a BUSY week! I haven't spent much time in the "Cubby" this week , but have made a point to walk through and at least look at the projects on my work table, and make notes for when I get to spend some quality time. This helps to keep my head in the game, and may give me some new insight that I wouldn't have had if I sat staring at a painting for several hours.
I'm currently working on two paintings and putting together some small still lifes to take to Tamarack. I have found a good website for ordering the precut mats and clear bags for paintings that won't be framed when sold. it is: www.clearbags.com . The prices are good, and the shipping seems to be pretty quick.
When I am not able to actually do art, I have been using the "Artists Network" to watch videos of new techniques and reading articles that will inspire me to get back into the Cubby. I like that feeling in the back of my mind of having an idea for a painting that I can't wait to try! I am using my small sketchbook to record my ideas, and then flesh them out later. (Yes, napkins and scrap paper still come into play, just to keep the creativity flowing!)
The article I read this morning is from Kieko Yasuoka, featured in Watercolor Artist Feb. 2013. Her Creativity Challenge reinforces what I've been trying to follow this year:
1. Limit your Pallette--- to create harmony in your painting. (I'm also thinking there may be a key life lesson in here somewhere!)
2. Use photo reference for basic design, then set it aside and use your mind to create the painting.
3. Try something New--- I have taken several workshops in the past two years that weren't within my "comfort zone" : Rita Montrosse Productivity workshop got me out of the "one at a time" mindset, Laurie Goldstein-Warren helped develop my limited palette, and Susan Webb-Tregay helped me to "Master Disaster". All of these have contributed to the work I am taking to Tamarack next week (Shown on my Home Page), and I thank all these Artists for their inspiration!
I just read an interesting article on the "ARTIST's Network University" website by Richard McKinley.
I think it is important to share our process with others, just as we gain from watching other artists work.