Monday, February 19, 2018

Life Stuff and Creativity

There has not been much time to post in a few weeks. Quite a bit going on around here. Nothing really exciting. Just's appointments, paperwork, dog sitting...just stuff.  In the midst of all that life stuff,  there have been a few moments found to be creative and have managed to do at least one piece each week for the Series 52 challenge.  When the challenge first started,  it seemed like it would be a good way to practice with watercolor and while there has definitely been some of that, it has also gone in other directions to the point where now,  it is serving only to increase my creativity.  If something worthwhile comes out of it, and a couple of things have, then all to the good but if not, at least I will have nurtured my right brain and worked outside my comfort zone. It has also given me ideas for a series or two of paintings that would be interesting to do.

So, here's what I have been up to...not sure of the weeks so I will just put them out here the way they were added to the challenge. The first two pieces were done on the computer and in the same week.

This was a photograph I had taken of a bird's nest sitting on a glass table. The photo was rather boring so  Photoshop to the rescue to add some eggs to the nest and some color and texture to the background. Bird's Nest with Texture is nothing spectacular but it was a good refresher in Photoshop painting skills and turned an otherwise dull photograph into something a little more interesting.

Do you ever just not want to get into the messiness of painting?  It is a rare thing for me but one week I wanted to be creative but just did not want to make a mess. So, the computer and Photoshop were used to satisfy my creative urge. A "ginger" lady emerged from my screen. My grandmother had been on my mind a lot that day. She worked as a milliner in the early 1900s, before she was married. So, I thought it would be fun to add a big, crazy hat to this lady. This was done entirely in Photoshop. I also use Illustrator but prefer Photoshop for painting, probably because I have been using it for years and am a novice with Illustrator. Anyway, this was fun to do and no mess! It also sparked the idea for a series of  "Hat Ladies" in acrylic sometime soon. 

The next week my colored pencils were out for something else and found a piece of black mat board and decided to do a colored pencil version of the Lady with the Big Flowery Hat. This is how she turned out.

The next piece was a more serious piece.  I suffered from a major, clinical depression in 1995-1996. It was a terrible almost two years of my life. The primary source of the depression was determined to be an identity crisis. I had decided to retire from a company after 28 years. My identity was so wrapped up in my position as Vice President of  that corporation, I had no idea who I was outside of that. All has been well since but I do remember how horrible depression is. So, this piece, Broken, illustrates how you may appear completely normal, even happy on the outside (and have every reason to be) but inside you feel completely broken, ugly and spiraling into a black hole. Depression should never be taken lightly. Please, please seek help if you find yourself in this position.

This painting resonated deeply with one of my dear friends and she purchased it.  

I have been trying to catch up on blogs I follow and while listening to a podcast the other day, I sketched some faces, then added ink and watercolor and came up with this little grouping of caricatures. This is not be included in the Series 52 but thought I would throw it in here to illustrate further that I am currently all over the place with my subject matter, medium, and style BUT I am being creative and that is all good.

 Until next time...


Monday, January 22, 2018

A Painting a Week for a Year!

I was invited to participate in a 52-week challenge called Series 52 sponsored by Jeanne Oliver Design. The challenge is to produce a piece of art once a week for 52 weeks and share it with other participants. The purpose is to encourage us to create, find out more about our creative selves, and at the end of the year, we will have a body of work that hopefully reflects who each of us is as an artist. There are no rules except to encourage the creative spirit in each other.

Some of my goals are to become less of a perfectionist in my creativity--it does not have to be perfect to be beautiful, loosen up my painting style (this will be a hard one for me,) explore art journaling, continue to work on improving my skill in the medium of watercolor, and experiment with other media. My comfort place is in acrylics. I have worked in a variety of media and want to explore further, some that I have enjoyed in the past.

So, I thought I would periodically share here some of my weekly pieces. For week one, I used one of my photos of seagulls at Jekyll and watercolor.  I almost threw this away (perfectionism rears ugly head and voice of discouragement screams, "it is a mess, you can't share this,) but I did share it. Actually many people liked it better than my week three piece which I thought was better even though it was less painterly.
There are so many flaws with the seagulls but it has actually become more appealing to me, flaws and all, with the encouragement of the group.

Week two, I tried my hand at a quick watercolor sketch of my great-grandmother with my aunt. I want to eventually incorporate some of my family's history in an art journal, and along with using copies of old photographs, I would like to include sketches of some of my ancestors.

The week three painting is a study in negative space and I used salt in the wet paint to add texture. This technique was new to me and even though it is back to my less painterly style, I didn't overwork it, completed it in a couple of hours, and it has flaws and I'm okay with them.

So, that is what I've been up to.  How about you?


Friday, January 5, 2018

First Art of 2018

Still working with watercolor and still learning.  I am pretty happy with this piece. It reflects a symbol of my faith and an island that I love.

Jekyll Island White Dove


Sunday, December 31, 2017