Saturday, May 07, 2011


Sometimes as artists, we need to get real with ourselves. Since I haven't been painting much lately, I seem to have to "remember" how to start. I think there is MUCH to be said for "automatism" -- by that I mean if you paint daily, you have a routine. Your water goes in a certain place, your palette may stay similar if you're wanting to work in series, your workstation has an order, etc. etc. These are all GOOD things in my opinion when you are pressed for time. This way, you can step into your studio (or dining room or wherever you create) and just get going. For me, lately, I come in and I'm just grabbing at supplies and feeling "rusty". Hasn't even been that long since I painted but because I don't do it daily, it is not habit and it takes longer to get in the zone.

On the other hand, when you are out of your routine, you may try things you've been thinking about (what else do you do when you're not painting but THINK about painting!  LOL!) such as a new technique, or starting off a different way, or adding elements you don't usually add.   It was like that for me today.  It's these lulls in my creative growth that give me time to reassess myself.  I felt like I was missing something each time I painted.  The real message I want my work to say is that it's ok to be you.  Being yourself is wonderful and we are all perfectly imperfect. I exaggerate features but try to paint them so they are appealling.  I often portray limbs and eyes different sizes and different colors to further emphasize imperfection.  Many times, I think people miss this part of my art (I mean, the message part, not the way the characters look).  I would love to have my pieces "say" that without "saying" it...but sometimes the viewer needs something more to drive home a message.  I have used newspaper clippings and cutouts from old books to form sentences in some of my work but not in any that I've done in the last year. So, while lettering isn't new to me, it's something I haven't been including in my work lately.

 So this was my change in routine...I chose magazines since I haven't done much with those and I love how thin the paper is. This is a piece that is 11x14 on Fabriano watercolor paper.  It had collaged paper on the background and was then painted over.  I'd set it aside because I just wasn't sure what to do with it.  Then, last week, I grabbed it just to use it to protect my table while I worked on other smaller pieces (layed it underneath and ended up scraping excess paint on it, used it as my pallette, stamped off excess ink on it -- it was really just a catch all scrap piece.  I loved the way the background ended up but I was still torn about what to do on top of it.  Because I hadn't been painting very much, I've been sketching in my sketchbook.  Here is a photo of my sketches:  

She's done except for some shading.  I like the modern, edginess of the cutout letters next to the funky girl wearing the sweet, girly dress.  She is who she is and she is apparently proud and doesn't care what other people think.  In fact, she's dancing...dressed up, not afraid to show the world.  I  hope I can take this message to heart (and hopefully you too!!!) You are beautiful the way you are....say yes to you!!!

Have a beautiful, wonderful Mother's Day whether you are a mother, grandmother, or great grandmother....stepmother, foster mother, adoptive mother....whether you still have your mother with you physically or just in spirit (as it is with my husband's mother -- it's a tough holiday for him), whether she lives with you, near you, or is far, far away...find a way to connect to her, even if it's just reflection on Mother's Days past.

Smiles to you all!


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