Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Artistic Reinvention

Gentle Readers, I find myself not blogging these days. I suspect you already noticed that! I could say it's a combination of being busy (holidays and general life) and not having a working camera, but mostly it boils down to me losing steam / interest / motivation.

I notice that I do that with projects...start off crazy gung-ho, whirl like a dervish for a bit and then want to do something different ("ooooh, look...something shiny over there!)  I can't decide if that's all good or if there's a teensy, weensy lack of commitment on my part. 

In the art arena I've always got more ideas than time (increasing my blog readership, getting my art published, making / selling art, submitting ideas to magazines, a long-dormant book idea, teaching classes, photography, taking classes / going to retreats, remodeling my art studio). 

There is a fabulous richness to all of that.  And I feel somewhat scattered. 

I talked to my good friend, Julie Sotomura who's going through a similar inquiry. We decided to set aside some quiet time (oxymoron alert!) over the holidays and dive into this inquiry. Our goal is to create a clearing (mental and physical) for us to reinvent ourselves artistically.  I think answering these questions are key:

1.  Where do I really want to put my time?

2.  What is really important to me? 

3.  What are my motivations, my commitments, my priorities?  Am I doing xyz for money, recognition, sheer enjoyment, to make a difference for other people, to avoid doing other stuff?

4.  What stops me even when I am committed to something?

I think delving into questions #2 and 3 will automatically answer #1.  And getting a grip on #4 will keep #1 in action.

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but there IS something about the end of a calendar year that prompts many of us to do this kind of decluttering / housekeeping in our lives.

So for now I'm focusing on getting my holiday cards and presents mailed (who am I kidding...BOUGHT and then mailed) and really enjoying social events with friends and loved ones (which means FOCUSING on what I'm doing rather than worrying about keeping the regular plates spinning in the air).

And then Julie and I will look behind Door Number One and behind the curtain and in the box Carol Merrill is pointing to and see what's in there.  And I will let you know what I find.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whose cooler than me?

No one!  At least not when Carla Sonheim draws me.  As part of the class I just blogged about, she had us do quickie little watercolors of the person next to us.  Here's me...Carla style:

I'm pretty sure it's worth about $100,000.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Watercolor + Gesso = Carla Sonheim

I was recently fortunate to be able to take a class from Carla Sonheim.  She is the coolest, her class was the greatest and I love the funky animals I created out of mixing and messing gesso and watercolors.

Carla can see animals in ANYTHING...sidewalk cracks, blobs of paint.  She told us to let the random shapes guide us.  The trouble was, I couldn't decide if this was a bird or a fish...so I kind of made it a flying fish...or a swimming bird.

For this one she passed around silly stuffed animals and had us sketch at the speed of light.  I was amazed that my painting actually looked like...a dog.

Here's another one that we created from a sidewalk crack. Unless my sidewalk was on another planet I'm not sure this creature really exists, but I like how it turned out.

I realized I am somewhat indecisive when it comes to reading the blobs.  This was started out being the back of a rabbit..see the right ear sticking up and the little puffy tail?

The only problem is that the more I looked at it, the more it looked like a person doing yoga...arms forward, with one leg bent and the other stretched out somewhat painfully.

Remember that optical illusion...It's a beautiful woman in a hat!  It's an old hag!  It's a beautiful woman in a hat!  It's an old hag!

Who cares?  Either way, it's a WAY cool technique from a WAY cool artist.  In a nutshell, take a class from Carla whenever you have the chance.