Working in series

This week I stretched my creative self in new areas and decided to paint with a series in mind.

Here is the first in the series:

colours

Colours

The second painting in the series:

Looking at you

Looking at you

I have named the series “Colour Portraits”.  Number 3:

africanQueenweb

African Queen

 

With number 4 in the series I decided to do something a bit different:

ladyshape

Lady shape

Stay posted for more of my art progress!

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Thinking out of the box – week 12

This week I really wanted to challenge myself to work outside of my comfort zone.  We all become comfortable with what we have done over and over again.

Deciding to paint in a different style was at first very scary.  I felt unsure of myself and of my creativity.

My self imposed challenge entailed using all the colours in my paint box, applying every colour at least once on the canvas.  I didn’t want to mix colours on the palette, but use them straight out of the tubes.

Here are the colours I had to work with:

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Step 1 – Drawing the portrait on the board.

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Step 2 – The under-painting

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Step 3 – Working with brushes and fingers to get the “look” right.

colours

Step 4 – The finished work.

Finishing the work was really rewarding – I felt very happy with the outcome.

This week I participated in the One-word-challenge again; you can have a look at my entry here: The art of being carefree .

I also painted a “pop art” inspired piece called “eclipse”.

Eclipse

“Eclipse”

Stay posted for more art learning next week!

The art of being carefree

Life is busy.  We all know this, we all want to find more quiet time, more time to “smell the roses”.  This reminds me of a wonderful technique I read about to calm your busy mind.  Robin Sharma describes it like this:

How to control/discipline your mind – HEART OF THE ROSE TECHNIQUE

  1. find a quiet place to meditate. preferably in nature
  2. hold a rose and focus all of your attention on its center, its heart. Notice its colour, texture, design, fragrance. Only focus on the rose

Why a rose? A rose is like life:  you will meet thorns along the way, but if you have faith and believe in your dreams you eventually move beyond the thorns into the glory of the flower.  (excerpt from “The Monk who Sold His Ferrari” – Robin Sharma)

This technique helps one feel more carefree.  I went through a wonderful “flower stage” with my painting.  Looking back on that time I can remember feeling calmer and more carefree while painting nature’s beauty.

 

 

Portrait Painting – week 11

 

This week was all about portrait painting.  Down went the pencil that I have been holding for 10 weeks and in its place, my paintbrushes.  My first attempt was a self-portrait; not too bad, but I really felt I could do better.

self-portrait

First attempt this week at a portrait – self portrait

This is the photo I used as reference:

Tara-Lee Hollander

Back to the drawing board and my trusty Youtube for tutorials. These are the two videos I watched and found very helpful (the sound quality on the second clip is terrible, but I still learnt so much from it).

 

 

After my first attempt I felt a bit nervous to try again, but my artist friend invited me to paint with her to have “extra eyes” to help me.  With the combination of extra eyes and the tutorials, I painted “Tranquility”. I felt very happy with this painting.

 

 

Tranquility

Tranquility

 

At the end of the week I could fit in painting one more portrait.

lady

 

Next week I would like to push myself and try to paint with oil paints for the first time.

Stay posted for my progress!

Nightmare on Art Street

Nightmares are not only the things that keep you awake at night. They are the worry at the back of your mind, they little foxes that burn down your vineyard or even the last fearful thought that popped into your  mind.

As an artist those nightmares are very common, but sometimes they make me obstinate!  My neck feels stiffer with anger at those nightmares, they make me paint over a crap painting, they make me try again when I thought I had no more power left in me.  So, after my nightmare has passed, I look back on my journey and see that I have become a better artist because of it.

 

Tranquility

Tranquility after the nightmare.

 

Highs and lows – week 10

This week has been a week of intense lows and intense highs for my art journey.  Throwing in the towel was on my mind most of the week.  Although I planned on doing blind contour drawing this week, I ended up painting most of the time.  And, I have very little to show for it!  I was inspired to send in some of my work for a very important exhibition and that was foremost on my mind.  Sitting in front of the painting I finished, I realized that I have very, very far to go!  I hit a dark, low point!  Am I an artist?  Why can’t I put on the canvas what is in my head? Not a good place to be in when stressing over an upcoming deadline!  So, I started over – and was still not happy!  Here is the painting (but, I might just start over again!!)

the wallflower

The wallflower

The high point of my entire art journey was attending an art “walk-through” at a gallery near me.  I met the artist Andre du Toit.  What an inspiring day!  I was close to tears most of the time – I absolutely love this man’s work.

 

andre du toit gallery visit

An inspiring morning with Andre du Toit. 

Here is an example of his work:

andre du toit

 

I am still not sure if I will send in any of my work for the exhibition, but I am more intent than ever to be the artist that I believe I was born to be.

So, keep posted for more of my journey!

 

False Art

Talking to a friend today about what art really is, I got this overwhelming feeling.  FALSE.  He told me this story of a well known art marketing couple team that is very well known in the art world.  They took a canvas and placed their baby daughter on it while she was eating.  The baby proceeded to mess tomato sauce, food and whatever on the canvas.  This couple then took the canvas and wrote an amazing write up about this new modern artist that was the “art of the moment to buy”.  They pushed all their marketing know-how into this “project” and within a few days the “painting” sold for hundreds  of thousands.  They did this as a experiment to prove that art can be very false.

This got me seriously thinking about my own art.  The questions are haunting me tonight.  What is art.  Am I a true artist?  What does my art mean in a world of false art?  Why do I do art, and how do I do art that I can be proud of?

 

who am I

 

False.

 

 

What a kind gesture – week 9

This week I was on holiday, so not as much drawing happened as I hoped.  One would think with more time on hand, I would draw more.  Not so, but a break from routine is always good!

Learning gesture drawing this week was a new skill I had to learn.  It was challenging in the beginning, but I soon got the hang of it.

Proko’s two videos on gesture drawing were a great help.

 

Createarteveryday, my blogging friend, told me of a great resource for gesture drawing that I used almost every day this week – Thanks a million! Here is her newest blog post if you want to check it out.

Quickposes is a great tool – you can choose the speed you want to draw the poses and you have a choice between male or female poses.

Here are some of my (not so great) attempts:

 

 

In the one word prompt challenge the word was “cloud” – I immediately knew which of my paintings I would love to add to the challenge.  Here is one of them, but have a look at my submission – Landscape Clouds.

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I also met up with a wonderful artist friend of mine this week to talk about how to promote my art. She is an amazing ceramics artist. Have a look at her site here.  There are so many conflicting ideas out there about this subject.  I really needed the input of a trusted friend in the industry to help me.  She advised me to meet up with other artists and grow my artist social circle.  This in itself is challenging as I am by nature a reserved person. But, it is good to stretch yourself!  So, go ahead, stretch yourself in the coming week – do something that scares you just a little bit!!

venus

The birth of Venus

At least I got one or two drawings done this week – I am still enjoying the classics!

 

Next week I will be looking into “blind contour drawing” – it sounds like great fun!

Stay posted!