Silence

Something shocking shook me this week.  I took a step back and looked at why I do art.  The answer is sad.  It seems that my main motivation to paint is for recognition and acceptance.  What!

This realization came to me after a very close friend asked me why I feel the need to post my work on social media straight after completing the work.  I really had to take a moment to think about that.  What was pushing me to feel the need to post every piece of art I make?  Here is where the penny dropped.  After this discovery, I decided to do my art and not post my work, just do it for me. But, guess what?  All my motivation for going to my studio disappeared!

What now? Will I keep painting? Why can I not just paint for myself?  Silence. No answers from myself.  And so, I think, I need some time to think about all I have learned and give myself time to reconnect.

 

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Being Brave

As a creative I bump up against failure on a daily basis. Without it I don’t think one can grow. But, that does not change just how hard it is. Every time I have to face being brave I have to face failure. Doing the “Artist’s way” challenges has forced me to put myself out there and be brave. The best part is, it makes one feel alive when you do something you never thought you could do.

Doing my visit to Cape Town last week I wrote out a list of things that I love doing, but have not been able to do for a long time. The top three things on my list were swimming for exercise, visiting an art gallery and going to my very first yoga class. The words were hardly out on the page and the opportunities presented themselves before me. Of course this was a scary thing as swimming in the freezing cold sea during Autumn is just madness, isn’t it? Why would I do such a thing? Well, I did it! It was great! So invigorating!

The visit to the gallery was, of course, super exciting and inspiring. I walked away with renewed energy for my art.

Putting myself out there in the yoga class was very scary as I have never done yoga in a group. But the fear of failure did not keep me away! The opportunity was given to me and I grabbed it with both hands. All went well and I did not make a fool of myself as my imagination had told me I would.

And so I would like to challenge each of you on your creative journey. Put yourself out there! What do you need to do today to make you feel alive? Think about it, be brave and do it!

Inspiration and Disappointments

Looking back on the week I was shocked how many ups and downs one can experience as an artist and how this can influence one’s art. The week started with a rejection letter for an exhibition that I was very excited about possibly being a part of.  My world felt shattered for a few moments!  This started a chain reaction of miserable moments in my art.

Not one of my paintings wanted to “work” this week.  I was almost tempted to not post anything – just let the week slip by unnoticed.  But, then I realized that these times are also part of my art journey and need to be documented, like the YouTube clips on the lion that chases down the buck, but does not catch it.

So here are some of my horrible attempts – they will be no more, as I will be starting over.  They will be the secret paintings under other masterpieces that only my blog readers will know about!

Out of a week of miserable moments came magnificent moments of inspiration too! One of these inspiring moments came with attending my good friend, Ronel Bakker’s art exhibition. Her art lights a fire inside my soul!

 

Ronel tank

Ronel Bakker and her art.

Have a look at her exhibition photos here: Tank Gallery – Ronel Bakker exhibition

One of the wonderful benefits of being passionate about something is that you touch other people’s lives without even intending to.  That is why I always encourage everyone to follow their passions.  That is why I write this blog.  Spending time doing art every day has inspired my youngest daughter’s creativity.  She spends many hours in my little studio with me, painting alongside me.  I love it!  Her work touches me as it is free and beautiful!

Sharon angelgirl

“Angel girl” a work in progress.

 

Stay posted for more about my journey!

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!

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:

20160722_102557

 

20160722_164621

Step 1 – Drawing the portrait on the board.

20160722_173708

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.