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.

 

Advertisements

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!

Still life encounters

Still life painting is by far not my favourite subject, but I felt I needed to work more from life.  What is easier than placing a few objects on a table and painting them?  I learned so much!  Lighting with a life object is completely different from the lighting in a photo. I loved the way I could step right up to the objects to look at them closely or step away from them to gain a bigger picture.

Many of the sessions I put into painting the still life paintings taught me life lessons too. I learnt that if you just get on with things, whether you like them or not, you will reach a place of joy and enjoyment.

still life 3 small

Still life 2 enhance

My latest exercise in still life painting brought me to paint a self portrait using only a mirror. Wow! It was challenging! But I am happy that I pushed myself and tried something new.

selfportrait small

Happy painting journeying to you all,

Tara-Lee

Using oils in a new way

And so another year leaps at me! 2018! Welcome new year!  This year I plan to make even more art than 2017.  My greatest hope for 2018 is to do a solo exhibition.  Meanwhile, I have been working hard in my studio, but not a hard at keeping my blog up to date.

Much of my time has been spent on experimenting with using oils in new, refreshing  ways. The results have been light and exciting:

I really love the light feeling of these works – they make think of watercolours.

Stay tuned for more of my art journey experiments.

The ups and downs of being an artist

Being an artist has so many complicated facets.  The creative side, the business side, the “people skills” side and many more that have to work together to become a recognized name in art.  Sometimes I just hate all of that – I want to hide in my studio and ignore the world.  But, unfortunitely, I have to make a living with my art.

This brings me to the question:  “What am I willing to do to sell my art?”  Do I paint things that are more commercially viable, like flowers and landscapes?  Or do I stick to what I love and sell less art?  A question that I sure do not have an answer for!!

Next big question on my mind:  Do I listen to the critics out there?  Or do I just do my thing and ignore everyone else?

I think these questions are the reason I haven’t settled on a specific style of painting yet.

This painting I did is a good example of all the forces at work in my art ups and downs.  I painted this “self-portrait”  to tell a story about myself.  What I want to be and who I see myself as.  Will it sell?  Nope – according to the critics the message is to direct, to personal.  Oh well, I loved painting it and it can hang it in my own home as it does tell a story about me.

warrior mother girl

Some paintings I have done lately:

21192944_10155774623639875_9184427731234439072_n

Lily girl

By the way, I was part of two group exhibitions over the last few weeks.

 

Working with Frida

Over the last few months I have been hard at work on many diverse projects.  Time in the studio has done me good, but everything else seems be lag behind.  Neglecting my blog was not on my list of things to do, but life sometimes just gets in the way.

One of the fun things I have been busy with is working with Frida Kahlo as my inspiration.  I love her style and the way she worked through all the obstacles life threw at her.

Here are some of the paintings I did in her honor.

Fridaweb

FullSizeRender(1)

frida100web

I also working on an amazing new project with my art mentor and friend, Ronel Bakker.  Have a look at her amazing work here: Ronal Bakker Ceramics

We are in the beginning stages of working together.

20170726_113442Working with glazes, before going into the kiln.

 

 

The men in my life

Most of my painting journey so far has been about women.  This amazing quote I read recently sums up my feelings about women well:  ” The smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”.

But I needed a break from all the women in my life and turned to painting men.  What an enriching experience, as I never really felt that men are beautiful enough to paint.  Was I wrong!  I have had so much fun with the men in my life!

After this new direction took hold of me I felt more ready to jump into the very difficult task of painting a portrait of my three children.  I could not do it! I hit a snag! I failed miserably! For two weeks I slaved in front of my easel, but nothing could save this painting and for the first time in my art journey, I had to put aside a painting.

Never before had I reached a point like this – I even believed that I had lost my Mojo. Until I read this encouraging article:

How this Perfectionist learned to paint more loosely.

Suddenly all my emotions made complete sense and I pushed myself in new ways.  Here is the result of pushing myself in a new direction:

 

18274835_823799087769174_877751509802287028_n

Old Turkish Miller – Oil on board, done with a pallet knife.

 

 

 

18318976_824353754380374_7484605315985874207_o

Old Circus Man – Oil on board, done with a pallet knife.

 

And so new things came out of one of the lowest points in my journey.

Beauty in Art

Beauty in Art is what I have always fought to attain.  I have always said that the world has enough “ugly”, we need beauty in Art to balance the scales – I still believe this.  But, after a visit to a wonderful little gallery in a small town, Tulbugh, near my home town I started looking with new eyes at my art.

The Christo Coetzee art gallery in Tulbugh houses the works of the renowned artist it is named after.  Guiding us through the rooms of his old house, the gallery owner shared some of Christo’s thought processes in his work.  Here are some of Christo’s portraits:

Here is a link to Christo’s bio on wikipedia if you would like to learn more about this artist: Christo Coetzee

Our guide explained that Christo found beauty in all parts of life: the ugly, the ordinary and the alluring.  He felt that we can not know what beauty is if we don’t uphold the other side of the scale.  This really made me think hard about my art and what I want to portray with my work.  My aim was to bring “perfection” into the foreground, but maybe that would not create a complete picture with the “photo shoot” woman I love painting.

If there is beauty in the ordinary, I felt that I needed to present that too.  And so my new journey started with looking at the works of artist I would not normally look at.  Artists like Odd Nerdrum who paints the most wonderful images of ordinary people doing ordinary things (some of his paintings are not for sensitive viewers).  All this sent me on a new road with my paintings, the journey moves forward…

thinking manweb

Old Turkish man – Oil on board

 

statuemanweb

Portuguese Street Performer – Oil on board

There is beauty in the ordinary too!

 

 

The way of Oils

I have jumped into painting with oils with both my feet.  Struggling when working with a new medium is to be expected, so I just pushed through.  So far I love the look and feel of oils.

17097745_10155200751979875_3022044587330459028_o

Working some of my acrylic girls into Oils.

 

I have started on some oil portraits too and love the way they make the skin feel.

17359243_10155243948339875_6949988450500679347_o

Lady Like – Oil on board – 20cm by 20cm

17359419_10155240011199875_2212250066705255526_o

Young Beauty – Oil on board – 20cm by 20cm

Quiet before the storm

I have been very quiet the last few weeks, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been very busy.  Many exciting moments have made the last while very full.  Ironically, after my last little rant about social media being a total waste of time for me, I sold a painting on Facebook.

seriousweb_by_thollander-dayxjnt

Serious Beauty

Letting her go to a good home really gave me so much pleasure.

This past weekend I went to some of the most beautiful parts of South Africa to spend time with other artists at a workshop.  What a wonderful experience it was!  I would highly recommend attending art workshops – it broadens your skills and helps you meet others that share the same passion.

It was at this workshop that I got to paint me very first oil painting.

anineweb

We also did some live drawing sessions.

Being self-taught has had its challenges and I would say the biggest challenge would have to be the lack of “insider tips” you get from seasoned artists at an art school.  Our art mentor for the weekend was amazing and I came home with a renewed passion for what I do.

Here are some works I have completed while having been so silent on my blog.

confidentweb

“Confidence”

contemplatingweb

“Contemplation”

And the storm I refer to in the title?  I few exhibitions coming up in the next months!

Stay posted for more information…