Pushing through the pain

What do you do when your whole world is falling apart?  When everything you know, everything you came to rely on as truth, everything you placed your happiness on, is shaken so hard that it is all left in pieces.  What do I do?  I walk past my studio and look at my paintings and sigh.  I feel like I will never be able to pick up a paintbrush again.  But I always do, I always return to my paintbrushes and let them help me push through the pain.

This week I forced myself to paint “happiness”.  I am not there yet, but from my place of brokenness will come beauty and joy.

happiness

“Happiness”

 

Something New

Getting stuck in a rut is easy.  Getting out and doing something new is the hard part. This week I really tried to find a new creative way to represent the girl I wanted to paint.  It took much longer than my others, but I am happy with her.  She even spoke to me and told me she wanted green hair – so green it is!

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Challenge accepted!

This week I would also like to post a wonderful YouTube clip that has helped me through some challenging times.  So enjoy and remember to stay posted!

 

The Sting of Rejection

Looking back over my art journey I have come to really enjoy this dance that I call art!  It is such a wonderful dance full of wild ideas, great work and ego busters.

And so my girls went off to the gallery and were promptly called “unfinished” and rejected.  Oh, the sting of rejection!  Yes, yes, it is one person’s opinion. Yes, yes, I know that I need to develop a thicker skin.  One must remember though, that I am new to this, I still feel the pain of someone not liking the piece of me I put on the canvas.

Anyway – as my mother would say; “onward christian soldiers!”  Onward I go, to new things and wild art adventures!

In the storm I will stay calm.

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Stay posted for more!

All the girls together

This week I finished my “small” series.  I am very happy with the 6 girls!

So off to the gallery they go this week.  Wish me luck!  I hope they all go to good homes.

whylargeweb

“Understanding”

ladylargeweb

“Radiant”

WhereNowWeb

“Where Now?” 

WhoAreYouWeb

“Who are you?”

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“Angel”

greendreamsweb

“Why?”

New Series

After a rough, storming, no-art week this past week, I could jump in over the weekend and complete two new paintings for my “small” series.

 

WhoAreYouWeb

Who are you? Acrylic on board – 20cm x 20cm

Number four in the series:

WhereNowWeb

Where now?  Acrylic on board – 20cm x 20cm

I started on portrait number 5, but did not like it from the get-go.  So, that one will be painted over and started again.

I am really trusting that this new series will sell well.  Any idea what you other artists out there suggest I charge for these little ladies?  I charge an average of R 3 000 ($200) for my bigger work, but have never made or sold little ones.

Wishing you all a fabulous September! Stay posted for more of my art journey!

A Week Not to Repeat

The week that has past has been one of the hardest in my whole life. Not a week to repeat for sure!  I am hoping that in the future I can look back on this time and see how it has had a wonderfully positive effect on my art.

All I got to paint this week was the second “block painting” in my new series, so that is all I have to share.

Blessings to each one reading this and stay posted for my art journey!

angel

Angel – Acrylic on board

10 out of 10 for Trying

“The fear of failure kills creativity and intelligence. The only thing it produces is conformity.”
Anup Kochhar

Trying new things is always scary!  The whole process gives me sweaty hands and anxiety, but it is the only way to grow better. Fail and learn, fail and learn!

This week I tried my hand at a painting a landscape again (I have done some before, but they always seemed to come out the same – very generic).

Some examples of my old landscapes:

 

Back to my Youtube tutor for tips.  This clip gave me some great advice on painting clouds.

 

So, this week’s attempt at a landscape was not great, but I tried and I learnt new techniques.  But, I think I will stick to my portraits for the next while.

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Not the success I hoped for, but a good learning experience.

 

Earlier this week I did this portrait.

bluebodyweb

I really enjoyed painting this one.

Lastly, I was asked by a friend to do a series of smaller “block” style paintings to present to a gallery next month.

This is the first in the “small block” series I am doing.

greendreamsweb

New series (20cm x 20cm)

Stay posted for more of my art journey!

 

Art in the Eye of the Beholder

Art is truly a unique physiology – fascinating to me! Every person has a different view about art and can have very apposing ideas about the same art piece.

Interestingly enough I have seen this play out with my art too.  I will paint something and be very uncertain about it, sometimes even dislike it, but I will load it onto my various social media platforms and receive amazing reviews about the piece!

Today this happened again with a painting I posted as a gift for a friend on my deviantart profile.  I posted it for her as her favourite flower is an Iris.

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I don’t hate this painting, but it is one of my very first ones and feels a bit amateurish to me.  But, low and behold, it received great reviews on my profile (even winning me a “Zesty Zebra” award).

Other times I post something that I am crazy about, passionate about and absolutely love – and nothing! No comments, no likes, nothing!

the wallflower

The wallflower

“The wallflower” is a great example of this.  I know this is not the best painting I have ever painted, but it is very special to me.  I put much thought, care and love into this piece plus it is a bit of a self-portrait too.

What have I learnt through this?  Don’t get caught up in other people’s opinions of your work.  It is great to hear encouraging words like: “great work”, “beautiful”, etc, but at the end of the day beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Love the art you make! Love yourself and your unique creativity!  And ultimately that self-love with shine through in your work and touch others.

 

 

Playing the Part

Emotions confuse me.  Logic has always been my safe place.  If I can figure it out step by step – I know I can do it.  With painting, this natural flow of things does not help me at all!  When I feel upset, I can’t hide it in my paintings – it is just there – in the paint and in the brush strokes.  It makes me feel vulnerable, but I have come to realize that is what makes art Art.  The emotion behind the story, the movie, the painting, the song.

Maybe it is time to not try to subdue my emotions, but to embrace where they take me.

When I painted my newest painting, it made me feel happy, it made me feel calm.  And that is what I feel flows from this piece.

flowerpowerweb

Flower girl

I promised that I would show you last week’s painting that I put some more work into.  And here it is.

LookDownweb

The Mask

Painting Surfaces

Over the last few years, first painting as a hobbyist and lately as a minor art master (painting every day), I have tried many different surfaces to paint on.  At the moment my favourite is hardboard.  Why?  Well, I like to paint on a large scale and I find that the stretched canvases are just too soft and pliable. But, most importantly, I choose to paint on hardboard because it is cheaper and  it gives me the freedom to make mistakes and start over.  A few layers of white PVA covers anything!

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This is one of my largest paintings done on canvas. (1.8m x 1m)

Most of my animal paintings were done on hardboard.

All my newest portraits are done on hardboard too.

 

What do other painters out there prefer, I wonder?