This year I decided to enroll in Lifebook 2015 with Tamara Laporte.
If you have never heard of Lifebook, it is an online course that runs for the duration of the year. It is a weekly video art lesson, with a different teacher every week. It is hosted on the creative community run by British mixed media artist Tamara Laporte, also known as Willowing, along with her assistant Gracie Howle.
|My first Lifebook lesson, Beacon of Light, taught by Tamara Laporte|
I discovered Tam on YouTube a couple of years ago and took a few of her online courses.
She is a wonderful teacher, extremely generous and,-a big plus in online art teachers-funny and not annoying!Lol!
At first I was resistant to her Lifebook course because to be honest she is very new-agey and does a lot of meditation and you-universe stuff.
If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know that I am Roman Catholic and I don't go in for any of that kind of spirituality. I am not going to deride it in any way, or say anything negative about it-it's just not my bag. I am very happy and firm in my catholic faith-in fact, grateful to be a catholic. But I don't think there are enough positive and empathetic offerings in the world and that is basically what Tam does.
|Seeds of Love, also taught by Tam|
So after hemming and hawing for 2 years I finally took the plunge and I am so grateful I did.
In just less than 3 short months I have learned so much. I find I am perfectly able to approach the lessons for the art, and the spirituality is not at all pushed on me.
One of the first things you do is decide on a word for the year.
Something that will be your focus.
For me I am approaching this artistically, so my word is explore.
|Lifebook lesson taught by Lynn Whipple|
After a lot of thought and prayer I find that this is the perfect focus for me this year. I have basically been a working artist for 15 years now, but where I started and where I am now are so completely different, it is hard for me to present anything to my customers that makes any sense. After all, I am running an art business so I have to try to find my way.
I began in primitives, but for some time now I have not been inspired there. For most of my life I have loved history and yesteryear, and nostalgic looks at the past. It fit very well with my main focus which was family life and raising children. I decorated my house in prims, the deep rich colors, the browns and golds and deep reds. But eventually this palette became too limited for me.
Most of my kids are grown and gone now, and then I turned 50.
There is something about turning 50 that makes you take a look at your life. What am I doing? Where am I going? What am I going to do from here forward?
And I realized that from the time I was a child I always wanted to be a painter.
So I decided life is short and if I'm ever going to try to do it, now is the time.
|original work in my art journal|
I looked around and decided:I needed color.
I needed to expand my palette to cheerful and happy colors that I would love to work with.
I have always also loved the colors of the ocean, the greens and blues and sandy yellows.
But I also wanted to work with brights, cheerful colors that make me happy.
And I also realized that if I was going to paint I was going to have to start right where I was at. So after 15 years of making dolls, I am now painting portraits. Whimsical portraits from my imagination, because I still love innocence and wholesomeness and the purity of childhood.
So that is where I am now. Exploring color and new mixed media techniques, and trying to figure out how to translate that into something I can still offer the world.
|Queene of Hearts|
I still make dolls.
I will probably never stop making them. I find that the more I explore other art forms, the more I am inspired to then translate those ideas to my dolls. So now my dolls are a little more artsy. But they will always be folky-I still really enjoy folk art. My art is just evolving into a little bit more contemporary folk than primitive.
And for now that is just how I like it.
An artist is an explorer. He has to begin by self-discovery and by observation of his own procedure. After that he must not feel under any constraint. (Henri Matisse)