Saturday, July 25, 2015

Daily Painting, Keeping the Studio Clean, and Personal Symbolism

Well I  pulled out the oils, got my self set up, and then proceeded to paint the ugliest painting ever! Ha! LOL!
oli painting number 1 from reference photo july 15

 It IS awful, and it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be!
But I am determined to share anyway.
 I want to document this process so that I will hopefully be able to see improvement(if any!)

This was done on an 8" by 8" panel. After I was finished I took a picture and then wiped it off the panel!
I did this for 2 reasons-to consciously NOT take this process TOO seriously. It is practice and I don't need to get attached to every painting. And because I don't want a lot of lousy paintings hanging around my studio discouraging me. 
I know enough about myself and my process that if I have a lot of unfinished work staring at me, or work I don't like, I will avoid going into the studio at all. 
I have found that a clean studio is inspiring to me, like a blank canvas ready for creating something new. But if I let me studio get cluttered with lots of work I feel uneasy about, or unfinished pieces I feel bogged down and uninspired. 

So to make myself feel better I decided to pull out my tried and true Neocolor 2 Water Soluable Artist Crayons and do a painting on my favorite paper-Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Hot Prress Watercolor paper. Yay! 
I buy this paper at my local Blick Art Supply in the 20" by 30" sheets and then cut it down to 9" by 11". This is the size I have been using for all of my Lifebook lessons this year as well. 
LOVE this paper!
Then I did this painting:
Drought Relief

Ah yes yes! Got my confidence back!
This is called Drought Relief
I haven't really explained what is going on and what my symbolism is in the past because, well it is mostly very personal.  I have been thinking a lot about my own personal symbolism lately-what that would be about, what that would look like for me.
I am a devout, traditional-leaning Catholic. I take my faith very seriously. It is something that is a part of my every day and that I actually practice often. I say this because I realize a lot of catholics in this country are more or less cultural catholics: meaning they were born into the faith but they don't really understand it or practice it other than the obligatory Christmas and Easter mass.
So my faith journey tends to inform my art journey, and that is what is happening in this painting.

The angel is God's messenger and worker. She wears an outfit that is reminiscent of a uniform because she is part of God's army-doing His bidding. The background I have kept warm with earth tones to represent a time of spiritual drought.
The angel is bringing some rain clouds to relieve the earth-these represent the faithful and how their witness brings hope and guidance to the world.
The little foxy in the corner represents God's creation.

This is somewhat based on the story of Elijah found in the Old Testament. Elijah also lived in a time when the world was living very far away from God and his commandments. He had taken shelter in a cave up on Mount Carmel to hide from those who wanted to kill all of Gods prophets. He was looking out over the dry parched land and saw one lone cloud in the sky. He saw in this cloud God's plan of hope and the redemption of man. Carmelite spirituality has seen this cloud as the symbol of the Virgin Mary.
 The idea of this cloud is one of my symbols. The Blessed Mother is very important to me, and I have been close to her for many years.
So there it is; Drought Relief.
I pray everyday that God will send us good leaders and that America will turn back to the values that made her great.

Thanks for hanging in there this long-I know this is a LONG post!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Painting with Oils

I have always said that oils were my favorite medium.

Yet I have used them sparingly over the years.
I learned oils from the master portrait doll painter Susan Fosnot. I am lucky enough to live near her and have taken several workshops from her. 
Here is one of Susan's beautiful dolls from the workshops

But that was years ago when I was still in the midst of raising children. So the oil paints would come out, but they never stayed out.
Doll I made in Fosnot workshop

But things are different now and I have suddenly realized that I CAN delve into oils for as long as I want! I have the space and the time to really explore this medium the way I have always longed to.
 So to get started I am painting a folk doll, just as I learned long ago. I'm rusty, but its coming back.
New doll~brushing up on my skills

 I plan to go to Walmart and get some small panels today, and then I am going to embark on Carol Marine's challenge of painting a small painting DAILY!
 The idea here is that to really become a good painter you need to clock 10,000 hours or 1,000 paintings. So I am going for it!

I read Carol Marine's book while I was on vacation -I loved it and highly recommend it.

As soon as I can get all of my supplies together I am going for it!
Wish me luck!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Merging Blogs (or becoming one with myself)

I have recently decided to merge my painting blog to this one. Somehow I once had the crazy idea that I would be able to maintain 2 blogs. Ha! What a joke!

Why have 2 blogs in the first place? I think the answer to that comes from my longtime approach, or maybe lack of approach, to art.

I have always had a problem with sticking to one type of art. 
As a child I always wanted to be an illustrator.

Long ago, when I began this journey,
 (in earnest...I have always been an artist) I was very attracted to primitive art.
 I was a young mother, I had 4 little ones at home, and homemaking was a big focus for me. I was very inspired to create a comfy loving environment for my little family. The values and morals I had been raised with; and that I wanted to raise my children with, were very evident in the country/primitive/rural decor movement of the time.
I worked happily in this genre for many years-mostly creating folk dolls and infusing them with the home skills I had been taught and knew so well. Fine sewing, embroidery, handwork of all kinds found there way into my work.

But something in me always whispered that I wanted something more. I had secretly always wanted to paint. But the call to motherhood was stronger in me, so I put it off and found my artistic outlet where I could-mostly in handcrafts that I created for my home and for my little doll business.
But then one day, when the 3rd chick left the nest-the talkative one-I suddenly felt very empty. 
I was almost 50 and artistically what had I accomplished?  At that point I had run my business for 12 years and even survived a recession, But it didn't feel like an accomplishment. I had never really developed my classic artistic skills. I was a wonderful quilter, embroiderer, I could hook a rug, sew anything. But of the fine art, classic skills I was lacking. I had not had the time to paint in oils or watercolors as much as I had always been attracted to both. It was not something that would have been conducive to my lifestyle-our home was the usual chaos of raising kids, and I never even had a studio back then-just a corner of our bedroom to work in.

So as I began to adjust to a life with more time to myself, and a house that is mostly quiet (my youngest daughter and husband are both introverts and not big talkers), I realized now was my chance. 

I took the best room in the house for my studio (hee-hee!). 
 I have been painting and studying.
Studying and painting. 
And I am happy.
Happy as a clam.

I have enrolled in countless online art courses. I have learned wonderful things from them all. I plan to take many more.
I still run my business by making folk dolls. I have had to let go of everything else.
 I am no longer cross stitching or quilting, 
rug hooking or doing needle punch. I only sew for the dolls.
I no longer limit myself to primitives, but you will still see their influence. 
I have embraced color! 

So, if you are still with me,(sorry this is SO long!) I have decided to embrace all of the different aspects of my artistic personality and merge them all into one blog.
 You will now see everything I am working on; be it dolls or art journals, portraits or oil paintings or watercolors, its all here from now on. 
Primitive, modern, country, or abstract-they are all pieces of me.
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing my story!


Friday, July 10, 2015

On PFATT Marketplace This Month

Watcher; An Original Mixed Media Painting


This is an original mixed media painting on 8” X 10” 140 lb. watercolor paper. It was hand painted by the artist using a variety of media including acrylics, collage, watercolors and pencil.
It will come to you unframed in a crystal clear cellophane bag with an archival backing board. It is signed and dated by the artist and includes a certificate of authenticity.
Watcher~ $95.00 which includes shipping in the US.

Please Note:
I will be on vacation until July 18. Your painting will be shipped on that date. Thank you!

Click here to go to PFATT Marketplace

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Digital Stamps in my Etsy Shop

Do you enjoy making cards or scrapbooking?
 Then digital stamps are perfect for you!

 No more worries about getting that stamp perfectly clear, or centering it perfectly on your card. Now you can just download a digital stamp, size it to the size you want, print and use! Easy as that! And each image is SO much cheaper than rubber stamps! 

Use it over and over again as many times as you like!

Come om over to my Etsy shop to see my new digistamps!

Have a great 4th!