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!

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