Friday, October 21, 2011

Wind-up Ballerina Sketch

I've spent more time adding to my sketchbook lately! Due primarily to a renewed commitment, I've been able to draw most days while my daughter is in her dance classes... which is five days a week.

I'm not getting any errands run, but sitting in my car in the parking lot for an hour or more has become the perfect time for me to doodle and sketch. Since the dance studio is in an industrial area, the majority of my drawings come strictly from imagination.

My sketchbook is really a place for brainstorming, experimenting, and just plain practice and brushing up on skills. I usually like to draw with permanent ink to gain confidence with the lines and not rely on an eraser. As you may imagine, this doesn't always result in perfectly presentable drawings. So I don't know how often I'll share these with you! This one was memorable for me, though, because Hannah got her pointe shoes and had her first class en pointe this week! She was very excited! Just like any art form, she's had to work hard to get this far and will need to continue to apply herself to further her talent and skills. But it's her passion, so she's loving it. Passions seem to work that way. ;-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Beauty in the Everyday

A fun shadow on an all-white support
One of my favorite perks of being an artist is noticing the chance happenings in the world around us and being able to appreciate them. The surprise visual on the left came about when I set a large panel outside on my back deck this week to help the layer of white gesso cure (and to get it out of the way). The shadow of the patio umbrella created a design on the surface that could uniquely inspire a painting of its own. I have other plans for this one, though. Yes... back to work! ;-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love, Create

It can be wonderful when everything in the universe lines up right and the work just flows. The art imagined in my mind comes to physical reality with little effort, as if it were intended to exist at that moment and I’m just the conduit. Yes, that actually does happen sometimes. An example is one of my first tree paintings. On that particular day I felt like working in a different room than the dining room that I normally painted in at the time. For whatever reason (the new setting, the lighter-colored and brighter room) I felt incredibly inspired. The painting came together from start to finish in a short afternoon. It has an energy many people can feel. And it is that energy that seemed to work through me to bring it to life on the canvas that day. Interestingly, it’s the only painting in my home that has always hung in the same place. (I tire of my surroundings and like to move things around a lot). It seems to like it there… I mean, I seem to like it there.

Today my mind has too many distractions to connect to that energy, or anything resembling it for that matter. If this all sounds crazy to you (or crazy interesting), take a look at this video of a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

At least as a visual artist if I ever get to catch that creative energy by the tail, most won’t recognize that everything’s backwards! I’m always motivated by her talk.

Now, back to work. ;-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crazy for Fall Color!

"Autumn Tree", 8"x8"x2", acrylic on cradled panel
The beautiful fall weather we've been enjoying in the Bay Area has coincided with a productive time for me. Here is one of my latest paintings. As many trees as I've painted, none have so obviously radiated the bright colors of fall.

The visual texture that reads as leaves makes me think of the sound of the wind through the trees on a crisp autumn day. Even though the "leaves" look like they'd be rough to the touch, the whole painting is actually very smooth when you run your hand over it.

I'm enjoying seeing what emerges from my work lately. It's interesting that it is so often trees that find their way forward!

Now, back to work. ;-)