Friday, September 17, 2010

Do You Paint Every Day?

A lot of what I write about comes in response to things people say to me about my art or about making art.  Frequently, someone will ask me a question that makes me to stop and think hard before I answer.  Lots of times this is because I have no answer, or at least not one I have thought through.  Those questions are great because I have to go back and find them an answer.  If the question is asked more than once--I pay attention to the question-not my answer!  Because I believe there is a reason it was asked more than once!

The question asked more than twice recently has been "Do you paint every day?"  The answer is "no, I don't".  I brush my teeth and take a shower daily.  That's the extent of my non-negotable daily habbits!  Some might call this flexible.  Others, unstructured.  I'm not going to judge it anymore.  It just is. I will admit to a certain lack of structure.  Oh, I have some or we would never have toilet paper!  But I am easily distracted and find that priorities change like sifting sand!  Hour to hour, day to day.

It is a good goal.  To paint every day.  It has occured to me to make that a priority.  Instead, I paint when I feel like it or have a deadline or commision.  Sometimes the structure kills the "mood".  It really does.

As I walk this creative path, other things have fallen away allowing me to see further ahead to where I want to travel.  The process of just putting one foot in front of the other had been the best course of action.  Its not always the same action, but it is always in the same direction.  And there have been detours!

I think the question and answer served to remind me how far I've come as well as where I need to go!  I write this because the answer to the question is "no, not today, but maybe tomorrow!"  In other words, I may not be able to at this point in my journey, but looking at that question has helped me to see further down my path!  And if I keep walking, the path will take me there. 

I don't believe in coinsidence.  Pay attention to not just the large things, but the small things that fall in your path as well.  What question have you been asked more than once recently?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Still life with fruit

I did a demo for class the other day. When you work fast and don't over think it, things stay fresh and loose. This was done to show how to use a split primary palette-warm and cool of each primary. I love to work with fruit.  While not as complex as a flower, you can always find fruit and vegetables! 

It is always better to work from life.  The nice thing about still life is that it stays the same, like a photo.  Unless it's fruit!  I've done a still life with fruit for a class and forgot the fruit in my bag for weeks!  Not a good idea.

And always remember,  everything looks better in a mat!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carpe Diem

Watercolor sketch from a winery in Napa
Today I turn 50.  Anyone who says 50 is the new 40 has rocks in their head!  Do I hear an "amen sister"?  It's just a number.  They say that too.  Right... Who are "they".  "They" are younger!  I used to be "they" once. (smiley face)

So why blog about my birthday on a creativity blog?  Because while painting with a friend this summer I asked her how in the world she finds the time to get out so much to paint.  Her answer gave me pause.  She said she was sixty something and that if all went well, she still only had fifteen or so years left to paint. She was going to pack in as much as she could for the rest of her life.  She has a passion to paint and a gift to share!

To be honest, I'd never thought about my friends age.  She is vibrant and full of life. But she is also obviously a realist.  I have trouble planning for tomorrow, let alone thinking long term like that.  

I gleaned many things from our conversation that day, but the mind is the first thing to go.  That, however stuck with me.  The bible says we are not even promised tomorrow.  Dead Poets Society (or Horace, I can still use wikepedia!) reminds us the Latin "Carpe Diem" or "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future".  Is that the message?  Every day you don't do something, is one more day you wont be able to.  When life is viewed like that, the perspective change is great!  But what chaos would ensue if we all lived like we were not going to be here tomorrow?  I don't know, but let's try it!  I'm not getting any younger! (another smiley face!)