Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Christmas (card) Time Again

My post from last Christmas, "It's Christmas Time Again" is making the rounds on the Internet, especially on Pinterest. It's fun to see people enjoying it. I love sharing and inspiring people with my work, but I do worry about theft.
Yes, people steal and use images off the Internet for their own personal use. Illegal? Yes. But I think some people don't have a good moral compass and figure it's all good if you don't get caught. And some people just don't understand that it is illegal to use images off the Internet. But it is theft to use someone's artwork or photos unless you have permission. Putting my work out there is a risk I'm willing to take, because most people are honest and so far I've never caught anyone using my work as their own. But I know a few artists who have, so it is a very real problem. If you are at all unclear if you can use an image off the Internet, you probably shouldn't. Images on the Internet are the intellectual property of the owner and/or are copyrighted and unless it specifically states you may use it--you can't. The solution is to find your own reference and do your own work! But enough of that topic-on to the real reason I'm writing.

On black Friday we ventured out to buy ONE item for my husband and as I vowed before--and again since --NEVER AGAIN WILL I LEAVE THE HOUSE ON BLACK FRIDAY!!! I had to drop the hubs off at the entrance after we trolled for parking spaces forever and then I continued trolling after dropping him off for what seemed like eternity--losing every space to someone quicker--only to end up parking in the very last space at the end of the lot on the other side of the mall from where I dropped my husband!!! I then walked the length of the mall to meet my crestfallen husband, (who hates to shop) because after waiting in line for the Black Friday deal...they were, of course, out of it....Which, again, is not why I'm writing this-but hang in there, it's coming!
The initial wash of greens after the berries were painted

Today I'm on the couch avoiding the Christmas decorations calling me from the basement. I did take down all my fall themed things, but I think the carb load of Thanksgiving has made me lazy!! Being a couch potato today has given me time to reread that Christmas post I talked about above. I had to smile. Again I have decided not to send out cards, but the draw to make one is sooo strong. Which FINALLY brings me to the reason I write!!

 Not all my Christmas card paintings are a success, but that isn't the point, is it? The point is, for me, connecting with people, both with my painting and the note inside. It's also about the whole process, from finding the inspiration to turning that inspiration into a painting. In fact, I think there is too much importance placed on the finished product. For me, process is becoming more important than results. I think- no, I know- that by not worrying about a perfect outcome I am free to explore and create in fresh ways that keep my art from becoming stale and routine. Formulated.
close up as I start to define some shapes

So how do you find inspiration for a Christmas card? Or in my case, it's how do you avoid it? I mean stuff has been in the stores since before Halloween and you can always find a little chachki to paint. Since I'm a flower nut, poinsettia's are a go to theme as I've written about before. I've done a baby sleeping (since it's about the baby Jesus after all). I've painted many of the decorations I have. And of course, nature is always an inspiration. It's not hard to find your own inspiration. Take a few photos or buy something this year just for inspiration.
almost done and still wet

This year, I knew what I wanted to paint, but sitting here on the couch is not going to get it done! That seems to be a theme with me and the art these days. Who wants to place bets that I will get around to painting a Christmas card painting and get them sent in a timely fashion? My bet is that I will get one done, but not get them printed or out in time...And I'm OK with that. Because Christmas is not about my art, or about getting my cards done. It's not about Black Friday deals or even the decorations call me from the basement. Christmas for me, in the same way my personal life has been lately, is changing. From the busyness and to do lists, to the people and the meaning of what I do and why. It's about finding the joy in the moment. And these days it's enough if I can find the time to make the art and a bonus if I actually get it made into a card. It will be the joy of painting and not the finished product.

Yesterday, I did wander out and find my inspiration. Unfortunately, I have two failed paintings to not show for it! I labored hard on the second drawing and after I inked it and started to watercolor all the ink began to run and created a big black mess!! Disheartening? So much so that I decided I had drawn it three times and couldn't get a painting I liked, so I scrapped it and decided to do something else. I went for a walk and saw berries and decided to paint a holly branch. Since I don't have any holly and wasn't going out and get any, I searched the Internet for a free stock photo I could use as reference. (If you ever need a reference just google "free stock photos" and you will find many.

This is the finished painting. Its not my usual, but I wanted to work freely, so I never drew anything. I first painted some berries and then just kind of went from there. I'm not crazy about it, but it felt good to paint it! And for me, that's a win!

So Merry Christmas-and a new year filled with art!!

I added a few highlights on the berries with white pen and now all it need is my signature! 

1 comment:

  1. Very pretty.
    We don't like Black Friday shopping, either. Sure takes the shine off thanks giving.