Make Up My Mind

How does one decide what they want to paint, or sculpt, sketch or write? When it comes to writing I have struggled with that mind numbing empty void often. Although I’ve been told that I’m a passable writer, unlike painting, writing has never come as smoothly to me. I think people who like to talk, or have “the gift of gab” tend to make better writers. I neither like to talk a lot, nor have that particular gift. I tend to stumble over my words, or think after the fact that I should have said this or that. I guess in one way, writing is easier than talking for me, because I can proofread, and change things around. Or simply because there is no one interrupting my train of thought. But still, not my best skill set.

So what of art? That empty sheet or canvas that sends shivers down the paint brush of so many artists?

Well, here’s the thing; I have too many choices of things I want to paint! And I want to do them all yesterday!

There was a time when this insatiable need to create also included miles of crochet work.( One of my grandmothers taught me when I was four years old,) and along with a stint of about ten years of embroidering everything in sight, (oh those fun 70’s), and the occasional macrame, my hands and mind were never still. Interwoven among these creations, which also included years of quilting, I sketched and painted. And somewhere within all of this, I became a wife, then mother… four times, worked sometimes two jobs, and moved house 15 times while my family was growing. But I digress. Eventually these things went by the wayside, (not the kids, heheh) but I never stopped sketching and painting. So now when I’m not working my “other job”, I mostly paint. Although I still occasionally do something else like making a macrame rope lamp, or a cheese board from a barrel lid.

As you can see, I never want for something creative to do, As for painting, the list of things I want to paint, is endless! It’s choosing one to settle my mind on that is difficult. Of the many family outings, to vistas I see on hikes, things my pets do, other animals that I love, or the fan art I would like to do, deciding what I feel like doing and have the time for, is never easy.

Every so often it is easier, as was the case with a recent painting I did of one of my daughters, or these paintings I did some time ago. I’ll get a clear feeling that this is what I want to do. But whatever the case may be, for me I’ll never have painter’s ‘block”.

I hope you liked this post, I wish you abundant ideas, and energy to see them through! See you next time!

My Growing Body Of Work

There is something that has occasionally been on my mind; my increasing “body of work”, or my “oeuvre” to be more professional. I consider myself a working artist. And although I sell my fair share of paintings, I find that sometimes my creativity outpaces my output, so to speak.

When this happens, I will sometimes try to curb my creativity a little. This only works for a short time as apparently I tend to be somewhat compulsive about creating art. I then try to focus more on getting my work “out there”. But as any artist knows, this isn’t always the answer either. I often wonder what to do. What do other creatives do?

The three photos above, are from a series of paintings I had done that I had entitled “Horse Power”. It was a series of large (3′ x 2′) oil paintings I had done of vintage automobiles and horses. I did sell these three. Yay! I think that having made them as a series and having marketed them as such may have helped. I had sold two of the horse paintings from this series as well. I want to mention here that I by no means painted them specifically to market them this way. I love and appreciate both horses and vintage and other cars, so painting them is something I both wanted to do and enjoyed doing.

Above left to right are “Axle”, (who has a bitter sweet back story that you can read on my Etsy add for him), “A Nice Day for a White Dress”, and “Basil” (who is a personal favorite of mine). In the second row, left to right are “Sade” “Fire” and “Sherman” These pieces are all 3′ x 2′ and are ready for their forever home. They can be purchased by clicking on “shop” which will bring you to my sale site. (A little side note; I noticed that when viewed on a cell phone, that the above photos are not in the same order as viewed on a laptop. There are three rows on phones so in that order they are; 1st row; Axle, A Nice Day For a White Dress, 2nd row; Basil and Sade, and 3rd row; Fire and Sherman).

So, selling as a series is one option, Another is getting your inventory together, and having enough prints made to set up a tent at open air festivals and markets. Every aspect of which, is extremely time consuming, and may possibly add to the issue. :/

I want to say, that the other reasons I personally want to sell more of my work. (aside from feeding my family, heheh ), is space, which I only have so much of. And the fact that, (and I don’t want to be morbid), but I won’t be around forever and I don’t want to leave things for my family to have to take care of. But also, and this is a big one for me, and it’s not ego, I want people to not only see, but to personally have and enjoy my work. It’s important to me, I care about it, and I’d like others to do so also.

I have heard of other artists who have “liquidation” sales. I find this term cheapens our work. I’ve also heard of artists who will actually throw away or even destroy some of their work to “make room” or “move on to their next projects”! The thought of this is beyond distressing to me! One thing I have done in the past that helps open up space, is to have my work “on loan” at local venues. I’m sure there are other options that may be of interest to artists. If you have any other ideas, let me know, so we can share!

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time!

Challenge Me

From time to time I think most artists will encounter a block, much like writer’s block, or as I like to call it, white canvas syndrome. If you make a living with your art, there is nothing more frightening than that endless blank canvas or paper waiting… Personally to combat this stomach knotting, twilight zone of emptiness, I’ve used various tricks, tools, incantations, whatever you want to call them, to get back to a more productive zone. I’ve done things like just go and sit in my work space, or studio if you will, and go over old ideas I’ve written about or tried, looked through art books, and more currently gone online for some free inspiration. Sometimes I write up a list of categories, such as wildlife (the animal kind, sadly I have none of the other), or just simply goof around looking through photos I like. But there is one more concrete tool that I have found to be useful, and that is the “art challenge”. In particular ink challenges, or more specifically “Inktober”. Created in 2009 by Jake Parker, an ink artist who was looking for something to ” improve his inking skills, and to develop more positive drawing habits.” Something I know I can always use, as there are so many distractions on top of real life needs, that it becomes very easy for weeks to slip by without creating something, and for the old ferrules to get rusty.

The prompt for this was “graceful”.

Therefore its crucial to find something that not only gets us off of our sorry excuses, but to also find something that is fun, challenging and engaging. For myself I have found that Inktober fits the bill. The premise of Inktober, is this; For each day of the month leading up to Halloween, there is a list of “prompts” . They don’t always have to do with Halloween, but generally they do. But it isn’t a rule or anything that you have to interpret the prompts that way either. Again it is meant to get you excited about creating something. It’s always interesting to see what other’s take is on each prompt. There is a massive range of ideas, styles, and talents submitted each year. I prefer not to look at other’s work for the day, so as not to be influenced. After you have drawn your idea, you upload it to the site on Twitter with a few different hashtags. I have even been surprised myself by what interpretations pop out of my head, heheh. They often take a completely different turn as I work on them, than what I had planned.

“Deep”

I used to use pen and ink quite a bit, back in the day in the “purest” form. Actual pens with removable nibs and small bottles of ink. There was something almost sacred about picking up these supplies, lining them up on my art table and working like the old masters did, learning by trial and error how to use this medium, careful not to splotch my work. Most of the time these were smaller pieces, and were very detailed. Like any time I am working, I tend to lose track of time and sometimes it feels almost mystical. I normally use either oils, or acrylics, mostly the latter lately. So it’s fun to take a month and work in a completely different medium. I highly recommend Inktober. Since Mr. Parker started it back in 2009, Inktober has grown exponentially into a massive worldwide endeavor. I’m posting some of my Inktober challenges for you here to see for yourself the strange, interesting and sometimes odd places it will take you. Enjoy, and I hope you take up the challenge. See you next time!

“Furious”
I did this as a “mash up” of two day’s of prompts, “trail and juicy”. I thought it was pretty clever, heheh.
“Ship”
“Squeak”
Another “mash up” “Climb & Fall” (It works both ways.)
“United”
“Mask”

“Drain”
“Poison”
“Tranquil”
“Precious”
“Angular”
“Bottle”
“Whale”
“Muddy”
“Prickly”
“Chop”

PS Please take a look at my site on Etsy- oMordah etsy.com/shop/omordah for originals and prints of my work. There is a price range so everyone can have some sweet art 🙂

From The Sketchbook

“Greeting The Newest Member Of The Family”

Finding Time For Your Creative Life.

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new art site, oMordah at omordah.com! I’m excited and grateful to be able to start sharing with you some of the insights, lessons, musings and helpful ideas that I’ve learned the hard way over the years; to help make living your most creative life a little easier.

Ready? Let’s Go!

Today let’s tackle what in my humble opinion is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a consistent and happy creative life; time.

Without getting into the whole science of time, alternate timelines and space time continuum, one thing to realize is that we all have the same amount of time in a day. And although it’s not always up to us how we use that time—we have kids, pets, work, and bills to pay—there are ways to make time work for us.

So how do we do it? How do you do all the things, stay fairly sane and healthy, and still manage to live a creative life? Well, here are a few good things to remember:

  • Know and respect your own limitations. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and feel like I can tackle the world. I make a real plan, and set out with the energy and excitement of a puppy with a new ball, to get it all done before dinner. But then by the third item on my list I’ve had road blocks, and unexpected things happen, and I’m already getting tired. But I still feel I have to finish it all! This is discouraging and a fast track to giving up. Instead go ahead and make a plan, but be realistic, and fair to yourself, and understand that you may not always get everything done, or even half—but, make that plan, and take the first steps.
  • Start slow. By this I mean, if you’ve never ever crocheted anything, maybe start with a smaller project. Something that won’t take too long, and you can feel a more instant form of gratification when you actually finish it (And maybe don’t buy the most expensive wool hand carded from Peru, enough yarn to cover a small car, or set out to paint 5 masterpieces in a month). No one needs that kind of pressure. You’ll feel happier, and more likely to move on to the next stage without it. Or even if you have done it many times, but know you only have so much energy at the time to go around, be honest with yourself.
  • Take yourself seriously so others will too. This is a hard one. You’ve made your plan, and have all of your tools ready—you’re psyched. Then one of your family members needs something, or a friend calls, or one of a thousand other things come up. What do you do? It’s very easy to say, “oh, yeah, OK, it’ll only take a minute” or “I’l get back into this when I’m done”. This is energy sapping, and more than likely you won’t “get back to it”. If you’re serious about that painting, or practicing that cello, lock in your time. Lovingly make it clear to others you’ll help them out or be there another time, but right now you’re in the middle of something. Better still, let it be known ahead of time, you’ll be busy at that time. It’s usually better not to get into specifics that others (and yourself) can talk you out of. Also, enlist help when you can.

So you’ve made a realistic plan, and let everyone know that you’re serious. You stand in front of that canvas, or computer, and … nothing happens. You suddenly can’t think, and it’s just not working. Now what? Is this it? Have you done everything that you can to set the stage to begin your creative life, and now suddenly you can barely remember your name, never mind create something?

Don’t give up! This happens to everyone. Take some pressure off, but don’t completely walk away. If you had planned to start a painting and that blank white canvas is just staring you in the face and mocking you; stop, grab a cup of tea or whatever your favorite calming tool is. Then sit down in the same space as your canvas, and maybe sketch or doodle. Take a ten minute breather and check out some photos online of something in line with what you had planned to paint. Use these few minutes to get re-inspired. If you still don’t “feel it”, don’t beat yourself up—come back to it on your next planned scheduled time and try again.

OK! Now you’ve cared enough to set a schedule, and be firm about others (and yourself) respecting your time. You’re excited, and maybe a little scared. But you’re ready, you can do this! Show the world (and yourself) what you’ve got!

Remember to stop by omordah.com for more inspiration and ideas to help you in your creative life.

Thank you for checking out my blog and supporting this new adventure! I look forward to seeing you back here next time!

I can’t be remiss in thanking my producer, and site designer Nikki Moore. Please check out her amazing Anime style plushies at BleedingHeartsCrafts at etsy.com/shop/bleedingheartscrafts