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!

From The Easel; Building A Love Note In Paint

When painting a portrait it often feels like a love note in paint for me. The following pictures are some of the steps to creating one such “love note”. I recently painted this portrait of one of my daughters, Nikki and our puppers, Kota. It had started out as just a simple sketch of a nice summer day, but I liked the pose and decided it would make a nice painting. The following are some of the steps taken to build on this portrait and create something both meaningful to me and interesting to the viewer. I call this; “Walking On The Fourth” as I completed it around that time. Enjoy!

After I had lightly sketched in the initial drawing, I then started to block in the basic shapes with an underpainting of the general colors I planned to use.

I then began filling in the facial features, and added more to the background as well as added some more smaller details to the figure. Then I began to layer in more detail on the fence and on the piece of wood on the ground. Adding more trees as well as more colors and leaf shapes to the trees that were already there, gave the background more depth. At this point I also added some more shading and fur to Kota’s image.

Unfortunately I hadn’t gotten enough sequential photos to show all of the details used to further flesh out and finish this painting. Needless to say, there was some reworking, and a bit more detail work needed, such as the layers on Kota’s fur, and darkening Nikki’s hair. I did this until it felt finished to me. (Something I’ve gotten better at over time, is knowing when a painting is finished. Maybe I’ll tackle that topic soon!) I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the steps that brought this painting to life. Thank you for stopping by. See you next time!

From The Sketchbook; Idea File

Day tripping

Hey guys! Here where I live, we have had, yet again another week of mostly rain. In light of that, (or lack there of light), when we do get the odd sunny day, and it also happens to be my day off, well, if I have a chance to go somewhere, I go for it. Today’s adventure was to take a day trip over hither and yon, through the lovely Catskills. So we grabbed our water bottles and hightailed it to the mountains. And other than one town being a place better left unmentioned, and a twenty minute detour through the hills of “Deliverance”, it was a beautiful day. Also, due to this impromptu diversion, I’m a bit late with this post. But here it is, and this “From The Sketch Book” is a little different. I thought that maybe you would be interested in a little insight into how the mind of an artist works, or at least this artist. So this blog is just that.

“Q and A a Day”

Some time ago I happened upon an interesting sketchbook of prompts. It’s a thick book with four blocks per page and one prompt per page. It’s set up so that the artist can return to a block from each page, over the course of four years. This struck me as a very cool idea. And the best part is, although originally a seventeen dollar, (nineteen dollar book in Canada), it was at a dollar store! That’s right guys, a dollar! So without further adieu, I give you sketches from “Q & A a day” , A Dollar Store Score. (I should also mention that these sketches usually took under a half hour, some only minutes, so are by no means, “master pieces”, and are in no particular order.)

“Sunflowers”

Apparently I was “feeling sunflowers on this day”. I have no idea why. But I thought this would be a good one to start with, as most of today was very “sun flowery”. (Except later in the afternoon when surprise, it rained. Which is OK because we were home by then.)

“Hamlet”.

This one’s simple, the only Shakespearean thing I could think of was “Hamlet”.

”Dandy Lion”

I guess this is my idea of a “pattern in nature”, or maybe I just felt like drawing a dandelion.

“The Tramp and The Kid”

Somewhere in “editing”, the note I had written about this little drawing got waylayed. I actually did this while at the “other” job, (don’t tell 😉 For some reason there was a book about Charley Chaplin on the shelf. This is my rendition of a scene from that book.

Self Portrait. (I think I need some lotion.)

“Balloon Kid” forever!

Still looking for a “Balloon Kid” so I can be nostalgic. There were only a few games I liked and was actually able to play; this, Sonic, and the game all parents liked, Tetras. (I do like “Kingdom Hearts” now, but rarely have time to play), ah, well.

“Ladie’s”

If you’re a woman, this needs no explanation.

“Here Be Dragons”

Although this isn’t my best dragon drawing, I liked the idea of this because of one of my favorite quotes; “Here Be Dragons” meaning “dangerous, or unexplained territories”, a quote often used on ancient maps. Which pretty much sums up my life experiences.

“Solace”

A cup of tea and some chocolate is usually a good antidote to the “dragons” in my life.

“Target”

Target practice for those dragons.

“Umbrella”

This one just said to “draw an umbrella”, which are always fun to draw.

“Pop”

…not sure if I’ll ever get this kernel completely popped.

“?”

Can you guess my sign?

Too obvious?

“Dog day”

My puppers had her back to me… humm, did I offend her?

“Life of a Tree”

Again, I’m not sure that this tree will ever “grow to maturity”, but it will be fun if I actually do it.

“Wand”

Come on, “Genie’s lamps”, aren’t real.

I hope you enjoyed this, and maybe when I do this again, I’ll have a bit larger piece of popcorn, and an oak sapling. See you next time!