Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Change is inevitable--except from vending machines

Tom's at Home

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it change the way you think about it.  Mary Engelbreit. 

Change always comes bearing gifts. Price Pritcett

I began writing this blog three years ago today.  I was inspired by the movie, Julie and Julia, to keep a blog of my own, and the reason for beginning this endeavor was the hope of breaking a crippling artist's block, but in the end, it became a journey of growth and healing.

My life has not changed, yet everything has. Some things are still frustratingly the same... I am still single, still in the same house, and still weigh more than I want; I have done everything in my power to change those things and yet here I am still the same.

However, everything has changed and I am grateful for God-given blessings, such as greater physical health and mobility.  Today I went shopping, taking advantage of the after Christmas clearances and I am not tired or in pain and I didn't have to cut short my time in the store or use a motorized cart.  After 5 years of struggles, surgeries and therapy, I am in better shape then I have been in almost 20 years.  I am loving that. As I walked briskly back to my car I whispered a mantra of "thank you, thank you, thank you." I thank God for a more active life-- I have gone bowling, dancing and tent camping. Instead of shopping until I drop, I can shop until I run out of money.

Since December 26 2009, I have become more creative and slightly more prosperous--showing and selling my work locally and through commissions. The internet has played a role in transforming my life, not only through this blog; social networking sites like Facebook has given me wonderful friends from around the world. I also interact with other artists and have shared and sold art online. My work is on 3 international sites, including one based in France. I recently entered an art contest and one of my paintings made it into the semi-finals.
I am trying new things artistically such as moonlit painting above done in the honor of Thomas Kinkade, and I carry a sketch book in my purse so can I draw or doodle every chance I get.  At first I wasn't comfortable sketching in front of people but folks usually let me be myself and allow me to draw without making a fuss.

So I look confidently to 2013.  Maybe I'll win an art contest; maybe I'll sell my house or perhaps I will just modify it to make it suit me. I might find a sweetheart this year or maybe this new active lifestyle will help me to lose weight. Whatever changes are ahead, one thing won't change -- me.  I'll be the same ole girl.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Of Tom and Bob

Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them. Thomas Kinkade
My Imaginary Place
The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe. Bob Ross
The last few months have been busy--working on the house and getting ready for an art show, but I haven't neglected to create.  Today I wanted to talk about a couple of guys who influenced my art... not Michelangelo or Monet... but the highly commercialized Thomas Kinkade and Bob Ross. 

Sunrise at Bob's Place
I know there were those who scoffed at Thomas Kinkade because he massed produced everything, but I agree with the Southwestern artist, Amado Peña, who said that art should be in the hands of all people, not just a few who could afford to shop in exclusive galleries. I love what Kinkade did with light-- not just radiating from windows but what he did with his skies. I wanted to see inside the houses he painted-- to enter the make believe world.

The Day's Leftovers

There are few people who haven't watched at least one episode of The Joy of Painting. Bob Ross and before him Bill Alexander, showed us how to render trees and grass and mountains, and how to create a landscape from nothing in a short time. I also learned to apply paint quickly and to not be surprised at the "happy little accidents."

These are three of my most recent works.  All are imaginary.  I titled one Sunrise at Bob's Place, honoring Bob Ross' dedication to art. I include the name "Bob" in the title of a lot of these type of paintings.  In these I applied the foliage with a sponge in just a few minutes and I am pleased with the results.

The drawing is from one of the small sketchbooks I carry with me everywhere.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On My Way Again

Crayola Colored Pencil

"God does not give us more than we can handle" I am told but I wonder if God doesn't overestimate me just a little.  Or perhaps, and this is likely, I underestimate God.  Julia Cameron

The last four months have been grueling.  I had a knee replaced with complications; I'm not going rehash the details but I have learned some interesting lessons.  One is that I am not immune to the frailties of life-- I didn't really think I was, but it wasn't fun learning that first hand.  I discovered how much I missed having a partner in life to stand by me in hard times and the loneliness was acute.
Ecstatic Colored Pencil

On the positive side, I learned that I am extremely blessed to have friends and family who did stand by me.  They fed me, visited me, did errands and chores for me, chauffeured me and checked on me; they celebrated my successes, mourned the struggles and prayed for me.  All this showed me that God was with me, even though I thought it would be best if He'd just take away the difficulties.  My condition was only temporary--others are not so fortunate.

I am on the mend and happy to say that I didn't come out of the dark time with an artist block.  While not able to sit at the drawing table I did accomplish a few things, like the drawings on today's page.

I'm looking forward to spring and summer, my favorite time of year and creating again, starting with a commission.

A Dream A Doodle

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Embarking on a Third Year of Blogging

"Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression.  Some are better at it than others." Hugh Mcleod
"Your blog is your unedited version of yourself."

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to look back and reflect, and I am pleased to say, I've had a very good year, in regards to improvement to my health, outlook, and social life and, most importantly, in the area of art. 

I started this blog December 28, 2009 and the purpose of it was to break an artist's block that seemed to have a grip on my life.  I could analyze how I got into such a state-- listing the difficult circumstances of the last few years, but I think the real reason is that without vigilance, we can let what is important to us slip out of our grasp. Creating seemed easy when it was part of my life and daily routine, but when life's circumstances interfered on a regular basis, sitting down to paint or draw became more and more difficult, until I found the drawing table piled with items that had nothing to do with art.

So the blog was my jumping off point.  I wrote about my accomplishments and struggles, and the process inspired me to create a portfolio; by browsing through earlier and recent works, I developed a picture of my skills and successes. I posted art in photo albums on Facebook and 3 other websites; the comments they've generated are wonderful and encouraging; I've made friends with other artists and people began to follow the blog. As I thought about creating, talked about it and wrote about it, I became more focused on what is truly important to me.

Essence of Tree
I often doodled, and began carrying a small sketchbook and pen with me.  I just draw whatever comes in to my head or more correctly-- out my pen.  Some of the results are stunning, but they are all valuable to the process of improving my craft.  

I stepped out of my comfort zone and took my work to 4 art shows in 2011 and exhibited some paintings in the local gallery.  Not only did I sell work in the shows but people contacted me afterwards wanting something they had seen.  This year, I had an opportunity to paint on the pots of my potter friend.  I also began beading.

I found people to be very generous, with their praise and encouragement.  Several people--who tried the hobby and found it wasn't for them-- gave me their beads and equipment and others passed on art supplies and magazines.  I am deeply grateful to them.

My Poppy Oil 9 x 12
2011 was a productive year, I completed 4 canvases, numerous drawings and painted on pottery-- some in acrylic and others in glazes.  I sold 15 paintings.  I didn't get rich, but some of the paintings I've had a long time and it was time for them to go to a new home, It was fun to see people happy to have original works of art. I have a couple of commissions in the works, and some canvases underway.

Swallowtail Oil 8 x 10
So the blog achieved it's purpose--to break the artist's block, yet I found I enjoy writing in it and plan to continue, even though some days I might write about what ever strikes my fancy. Thank y'all for your support; I can't begin 
to tell you how much it's meant.