Sunday, October 8, 2017

Things I Make for Me: Nesting Instincts

What is it about a rainy Sunday at home that inspires a certain range of activities for me? Reading, relaxing, snoozing, and today, nesting. Post late morning coffee and a few magazines, I found myself drawn to clean up and pretty up a little corner in my bedroom. This corner was already a spot that held a nightstand and a little gallery of elders. A sort of abstract family tree of parents, grands, and great grandparents, arranged in a manner loosely guided by feng shui (courtesy of Google University) to watch over and inspire me. Today I carefully disassembled most of it, cleaned and dusted, and reassembled with some additions. I was already happy with this corner, but allergies and ideas motivated me to address the state of it. Here it is now, clean and reworked.
It is still a work in progress, and I hope to find more old pictures to add. As a bonus, I had the time to clean the dust off of the ceiling fan in said room. I'm NOT lazy about cleaning, lol. In fact, the control freak in me requires that I clean throughout the week. But, like pretty much everybody else, I'm always busy.

But home is my sanctuary, my escape. So I'm happy to have found time to make it even more comfy. And now back to my regularly scheduled Sunday stuff. Which, after I wrote this, involved me concocting an apple pie cinnamon roll cake thingee from my overactive imagination for my sister-in-law's birthday. So much for a lazy Sunday (what is wrong with me?), lol.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Throwback: A Rare Repro

Recently I did a rare recreation of an old watercolor painting for a customer. I say rare, because I almost never revisit paintings. I guess I feel I might not be able to capture the spirit of the original. 

But I took this on partly because this is a long-standing loyal customer, and partly because I wanted to see if I could do it, maybe improve on it armed with greater experience and knowledge. Of myself, the subject matter, and some of the natural elements in the composition. 

For reference to the original, I used the only print of this painting that I have in stock. My approach was to block in things just like the original, then see if I felt like adding a little something as far as color, lighting, form, etc. Here's the process in a few photos.

print next to new sketch

starting color wash


fleshing out the background

finally, the hands

I have to say that I was surprised that I didn't end up altering much. Given more time, I might have done so, but since there were constraints and a budget in place, I had to find a stopping point. Also, I could now imagine recreating other versions of this concept. Learn more about the inspiration behind this piece and purchase the print I have available in my store at the link below. 

get the print

Friday, September 8, 2017

Walls of Wisdom

If you hit a wall, stop. Common sense, right? 

More than good advice for everyday life, this nugget of wisdom applies to things in my studio, too.

Years ago as I attempted to develop discipline and greater stamina in my work, this approach emerged. I would be attempting to complete a project within a set time frame, but would often hit a stalemate before I could finish. I was surrounded by pieces that had been started and completely abandoned. Even work that had begun highly charged with inspiration, motivation, and a feeling of urgency to see it done would sometimes come to a crossroads of not knowing "what next?".

Thankfully, for the sake of my sanity, I began what I refer to in my mind as "flitting". 
Picasso reportedly once said 

"inspiration exists, but it has to find you working". 

That concept resonates with me to my very depths, and has proven true for me over and over. When I hit a wall with one project or piece, I simply "flit" around my studio, spending time on others until a solution, answer, lightning bolt, whatever, comes to me about the one that has stalled out. I get to continue the joy of creation, without banging my head against said wall. And I get to still feel productive. It is the main reason that on any given day, I could walk into my studio and fiddle with one or several of ten or more works-in-progress and get creative satisfaction. One gets some paint, one gets details sculpted, one gets photographed, one gets finished and put away till it's sold (and so on and so forth).

Nothing forced creatively ever really works out well (for me, at least). So, for years now, it has been common procedure in my studio to just STOP. And fix or focus on something else entirely. Just let it go. It works like a charm! And I'm getting better at it all the time.

How do you/would you apply this approach?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Photographic Inspiration

I haven't posted here in quite a while, as the business of being an artist/business person has consumed much of my time! A recent chain of events made a brief pause necessary. And within that pause, I was able to take a moment for myself to just look around and notice little things. While I try to do that every single day, I don't always have time to take pictures, make mental notes, and just absorb. 

The other morning I could/did. And I wanted to share my pictures, which, to me are visual notes. Taken in downtown Atlanta on one block of the city: