It's exciting as a parent to watch your child excel in a special talent... my youngest daughter (8 yrs old) recently spent time with me in my studio. While I was working on my own art project, she worked on her own. She drew out a self portrait (she was looking at a photo), and did so completely unassisted. I couldn't believe how well she did! She had the right proportions and everything.
When it came time to painting, I suggested some paint-mixing tips (i.e. skin colour - mix in a bit of blue with the red and yellow, into white.... for the hair - raw umber and yellow with some of the skin colour...). I was very proud of her results. :)
For well over a year I spent my studio time experimenting with a vast array of art mediums/styles. I have played around with watercolour, paper cutting/sculpture, cardboard sculpture, paper mache, and embroidery. I have experimented with watercolour on wood, and watercolour on canvas. Now, after all that varied creative output, I find myself in a very strange place as an artist. I have never felt this before! I suppose it's a form of creative block. It has left me feeling rather frustrated, as I have a well of creative energy, thoughts and concepts, but feel I currently lack the ability or 'know-how' to get it out in a visual way.
Having discussed this with a couple of fellow artists, and having read some on-line material addressing this common situation that other artists find themselves in, I finally have a plan. First of all, I'm going to lay-low online for a while. I'm also going to spend more time in my studio. Even if its just for 30 minutes a day. I'm realizing that until now, I haven't worked hard at the 'process' of art. I want to spend much more time sketching out ideas, and researching methods. I need to be more mindful of the process, rather than being focused on the end-result. I plan on using a lot of paper, and going through many canvases as I work through this creative block. I recently discussed this with one of my art students. She said that when she faces this dilemma, she just keeps making "crappy art" until eventually something turns out right. This made me laugh! Its so true. I have a specific concept of what I want to create visually, but it may take lots of trying, and trying again, to get to where I want to go.
Well I'm off to spend my last hour of the day (before I have to pick up the kids at school) in my studio now with a cup of tea and some chocolate.
I love it when the 'student corner' in my studio is full of artwork in progress. Most of these paintings are in the very beginning stages.
Today was "bring-your-kid-to-work day." Amy came over to spend a couple of hours of fun with me in the studio. The truth is I didn't know what to expect (was she going to just watch me paint the whole time?). . . so I was thrilled when she brought her own little canvas and was prepared to paint alongside me.
Except for a few moments where I showed Amy some technique tips and how to mix some different colours, she did her own thing. This came very naturally to her. I love this little painting she did!
Today my mom came by and spent some time with me in my studio. While I was working on a commission, she worked on her own painting beside me.
For the last month or so I have been working simultaneously on a portrait and a landscape (amongst other projects here and there). This has really made me curious as to whether or not there is a connection between a portrait and a landscape painting! I have always enjoyed painting portraits. However, ever since painting the large landscape paintings for Acqua, I have had landscapes on my mind. More specifically, large landscape scenes (painted on large canvases) with no real focal point- just wide open spaces.
I have also wanted to work on my portrait drawing skills. So, I had my niece Kara come and sit for me in my studio at the end of summer. Painting/drawing in real life vs. from a photo is a very different experience! It was certainly a challenge. After two hours I set Kara free, and depended on good photographs that I took to finish it off.
My plan now is to work on another 'live sitting' portrait... and start on another large landscape painting. And I will keep wondering about a possible connection between the two different subjects.
All summer long I have been deeply enjoying my new studio. My daughters have been enjoying it along with me - colouring, drawing, creating... it's great to be working side by side with my girls, each doing our own thing. I've been working on some new paintings - a landscape and portrait, as well as some commissioned portraits (I will post more on my new work soon).
Now that my youngest daughter is in school part-time, I'll be able to spend more time in my studio.
My studio is complete! I have been moving everything in for the last couple days, and painted in it last night for the first time. Dennis surprised me by finishing it much earlier than expected. I'm extremely thankful and excited to have this new space to call my own.
The girls are showing the different area's of the studio:
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.