Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Challenge & A Collection

day 21

Today’s piece is from a collection that started when my aunt gave me the brushes my uncle had used in his work.  He was a commercial artist though he called himself a sign painter.  I’ve given some of those brushes away to special folks who would appreciate them.  Some I use regularly and some I just enjoy looking at and remembering.

uncle d's brushes

Some in my collection are much used and beyond help but I still love them because they were my dad’s.  He too was an artist, his passion was model boats but I only have art he did as a child.  I do have some of his brushes though.

more brushes

And then there are two shaving brushes, one from dad and one from my husband.  And my favorite, the one I painted, was a gift from my husband for my birthday last year.  The brush is for wiping away the eraser leavings… the white end is an eraser.  Here are those three along with the bottle I painted yesterday.  And as I look at this I think it would make a nice still life… maybe one a day when I have more time.

shaving brushes

I had extra time after church today, it’s a rainy one so afternoon plans changed.  I had planned to go to Nature’s Creative Edge in Fruitport but it’s not much fun in the rain.  It’s 5 plus acres of groomed trails with displays by floral designers and artists from around the nation. Worth seeing but I’ll have to miss this year.  It’s always this time of year and this is the first time since I learned about it that it has rained.  It opened Friday and that was a beautiful day but I was out of town, bummer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Challenge & Remembering Family

day 20

This is one of the squirt bottles I have in my studio.  It doesn’t work anymore but I like the looks of it so it stays.  I did it today, missed yesterday.

I briefly considered doing two today but decided that really wasn’t fair; besides I had a clutter clearing project going on and that took up most of the day. 

So the missed day… I traveled back and forth across the state for a burial.  It hurts to be losing friends and family.  As I thought about it on the drive home I realize that as much as I love where I live and the many friends I have here, I miss the family feeling that is still very much alive in the block where I grew up.  Jerry Taylor was part of that family.

Actually, his wife is my sister’s husband’s sister so we are family. We’ve known Caroline and her family since early childhood, I think I was 9 when they moved into the neighborhood. There are 4 houses between their house and ours and everyone in between and on either side are also family, and all of their kids.  That was truth when I was 9 and is still truth today.  I don’t get over there often but when I do it’s like I never left.  Even if someone new moves into the neighborhood, they immediately become part of the family.  It’s a good feeling and I’m glad to see that the feeling continues.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Challenge Continues

day 18

Lemons from the bowl on our Hoosier Cabinet.  This time I combined watercolor and watercolor crayons.  I think it may be time to start a bit more experimenting on these small pieces. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A short post

It’s late but I want to get this posted before the day ends,

day 17

the flowers are fake but I love all the color on the pot and the flowers were in it when I got it at our church bazar.  Day 17 is done and I am off to bed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16 and an Art Day

day 16

This one was fun, done in Central Park with my Tuesday morning group.  I usually do two on Tuesdays but not today. Today I left early to join a couple other friends for what I consider artist dates.  Yes, I read Julia’s book and I think it’s a great practice – the artist date.

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day in Holland, first in a delightful shop called Seedlings.  All sorts of things from beads and fabric scraps to metal things and glass jars and bottles.  I will be going back there often.

From there, lunch and then to the Holland Arts Council for the All Michigan All Media exhibit.  I’d be interested to know what others thought of that exhibit.

Once back in Grand Haven I had my Creativity Class at church.  Now day is done and I’m ready to sleep.  I’ll be back tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Challenge

Half way there.  Today was a busy one but I did manage to get day 15 done, a simple apple but as I look at it, I’m really quite pleased with the colors.

day 15

In addition playing with my grandson I also did a bit more on the Art Walk project  though I didn’t take another photo.  I have no idea how it’s going to end up because it is going in a totally different direction than I had planned. I’m not judging yet.

I read a great post today on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog.  A reminder for all artists and number 2 is where I am with my Artwalk project.

“Fifteen things to give up to be happy with your art…..

1. Give up your need to always be right.

You guys, art making should be fun!  Needing to do it "right" can be very inhibiting to the creative process.  I believe that coloring outside of the lines and using materials in ways that feel good to you -- even if they're "wrong" -- is awesome.  

2. Give up your need for control.

Watching every brush stroke and needing the finished piece to look like the image in your head can be very discouraging.  I work very hard at embracing "mistakes" as creative opportunities.  I try to let the art take me where it wants to go.  I believe that spontaneity is vital to art making.

3. Give up on blame.

We all wish we had more time, more talent, and more supplies.  I think that when you get rid of that blaming talk and embrace what you do have, you're a happier artist!  Do the best that you can with whatever you've got and be proud of yourself for it!

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.

Tell the voice in your head to shut up.  Mine is very loud, so I crank up the  music in my studio so that I can't hear it.  Someone once said to me, "People are always going to tear you down.  Why would you give them a head start by tearing yourself down first?"  You are an awesome artist!  Say it every day and one day you'll start to believe it!

5. Give up your limiting beliefs.

I have heard so many people say, "I can't draw," or "I'm not an artist."  I've said those things myself.  They're not true.  I always felt that because I couldn't draw a photographic representation of something that I wasn't an artist.  I've learned two things: that's not the only definition of an artist and I am a better draw-er than I thought, especially with disciplined practice.  Whatever belief is holding you back from being the artist you want to be -- let it go!  You can fly!

6. Give up complaining.

Complaining takes away energy and focus and makes the arting process less fun.  Focus on what you love about your studio, your supplies, the art you're creating...all of it!  I once read a happiness study that blew my mind.  They tested people's happiness and then divided them into two groups.  Group one was left alone as a control group.  Group two was told to write down five things they were grateful for every single day.  Guess what?  At the end of the study group two was markedly more happy than group one!  Focus on the positive rather than the negative and you will be happy with your art making!

7. Give up the luxury of criticism.

Criticism and critique are two different things.  Looking at a piece -- yours or someone else's -- and analyzing what you like and don't like about it and why, is a good thing.  It's a learning experience.  Simply criticizing art -- yours or someone else's -- is a negative experience.  I believe the trick is analyze why something works for you or doesn't.  If you can't answer why, it's not useful feedback because the issue can't be fixed or learned from. 

8. Give up your need to impress others.

Man, oh, man, this one is tough for me.  I want people to love what I do.  On some level I need people to love what I do.  I have to remind myself daily that my worth as an artist is not tied into blog comments and instagram likes and Facebook comments.  It's difficult.  That said, some of the best art I've ever created was when I let go of doing what I thought was "cool" or would sell, and did what I wanted to do.  

9. Give up your resistance to change.

It's so easy to get stuck in an art rut.  Something works so you keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it.  Remember, you learn more from failure than from sucess.  I believe that to grow as an artist I must keep taking risks and doing things that make me uncomfortable.  That's why I love my art journal so much!  It's a super low risk forum for exploring new ideas and materials.

10. Give up labels.

People ask me all the time what kind of artist I am.  I'm the kind who makes art.  I'm also a crafter.  I'm also a scrapbooker.  I'm also a beader.  I'm also a quilter.  I'm lots of things and having to shove myself in one box is silly.  It makes me feel limited.  Labels are limiting.  Why do we need to define creativity? 

11. Give up on your fears.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."  Or how about, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it."  Fear is a self-imposed limit.  Don't limit your art.  What's the worst thing that can happen?  And even if that terrible thing did happen, we're not talking a life and death situation, right?  I say, kick fear in the pants and keep pushing onward!

12. Give up your excuses.

Sometimes it's easier to find a reason why you can't make art than to go into your art space and get going.  I'm a great believer that you'll find time to do what is important to you.  If art making isn't important to you, that's 100% okay.  Excuses are guilt-inducing.  Art is guilt-free zone.  Seriously, it has no calories!  ;)  And, anyway, we all go through phases. There are plenty of times that I don't feel like making art.  Rather than make an excuse, I embrace my mood and go do something else I enjoy, guilt free!

13. Give up the past.

So you were told that you couldn't draw or you weren't creative. So what?!  This is now.  

So you tried art journaling or scrapbooking or crochet and you weren't good at it.  So what?!  This is now.

Don't let the past dictate your future.  Art making is a practice like any other.  Practicing daily is the key to getting to where you want to be.  Looking back isn't helpful.

14. Give up attachment.

If you take away one thing from this list, please take this one.  The single biggest leap in my art has been from letting go of the preciousness of things I liked in my art.  By being brave and covering it up, cutting it in half, or "ruining" it, I have created works of art that I love love love!  I have grown and flourished as an artist because I don't let myself get attached.  When I teach, I call it "killing your babies."  Sometimes in art, you have to kill your baby.  It will be okay.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.

There are plenty of people who smile sympathetically when I tell them I'm an artist.  In fact, at a recent event for "professionals" -- doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, finance people – they frowned on me calling myself a professional. After I left I had to it shrug it off,  I love what I do!  Let's not lose track of that fact!  Oh, I gave up one being a good housekeeper years ago.  I'd rather spend that half hour in my studio. “

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Challenge & Sunday on the Grand

art walk

Today I worked on the Art Walk project, Sunday on the Grand.  It’s a long way from done but it is taking shape.

Here is the start

artwalk-project_thumb4

And when I last posted….artwalk project wip

So, I didn’t get to a daily today; can I count this even though it’s a long way from done?

I did day 13 last night when I returned to Grand Haven after celebrating a friend’s 75th birthday celebration on the other side of the state.

day 13

I also got a bit of sorting and clearing of clutter in my studio so it was a productive day.