A little backstory: Before I moved to Texas in 1995, I lived in South Carolina - in the Piedmont or Upstate. My parents lived there too and while I was in college still, they lived outside Charleston for awhile so technically, I did too. We moved around a lot and most of my young life was spent in the mid south - Tennessee, Virginia, and SC. My sister is older and stayed in Ohio when we left the area in high school. My folks continued to move after I moved to Austin and they moved to Georgia and then Florida. So our connections to the south eastern coast are real. We've all had an affinity for the area and the beach. So this is a really wonderful thing for our family and I can't wait to deepen our connection to the Palmetto State!
Remember, we are hosting a "wet paintings" exhibit this weekend at our satellite studio - "Coast to Coast" - featuring paintings done on both the Texas coast by V... Vaughan and the east coast by me! If you are local, please come say hi. We will will painting, talking, demonstrating everything from painting to mounting paintings on paper, and be available for any questions you might have! August 11-13 daily from 10 am - 6 pm. 11301 Lakeline Blvd. Ste. 110.
I worked on this painting several times. After the first pass, it was nearer the image on the right, but I felt that the shadow side was not dark enough so I did a glaze over the left side buildings. Then it all seemed too magenta and green - and both colors were on the acidic side. The people all seemed too separate, too contrived.
I had seen a painting by Jim Beckner (or was it Kevin Weckbach? - both exceptionally talented artists) and it had stuck with me. My piece was just so average, so segmented, and the colors were way off. So I loaded my brush with lots of blues and scrubbed out the figures and the side - connecting them through the shadows. I pulled my brush through various cools on my palette and scrubbed those over the blues. I painted over the tree and connected those colors and I painted OUTSIDE THE LINES! A dab here, a stroke there. I had fun! So much fun. That was an eye opening experience and it made me want to revisit more work and get more loose and playful.
I'm always saying I want to loosen up - yet I fail so often. I get stuck in that rendering mode. Its the graphic design background - the design and color blocks and neatness carrying over. I need to break those barriers more often.
We had a wonderful time traveling in the UK earlier this summer. We were in London and took a train to Edinburgh and then back to Winchester. It was a lot to try to see in 10 days! The weeks leading up to our trip were incredibly busy too as we finished middle school and dance and had recital and I planned our trip. The pace is much slower now especially as we are hitting some of the hottest days now. I've been back at the easel painting some city scenes from abroad and am planning a painting trip with V....Vaughan to paint at the Texas coast. I'll be back to sharing some art work here soon - but for now, enjoy some photos from our trip!
On a cold Saturday afternoon (yesterday - high in the 30s which for Austin in painfully cold) I got together with some of my oldest friends here to work on something they call "vision boards". These friends are in very different lines of work but they still call for creativity and thoughtfulness. It was quite a fun exercise. We went through old magazines to pull out items that spoke to us just at first glance. I had a nice pile of words and images and sometimes just textures. A theme developed without my consciously trying. The results are on the bottom. The center being a great image and poem all perfectly composed... and then the other lead in "the subject is HAPPINESS." A good theme to build on this year. Both professionally and personally.
This time each year I get to reset everything. I just had my birthday and get to start the new year with a new milestone in my life. A lot of people think "resolutions" when the year changes, but I think more about what I'd like to accomplish or see happen - positive energy, general ideas to try new things and work better. I have never been one to respond to pressures of deadlines or must dos. So its best that I just embrace some positive thinking and keep my head up!
That has been hard the last few months. I realized that I had been in the dumps way too long and finally sought some help from mental health professionals. I wouldn't say I am often or chronically depressed, but there have been times in my life that I am more down than up and I think I'd been consistently down for probably more than a year. My energy was low, my motivation non existent, family stuff and business worries sapped my creative drive. Teenagers are hard. And I seriously considered giving this all up and even going to school for a degree and work in something else.
I spent a lot of last year focused on business issues (lack of sales) - and spent a whole lot less time at the easel actually creating. Big mistake. My skills suffered. So look for more work regularly. Smaller work too. Back to my comfort zone perhaps, but I think genre scenes just lend themselves to smaller scale. No more live event paintings. No more painting what I think will sell. Back to painting my 30 minute starts - letting the creative energy flow.
Happy New Year to you - lets make it a good one.
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life. Rendering it in paint.
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