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.
I had the pleasure of painting a demo this afternoon for the art club at the Baca center in Round Rock.
They thought it it would be fun for me to paint a city scene. It was fun - but also a challenge.
What I wanted to focus on demonstrating was working large to small in order to simplify busy scenes like a city corner. But to get to the small, you gotta get the big shapes in. I finally did cover enough to demonstrate making the big shapes more interesting by adding more texture and breaking the shapes down into smaller interesting shapes.
I have a lot more to go on this but feel like it's a sound start. What is left is the fun stuff - adding those interesting strokes and spots of highlights or dark darks.
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life. Rendering it in paint.
Keep in touch