Let’s start at the very beginning


Whenever I ask myself “Where to start?” I think of the song from the Sound of Music.

“Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C”

She then goes on to explain the basics of singing.  After they get the basics,

“are only the tools we use to build a song.
Once you have these notes in your heads,
you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up.”

Which is true of most things. Once you have learned the basics, you can mix them up and do most anything with them.

This blog is all about my journey to becoming an Artist, and  I started with the basics of art a long time ago.  This morning I found myself saying where to start, and realized that I need to better define my goal so I know where to start.  How will I know if I am on the right path if I am not sure where I am going. Do I want to teach art and creativity? Do I want to make a living by selling art? Do I want that art to be production pieces or do I want to be the type of artist who is hung in major museums?  All of these appeal to me, but if I want one of them to be the final goal, I need to chart a part to it that includes the other destinations on the way.  It is very similar to saying I want to be in the mountains.  When I say that I mean that I want to be in the Rocky Mountains, specifically in Colorado.  It is very different from being in the Swiss Alps or on Mount Fuji, just to name two other mountain destinations that would make me happy, but are not what I am envisioning.

My goal of being an artist is a bit like this start of a painting. It is a mono print that we created in a watercolor class that I am taking with Marie Flahive. Everyone looked at it and said, what a great tree line, you have a great start. I was a loss for what they were talking about.  They were all on the other side of the table and were looking at it upside down.   Once I had looked at it from their point of view I knew I was the one looking at it upside down, but even then, I know this painting could go any number of ways.  I putthis post in the business of Art, because as I been trying to pick up a new set of basic tools for a while, the tool set for being able to  make my income as an artist.  I have reached the point where I regularly get introduced as an artist, and not as a mother or paralegal.  This is a great feeling, but I know that I do not want to be the starving artist. This means I have a choice, stay where I am, doing what I do and hope that someone discovers me, or learn how to promote myself as an artist.Everything I have read starts with having a plan, and knowing your long-term goals.  This is both  traditional business books and books on how to make it as an artist.  The place to start then is “Where do I want to go?”

It is a good question. I need to take some time and listen for an answer to this question.  Where do you want to go with your Creative Journey?


High Contrast

This morning as I wandered the house considering the possibilities for this morning’s photograph, I knew that we were short on time. It was also one of those very gray days with very flat light. I decided to use the light in my kitchen, rather than the natural light. So I set a porcelain basket of flower on my kitchen island. The pale pink flowers were a stark contrast to the dark green counter tops.
I was surprised at how hard it was to get the light setting right.

When is enough enough?

The cooperative Art Gallery I am part of has been trying to figure out, exactly how and what we want to be.

Last night we decided that we are going move to hosting themed opening each month. New art, possibly music, food and drinks.  We also decided that our web page needs an overhaul. It is too busy trying to be too many things.

I tried to think about what I look for in a web page of a gallery I am visiting. So did everyone else, and we ended up trying to put too much into the web page.

I am having the same problem with my mixed media. I have overworked several pieces recently. I know they went from getting better to just getting worse as I tried to add one element too many, and then another to fix it. Needless to say things went downhill from there. I have set them aside to rest and see if they can be salvaged or it it is time to break out the primer and start over.

I have been getting caught up in the process and forgetting about basic composition and design.

I did have a fabulous find today.  I have seen a lot of older papers used as backgrounds in various collages, and have always thought that I wished I has something like that to play with.  While cleaning out the draws at the office today I came across a filing draw full of old out of date legal forms. They were printed on the most wonderful paper.  I love that I will be able to use them in a good way rather than just throwing them away.  I played with some of them tonight, but can not wait to try them again.

Basics- Rhythm and balance

DSC01563 DSC01565
DSC01567 DSC01564

These are four very similar photographs, with very slight differences between them.

Rhythm plays a key role in these photographs. The black lines of the window grid set a strong rhythm.  The way the green  leaves and dark butterfly disrupt, but follow this rhythm make them the focus.  Balance is another key player here. The balance between the light and the dark,  and the positive and the negative.

For me, I feel the lower left hand image does the best job with the balance and the rhythm. I felt the lighter color butterfly in the other images some how threw the combination out of balance.

In the lower left hand, the unbroken field of while along the bottom of the image, balances with the bright white area that balances the green leaves.

Others may disagree. My daughter for one feels the upper left image is the best. When asked why, she says because it is. Part of what makes all of art interesting is that it is up to the artist to choose which principals of design to follow.

The Eyes Have it.

Eyes009  1130092249

Sometimes I am reminded why I have a studio, and what I loved about working at home.

More later… Which means I ran out of time this morning, so I am posting quickly so I can write more on it later while on the road.

It is later now.  My daughters asked me how you get eyes to match, They were less excited to hear the answer of practice. Somehow that always seem like an unfun sounding answer. 

  I started to sketch eyes from a magazine. Starting at the first person and then going to the next. 

They were quick to show me the anime type eyes they were trying to draw.  Anime is a type of Japanese cartooning.  The same theory still applies,    take a book of Anime and draw the eyes, practicing untill you are happy with the result.  Do not struggle over one, but do it quickly, look at it . Then make any quick corrections and go on to the next. 

It quickly turned into a shared effort, I would draw one, they would draw one and so on. The hand in the picture is my daughters. Even our cat wanted to join in on the fun on the page. It make what could have been a fairly boring exercise a lot of fun.   Today I will go back and see how many of the eyes I can match to the pictures from which I drew them.