Friday, May 18, 2012

Playing Around

Why is it so hard for me to PLAY? I freely admit that I'm far to serious for my own good. Have I always been this way? Possibly so. I have always found playing intimidating. What if I did it wrong? What if the others laughed at me? What if no one wanted to play with me? So more times than not I played by myself. I understand now that this comes with being an introverted personality and there is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company over that of others. In fact many great minds and creative people throughout history were introverted. But, even though I understand this I still wonder why it is so hard for me to play.

When I watch a child playing it's such a joyful event to behold. I'm often in awe at the simple grace of their movement and the sheer carefreeness of their actions. They don't need permission to run, giggle, jump, swing, create, dance and just simply play, they simply play. I greatly admire those children and the adults who have retained their childlike playfulness.

I know deep down there is a small child within me struggling to get out and she's adorable. I"m learning to show her gentleness, acceptance and love when I sit down to paint. I recently decided to try a little carefree abstract to allow my little one some play time and this is the finished product.

Acrylic on paper 22 x 30in

A close up of the central spatter.
I was quite proud of my PLAY time and what I had accomplished on those days. Many layers and some very dirty hands later I was satisfied with my creation and how playful I could actually be when I create. Now to move onto canvas and play, play, play.

Yes indeed that should be FUN!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's Your Style

Spring has sprung and I'm very excited to go shopping for some new clothes. Just thinking about the beautiful new clothing lines on the department store racks gets my heart thumping and my wallet burning a hole in my pocket. Though I would have to admit that I find clothing and the designers who create them to be very artistic that's not the "Style" I'm referring to in my blog today.

Eduard Fleminsky Abstract
 Modern-Age Impressionism
Artistic Style! I'm not a trained artist and I have never studies all the amazing artists and styles out there that have come before me/us.  But even I know who Monet, Pollock, Van Gogh, da Vinci and Michelangelo are and have greatly admired their works as well as many others. As a self taught artist who is still trying to discover my style I have some burning questions, 'Does the artist choose their style OR does the style choose the artist'? What is the true measure of an artist? Can they turn on and off different styles, creating paintings in whichever style they choose on an given day? OR does the art and image come to life through the artist who is merely a conduit for the art itself?

Like a fashion newby, young adult, green artist I have tried on a lot of styles, hoping to find the right one for me. Some styles have felt very comfortable and other styles have felt quite awkward. I have days where I'm distracted and the art just doesn't want to flow through me, on those days I really struggle. Other days the art comes to me and I see it clearly in my head. On those days I know which colors to reach for, how to lay them on the canvas and the brush seems to move it's self. On those magical days the style that happens on the canvas seem to be my own with no distinctive "Style" but rather several styles all smooshed together. Is that how many artist feel? Work? Create?

I'll leave it at that today. With some burning questions that some day may reveal themselves to me in those special "Ahh Haa" moments.  I would love to hear from you. Have you had a break through with your art and discovered your style? Are you classically trained or a self taught/discovered artist?

Have a wonderful day, create and be happy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Steal like an ARTIST"

I recently picked up a fabulous mini book called, "Steal Like an ARTIST" by Austin Kleon. This fantastic little book renewed my confidence as an artist.

"Steal Like an Artist" is chalked full of advice and artistic gems teaching you that it's alright to get your information and inspiration from other artists and the like. No idea is a new idea, just old ideas with a new spin on them. Without giving too much of the book away, one of my favorite pieces of advice Austin gives inspired me to do more research on some of my favorite artists and then to emulate what they have done. In doing so I was shocked and amazed that not only am I, "Stealing Like and Artist"  these artists, the ones that I so admire, also "Steal" from the artists they admire. Wow, what a break through and what a confirmation.

Austin also gives you permission to begin where you are. DON'T wait until you THINK you're good enough... just begin. No one is a brilliant writer or an amazing artist, a poised dancer or a dynamic singer the first day they start. No one! Think about that if you will for a moment. All the writers and artist. All the dancers and singers they all had to start some where and even though many, yes even most, of them might have natural talent for their given passion they had/have to put in thousands of hours practicing and sucking just like the rest of us. Until one day they feel like they are good enough to share what they do with the rest of the world. Some may feel like they are never good enough, yet they keep doing what they do for the pure pleasure of creating their work for their own selfish pleasure. For many, that's enough. I call that "Art Therapy" which is a topic for another day. :D

So, embrace where you are right now and begin. Then do it again and again and again. Let those you admire be the inspiration to keep you going through the rough patches, through the writers block, or through your own negative demons. Learn to "Steal Like an Artist" and keep moving forward. You will be happy that you did.