Saturday, June 30, 2012

Arts and Crafts: Kick starting my practice

Summer grasses 6/2012
I have not posted in a while and to be honest I was considering dumping this blog as I was not really making use of the space as I had hoped.  However, I did not let this one go and I have managed to do some serious reflection about why I have this blog at all. Originally, I had hoped to share my artistic projects thinking that if I had a forum to talk about it I would actually produce artwork. Well, as many of us struggling artist know, when 'art' is not the bread winner of your daily existence it often gets put on the back burner or set aside waiting...waiting...waiting for a window of opportunity.

In the last few months I have been seriously considering, AM I an ARTIST?  Am I really?  What does it mean to me to be an artist?  What does it take to have a passion about it  so strong that you do it over everything else? Although I still can't answer all the questions fully, I decided to own this:  I am a creative person who is an artist, a crafter, and an enthusiast for creative living.  So, I have switched my focus of this blog to share my ongoing project of creating a beautiful life. A life that is surrounded by beautiful and useful things (thank you William Morris).  A life that is evolving my artistic talents not only to go public at art shows but also to embrace my God given talents - to own them whether someone sees them or not.

With all this said, above is a quick practice piece using acrylics in a mixed media sketch book.  I found it at Blicks in Berkeley. I chose a large format 11" x 14" as I usually have sketch books of 9 x 12 or less. I wanted to just play with brush strokes and building depth. I am a trained technical illustrator in the genre of botanical and biological images, so painting doesn't come easy for me as I want to be detailed like when I use pen and ink or colored pencils.  The acrylics I find makes me look at things with a broader eye - breaking things into blocks of color and lights and darks.

As an educator I get my summers off (I call it battle pay with out the paycheck).  However, my time is my own and I can refocus myself on what matters to me.  The trick of course is to make creativity a habit like eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth!

A sketch a day.  Do something for 10 mins or more a day.  (Note:  I have allowed myself to include any sketching I do for historical costuming - see my other blog:

Try a new way of looking and interpreting an image.  This will help me try different mediums other than pencil, pen and ink.

To post regularly my efforts at least once a week.

I hope you will continue to join me and see how my progress moves along.  Thank you for your patience and hanging in there with me.  Cheers!