Archive for December, 2012

“Remember the Rock…” Details

December 10, 2012

The more art I make the more I can see subtle transitions happening stylistically.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am experimenting with creating figures that are not fully formed and that have more translucent qualities.

"Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)", acrylic on canvas, 36'' diameter

“Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)”, acrylic on canvas, 36” diameter

In the past I have fully developed the figure as far as skin tone and opacity, but would often have it begin to fade out into the background pattern (like THIS one).

Now I am enjoying taking human fragility one step further and creating more translucent skin – just to suggest even more that our time on earth is limited, AND that humans are not just flesh and blood – they have spiritual souls.

Remember_the_Rock_detail2

The title of this piece is almost a direct quote from Isaiah 51:1.  The context is the LORD giving comfort to the Israelites – giving them hope in a time of great turmoil.  You will see that there are actual rocks floating around at the bottom.  Why floating?  Because I love to see things float in paintings.  I just do.

There are also butterflies encircling the figure.  At first I painted them in because they are often a symbol of metamorphosis and change, but the more I examined the final piece, the more I realized this piece was also a reference not only to the Rock from which I was formed (God), but my earthly rock – literally where I came from.  My mother.  Let me explain.

Remember_the_Rock_detail3

My mom is a butterfly expert.  She is currently writing a book – Butterflies of Tennessee.  The butterflies in the painting are purposefully Zebra Swallowtails – which are the state butterfly of Tennessee.  By the way – here is HER blog! 

I have always felt a strong connection to family, and as I was reflecting on where I came from spiritually (God – THE Rock!), I suppose it was only natural to subconsciously try to depict where I came from in earthly ways.

Happy pondering. 🙂

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Motivation, honestly.

December 5, 2012

Being a full-time artist is a daily struggle of self-motivation and forced creativity.  The overall experience is very fulfilling, of course, but that doesn’t mean it is fun all the time.  Or even most of the time.

Because this is my “work”, it definitely feels like that most of the time.  There are days where I would rather clean the bathroom than start a new painting.  Honestly.

However, there is no feeling that can match the joy of a sudden moment of inspiration – brought on by forcing myself to get in the studio.  Most of the time I have music playing to help the time pass, but sometimes I turn everything completely off…where all I can hear is the scrape, scrape, scrape of my paintbrush on the canvas.  Small moments like this also bring me joy.

Sometimes creative ruts can be another cause of lack of motivation.  Currently I am trying to see how I can blend my mixed media and painting styles, and this was my first painting that resulted from this train of thought.

"Moving", acrylic on canvas, 18'' diameter

“Moving”, acrylic on canvas, 18” diameter

You’ll see I tried to paint some items that I would usually cut out and paste on the canvas to create a mixed media piece.  I’m not sure how successful this painting really is, but there are some elements that I like, and will continue to develop.  *By the way – that house that is floating in the middle of the piece is the house that Patrick and I will be renting when we move back to Nashville. 🙂  I looked it up on Google Earth.  Yup.  House stalker.

The uncertainty of a new direction can sometimes be paralyzing for me.  However, I have to keep reminding myself that nothing is precious (meaning just because I spent a lot of time on a painting doesn’t mean that I can’t change it completely or paint over it if it’s simply a bad painting or not working), and in order to get to those “good” paintings, you have to do some not so good ones on the way.

Then there is the “what is going to sell” motivational dilemma…maybe that is for another post.

Welllllll…time to start that second cup of coffee and head into the studio.  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,  love, and SELF-DISCIPLINE.” (2 Timothy 1:7 – emphasis mine)  Claiming that today.