Being an artist.

I was thinking about when people you are meeting for the first time and they ask “What you do for a living?”  It took me a long time to be able to say “An artist” in a prideful manner.  In my experiences people often have a raised eye brawl and look at you with disappointment that you don’t measure up somehow.  Not that you need their approval.  I think it is just human nature to want to be accepted on some level. Unless you are truly known for your art, then these people can’t wait to be seen with you. In college studios you’re surrounded by other artist usually a bit stranger then you and you fit right in no questions asked! Boy, do I miss my college days. I don’t know if for the reason of being young again or if I knew then what I know now? probably a little of each. Young people today have the same stresses just bumped up a notch or two; this I have noticed the past few semesters in the college darkroom.

 When I was teaching and someone would ask “What do you do?” and when I replied; “I am a teacher” I didn’t feel so convicted or out-of-place and somewhat respected. Maybe it’s just me? 

I believe that my art talent is God-given and If I feel ashamed about being an artist God can not honor my work or even bless and anoint it. Like I said it has taken me a long time to get to this point, and not that I don’t care what people think of me…..I have grown spiritually in my life and I like where I am in my life [this season].  Then I was thinking earlier today “I am not painting/drawing enough” and then in my studio I have recent artwork everywhere! Wow! The past six months I have been working my butt off with my portfolio. Then it occurred to me “Do not let the devil trip your ass up”! Whisper crap into your ear; always something negative “Your not good enough” or “Your art sucks”. I tell you ……it is Not you thinking all these negative thoughts! Don’t believe the lies of the devil. God loves you and has a great plan for your life. Just imagine what artwork you can create if you had a positive view of yourself. Plus, your artwork will flow with ease. Keep a sketchbook because you may not be able to paint all the ideas you have at once!

Composition is key. Taking 100 pictures of the same subject forces you to not only look at the subject differently; it forces you to see the composition outside your comfort zone.  Presses you to challenge your skills and the norm of the subject you are photographing. In so you will learn to see and recognize good compositions in the future. You want to provoke emotion in your art. The person viewing your art will stand in front of it much longer if you tell a story in the artwork itself. A subject matter that means something to them the viewer; a fond memory of growing up for example. You need to set the scene in your art and why would someone look at your work?  A strong title is important also. I struggle with composition myself from time to time. You want movement in your composition meaning lines, shapes and forms that have your eye going throughout the artwork.  A light source to establish the time of day and what feeling or experience do you want the viewer to take from your art? There is a lot to think about when it comes to composition. Just the look on someone’s face in your work can tell a story.

I like to photograph and use my own pictures for reference; do not use someone else’s artwork for your own unless you ask the artist. If then give credit to the artist whom took the picture.

I am going to start entering juried shows, I had some photography published in college and it has been a long time over-do and its time to turn my work up a notch!

American Artist Watercolor magazine is hosting a juried competition for watercolor artist named, “What do you love?”.  Here is the link:  www.watercolorcompetition.com for all the rules. Deadline for entry is August 6th, 2012.

I have a few competitions and dates written down somewhere and I will post in the next day or so. I have a great awesome composition in mind for this juried show and I will post the in-progress of this new piece. I did the photography today!

 

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