Painting with Pudding!

Every artist does struggle either with drawing, painting, finding their Nitch, the subject matter, style techniques, approach, subject matter, composition, light source, realism vs. expressive and impressionism. The list is a mile long!  Finding your way with your art is a life long process of discovering new ways on an art that is old as time. It can be very frustrating and if you really want to be an artist you need to press through and keep pressing! You art will define itself if you keep pressing through. Sometimes artist don’t create for years at a time; which I think will set you back in quality. The idea is to keep working and the artwork will become stronger all the way around. You may even be healthier and happier as a result. Eat a piece of cake……like I do!

Have you ever thought when you look at a picture of yourself from way back when and think “What was I thinking!” laugh at the way you looked? Then you even thought you looked darn good then too boot! Art is the same way…..we get better with age, our style improves over time.  This is the second year that I have been going to Life drawing once a week and it has been so beneficial for me. I must have who knows 500 plus hours of life drawing under my belt to this point; the difference is I am not in a formal professor class now. I am in a life drawing for pleasure and my satisfaction of wanting to draw. You must Love your art enough to push through and hang on for the ride. Don’t think when……”When I retire, when I have another job and when I have more money”! Take and make the time at this very present to enjoy what you love to do. Life is too short not to enjoy your time now. There Never will be enough money,,,,,there are always bills to pay. It’s like a parent thinks, “Oh when little Joe gets to first grade and is in school all day I will have the time”. I know….I had three kids and have been there. Talk about not having time for myself and my artwork. I have learned the hard way on a few things. It is hard as a Super Mom to walk away from a pile of laundry that needs your attention and I struggle with all of these issues. I have come to the conclusion if I don’t take care of myself nobody will!  I need my artwork to complete me and be happy. Plus, if I am happy I can deal with everything and everybody else with a better attitude.

There is always the issue of time and not enough time to get the artwork done or get involved in artwork as we’d like. A great way to include the little ones let them paint with Pudding! Yes, Pudding! Put the kiddies in the high-chair and let them finger paint with pudding! Doesn’t matter if they eat it, not like paint. They will love to see their work hanging up on the box and take a few pictures for future reference of artwork to be and enjoy the moment God gave ya!  It teaches the older child they are important too and they feel good about themself. It’s a bonding moment. It gives you an hour or two to work on your own artwork. It works well outside in the hot summer and then you can turn the hose on and wash off the pudding.

Getting back to artwork; Not every drawing is going to be what you have envisioned or meet the expectation you have set for yourself. I suggest focusing on graphite drawing along with life drawing to begin. You need to know how to draw and learn value, form, shape, line and light. After you get a handle on that then introduce another medium such as a paint medium. Even start a painting in black and white. This way you are taking a strong eye of value into the first paintings. Introduce color after value is learned in black and white. Drawing one subject such as a pear for example is a good way to get yourself familiar with a paint medium. Masterpieces will happen after at least twenty paintings into one medium.

Learn to read what your art is telling you? Do you work meticulously defining tiny one stroke lines, do you like to draw in blurred shapes or do you like your artwork tight or realistic? Look at or examine your first few pieces and find the common thread amongst them. That will be the first clue to what you are good at, your strengths or what “Your Artist eye” is seeing. Work with your strong points, go with it. Use the common thread or common strong suits  to make your work stronger. Every artist walks a journey discovering their artwork. You can only watch how other artist work for so long without working yourself. Don’t worry how other artist do it! Start doing it yourself and discovering your own ways and approaches.

It will help you to keep an art journal, sketches if wanted. Write or jot down what you find interesting and would like to draw. For example; you see a cat in the window and find that interesting or think it would make a neat drawing. Write it down. In the events of your life that influence the art you produce. It will help you to make the connection between your life and your art.

I know it can be hard, but don’t make it harder on yourself by taking on too much too soon. Work on what makes you happy, the rest will follow. Work at what you want your art to say about the artist. I will write more on this subject….I have three people yelling for dinner! My work is never finished or my time isn’t always my own neither!

Okay, I am back.  I know finding time is not always easy. I also know If you are miserable all the time the going through will suck! Try to make the best of it everyday. Here is a secret, we are not promised tomorrow. So, if your everyday sucks then get out of the other side of the bed. Get your focus off yourself and go volunteer at the hospital, help a neighbor or an older person neighbor. Get your sites off yourself and help someone else with something. It is only a season in life, time will go and come. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and think you are the only one that can’t create their art. Seasons change all the time. Do what you can involving your art and the day will come you have more time. Gather the information you need to create your art. If you don’t have actual painting time, gather the pictures you will need for a painting. Use the time you do have towards something productive; this way you are still involved in your art. Not every artist creates seven days a week!  Sometimes an artist doesn’t feel inspired to create.  Keep moving forward and eventually there will be more time to fit everything in you’d like.

My friend Carlos and I were talking one day in the darkroom about how you don’t know if you don’t try. Here I am in my 40’s, working in a college environment {the old lady in the classroom} feeling sort of out-of-place and old….Carlos pointed out how far I have come in a year of just working at my art! I was doing so much more this year vs. last year. So, image where next year will take me? It’s all about there is a new season and seasons change all the time.

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