Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happily Making Art--or at least Happy when Finished

Today in the meditation group, we talked about the difficult and challenging aspects of life and working on being open to what other people present to us, as well as accepting all the aspects of ourselves without being judgmental.

Wanting to make "good" portraits, portraits that satisfy me, has been a goal since this time last do something with a painting that a photograph can't. (I've been reading David Hockney on photography)

I'm more interested in capturing an essence than a likeness, and I've read that the people we know best are often the most difficult to capture.

As those of you who have followed this blog know, I tend to jump all over the place with my art work, and therefore sometimes lose the benefits that constant struggle along one path
can bring.

Drawing and painting, like any other skill
involving eye-hand-brain coordination, improve with practice. Because I want so much to
do well, I invent all kinds of reasons not to
work at the improvement part, the getting through
the ugly stuff to get to the good stuff.

This time I'm trying to stick with it, and keep
addressing the same "problem" again and
again until I'm least for a moment.

As I spend time with the original photograph, different sizes, shapes, and media, I am incorporating new knowledge and skill into my fingertips, my brain, my eyes. I don't know what compels me to
do this, only that Something does, and I feel frustrated and satisfied at the same time to be doing it.

Funny to see one thing and watch the hand
create another, like me trying to sing. At least
with drawing I have a chance to fulfill my
promise to myself. I see that writing is a
constant companion to my visual art as well.

I tell my students: "follow your instincts," and I do. I'm pretty sure I don't have the entrepreneurial skills to become a rich and famous artist, but I do have the self-knowledge to keep doing the things that seem Important to Me, even if no one else ever shares my fascination with what comes out of my pen.

If you're curious, here's what my real David Hastings looks like, the photo I've been working from, which cried out, "paint me." the moment I saw him sitting that way.

The first painting I showed you, finished today, is the one that finally satisfied me--for a few minutes. I can't wait to have time to try another subject. Being called to be an artist seems to be equal parts frustration and joy--on a good day!

On another topic, another know my peripatetic nature. I am in the process, in my "spare" time (ha! ha!) of writing the life change/life celebration online class, HOT FLASH, and am soliciting images on the HOT FLASH theme and stories you may want to share. Please email me at with your contributions...I'm never going to be rich, but might as well have FUN!



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