Here are some new paintings I’ve cooked up in the studio. Scheduling in daily painting time is new for me, and I’m really enjoying it! Contact me for details.
In preparation for Art Battle, Alberta Regional Finals (last Friday, July 4… blog post to follow soon), I did three practice 20-minute paintings. These will all be available this week to my email subscribers only, with PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT pricing.
To get on my email list, click here. I will be in touch soon! <3
After I’ve been working on a painting for awhile, I step back and observe. Usually I notice that it is missing something here, or a little something needs to go there. But once in awhile, a painting needs a BIG makeover. It’s too rainbow, too monotonous, and doesn’t have enough contrast. The answer: black.
I can understand how this may be daunting. I can get caught up in not wanting to ruin my painting, whatever that means! I occasionally become attached to certain areas, and allow myself that attachment. Sometimes I will save those little bits, and sometimes I’ll just paint right over them. More often than not, if I save them, after a few days I am able to paint over them without shouting, “CRAP!” Painting with black turns the project right around, allowing it to go in a whole different direction. It’s a great way to get past being stuck and it adds wonderful depth to the image.
I finished this one today and just love how it turned out (but I am not attached to it.. I could do another round of black, I guess..). I’ve named it “Ether” – it is now available in my etsy shop.
At the end of school, the class parents always purchase a gift for the teachers. This year, our teacher’s assistant, Miss Hema, was leaving, so we wanted to make her gift extra special. One of the parents came up with the idea of making a painting for her, or rather, me making a painting for her. I liked the idea, and thought it would be great to include the children.
After preparing the canvas with its first layer of paint (which I typically do in a very messy fashion, slapping on paints at the end of a painting session), I brought my easel, brushes, and paints into the Grade One classroom. The children were very eager to help. One by one, they each made a heart on the painting, using the colours and brushes of their choice. I asked them to send a kind message or memory of Miss Hema into their heart. When they were all finished, I brought the painting home, unsure about how it was all going to come together; there was so much orange on the painting, I found it quite garish.
Well, I am always amazed at how a painting can come together, becoming cohesive so beautifully. It’s always a bonus when it only takes an extra layer or two (especially with a deadline!!) I brought the painting back into the classroom so all the children could sign their names on the reverse. Miss Hema was very pleased!
Two of my paintings (above and below) were not accepted into a juried art show at a local art gallery today. Just like last year. Last year, I told myself it was only because of the canvases (the edges were too thin, I was told). This year, I have all sorts of reasons:
I’m not a real artist (whatever that means).
There are words on the paintings and the jury didn’t like words.
My work is too “pretty” (I have heard this statement before), too colourful, trying too hard, too much like somebody else’s work, too this, too that.
OK, I get it, I get it: I suck.
Before you go commenting to tell me this all isn’t true, I want to assure you that I know this. I know the voices in my head are lying to me. I know they are trying to keep me safe (in a weird way), that they aren’t working for me, etc. I get this. And the whole time I think these thoughts, I also have a witness inside of me, that is completely non-judgemental, and knows that none of it matters, none of it is true, none of it is real. I know.
I’m still crying my guts out.
Rejection is giving me ample opportunity to feel my emotions, to be in touch with what is going on for me, to see what is real, and what I am feeding with my energy. As much as I would rather be jumping for joy that I got into an art show, I am also grateful for the chance to feel so deeply. This rejection is stacking onto another rejection from over a week ago – a more personal one, but one that gave me a huge jab in my core; I hadn’t realized just how low my self-esteem was until that day. I’m still not over that one, and now this double dose of rejection has been difficult, to say the least.
You know how lots of self-help books and websites say, “You can’t love others until you love yourself”? I’ve been thinking about this, with reference to rejection. Is it true that I am actually rejecting myself, and that maybe I don’t love myself enough? At first I thought so, but then I realized I was just trapping myself in my old perfectionist ways again. What I was really saying was,
“I’m not loving myself enough. I am not good enough at loving myself”.
I have realized that in reality, I am very good at loving myself. I cry when I need to cry. I call my husband when I need to hear a loving voice during my shitty day. I ask for hugs. I take myself out dancing. I blog (sometimes.. haha!). I ask for what I want.
I also listen to music when I need to listen to music. During my rejection experience last week, I noticed I wasn’t really in touch with “sadness”, even though I felt sad-ish, and knew I would be sad later. I knew I needed a cry, it just wasn’t happening yet. Music to the rescue: I instinctively played Sigur Ros in the car, without really knowing why, and BOOM! A flood of tears, all day long. A few days later, that sadness turned into anger, and Nine Inch Nails has been helping me feel that and move through it.
You know what? I like my paintings, I really do. I have fun making them, I even like looking at them afterwards (except after a few months – I start to cringe if they hang around too long). I am grateful for all the people who like to look at my art online, whether on my blog or my Facebook page. I am especially grateful for those who send me supporting comments and feedback, and the people who purchase my paintings. As much as I do paint for myself, I don’t want to work in a vacuum, keeping it all locked away for nobody to see. I want people to see my work and to enjoy it.
But not everybody will, and that’s alright, too.
You may have noticed (or maybe not) that I haven’t been blogging much in the last 4 months. We were having our house renovated, and it was, overall, a great experience, but left little time for blogging. Anyway, I now have a real studio, with electricity and everything!! Here are a couple photos from downstairs – you may notice how white it still is. I was having trouble breaking it in, but finally did it today – there are now paint drips on the walls and floor!
While we were out of the house, friends of mine graciously lent me their basement to use as a temporary studio space. This is the painting that I gave to them in gratitude for their generosity!
Here are a few paintings that left my studio space last year, without me talking about them. I made the first one for my friend Harold at Gorilla House. When I arrived that night to give it to him, a woman who was visiting GH fell in love with the painting, so I sold it to her and made Harold the new one you see below the first!
Here are a couple of paintings that are hanging around the studio – they are looking for new homes, but I have yet to make listings for them. If you are interested in any, just let me know.
I’m so glad to be back in the swing of things – I’m painting more regularly and really enjoying it! I am finding today’s composition to be a little bit odd, but sometimes odd is good. So I am embracing it and as usual, enjoying creating color explosions!
Today’s painting is up for auction on my Facebook page, so please head over there to bid! The auction ends tonight at 9 pm MST.