Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Times We Live In

I spent the last week swinging from despair to pride to grief to hope...I'm sure many of you had those same feelings as we followed the news about the Charleston shootings, the capture of the perpetrator, the debates about the Confederate flag, the statements of our President, the Supreme Court decisions, and now the funerals.

As a way to deal with my own sadness and confusion, I attended an interfaith service and then settled down to find out what I could about the shooting victims, their church, and their communities.  As I read about and drew each one, I learned that they were vibrant, active, joyful people whose absence leaves huge holes in the hearts of those left behind.

I wish I were a better artist, but this is my best tribute.  I hope that they are never forgotten and that our country moves forward in an honest exploration of racism and equality.  I have renewed my own commitment to work for "liberty and justice for all".
 Watercolor, sharpie pen, and prismacolor pencil in Strathmore mixed-media sketchbook.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rolling Right Along

I completed the Every Day in May sketches, but had difficulties figuring out how to upload images from my cell phone camera, so couldn't figure out how to post them.  Now that our delightful familiy wedding is over,  I've found the bandwidth to figure it out, have got it down and am moving on.

Our local watercolor group had a critique session last week with master artist Manette Fairchild. It was a very positive and friendly experience, and the take-aways that I took were: 1) don't be afraid to be bold and creative, even while you're learning to develop your technique; 2) strengthen the values contrasts; 3) make sure there is only one center of interest and that it's not in the center; 4) if you don't like the composition of your painting, you can always try cropping it--play around with a mat and see how it looks being framed in different places. Here are 3 versions of an unfinished painting...before I go on, I wanted to see which version I wanted to work on. Actually, they are all the same painting, just cropped in different places. Feedback welcomed!!

Another important thing about this painting is that I (almost) completely let go of my self-judgement around doing it.  Even though I was holding all the advice about composition in the back of my mind, knowing that I could always crop later was very freeing.  I was able to approach the whole thing as a fun exercise, allow my curiosity to run free, and, even when things weren't working, enjoy the process of figuring out whether there was a way to solve the problems that arose.

I'm glad to be back into a creative rhythm again and intend to keep rolling right along!