April 25, 2013

A whole day for art!

Today was unusual in that every member of my family is either busy away from home until late tonight or out of town.  The car has been able to rest in the driveway for the entire day.  Woohoo!  Like every day, I come home after the morning drive to school and immediately see every bit of mess, every glass or plate that was delivered to the kitchen after I had done the dishes, and the unfinished paint job in the family room.  After a couple of hours of picking up, washing, vacuuming and reorganizing, I realized I was wasting a rare gift - a free day.  I put away the sponges, the cleaners, and the vacuum and got out my watercolors.

Once again, I cruised quickly through my book of Tim Burton's work and started playing around with pencil, pen and paint.  Let me point out again that I have no idea what I'm doing.  As I've said before, I quit after a single day in my one and only art class after having the instructor take my sketch pad out of my hand and write a big, fat "F" across the page.  Day 1.  What a jerk.

Learning to play around and shut up my internal critic is getting a little easier. Making more time for art will be easier when my son finishes school (I have one of those widgets on the computer that is counting down the days).  I'm not sure I'll know what to do with myself that next day :-)

Back to the fun stuff.  So this is the silly stuff I did today, all of it inspired if not flat out copied from Tim Burton.  They are about 2" square.  Initially, I was thinking of artwork that I could sandwich between glass and solder, making a pendant.  There are a lot of soldered pendants on sale online, but they all appear to be prints or copies or clip art, but not original artwork.  I thought it would be fun to make something with an original piece of art.  Of course I wouldn't try to make and sell something that was a sad attempt to replicate another artist's work - this is just practicing with painting. 


Today's bit of wisdom for me came from the fabulous Debbie Fecher Gramstad who told me it's all about the journey and the daily practice.  Every day that I play around and work at making it more mine and less influenced by someone else's work, it will become more of MY art.  Today was a good day in terms of turning down the volume of my inner critic.  I think I managed to actually mute her today.

Today I am also going to resume another practice Debbie reminded me about, the gratitude journal.  Today I am grateful for a day to paint.  I am grateful for the space to play and for the opportunity to create without a clock or a watch ticking and poking me to do something I "should" do.  I am grateful for not having to wear shoes for nine hours.  Woohoo!

This was a good day.

April 10, 2013

Today's Muse: Tim Burton

In 2011, I attended an exhibit of Tim Burton's work at a museum in Los Angeles.  I marveled at his prolific creativity.  The man must have visions of art buzzing in his head morning, noon and night.  He doodles, draws and scribbles all the time.  How I wish there were a way to make that kind of stuff happen in my head.  Today I picked up the book of Burton's work that I bought that day at the museum and was inspired to just goof around with water colors and pen.  Oh my goodness, do I have work to do!

While I am trying to find time to be creative, I have found that I struggle with what I want to make and create.  Haven't I fussed about this before?  I continue to spend a lot of my spare time working with my son's girlfriend as her senior project mentor.  In trying to come up with creative ideas, I thought it would be fun for both of us to learn how to solder and make jewelry like the piece I had published in Cloth Paper Scissors (which was not soldered, but easily assembled) as well as try sketching and painting.  Now I had a reason to paint.  This is my attempt at playing around for something to sandwich between glass for a necklace.  We'll just call these practice and a source of chuckles.

This is where we learn what happens when we put too much paint on at once and then touch it.
This is what happens when we try again and DON'T touch it

All I can do is just keep trying.  I'm going to put a little sketch book in my car so when I'm waiting to pick up kids from school, I've got no excuse.  I hope to continue to be inspired to just give various types of art a whirl, improve my skills and more importantly, get back to having fun being creative regardless of the outcome.

April 4, 2013

Brain Freeze

The work in our new house has slowed to a crawl, so I have a little more time for art IF I blow off housework.  I can live with that :-)  My husband is traveling a lot, my daughter is in Asia for weeks, so it's just me and the teenager.  This means less cooking time.  Woohoo!  With mess-makers reduced to half in numbers, I may have time to do something!

The problem is what to do when I am having a brain freeze in terms of ideas.  Prompted by the high school senior project for my young mentee (is that a word?), I bought the stuff to solder pendants.  Looking at the pendants so many other artists have for sale, I do NOT want to do the same thing.  Today I pulled out my folders of papers for my collage journal (that's been dead in the water for a year) and started looking at old photographs.  I tweaked, cut, doodled and made nothing.  Nothing.  Trying to stay attentive to the task at hand, I put on a Harry Potter movie I've seen a hundred times so that I had voices for company, but wasn't distracted.  No help.  I tweaked a few old photos, made a few more notes, and managed to cut two pieces of paper.  Good grief.  I'd like to blame my lack of creativity on the hideous green carpet we've not yet replaced (during spring break!) or the blah color on the walls I just had painted and need to repaint, but it's just being out of practice and out of my mind.

Regularly working on art has got to become a greater priority.  If only my life, my schedule and the calendar were more cooperative.