I have been diligently working on my novel, but it is not as satisfying as I thought it would be. The art just keeps calling to me. I feel like a kid who has to eat all their vegetables before they get to eat dessert. I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve been flirting with the idea of giving up on writing the novel for now, and returning to building my skills as an artist. I have more research I need to do for the novel, and I think it might be best to put the writing aside, and do the research while returning to art.
In keeping with that plan, I started back with the #EverAfter2018 course this week, with Ady Almanza’s class. It was so much fun, and not so much fun, and I learned so much. Instead of trying to do it all at once, like I usually do, I took my time, doing one step each day. Sometimes I had to make myself stop because I really wanted to keep going and not stop until I was finished, but I know it is important for me to break that habit now.
Another thing I realized, is that I am gaining confidence. Her hair in the painting did not turn out well, and normally I would have just started all over again or quit. This time, though, I set it aside for a while, and then came back to it. When I came back, I had an idea of what I could do to fix it. I decided to paint over the hair and the areas that were not working for me with black acrylic paint, and then added the highlights to the hair again. I really like the results the second time around, and I like that I came up with a solution to fix the painting that worked.
For this painting, I used Bombay Inks, acrylic paints, oil pastels, acrylic pen, and gloss glazing liquid.
Today I was feeling more energetic and focused. I finished editing a chapter of a friend’s novel, and then finished up my #KuanYin #oilpastel painting from Lucy Chen’s #EverAfter2018 lesson.
It’s interesting how creative energy ebbs and flows. Through this daily creative practice, I’m learning to create despite the energetic highs and lows. Sometimes, just the act of sitting down and starting will jumpstart the flow. Other times, I am aggravated throughout the process, and I am learning to be aware of when it is time to stop and come back to it another day. My intention with this daily practice is to create something. It does not have to be good, nor does it have to be complete.
I’ve never worked with oil pastels, and I’m amazed how they seem to transform themselves on the page. Pure magic. I adore this #KuanYin painting. She is one of my favorites so far. It helps that she came at the perfect time when I was very much in need of compassion.
For my creative practice, I completed step one and step two of adding color to my #KuanYin oil pastel from Lucy Chen’s #EverAfter2018 lesson.
Today I proved to myself that if I just sit down and start at any time, I will get something accomplished. I did not want to create anything today. I was very, very resistant. So, much later than usual, I decided to just sit down and start the video. Two hours later, I had made quite a bit of progress. I also learned that I love working with oil pastels a lot, and the ones that I am using are just the Pentel Arts brand that I bought for about $6.00!
I’ve had quite a frustrating time with my creative practice today. I continued with the Lucy Chen’s #KuanYin #EverAfter2018 lesson. I actually got angry with myself as I attempted to sketch the second hand over and over again for several hours and just could not get it right. I decided to just leave it and move on to sketching other aspects of the painting. Though my intention was to start adding color today, I recognized that I needed to walk away and come back to it another day when I’m not feeling so frustrated. I remember Marielle Stolp saying in her style development lessons not to trust what we see. That it is best sometimes to set something aside and come back to it later. When we come back to it later on, we will often have a different perspective.
I have made the decision to continue with a daily creative practice in August. My intention for the month is to participate in some form of creative activity every day and to post about it here on my blog.
I like posting what I create in stages not only so that I can see my own progress, but also so other beginning artists can see the process of another beginning artist. When I was an MFA student, we had a guest writer come in and give us copies of a first draft of one of his chapters from his published memoir. It was incredible to see the difference between his first draft and what was published. I carry that experience with me and draw from it any time I start to get to caught up in perfectionist first drafts both in my writing and art. I wish more people would share the stages of what they create – especially in writing – so that we could all see real examples of what Anne Lamott calls “Shitty First Drafts.” Maybe then we wouldn’t be so afraid of our own.
For today’s creative practice, I began Lucy Chen’s Kuan Yin lesson from Tamara Laporte’s Ever After 2018 course. This sketch took much longer than I anticipated, but I like how it’s going so far.
For today’s sketchbook practice, and in honor of the full moon and lunar eclipse, I finished Witchy Girl. I’m really happy with how she turned out, and so proud to share it with you all. It is proof of how far I’ve come since beginning this journey two months ago.
The message I kept hearing as I was finishing her up was “We are all made of moon magic,” so I wrote that on the moon.
I had a lot of fun making my own design and choosing my own colors and medium, but it was also very scary. It was cool to have the chance to incorporate things I had learned from Tamara Laporte and Marielle Stolp into this piece.
For today’s sketchbook practice, I started to add color to my #StyleDevelopment piece for #EverAfter2018. I’m calling her Witchy Girl.
I’ve run into a lot of issues that have caused frustration, but I’m learning a lot about how different art supplies work together.
My favorite outcome of the day is using Jane Davenport’s Mermaid Brushes to add texture to Witchy Girl’s hair. Her Mermaid Brushes have different comb-like ends on their tails that you can use to add different textures to your work. Absolutely loved how the brush end worked on my piece to add a wavy texture to the black acrylic I used for her hair.