Ever After 2018

Back to Art

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.

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Art · Ever After 2018

Kuan Yin: Final

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.

 

Art · Ever After 2018

Kuan Yin: Day Three

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!

Art · Ever After 2018

Kuan Yin: Day Two

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.

Art · Ever After 2018

Kuan Yin: Day One

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.

Art · Ever After 2018

Witchy Girl: Final

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.

Art · Ever After 2018

Witchy Girl: Work in Progress

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.

Art · Ever After 2018

Ever After 2018: Style Development 2

For today’s sketchbook practice I took what I’ve learned so far in Ever After 2018 from Tamara Laporte and Marielle Stolp to create my own piece. I used the face template from Marielle Stolp’s #FantasticBeasts lesson as well as her eye, nose, and mouth design. I really love how her template makes creating faces much easier. I also loved how Marielle Stolp did a lot of measuring in her lesson, which for whatever reason, I hadn’t thought of before. I have been freehanding my sketches, and it’s frustrating and requires a lot of erasing doing it that way. The heart and ribcage┬áin this sketch are stencils that I purchased on Etsy and just got in the mail today. I was so excited to have the chance to try them out.

In thinking about my own personal style, I love the whimsical and beautiful, but also the dark and edgy. At some point, I intend to merge them into my own unique style. There is something about the combination of beauty and darkness that appeals to me.

For this assignment, we were to practice our own style by changing at least two of the three components from Marielle Stolp’s style development exercise. These include subject matter, supplies, and approach. I altered the subject matter and approach, and in doing so, changed the supplies. I’m going to let this piece sit overnight and then come back to it to see what colors and medium I want to use.

Art · Ever After 2018

Ever After 2018 Style Development

For today’s sketchbook practice, I followed along with Marielle Stolp’s Style Development lesson for #EverAfter2018. Next, I need to practice creating this while changing up two of the following: subject matter, supplies, or the approach.

Something to note is that I bought some Arches hot pressed watercolor paper, and this is third time I’ve worked on it, and I really don’t like it. I think it may be the smoothness of the hot pressed paper. Also, I really don’t like working on a piece without sketching something out first. I feel a loss of control with it, and it really irks my perfectionist side to the point of irritation. Additionally, though they are convenient, I am finding it hard to get consistent water flow with the water brushes. I think I may try switching to a regular brush next time I work with watercolor.

I really like the style development part of the Ever After course because it’s helping me to pay attention and be more aware about what I like and don’t like when creating. I have found that I do not trust myself yet, that I will try to “fix” something even if I like it because it is not what is in the instructions, and I’m afraid it will be “wrong.” I’ve really got to work on trusting my choices more…in art and in life.

Art · Ever After 2018

Fantastic Beasts: Day Three

For today’s sketchbook practice, I finished up Marielle Stolp’s #Fantastic Beasts #EverAfter2018 lesson. I learned so much about the process of making art. I really love how Ever After’s lessons are comprised of several videos because they help me understand that everything does not get completed in a day, that art is a process, and that I can walk away from something for a day or two and come back to it, and everything will be okay.

This piece took me three days to complete and is my largest painting at 11 x 15. I learned so much about taking my time with the process rather than rushing it. I really appreciated how Marielle Stolp mentioned in her videos that she was taking a break to allow herself time to gain a better perspective on what she was creating. She modeled such great habits for beginning artists like me to learn. I loved her discussions on the best watercolors, and I loved her cats’ interjections. It was a wonderful lesson that I really enjoyed taking part in.