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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm a Home School Artist!

The new year always motivates me to review my life and try to improve. I suppose that happens to most people. The new year brings new energy to me and my work.

I have evaluated my art and in so doing some amazing realizations came my way in terms of experiences during the last few weeks of the old year. Without going into detail, I decided to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and hone my skills as an artist.

I am home schooling myself!

I am making my sketchbook a daily habit and will take it everywhere with me. Currently I am studying a book called Design Basics by David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak. I'm giving myself homework assignments. Sounds fun, right?

I am traditionally a 'paint for deadlines' kind of artist. Which means about a week or even a day before a deadline I whip something out. No more!!! I am taking a journey to discover what I am capable of producing if I take time to think out and really plan a painting. I will not set a time limit to get it done and avoid painting for deadlines. I want to paint for the sake of painting and work towards becoming a better artist. I will create work that isn't necessarily for sale, but for experience. Sounds kind of like a mantra, huh!

As a full time artist, the past few years have been filled with 'producing product'. My goal was to have something to sell. Not that that's a bad thing, as my livelihood depends on selling my art, but that mode has hindered me from exploring what I am capable of creating.

So I thought to myself; how do I make a living, and make art that is not solely for the purpose of a sale or a deadline? At first I thought that maybe I ought to get a day job and study and do my home school art at night. That lasted about 8 hours (while I was sleeping). I awoke and thought that's crazy! Why would I want to stop making art so I can make art?

I realized that I needed to make a plan and organize myself. As you can tell from reading my past blog entries I do a variety of art, sometimes more along the fine art lines and often not so fine art. As I pondered on the direction I should go, I decided that I should divide my day into two parts. The first part to devote to the study and improvement of my fine art talents. The second part would go to producing art to make a living. Kind of killing two birds with one stone. (No birds were used though).

I don't know where this will take me, but I will keep posting my art and hopefully I will be learning something along the way.

The painting featured today is a commission that I finished 4 days before Christmas (yup one of those dastardly deadlines!) It was for my next door neighbor and it is titled 'The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee' and is a painting of the Bountiful Utah LDS Temple at dawn. While painting it I kept humming a hymn, so it seemed logical to take some of the words from it for the title.


mary helen said...

Oh my gosh, I so know how you feel. I had to leave the Artisan's Guild that I was a member of because every bit of art I created had to stock the shelves. I was doing mostly decorative items and I longed to work more on painting and portraits. I'm going to follow your lead and try to sketch more and paint to paint, so to speak. Very inspiring post, Good Luck on your journey and Thank you. ~mary helen

Catherine Darling said...

Hi Mary Helen, Thanks! I am happy to hear that you feel the same. I wish you success with your painting and sketching too. I hope you will keep me posted with your progress. :-)