Last term we had several guest speakers (that I have blogged about) and I have tried to visit as many exhibitions and galleries as I can. Plus I have been discovering artists online too.
I decided to write three words that each had taught me and thought it might be fun to make this into a wordcloud. I have made my own artwork from their finest attributes 🙂
Humour is the biggest thing I took from the artists I admired – keep it fun, play.
I was always struck by the dedication and passion shown by the artists and in the amount of research that went into their work.
Each one has changed my practice in some way and it has been a pleasure learning about them.
Can you guess which artists inspired what words?!
[They are: Susan O’Malley, Tanya Wood, Katayoun Dowlatshahi, Clare Strand, Paige Bradley, John Hoyland, Mark Anstee, Bruce Williams, Mandy Webb, Catherine Harper, S Mark Gubb, Suzanne Moxhay, Anthony Gorman, Grayson Perry and Rebecca Bauman. ]
A friend recently pointed me towards this video of the marvelous water-colorist Vera Bobson from Canada. I love her work, I had not previously heard about her but I have great respect for anyone who says “break the rules” !
One thing that I think is essential in order to develop your own artistic style is to mimic that of the artists you admire. You can learn so much from attempting to create something you love. And as you try, over and over to learn techniques, you can slowly develop your own style until your work is not a copy but a nod to the original artist.
I have done this in the past with Van Gogh, My dog sighs and now Vera Bobson.
“Art is theft” Pablo Picasso
“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. nothing is completely original.” Austin Kleon from “Steal like an artist”
The trick of course is to learn from the experience and add something more, something of yourself into the work to improve it and make it uniquely yours.
My first attempt had poor masking tape and the colours bled, but when I tried again with better quality stuff (Frog tape) I was very pleased with the result (above). It was fun to get my watercolours out again, it has been a while since I painted properly – I use a cut down DIY 1inch brush, paint standing up and take the watercolour paint from the tube. Much like Vera does (or as it appears in the video) and that’s why I liked her style, it was close to my own (but oh so much better!).
I love the result and would love to hear your comments too!
(I highly recommend Austins book by the way, very inspiring).
I have been off work for over two months now and I finally feel like I am making the most of my time at home. My creativity has been flowing – in photography and art and I have some exciting projects underway.
I have continued painting with the acrylics and have had a lot of fun with that. I especially like painting with my fingers, it feels very real and authentic.
I am thinking of wording to go above them, but of course they could also be greetings cards….
On thursday I was discussing how I see pictures with my husband – I have synesthesia (which I will blog about soon) and that might be affecting how I see the world – but I “see” photographs all around me and this has given me an idea of a photographic project – this is very exciting and I am enthused about what I am doing.
It is interesting that it has taken me so long to hit this vein of creativity. I am a creative person but having a full time job, relationships, children, etc etc etc – real life – gets in the way and freezes the creative juices to such an extent that nothing happens. I know that many prolific artists hold down full time jobs AND create, and I have done that at times in the past, but the last few years have been particularly dry.
Anyway, I am enjoying hitting my stride!
Whoa it’s big 🙂
The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is currently moored in the Solent just off the peninsular where I live because it is far too big to fit into Portsmouth Harbour! It is colossal!
I got up early this morning and it was sunny with a heavy frost. My hands ached with cold as I walked along the beach at 7am but it was worth it, I beat most of the dog walkers and had the beach, and the view to myself. I took a few pictures I am pleased with. It took me a while to get one of the aircraft carrier that I was pleased with because I didn’t want to just take the usual pic of it in the sea (although it is very scenic with the Isle of Wight behind). On my way back along the beach, I spotted this fence and rope at a cafe and chose to use them as the foreground. I am pleased with the result!
Yesterday it was raining (actually it was hailing until it looked like snow!) so I stayed in and practiced some painting – I had a lot of fun, I bought some extra colours to compliment the ones I had and spent a happy afternoon doing finger paintings on rough paper. I will use one of them for Free Art Friday again this week, not sure what my text will be though!
Last week was the first time I have participated in Free Art Friday (#freeartfriday)
I found it an exhilarating experience even though it wasn’t truly my art that I was distributing but a copy of My dog sighs work. I was over the moon when I accidentally came across someone on Twitter who had found it and appreciated it!
I decided I would like to do it again but didn’t realise it would be so soon!
I have been playing with painting and ideas all week and today was the solar eclipse AND International day of Happiness and I had two ideas of stuff I could do today. I found the free art friday project was empowering – I can do something just for the fun of it, without worrying about it having a value (ie what someone would pay for it) – but on the other hand someone is going to see it and hopefully appreciate it, so you have an incentive to put some passion into it. But essentially it is just fun.
And I had lots of fun this morning, coming up with these two – I probably made a dozen copies and picked the best to release into the wild. Again, leaving them for someone to find was exhilarating and it would be lovely to find out if they were found, but I know that probably I won’t ever know.
And now, typically, I am having second thoughts, wondering if my work is good enough – wondering why I am pretending to be a proper artist! Ah well, I guess it will take a lot longer for my artistic confidence to increase. But I am really really enjoying the experiments.
OK, first off, I have an admission to make. I can’t do the one picture a day challenge! There are just too many pictures out there to take and it is such a beautiful day! I went out today for a long walk around town and found several things that I wanted to capture – so I did. I am not going to let a self imposed challenge stop me from taking the pictures I want to take.
But I have learned a lesson from the exercise – I have learned to take my time before snapping, to think and really let the picture come to you rather than searching too hard. And I think I have come to value the shots much more highly, to treasure the good ones more – so it is not wasted. And I will still post a picture a day for the 30 days that I intended.
It’s a glorious day here and this is some pussy willow against the blue sky.
I have continued to practice my painting and I am having a lot of fun experimenting and learning about using acrylics. I have used watercolour and gouache a lot in the past but for some reason I have not tried acrylics before. I love the way they mix and the way I can move them across the surface with my fingers. Below is a practice version – I love the colours! They really make my heart sing.
I feel like last Thursday was a real breakthrough – as if I had been shown a whole new room of creativity and ideas that I didn’t know was there and I am having so much fun exploring the room and realising there are so many more things I could do. And this is why I took time off between jobs, it’s taken a while to bubble to the surface 🙂
I have been busy with other stuff…. and I realised just now that I hadn’t picked up my camera for a few days. So what’s going on?! The weather has been lousy and I think I am so obsessed with light and shadows that on a dull day I just don’t see anything that makes me think “Quick!! I have to take a picture!” – so I haven’t (I really feel strongly that you cannot force these things, it will come or it won’t). Also, since starting to paint seriously again after a few years of pfaffing around, I guess my creativity is split at the moment!
Anyway, today is gloriously (and unexpectedly) sunny and I was in the middle of upholstering the chairs when I looked out of the window and these shadows really called to me. I love the mix of shapes on the fence, and then the texture of the fence behind.
I also love black and white in photographs – my art work is always extremely colourful but with a camera I think I prefer the simplification that black and white brings. It strips everything back to shape and texture.
I feel like I am really in the groove at the moment with having ideas and trying them out. I am saddened that it has taken two months off work before the fog really started to clear but happy that it has – I knew it would come back at some point!
More tomorrow…. 🙂