Thursday, April 18, 2013
Those of you who know me, know that there isn't much in this world that could tear me away when one of my dogs is in need. Currently, my dog Jane Doe is 2 weeks into a 12-16 week recovery from a serious orthorpedic (knee) surgery. She is completely dependent upon us for everything, has to stay in a cage with an e-collar (cone of shame) except under parental supervision for potty breaks, and even has to have a sling under her belly when she walks anywhere. Yet, for the chance to paint with Patti Mollica, I LEFT MY DOG! (in good hands, of course). I didn't know until I actually left if I would really go. I just kept packing until I was ready, acting "as if" I were going. I didn't know after I left if I had enough energy to drive all the way to Cary, NC. I gave myself permission to turn around at any time. I gave myself permission to leave the workshop and head home at any time if necessary. Turns out, I went all the way and stayed the whole time and am so glad I did.
The above painting was one of several timed paintings we did. Patti taught us to first do a value sketch and then to work from the sketch, using big brushes, lots of paint, and confident brushstrokes. Patti encouraged us at the beginning of the workshop to take the opportunity to learn her techniques without pressuring ourselves to make beautiful, sell-worthy paintings. You can see I follow directions quite well--no beautiful paintings from me at this workshop, thank you! But, there was so much wisdom in her words, because I allowed myself to literally see what would happen if I used a huge brush and loads of paint and didn't fuss with my brushstrokes. In other words, I allowed myself to learn, to see what would happen when the paint was allowed to dance freely, without worries about appearances.
I am very pleased with my results. This is an image of my niece that I have played with/painted quite a bit. I see something in this workshop version that I have been wanting to see in my work--a certain energy, a certain playfulness that I plan to explore more. Since this was a timed exercise, I didn't get to finish, as you can see for yourself in the lower right part of the painting. However, I happen to like the unfinished part and plan to leave it like that.
What a thrill to attend a workshop focused on my own medium of acrylics! There were plenty of artists doing wonderful work in oils at the workshop, but Patti's demos were in acrylics, and just knowing I was in the hands of a teacher that understands acrylics meant the world to me. I am used to taking a class in pastels or oils and then translating what I learned to my acrylics upon returning to my studio. I felt happy to be with a teacher and some other students who speak my language!
For the artists in the group, YES, a workshop with Patti Mollica would definitely be worth your while. She is a very good teacher. She is an inspiration, as she often encouraged and reminded us to be "interpreters, not transcribers." Patti takes the time to explain things well, to consider questions, to do thoughtful/helpful demos, and to teach us experientially through stimulating exercises....and just LOOK at her art! Wouldn't you love the opportunity to learn from her? I would go again. If you want to read what Patti wrote about the workshop, check it out here.
Now, a post from me wouldn't be a post from me if I didn't complain about my photo--The photo of the painting was very crooked, resulting in my having to crop out parts that should be in there, but I had to crop or the photo I presented would not be rectangular. What was affected by this crop was the negative spaces around the figure. I will try to take a better photo and replace this one sometime in the future.
Monday, April 8, 2013
This is a colored pencil painting I did about 5 years ago that I don't own anymore and borrowed back for the show I was in at the Asheville Humane Society in January. I never got a good photo of it before it went to its current home, so I photographed it on the wall of the show. Shall we just say I still don't have a good photo of it?! Excuse the glare--it is a big no-no to photograph art while behind glass, but I didn't think the owner would appreciate my taking the frame apart. I'll explain why I am posting an old colored pencil painting, when I consider myself an acrylic artist, in a minute.
But first, I wanted to let you know that a blogging friend of mine, Sharon Graves, has me as a guest on her blog today. Click here to read her post. We decided we would interview each other, and she threw a great first question at me, so she decided to post my answer today. I am not sure if that is the end of her interview or if she has any other questions for me. She knows I will ask her more questions and post my interview of her when I am finished, and she also knows that may be awhile, because I was already in the process of interviewing another artist before she brought up the guest post idea. Getting to know other artists through blogging is a such a bonus for me. Check out Sharon's work. She also paints in acrylics, focusing on the natural world.
I wanted to post something of a dog today, because I wanted to let you know why no new paintings from me lately. My dog just had an intense orthopedic surgery to correct a knee injury. We are now 5 days into a 6 to 8 week strict crate rest/recovery period. Very intense period of life. We artists sometimes say "life got in the way" of painting. I hope to paint soon, but for now, I'm pretty drained with just the day-to-day. She has to wear an e-collar to prevent her from taking her staples out. Poor thing, being in a crate most of the time with the e-collar on....so stressful. AND I feel I must sleep on the floor next to her crate in order to be available if she needs to go out in the middle of the night (and she does).
I want to get back into my daily painting routine, but honestly don't know if I can expect that of myself anytime soon. Art vs. responsibility--the dog comes first. Check out the photo below....her "baby picture." How could I not put her first? Any artist reading this knows of the sacrifices we all make in our personal lives to have time for our art. This is the other side of the coin, in that I am sacrificing my art....