I often get ask, "how long did it take you to paint this" as a prospective customer stands and stares at a painting with me and contemplates? As I start explaining the process, from when it first becomes an idea to the final product, I see their eyes glaze over as I drone on about each step involved. You see, no one truly understands all that it takes to come up with the finished and perfected final ending! What they really want to decide is if the beauty they see before them is worth the price? Does it please them? Does it make them feel something? Does it bring memories to the forefront? Does it cause an emotion to develop? Well, I personally can guarantee you, it's worth the price!
Dare I compare with a food analogy of all things?! When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you browse the many options on the menu, deciding what your taste buds are looking for and how much you're willing to pay. You place the order, and the plate is delivered with your choice laid out in front of you in beautiful fashion like eye candy! You dive in and enjoy before your mouth starts drooling all over the table. Did you care or want to know from start to finish exactly how much was involved and how that plate of food came to be sitting in front of you, from the farmer to the wholesaler to the buyer to the cook to the server? No, not really, you are enjoying the final result, as it well should be! You came to eat, and you came to enjoy!
Have YOU ever wondered what is involved in a painting? Well, here you have it! I do not speak for all artists, but this is a small look into My process which can vary with each painting depending on the subject matter, degree of difficulty and detailing. This painting you see "Cast the Net" took me a month from start to finish. Planning, prepping, color charting and practice... then the actual painting. The first step, finding a reference photo, either one of my own, a photo from family or friend, or while browsing on a copyright free reference site. The imagination comes into play, deciding what I like about it, how I would change it, what I can add to it to make an interesting and fun subject! Then, I plan the size I want to attempt, the colors I want to use and how detailed I want to get. I draw it out on paper, finalizing details I want to keep and the changes I want to make. I then transfer the final drawing onto the watercolor paper. I plot my colors by painting them onto scraps of paper. I practice and plot how I will tackle the painting on another scrap of paper. THEN, I dive into the real painting! Here, with "Cast the Net" I blocked off the boat as I painted 12 layers (that's right, 12 different layers) of 3 different colors in that dark water which reflects those colors when you move the painting. Each layer has to be completely dry before I move on to the next, letting that layer (and the paper) "rest" a bit after it completely dries so as not to disturb it when I laid down the next. Then, 5-8 layers of paint on various areas of the boat to create depth and vivid color. Then, the attention to all the final detail work which creates the 3d effect so the painting is not "flat".
And there you have it!!
Been awhile! I know.. I just started with a blog and then took a break from it.
Life is a bit hectic at work with a new owner, buy out, changeover (lack of better words), helping to take care of an elderly parent and trying to keep up with my art business. It has not been easy to find the time to be creative and often when there is, I can't mentally and emotionally wrap my brain around it. Do you suffer the mental challenges of getting those creative juices flowing sometimes? I know it's a tremendous struggle for me to let go of everything going on in life and have fun just being creative. One thing I have found that helps is to plan and plot some time, schedule it on your calendar and write it in, then sit down with some of your favorite colors, gather some scrap watercolor paper and just play around with a simple subject. No expectations other than spending that creative time with yourself!
I did this exact mental therapy last night with Turquoise, Nickel Quin Gold, Transparent Red Iron Oxide and Paynes Gray! I picked the simple subject of feathers, put on my nature sounds in the background and had some relaxing fun! If the complexities of life are bogging the brain down just stick with something simple! Put on your favorite "sounds", make or pour your favorite drink, get away from the rest of the "noise" and just have fun. No pressure, you're not producing a masterpiece, you're just putting brush to paper and moving it around.
Enjoy and share with me your thoughts on how you get the creative juices flowing! What background sounds do you like or do you need it quiet? Do you like to sip on something? What are your favorite colors to play with? You can leave a comment here or pm me on Insta or Facebook. The links are below!
Yesterday I was walking my fur baby in the ONP and came across a moss covered stump. In that moment most people would think nothing of it, some might think it was pretty and snap a picture. My mind, well it goes into overdrive! I think to myself, a little forest person would look cute laying on the top of that stump with its hands holding its face. Maybe a friend leaning against the other with their legs dangling over the side. Trying to look inconspicuous, like a human and hairy creature didn't just walk by! There would be a sun ray shining down through the canopy of trees highlighting the whole scene. Oh, the different greens, yellows, orange, reds, blues...the color list goes on!
Further down the path there is a puddle in the road, the reflections of nature shining bright. A crows reflection moving across the surface like it is another dimension, another world all its own. Constantly changing as the day moves forward. Wouldn't that be fun to paint?!
Look at that leaf, the colors of fall happening, the changes from green to yellow to orange, reds and browns! I snap a picture of each change taking place so that I can try to capture its essence in a painting later.
Look at that fern and the shape of it, next to it is a completely different one and next to that an even different type? The shades of green with yellows and blues. I need to capture all the variations of the simple botanical life of Ferns! (Stay tuned for the Fern series!) OH, and look, a mouse moving amongst the ferns. Where is its home and what does it look like? A cozy little home created from nature. That would be a fun book!
I'd only made it a half of a mile.......
Where does your mind go when you venture outdoors? Are you a creative? Does your imagination go into hyperdrive? Are you a thinker? Or is a walk, just a walk :)