At the 6 month mark of My Creative Resolution I wrote a post entitled “What I’ve learned about art (and myself).” As I sat down to write this, I reread that post, and I realized a lot of those items are still the important things I’ve learned this year. But I do have a few items to add. Those “6 month” items were mostly about art. The items I am writing now, are what I’ve learned about myself.
I love working square
I love adding ink. This is so surprising to me! I used to think adding all those lines seems so tedious, but I’ve found – you get into a zone.
Watercolor portraits – soften the edges so the skin doesn’t look blotchy.
I love being creative. I love having a project in the works, or ideas for new projects, or both!
I’m affected by the seasons. I can’t help being inspired by what is around me, whether it’s Spring flowers, Fall leaves, Winter’s evergreen trees, or a day at the beach.
I like being spontaneous and working on what inspires me in the moment. I found my weekly checklist to be too much after a while.
In the past I was frustrated with wanting to develop a style. Now, I’m embracing the journey. I’m in no rush, and I’m having fun doing it.
I’m no closer to selling and I’m not sure selling is for me. I don’t want to be filling orders or creating sellable things. I want to create what I’m inspired to create.
I love blogging – see more below.
What I love about blogging:
It motivates me to create.
I love working on new projects. Each new idea sparks more and more ideas.
I enjoy writing.
I like thinking about my process – what worked, what didn’t, what was a happy accident, or a mistake to learn from.
I love the community and feedback.
I’m inspired by and learn from other bloggers and I am honored when someone says I do that for them.
I am bursting at the seams with ideas for making My Creative Resolution better, for me and you, in 2015. I hope you’ll join me as my creative journey continues. 🙂
I love starting a new project, but inevitably my enthusiasm wanes and it’s hard to stick with and finish the project . As I look back on my creative projects this year, I’m surprised there aren’t more abandoned projects. I know the reason why. It’s because of you! If I was working privately and not filling you in on all the details, I would be a lot less motivated to finish. So thank you!
I’m of two minds on forgotten projects. One part of me wants to finish them. But the other part of me, thinks I should work on what inspires me. A happy medium between these two “minds” is probably the answer. So, as part of My Creative Resolution 2015, I will (every so often) select a forgotten project and finish it.
I can’t promise I’ll pick these projects at random, or how often I’ll do this – but I do promise to keep you posted. 😉
A few forgotten and unfinished projects from 2014 Dandelion, acrylic
Finally, I’m tackling a wood project! I’ve been interested in painting on wood, and creating handmade signs. It was surprisingly easy to walk in to Ace, pick out wood and ask them to cut it. And cheap!
I pulled out the hand sander, which made me feel like a pro, and gave the wood a light sanding. Then I added streaks of different colors and blended them, sometimes adding water to dilute a color. I wanted to create a bleached, weathered look.
I’m happy with how they came out. See how I added lettering to them here.
I’m looking forward to the kids going back to school (lol!) and having more time to paint – especially with acrylics! This week I got a jump start and worked on my painting “Little Girl Digging.” It’s been almost 2 months since I worked on this! If I let too much time pass I lose momentum and then it’s really hard to get back into a painting.
Although I haven’t worked with acrylics all summer, I’ve been creative – sketching, painting with watercolor, etc. I’m proud of all I’ve done during these busy months. It will make September, when the house is quiet again, all the more productive.
Here is where I started from:
First I worked on the sand and added some definition to the ocean. Then (above) I added color to the ocean.
In the last six months, I’ve been on a creative journey. Here are the things I have learned through my creative resolution:
Every time I sit down to paint, draw or create – whether it’s a success or failure – I learn something.
Looking back at my lists of project ideas, helps me stay focused and complete things. And feel a sense of accomplishment about the things I can check off!
Even the most common objects can be interesting subjects – a bottle of windex, the vacuum – lol!
Trying again. A couple of times I’ve tried to redo a painting. The second painting wasn’t necessarily better – but you I improved certain things (and lost some things). It is interesting to compare and analyze. A great learning tool!
To post or not to post? I went ahead and posted something I felt I had overworked and was honest about it. I loved the feedback I got!
A weekly checklist is helpful to cover all the things I want to work on. (But it is okay, every once in a while, to throw it out the window and work on what I feel like!)
Learn everything you can when you visit the art store. Look at their website for even more product information.
Disposable palette sheets are awesome. Quick clean up, plus I write what paint colors and mixes I used, for future reference.
Bloggers are so nice and supportive. Thank you!!! 🙂
The resources to learn from other artists are everywhere – blogs, videos.
Mixing colors leads to a less saturated color. For vibrant, bright colors – use colors directly from the tube. (It took me a whole painting to learn this!)
Developing a style takes time and practice.
A project can spark the idea for the next project, and so on and so on!
Sometimes I have to force myself to finish. I would love to start new projects everyday. It is fun and exciting, but sometimes I have to buckle down and finish the lingering ones. The feeling of accomplishment is amazing!
Hanging my paintings makes me feel good! 🙂
Take the pressure off. I don’t sit down to create a “frameable” piece. That paralyzes me! I sit down for a “5 minute sketch” or to play with watercolor.
…and still going strong. In the past 6 months I have accomplished 52 watercolor paintings, 8 acrylics on canvas and 64 sketches! It is amazing to me what writing a goal down can do.
When I first typed the words, “I hope to draw, paint and create my way through 2014!” – I didn’t know what I would spend my time doing. Would I be decorating the house? drawing? painting? refinishing furniture? Imagine my surprise when the first months were filled with acrylic painting – one of the things I have the least experience in! I even pulled unfinished canvases – years old – off a shelf and finished them, like this carrot.
I certainly had moments when I wavered. The unexpected connection and support from fellow bloggers pushed me on as well as the encouragement from my family who kept saying, “Don’t stop.” Six months in and I’m not stopping. I’m still not sure of my direction, but I’m “finding” myself as an artist and learning a lot along the way.
It’s hard getting back into a painting when a week or more has past! I’m so glad I made notes on how I mixed the colors and saved some of each color. It reminds me of a bread starter – not that I’ve ever used one! I added a little bit of my saved color to my new mixes to keep some continuity. I mixed a skin tone color that isn’t as subtle as before. [Not a perfect match – but at this point I’m not going to over think it. I’m focusing on getting the Little Girl’s figure right.] As I painted Little Girl’s body with the new color, she is popping out of my background (above). I tweaked her shape as I painted. See how subtle she was when I started:
A few days later, I mixed a lighter sand color and added it to my canvas. Still focusing on Little Girl’s shape, I used the sand color to edit her shape as needed.
I finished adding the lettering to my cabana stripes canvas! I played with the layout on the computer:
Then I figured out the sizing of the letters and printed them on cover stock. Using an exacto knife, I cut out the letters. When there was a shape inside a letter I left a thin connecting strip (like on the letter b).
Creating the stencils was easier than I thought it would be. The transparent white was a little too light, especially on the yellow. The letters didn’t pop enough, so I added the brownish glow around them. I’m happy with the end result. Finishing is such a great feeling!
I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m excited about this painting! I started by mixing a grey base color for my sand. I mixed thalo blue, cadmium red, and cad. yellow (as opposed to using black and white) because I wanted the sand to have color in it. I’ve struggled before with painting sand! I covered the entire canvas in this color, even where the ocean and little girl will be.
I added little ticks on my canvas to show where the grid is.
I mixed cad. red and white and added some cad. yellow to get a flesh tone, which I mixed with my base color. I wanted a color that would work as a base for the little girl, that wasn’t far off from my original (sand) base color. This way, I won’t feel intimidated to loosely sketch in the girl. Hopefully, I’ll easily be able to change any area “back” to sand if necessary.
Following the grid closely, I added in the shape of the little girl. I plan on flipping the canvas over and refining her shape (with the same color). As I start to feel confident in her shape, I’ll start adding colors that will define her and pull her out of the sand. I’m developing this process on the fly – wish me luck!