Friday, November 20, 2015

A Different Direction

This year was a bittersweet one. The good of it was that I feel I accomplished some solid paintings and am continuing to grow in skill as a watercolorist. I love watercolor and the way it works. I have some ideas for directions to go with my work and am excited about what the future holds. The bad was the art fair season...they were rough. I love doing the outdoor art's a great way to meet my clients and fellow art lovers and artists. I make friends and usually end up with a new piece for my ever expanding art collection. But I do need to at least break even on expenses to keep the habit going and this year I fell so far from the basic line. Perhaps I'm in the wrong venue? Wrong region? Oversaturated market? It's kinda hard not to take it so personal. I've read many blog posts from other artists that, in not so many words, say that when you sell you feel like you're a good artist and creative soul. When you don't, you feel like a failure, debating if you a hack or wannabe masquerading as an artist. You question your skill, training, talent, approach, technique, medium, subject matter, booth design, framing choice, your attire,....the list goes on. You wonder if you should even go on. 'Maybe I should just be like everyone else and get a 9-5 would be stable'. So many doubts and fears, all because you had a bad show. One good show and it all disappears, but after a year of bad shows you begin to wonder, am I any good???

Bad shows or not, I know I am good....I have a style all my own, a voice, and that is neat! But I realize I have SO MUCH TO LEARN. And that is one of the things I LOVE about art. You can never stop learning. You can never stop progressing and evolving as a creative spirit. Sometimes, though, you need to take a step back and focus on the little things, focus on painting and creating solely for you.

Which leads me into sharing with you all a different creative direction for me from the watercolor. I've always been a doodler and a drawer. Most of my school assignments from my youth featured little horses prancing, rearing, bucking, and eating grass along the borders. There was one time I remember actually getting scolded in the middle of a science class because I was drawing on my notes instead of giving my full attention to the teacher as he lectured....chemistry, it's not my thing. (but give me biology and geology anyday!) Before I start a painting I begin with a little doodle to figure out the composition of the piece. Then I work on the drawing. If the drawing doesn't look right, I won't paint it. You have to start with a solid's the framework of what you're wanting to achieve. But to keep myself from not getting bored or to inspire new ideas, I often doodle, sketch and draw. Most of these will never see the light of day.

I also have a passion for gift part so I can wrap a package and make it beautiful! I love pretty paper and ribbons and bows. LOVE...or maybe I should say obsessed??? LOL. I was looking at some doodles and thought it would look neat as wrapping paper. I wanted to know if I could make my own and started researching different options. Well, I'm happy to announce that I now have several designs of wrapping paper sheets that I've created and that has led to my silk screening/screen printing some of these drawings onto fabric and creating textiles for the home. I've printed and sewn fabric and made tea towels, linen table runners & napkins, pillows, infinity scarves, and men's neckties. It has been fun! I haven't screen printed since high school....which is a loooooooooong time ago. I forgot how much fun it is. I decided this holiday season I would do some craft shows and sell these instead of the fine art. It's been a lot of work but it's been fun.

The most amazing thing out of this different artistic venture is the passion for my painting. When I sit down to paint it is for me. It's so much more rewarding. I don't feel any pressure to crank out paintings of subjects that might sell. I can enjoy the process. I love this! I can't wait to see what paintings emerge from this new found painting freedom. I will still be doing art festivals, but not as many. I'm just going to paint! :) Oh, and if you want to see some of the things I've created on my new artistic venture, check out

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