Where have I been? I did so well with the painting a day challenge in January. I was so excited to be painting again… and best of all, habits were starting to form. What happened?!! Life happened! It’s a continuous struggle to find balance, isn’t it? For me it certainly is. The good news is, I am learning to face my time limitations a little more realistically these days and finding ways to adjust accordingly.
While I love the challenge of tackling a big painting, I have become increasingly aware of my need for more instant gratification. I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I have a short attention span or complete lack of focus. Or could it be that I just need to mix it up with a few less-laborious projects? Yeah… that’s it! Hey, why not do both? I can keep a big one going but also find time for some quick (dare I say out loud…DAILY) studies, can’t I?
So I decided to play around with a couple of small canvases – just for kicks. I got such enjoyment from doing these quick, gestural studies that I just want to do more of them. Who knew?
Here’s my first attempt at loosening up. Working at capturing the scene with quick, gestural brush strokes, I did this in less than an hour.
Acrylic on canvas
Well, hummm… that was fun. I wonder how would it be in oil?
Oil On Wood
Okay, now I’m hooked. Let’s see if I can turn this into another daily habit. (No promises!)
Wow! It’s been a while. What a blog slacker! February has been a month of moving and shlepping for me, both on a personal level and at the studio. We have been moving my Mom to a new apartment. Helping her sort through and re-organize 10 years of miscellaneous “necessary” accoutrements has been a not-so-subtle reminder that I could stand to do a little purging around my own house! But we’re gaining on it and it is worth all the hard work just to have her closer.
You may have noticed, the studio is undergoing a change in direction. Due to circumstances out of my control, I will no longer be stocking Amy Howard At Home furniture refinishing products. I still have a few products left so if you are looking for anything give me a call, I may have it. Soon you will be able to get most of them at your local Ace Hardware stores. I will however, continue to offer personal studio sessions on creative furniture paintingand I am always available for custom work. If you have a special piece you’d like me to paint for you, contact me and let’s talk about it.
So in what direction am I headed now? How will I use this fabulous space? Well, during the past several months I’ve been doing a lot of listening to my own inner voice. As grateful as I am for my career as a commercial artist, my heart and soul is begging me to paint just for the pure pleasure of painting. My word of the year is “simple”and after years of art direction and deadlines, my goal is to simply make time to re-awaken my own personal artistic senses. We have rearranged the studio to better facilitate this new direction by moving my sketching and office area up front and leaving the entire large back room wide open for large canvases, messy painting and art workshops. I am very excited! Lots of great ideas are germinating!
In January, dear friend and talented artist, Audrey Phillips made use of the newly purposed space with a fabulous workshop on Abstract Painting. It was so much fun to have 5 like-minded souls splashing paint all over the place! In fact, It went so well she decided to do another one…
Crack The Code On Color Workshop: Wednesday & Thursday, March 18th & 19th
“This workshop will deepen your understanding of color. Through a series of exercises you will learn to stretch the basic color palette into more subtle hues, working from three primary colors. This exercise will teach you how to create an extended palette — moving beyond the primary mixes that occur on a condensed color wheel. Students will create their own personal color palette by exploring memories and touchstones throughout their lives that inspire them in their use of color. Additional exercises will help you learn to match any color you see. You’ll learn to discern what colors should be added to create unusual, hard-to-match values. You’ll leave with a tool kit that will help you discern what colors contrast, harmonize, and create tensions with each other. A short painting demo by the teacher will also take place on one day. There will be ample work time in the afternoon to paint on your own and you’ll have full access to assistance from Audrey during that open paint time.”
There are only a couple of spots open so if you are interested in learning how to CRACK THE CODE ON COLOR, contact Audrey here for more information.
I guess I’m a little behind at posting, although I honestly have been hitting the 30/30 painting-a-day-challenge every day so I’m happy to be forming the habit which really was the goal and the ultimate challenge for me. Here’s one that may or may not be finished. I’m learning these things may not ever be finished! That is the ABSTRACT question, isn’t it? When is it finished!??
“Pond’s Edge” 8 X 10 Oil and Coldwax on Cradled board
What I do like, is that I am starting to find a voice in these. Seeing some sort of recognizable image is something that seems to be extremely important to me, although I don’t really know why. Why does a painting have to BE something… represent something? I don’t know, but it seems to be an on-going struggle for me. I blame it on the fact that I have been a commercial illustrator for so long. I guess am learning a new way to illustrate – by intuition and movement – illustrating what I see in my mind.
A huge fan of the impressionists, I have never been interested in painting exactly what I see anyway, so perhaps I am on my way to some sort of “abstract realism”? I know if I keep pushing through it, experimenting and practicing, my voice will appear. In the meantime, it’s exhilarating to just have fun with it!