During my journey as an artist, there have been both wonderful milestones and difficult challenges to overcome. These are usually accompanied by a dry spell~an uncomfortable silence. These pauses are filled with self-doubt and insecurities. Sometimes these times of looking inward are followed by a break-through or change in technique or subject matter that is needed for me to continue my journey. Something mysterious occurs that reenergizes me and refocuses my vision. When it happens, it makes my angels sing!
Recently, I experienced several weeks of dissatisfaction with my painting. Nothing was working, the colors weren’t right, it was BORING, it was meaningless, you know~ all the excuses. My digital camera is old and is not working very well, and I need a camera for reference material. Instead of looking for a new digital, I was thinking I should return to my good old reliable, dependable 35 mm Minolta manual with the awesome telephoto lens. (This camera dates back to the late seventies and it produces some truly awesome slides with excellent focus.) Unfortunately, I can’t find slide film anymore. My photographer friend, Don Tomick told me this would happen.
Ultimately, it made my decision to “get back to basics.” I have been sketching outdoors, from life looking at things with fresh eyes, using my common sense and rediscovering what interests me as an artist. I am feeling my way again, looking for insight into what inspires me, "why do I paint, what am I thinking?"
I invite you to walk my path and share in my progress.
The challenge for week one:
Paint on location.
There is a little gold town named Volcano that I drive through twice a day. It is off the beaten path, so there is no Starbucks, and quiet is the rule. The locals like to visit in front of the General Store and walk their dogs. Daffodil Hill lives there. Last Saturday, I spent a few hours sketching and painting off the tail gate of my pickup. (That makes a great surface for painting, it is just the right height and I don't mind splashing a little Sap green on it~it washes right off :) It was nice to see that the visitors to the town were interested in what I was doing. The local people were busy with maintenance. The Virginia creeper vines on the Wine Room roof were brilliant scarlet and Alizarin crimson. The little town has a good vibe to it, it feels old, but cared for. Why paint on location?
- It is good practice.
- It helps get me out of the house.
- It is good for me to be exposed to the comments of passers-by.
- It stretches my artistic abilities, and trains the eye.
Week two challenge:
Go to Hope Valley~autumn Aspen leaves are at their best NOW.
- Take LOTS of reference photos.
- Sketch and paint what I see.
- Take a picnic lunch :)
Check back next week to see how it went!
Be well, Wendy