Thursday, January 31, 2013

Drive, Rooster and 29 Faces

Hawaiian Rooster
encaustic 6x6
What drives you?
My husband went to an interview this past week and this was one of the questions. He came home and told me about how it all went - questions and his answers. He said, I'm not sure I did OK on this one. So, he asked me... "What drives you? How would you answer that?"
Really, it was an easy answer for me. I am driven to gain knowledge. I am driven to understand things, to better myself and my skills and to learn all this by gaining knowledge. Sometimes I get an insatiable appetite for learning something. I am driven to compulsion to learn it. I get it in my brain and it takes hold and I'm on a tangent... I'm driven to learn whatever it is.
I learn through books, videos, asking questions and finding examples, taking lessons. Study is in there too. I study. I practice.  I also google. I love it - this quest for knowledge. Its ongoing for me and ever changing. I land in a spot and gain knowledge there and when I feel like I've learned it - I move on, move forward. That was my answer - this is what drives me. He looked at me and said "wow, I think I should have said that  - that's a good answer".   Made me smile.

I mentioned I was on a bird thing. Here's one of the few I've been working on. I always wonder why a certain animal appears in my mind and just has to be painted. I do believe there is some connection there when an animal makes an appearance. So, if you are curious, as I was - here's the answer Rooster totem

And... Its time for 29 Faces - so... here we go
Face #1
Face #1
29 Faces
I've actually been doing it - painting every day (almost). And... I've been working in series, like 4 encaustic paintings at a time - which, really makes sense.  I'm also still dabbling in oil paint and filling in my sketch book.  Then.. I use my left over paint and just paint for fun, from my imagination, in this old book I found at the Goodwill.  If they're really bad, I just rip out the page and throw it away (I've only done that once - it was bad - believe me.... bad).
Happy Friday!  Join the fun

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yes!, 21 Days and Forming Habits

Yes!  With a big fist pump for the victories.

It takes 21 days to make something a habit.  Its now past that in dates on the calendar.  I'm holding well to some of my resolutions and others - well... like going to the gym 3 days a week, I haven't yet reached the 21 day mark.  So, that makes 7 weeks I have to go to the gym 3 days a week to make my 21 days in order for it to be a habit.  I'm on day 9 - I'll be in double digits soon and halfway to a habit forming routine.  So, I'm feeling good about that.  Victory!
I'm also working on a 365 photo - take a photo a day.  I'm off a couple of days - but I feel I'm in the early stages of that one - I'm really counting on the habit part of it to kick in and carry me through days 200+.
Next, meatless Monday for dinner.. that's a tough one because 21 Mondays takes me to May 27 and that's a lot of meatless recipes I have to find to get me there.
Making my bed everyday - not doing so well on that one.  Already fell off the wagon for walking the dog every day and haven't even gotten started on my organizational plans. 
One of my other hopeful 21 day regime/habit forming things is to try and paint (or draw or sketch) everyday. Its a tall order - so really... to be realistic, if I get into the studio 5 of 7 days - that's remarkable and really, really good. Let's see... 5 days a week would make a little over 4 weeks to become a habit - so far, I'm in good shape.  Victory!
Its early yet - so no judgement.. there's still plenty of time to make things a habit.  With that in mind, I'll show you what I've been up to this week with my habit forming almost daily studio workings ..  Earlier in the week, I showed the Pinyon Jay and promised to show the other half of his panel:

encaustic, india ink, oil on birch 10x22

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fog, Painting All Day and The Pinyon Jay

The Pinyon Jay
detail of a larger painting
encaustic and India Ink on birch approximately 10x10

Imagine yourself sitting in the bottom of a refrigerator looking up through the glass shelf that has milk poured across its surface... well, that sums up Seattle's weather as of late.  Normally, it would be causing me to moan about the fog and the chill and the lack of sun and, and, and...  yet, there is good that has come from this weather inversion.
cold chilly foggy weather + the lack of desire to go out =
brilliant studio time to paint to my heart's desire
I've been working on a series of bird paintings due to my thrift store bargain of the century - a book on north American birds that I swear was never opened but the one obligatory time when received as a gift.  Lucky for me, it made its way to the Goodwill.  Thank you very much Mr or Mrs Anonymous Giver - your donation is greatly appreciated!
Mr. Jay here is not a bird that is local to us in the Pacific Northwest - yet, I so loved him that he just had to make it onto a panel.  He has several other friends in various stages of work, so he is not alone in studio.  Its starting to look like a regular aviary in the basement workshop.
That glimpse of red at the left of the painting?  Its the other half of this panel.  Will show you that on Friday - so be sure to come back for the unveiling.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Camping, Beetles and Other Oddities

I've been camping in a figurative way. I basically pitched my tent and have stayed a while on a lovely plateau. I've been camping in the land of faces and I've really been having a lot of fun painting and taking the time to study them. I've spent about a month here - working on skills and really noticing a positive difference. I will say that it really does make a difference to stay in one spot with one focus and really get to know one thing. Good things come from tunnel vision.
Yet, like any good camping experience there is a time to move on - a time to break camp.   I still haven't figured why oddball things to paint come to my brain.  I've been so focused on faces and then I couldn't get bugs off my mind - specifically beetles.   The thought wouldn't go away until they were complete.  I've learned to not question it any more - I just paint.  I used to get stressed about what I paint and whether it fits a style or even makes sense to be painting faces then painting bugs - and now I have a giant horse on my work table and a whole lotta bird ideas flitting through my brain.  Not sure when I'll be back in the land of faces, but I do hope to do 29 Faces this year - coming in February :) 
encaustic 8x8

encaustic 8x8

encaustic 8x8
Happy Friday everyone!! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Phobias, Sketchbooks and Resolutions

Lady in Purple
encasutic on birch 6x8

Ok, I admit it... I have a phobia. Its one that I've decided to tackle in the new year. Its not a huge thing like a phobia of spiders or heights. But it is one that is a bit concerning as an artist. I'm going to address the elephant in the room. "Uh hum - Elephant? You are really cute, honestly.. but you do take up a lot of space and its time for you to move - at least to another room."

My phobia? - It's sketchbook-a-phobia... I hang my head in shame. Honestly, compliling artwork in a sketchbook brings me great stress. I think its the anal perfectionist side of me that just has a real hard time handling the idea that there are bad drawings, paintings and sketches in the book as well as the good ones and many that fall somewhere in between. I buy them - sketchbooks, I have them and I've even started some. But, as soon as the less than perfect thing happens in the book - well, its tainted and that's the end of it for me. Or really, the mere thought of creating a less than perfect drawing in a book makes me run far and fast in the opposite direction. I even have one that I have about 5 or 6 pages of good drawings - but I can't bring myself to add another for fear the good luck has run out and a dud will appear. So it sits in the started but never completed pile of sketchbooks - kind of like the land of the misfit toys.

Oil in Sketchbook :)
So.. in 2013 I'm going to suck it up and get over this thing. I spend every Friday visiting blogs where artists are creating art journal pages, sketches while in restaurants, travel sketches, backyard sketches, all kinds of beautiful paintings, drawings and sketches - AND... all these are in books mind you! Inspiring to say the least. I hold these people up as the amazing sketchbook idols that they are. So, here it is in big letters - red too just to really make the point:

In 2013, I'm going to finish a sketchbook, one that I started already and I will show it here when its complete - warts and all. I'm saying this out loud because I'm good to my word - and I've said it - so now I have to do it. I even bought one that does not have tear out pages!

Happy Friday everyone. Thank you to my fellow PPFr's for your weekly inspiration. Hit the button and visit some of my sketchbook idols as well as many other amazing artists.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

26 Letters, One Year, and Doing What I Love

26 Letters for FILM26
encaustic on birch 5x5
 I have two creative things I love to do - painting and photography.  Painting has taken the driver seat lately - but that's OK because I know my camera is there for me at any time. 
I took on a project last year to combine my two creative loves - and this is the result.  Every two weeks I photoed myself with one of my encaustic letter tiles to travel the alphabet for the year of 2012.  This year, I don't have such lofty goals - but the word I picked for 2013 will keep me motivated. 

I'm back in my studio as of today.  Its been almost a month since I've turned on the palettes and warmed up the wax.  I'm looking forward to 2013 and continuing to share this artful journey.  Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 In a Word

Do you pick a word for the new year?  I do.  I've decided its nice to have a word to fall back on during the year.  Its nice to have a word to build the year upon.  Its like a theme song - only its a theme word.  No music, just a word to sling shot you back into the game if you get a little wobbly and lose focus.  This will be the 3rd year for me to pick a word to be my north star for the year. Last year was a good strong word.  The year before was the word knowledge because it was to be a year of learning.  This year, I've chosen an action word, one that will get me out of the blocks and keep me going.
This year I have chosen MOVE.
What does move mean?
  1. (1): to change the place or position of (2): to dislodge or displace from a fixed position : budge
    (3) to transfer from one position to another(4): to keep pace; moving with the times;
  2. a (1): to cause to go or pass from one place to another with a continuous motion; move the flag slowly up and down; (2): to cause to advance
    b: to cause to operate or function : actuate moves the whole machine c: to put into activity or rouse up from inactivity
  3. : to cause to change position or posture
  4. : to prompt or rouse to the doing of something : persuade moved us to take action
  5. a: to stir the emotions, feelings, or passions of moved by such kindness  b: to affect in such a way as to lead to an indicated show of emotion moved her to tears
  6. : to change hands by being sold

Move = exercise, Move = act on ideas with no procrastination, Move = write and paint more meaningfully, Move = get my art out into the world.
I've spent the time I have needed to learn, gain knowledge and skills.  I've spent time building confidence and strength.  And, now its time to move. 
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