I thought I would play a bit and record myself while I painted a portrait in water mixable oils. I do these on scrap papers in the evenings as practice and to unwind from my day. I was in my living room, not in my studio, so the recording is not HD as it is just my little laptop and webcam equipment. But I like it fine and I think you still get a clear idea of how I play.
I was given some unexpected [and at the time unwanted feedback] at the end of 2012 about my painting practice. I stewed and stewed over it for a while. But then I decided to take the information for what it was. And try to see what there was in it that I could / should use.
I realized that the truth that was there, was that I don’t show my painting practice. All I really post are art journal pages. Although I tell people I am a portrait artist, I generally do not show them.
So I decided to take that truth and really look at it. Look at why it bothered me. And I decided it bothered me more because I was being defined solely based on what I post online. And in that context, the statement was actually true.
In reality, if you knew me in real life, you would know it was not at all true. I paint portraits outside of my art journal every single day.
So I decided to start making it a daily practice that I would post. And that fit in nicely at first with my #365days practice. Except that somewhere in all of that stewing and truth seeking I realized I haven’t actually been growing my skills lately.
So I decided to make that one of my goals for 2013. But how to fit that in with my already very busy work life?
One of the reasons that I wasn’t growing was because I have my studio setup to create and record classes. And when I am in here [like right now] I feel like I am in ‘art journal teacher’ mode. Yet that is not all that I do. Not all that I am. Not all that I want.
Solution: I packed up my big easel and all of my oil painting tools and paints and moved them from the studio to my apartment.
By moving my oil painting practice to my apartment I can work on my portraits outside of the ‘work’ area. I can be entirely removed from the ‘art journal’ part of my artist practice. And I can concentrate on just sketching and painting again in the evenings.
It has been an amazing change for me and I am now very grateful that I was given that feedback. Because I took it and turned it around and made it into something very positive and pleasurable [except that I need to set some limits as I am not getting enough sleep].
And why oils? I choose to take my oil paints because I feel that I haven’t really given them enough time and practice. I love love painting with them. But they are very different from acrylics and require a different way of working, different mental muscles need to be exercised and strengthened.
Starting in late March I began painting exclusively with oils in the evenings. The improvement alone has been worth every ounce of struggle. And yes, there has been much struggle by me in the last few weeks [especially when it should be bed time!].
Here are a few of my recent paintings:
Most of these are on paper and will be listed for sale in my shop very soon. First they must dry fully. A few are on canvas and more will be in the future, as well as on wooden panel.
At the end of 2012 I made a commitment to myself to paint or sketch a face every single day in 2013. A daily practice can be quite daunting. So I didn’t blog about it or make a big show of it. I simply started attaching the tag #365days to my Instagram photos. In the 1st quarter I managed to post 76 faces out of a possible 90.Read More»