Friday, May 24, 2013

Artist Dates and Small Works Make for More Than Just Paint

As an artist, I have come to realize how important it is to be connected to a community of creative people.  I love all my friends, whether they are creative or not.  They all play a different role in my circle of friendship. Heck!  My husband isn't a creative and I think he is pretty darn cool himself! But my artist friends understand me at a level that is only possible if you are crazy, weird, nuts sewn together in way that creative thinkers are knitted.

After reading through the first half of Julie Cameron's The Artist Way, I decided to take the initiative to champion a Artist Studio Date once a month with two of my favorite creative friends.  We get together once a month with a sketchbook and limited supplies to create small works of art, but more importantly to connect and talk and share.  The idea is to come with a loose idea of what we might paint on the page.  We paint, chat and stop for lunch. We sip Prosecco and laugh about our lives, our men and bounce ideas off of each other. These ideas are both about our studio work and about our lives.  We are three months into our dates and I wanted to share with you the three pages that I have completed.  
In my bag of tricks I pack drawing materials, a limited supply of brushes and tubes of gouache.  Here are the results of each month's date.



Pic from the first Artist Date
In the above small painting, I came with the goal to just paint something without thinking.  I brought a few brushes, pencils and gouache.  (For those of you who don't know what gouache is, it's a watercolor paint that has nice qualities that allow if needed for a more opaque result than most standard watercolor paints.)  I just did without thinking, laying down a layer of bright yellow and then just adding the elements.  I have glue relief stamps that I made and tossed in the bag that I used to create the square and rectangular shapes.  During the afternoon, one of my friends said, "You can't be erased."  It wasn't a direct comment at me, but an overall pronouncement.  It stuck with me, so I used it in the piece on the bottom right corner.



On our second Artist Date, I brought with me a copy of a photograph that my daughter took of herself to use as inspiration.  Here is the photocopy. It's a somewhat somber image.  She captures herself in many different moods.  I thought this image would be interesting to tackle both thematically and structurally.


Below is the small painting I did based on this photograph.


I decided on a brighter color palette and put down a basic background sketch using pencil.   I made the decision at one point to open her eye because I thought the downward gaze would help me illustrate the mood of the image. We, as a family, have been through a lot in the last few months.  I wanted to document this moment.

This past week, we met in MY studio for the first time. Boy was I excited to host the day.  We all three have come to look forward to getting together to share our work and our lives.  We can say anything and the other person doesn't judge.  We 'get' each other implicitly. Weirdos like other weirdos. Hee hee.

Gypsy the Studio cat!
For this week in addition to the Artist Date, I was attempting to also participate in an online community linky party sponsored by Inspiration Avenue.  Maggie picks a theme each week and all the participants create something based on that theme.  I rarely participate in these parties because my work is my work and I find it hard to paint something that doesn't apply.  The theme this week was "Retro Art 1950s and 60s."  I had the hair brained idea that I would create my Artist Date page based on the work of the 1950s and 60s artist Mark Rothko.  I love his work and thought it would be fun to explore this idea.

It turned out to be not the best idea.  I am not Mark. Will never be Mark. I hated the painting. It didn't feel like me. The rectangles were all off or something.  Couldn't put my finger on it.  Maybe it was that I drank too much Prosecco? (wink)


In the end, I was so unhappy with the painting that I added this random tree.  Why not?  It is what it is for sure.  One of my friends said that the painting reminded her of Jasper Johns, another painter from that time period. So hey, it's my Retro Art. Ha!

An artist's life can be very isolating.  I think it is important to get out with other creative people.  We feed each other.  We validate each other.  Sometimes...we just need to 'be' together, if nothing more than to realize that there are other weird people out there just like us!  It's worth the effort. I promise.

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20 comments:

Twice Nice said...

Very fun works! So glad you have that community around you. I think it is essential to have that embracing. (I didn't really want to say support, but it sort of is!) Have a good weekend!

Paper rainbow said...

Your Artist get togethers look such fun!( Especially with the wine. ) Gypsy the studio cat looks a character worth painting too! The piece inspired by your daughters photograph is so softly painted but I have to say my favourite is your Rothko tree! :)

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I'm sooooo happy to see your paintings. I think the tree was a great call for that one piece. It adds depth.

Mary C. Nasser said...

Wonderful pieces!
And, yes, it's so important for us to have these creative clusters. :)
♥♥♥
Happy PPF!!
Mary
Mixed-Media Map Art

La Abela said...

Your art is special soccer photos and pictures are so captivated Essas flush. saludos

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

you are gorgeous, first of all. second of all.... love that painting of your daughter- it's beautiful. you are so talented, friend. i wish i could do that.

La Abela said...

Jajaja..ok.The translator seems to speak on their own, I said nothing abaut sport, only admired your girl with the long hair, I trust that I get for not checking what my gachet results. A greeting

Maggie said...

I so enjoyed your blog post, and I'm especially loving these pieces you created during your Artist Dates! How fortunate you are to have artist friends nearby to meet and paint with.

It's impossible for me to pick a favorite...the painting of your daughter is filled with such emotion, and the first painting is so spontaneous and bright...I love the sentiment, "You can't be erased". The Retro "Rothko/Johns" piece is beautiful. I love the way the warm colors and the organic lines of the tree soften the harder edges of the rectangles.

Thank you so much for sharing your art with us at Inspiration Avenue! I hope you'll keep visiting and playing in the challenges! We are a small group, and each week a different member of the team chooses a theme for the challenge.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Maggie

Linda said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I've heard so much about this book. Another to add to my list :) I love that you have connected with a few art friends to gather and create and share on a regular basis. And prosecco too? How far away are you from me?? :) Love your paintings ! The tree you added to the last one brought it together beautifully!!

denthe said...

Very wise words .... Might have to buy that book. I love the works you created, very different yet all beautiful.

Diane said...

Great work! You are very right about artists being in touch with other artists. Thanks for the blog visit too!

Susan said...

I am struck by how different each of your pieces are! I love your "gift" and hope you will continue to share it.
Thank you for visiting my site.

Pia Rom said...

I really love your art and the retro tree has catch my eyes...very cool ♥ Conny over IA
http://piaromsartjournaling.blogspot.de

Kat Griffin said...

you are so right. Art can be isolating to the artist. I get so involved in creating that I loose all sense of what others are doing and all other things I should be doing. But I couldn't function and be happy if I didn't keep painting or creating something artistic. Love you painting of daughter and I like the tree too
keep on posting you are inspiring to us
-KAT-

Ritu Dua said...

your retro art is adorable indeed !

Tracey Grgic Potter said...

What a glorious thing to do each month! The company of good art friends is so valuable.

Wilme said...

This was so inspiring to read :) Julia Cameron's book is what started the whole art journey for me, and I've loved all her other books too. Having artsy friends is something I long for, so I am so happy for you that you have these beautiful friends. I love your work, all three paintings were so beautiful to look at!

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Wish I lived near you! This is right up my alley. Love that you are having fun and being creative using your art! Also, The Artist's Way really gets you back doesn't it?

minnemie said...

Yeah for art-buddies to hang out with. I find such getogethers to be essential therapy for me.

JKW said...

I am so glad you are meeting with friends, that is always a joy. . .another perpective. The painting of your daughter is great, opening her eye is perfect. The tree with that background reminds me of genealogy. Good art today. Blessings, Janet PPF