Monday, February 21, 2011

Winds of Change or Where I want to be?

"You're always on your way somewhere. The key is: find a way to be happy wherever you now are on your way to where you really want to be."
--- Abraham (Excerpted from the workshop in Detroit, MI)

Having just returned from a fabulous family vacation this inspirational message arrived in my email in-box. I realize it has many levels of meaning but having just been basking on a tropical beach in Mexico for the first time in my life, I am honestly feeling like I WANT TO GO BACK! Especially looking ahead at our weather forecast in the NW. I felt so happy and warm on that beach, and the ocean was so clear and inviting...OK, but that was vacation. Back to reality!

You can compare the painting above that I did in the rain last spring across from the Woodburn Tulip Festival , and compare it to the photograph below that I took in Mexico last week. Which would you choose? Silly question. However, there is a lot to this message considering what is going on in our world today. For example one year ago I entitled my painting "Winds of Change". How could I have even dreamed of the current 'winds of change' in world news originating in Egypt, Libya, or even WI?? Look at what people are feeling and doing for the sake of freedom and happiness. It is exciting, exhilarating, and a little scary too. As an artist I feel so privileged to be able to create a work of art that can be beautiful and meaningful and inspired by any of these happenings; my feelings during vacation, my emotional reaction to world events, whatever. These could all influence my mood when I'm at the easel. At any given moment depending upon what is happening around me I may feel happiness, sadness, elation, fear, etc. But as the saying goes, life moves on and so do our emotions and reactions to the experiences around us. As an artist I want to be able to leave others with the joyful, warm feelings I love to experience. Like when I'm actually in the zone of creating a piece of art. It in itself makes me happy and that's a beautiful thing. I realize having taken a vacation recently I came home refreshed and renewed with such a light feeling that I want to savor it as long as possible. By visualizing it, reliving it and painting in that 'space' my paintings should in essence convey that same message to the viewer. So I decided to CHOOSE to paint that which makes me feel so. It seems while being in that mood other externals, like the news or politics, etc. seem less intense, serious, or morbid. I will see how long I can hang on to this 'vacation' space that I'm feeling now and try to carry it forward with me. After all, I'm "always on my way somewhere." On another level, it also means that even though I may be happy where I am now in my art process, I am still on my way to where I want to be! Great concept; rather than being disappointed with where I am (not far enough for that inner critique for instance) I can just remember I'm already on my way! To that next level? Of course, that's where I want to be! (Or maybe the next vacation? Better stick to my imagination there in order to keep it financially realistic!) After all artists have to have enough cash for those paints, canvases and frames that make us happy too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I found this great offer on ScottBurdick's website today. It is a download all about using photoshop for artists. He gives some great tips and it is a video that is user friendly. It is only $20 which is affordable for most artists and covers a lot of options for creative use. Since we could always use more hints with technology I'm passing it on to others who might be interested. Have fun with your art photo references or sprucing up photos of your paintings. There are other offers for drawing lessons from artist Susan Lyon. It is a one talented husband/wife team! Check out the site.