I know I am not perfect, but sometimes I wish I was a better painter than anyone else. Sometimes I feel embarrassed to show my work, because I wonder if people are looking at it and thinking “that is the work of an amateur.” Well, I am an amateur, but I find myself trying to hide that fact (as much as it can be hidden).
I think it’s time to admit to myself that although I have a fine arts degree, I’m only twenty-four. I have a loooong way to go before I can consider myself a master at my craft. I pray that one day I can look back on these paintings as the beginning of a very fruitful journey to mastery. I will consider the journey successful if I can say that I cared more about painting than I did about making money. And if I can say that I never stopped learning new things.
Now, what spurred that musing? The “progress” I’ve made on my painting. I started trying to perfect the skin tone. Some of the shadows are off. And the really discouraging part is that when this painting is placed next to its companion (Eric holding the fawn), it stands out a lot more. I am discouraged because I don’t want either painting to dominate the other, but to work together. I don’t know what I’m going to do but keep working and see if it gets better.
Them solid backgrounds don’t know how to act.
Was that just wrong? Do you ever make up occupational songs from annoying tunes that are stuck in your head? I’d love to hear your renditions if you can remember any!
Here is the painting as it was when I last posted about it:
I love the solid black background, but I’m still drawn to pattern. I like how it adds more dimension, and I want it to be the same as the painting of Eric. So here is my progress on the background.
I matched both sides of the painting up with the painting of Eric so that no matter which side I decide to put it on, it’ll flow into his painting.
I hoped it wouldn’t be too challenging to match up the colors of the background with the painting of Eric, and it wasn’t too bad. Also, please ignore the purple dress. I’m going to tweak the color and see if it looks better with a bit more gray in it. I have a feeling this painting is going to go a lot faster than the previous one!
It was last night, by the way. Me and the other members of the LWCC art group donned black hoodies and bandannas to hide our faces and sneaked out to the train yard. I immediately spotted the train car that I wanted to tag. My old nemesis had gotten to it before that night, and I was ready to unleash my can of spray paint on top of his [totally lame] designs. ”%$@#,” I scrawled on top of his work. That would show him!
Alright, so that’s not really how it went down. There were over twenty of us who met at the church, and we divided ourselves among the eight primed panels so that there were about three to a panel. Then Ramon Trevino gave us a brief refresher course on how to achieve different results using two different kinds of nozzles and applying pressure differently to get different lines.
Then we went to work. I worked with my friend Stephanie Rudisill and a really nice lady named Leslie. We decided to do a patterned background and paint trees on top of the background. But somehow it turned into something completely different.
It was so fun to walk around and see what everyone was working on.
I remember thinking at one point, “Hey, I think I’ve got the hang of this.” But all it took was one look at Ramon’s demo piece to realize that, like any other art form, it’s not something that can just be “gotten” in one evening. Ramon’s work is so crisp, and that is a really tough result to achieve when you’re using spray paint. I have a whole new respect for this medium.
I seriously had the best time last night (oop, song alert! ”I’ve…had…the time of my liiiife”), and I don’t think it will be the last for me. I would love to invest in some quality spray paint and nozzles (not the same as what you can get at the local hardware store). But, of course, the coolest thing was the community that I experienced last night. There were plenty of “Run! Cops!” jokes to be heard, and even a “Run! Pastor Steve!” joke even though what we were doing was fully legal and approved by the church. I will say that it was probably one of the coolest things ever done at that building. If you want to see the rest of the pictures from last night including some of the paintings that others were doing, check out my Pigments of Imagination page on Facebook!
One of my favorite things to do is to flip through the progress photos of my paintings. I like to flip back and forth really fast and see the difference in the two images. I created a little slide show so that you can see what I mean.
And here is a larger image of the painting as it looks today:
Whelp! Happy Monday everyone!
Two years ago I graduated from college. The best thing about college was that I was surrounded by other artists. I constantly had people around me who cared about art as much as I did. It was so easy to feed and be fed by the creativity flowing from the fingertips of the people working alongside me when I was in the studio.
When I graduated, I started to feel cut off from that creativity. I was working alone in my house, and I had lost contact with many of the people that I had gone to school with. I remember praying that God would give me just one person who shared my love of art. And tonight I was surrounded by at least twenty other people that feel the same way I do about creating. I go to Living Word Community Church in Red Lion, PA. It’s a pretty big church with many classes and programs for people from all walks of life. But my personal favorite is called The Studio. It is the fine arts group, and tonight was the first meeting of the school year. It was amazing. This month’s topic is urban art. Ramon Trevino, an accomplished graffiti artist, shared his heart and demonstrated how to use different techniques with spray paint.
Next week, we’re going to do it ourselves, and I am so excited. I would love to incorporate spray paint into my oil paintings. I guess I’d better see if I can even do it first. It looks tricky, and I have never been good at spray painting things. If you live in the area and are looking to connect with God and other artists contact deAnn Roe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church, we’d love to have you!
Oh, and go here to check out some of Ramon’s work! Do you have any favorites?
That’s what they say about the York Fair, and they aren’t kidding! Eric and I paid our second annual visit to the York Fair, and two orangeades, one lemonade, one bloomin’ onion, and one Italian sausage later, we emerged with a day of fun memories. Here are some of the highlights that I found to be inspirational. Some of the animals were truly food….for the imagination that is.
These sheep were the inspiration for a painting that I did last year after the York fair. A lady at the fair let us hold two of her chickens and her white lion head rabbit. Does this picture of Eric and the chicken remind you of anything?
I think the fawn paintings are a little more poetic than these chicken pictures! And now I’ll end with this picture that gets funnier with every view. Check out the look on the rabbit’s face!
Have a great Monday everyone. I hope you enjoyed seeing the York Fair through my eyes. If you want more pictures, you can check out my Pigments of Imagination page on Facebook. I’m about to post the rest.
I’ve been back in the studio these last two days for long stretches, and it feels so good to know that I’m getting stuff done! I’ve wrapped up the painting of Eric and fawn. But I’m not signing it just yet because I am making a companion piece to go next to it, and I don’t want to sign them both. That would be over-the-top. Speaking of over-the-top, here is the reference photo for the companion piece.
I started out with a black canvas that I finished painting yesterday. Today I sketched the image with white chalk.
After that, I thinned down some oil paint and quickly added some color. This will give me a pretty good idea of what the finished product will look like next to the other one. It also gives me a place to start. Now that things are mostly in place, I can begin building up color, and tweaking the image to make it look more like me. I plan on making the background the same pattern as the other painting.
And here is a picture of the two paintings together. I know it’s a bad photo, but you can see the general idea.
So that’s what’s goin’ on at my place. I feel very strange doing a self-portrait. I’ve done a few before in college, but it was strictly by assignment. I am also planning on hanging these paintings in mine and Eric’s house. It may be a good idea, from a business standpoint, to have a good example of my work that people can see when they come over. But still, I know it’s a bit strange. I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to paint these two pieces together. Is it waaay too much?
A man from my church asked me to design a cover for a book that he’s putting together for a study (based on Scot McKnight’s book The Jesus Creed). He explained that the topic is loving God and loving others. It’s based on Mark chapter 12 in which Jesus says:
“‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
I chose to do a heart even though the symbolism is obvious. There is a hand in the upper right corner inscribing a message on the heart. I chose to do it in a language of the Bible. I started out with Greek, but was asked to switch it to Hebrew which looks really cool. I also placed some thorns in the background with some poking through the heart. Sometimes the message to love God and love others comes at a cost. I was also asked to make the edges rough, so I burned them. Here are some pictures of my progress:
I did the painting with acrylics, and used heavy watercolor paper so that the paper wouldn’t warp. I dropped it off at the church on Wednesday, and a couple of hours later Michelle Perez, the church’s graphic designer, emailed me the cover she designed featuring my painting.
Didn’t Michelle do a great job? If you like what I did, let me just say that it’s not a natural thing for me to be able to come up with things as quickly and successfully as I did. When I was asked to do this painting I said “yes,” then started to panic. I prayed, and after that I became inspired and things went very smoothly. Coincidence? I think not.
Since painting this picture of my nephew Asher, I’ve become increasingly interested in shadows and the light that creates them as the sun goes down. Maybe the pieces will also be a bit about the activities that happen at this time of day. I’ve been wanting to create a body of work that is cohesive so that if it’s shown in a gallery, the pieces will look more as though they are part of a whole. I’ve picked out a few possible references for my next paintings. Here are a couple that I’m considering. I hope this guy doesn’t mind that I’m going to paint him.
This one doesn’t show their faces, but instead is weirdly cropped. I’m more interested in the hands, and of course, the shadows. If you had to imagine what face this child is making (by the way, this is the torso of my nephew Asher with his Auntie Easten), what would you say? Is he happy? Grouchy? Tired?