Tuesday, August 27, 2013

One Thing

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying "Do one thing every day that scares you", so to follow her advice, I'm working on setting up an online gallery of my paintings which I plan to link to from this blog. This is a really scary thing to me, putting my heart and soul out there like that (sort of like the awkward old nightmare where you show up at work or school only to discover you forgot to get dressed first!), so I hope anyone reading this blog and eventually seeing the gallery once it's up will be kind, at least at first. I don't know that I'm ready just yet for actual true constructive criticism since painting has thus far actually been more of a sort of "healing" activity for me. And let's be honest, at this point I think I'd almost prefer to be lied to and told I'm not a terrible artist (I still cringe and feel so undeservedly arrogant even calling myself that). But I'm going to give it a go anyway, thanks to the motivation to do so from some very supportive established online artists - a tremendous thank you for the encouragement goes out to jwjonline.net, skinnyartist.com, et al. Hopefully before too long I'll feel like I've developed enough experience and confidence to handle true critiquing, both positive and negative. Heck, depending on how long it winds up taking me to get the artwork photographed and uploaded, maybe even by the time the gallery is up and running.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Washing Away the Dust of Everyday Life

While fully realizing I am a Beginner - with a capital B - I finally managed to summon the courage to share my elementary attempts at painting and drawing with a handful of friends and coworkers. And I was surprised to find that they apparently did like some of my creations. As these are people I trust to be honest with me, I believe they were actually giving me their genuine opinions and not just trying to avoid hurting my feelings.

I'm still discovering my own style, so many of my drawings and paintings are kind of all over the place, from realism to impressionism and everything in between and beyond, but I'm having a lot of fun "finding myself" in the world of art. During this journey, I am forever grateful to all the artists out there who have so kindly published free online video tutorials. I've learned so incredibly much watching and following along with them, and the tips and techniques they've shared have been invaluable.
I've been jokingly called "Grandma Moses" because I discovered art at an older age, and have already done more than 50 drawings and paintings in less than two months, but I can only hope to end up being as prolific - and talented - as she was! I have, however, been finding this activity to be a freeing and relaxing experience that somehow seems to make every day better. Pablo Picasso once said "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life", and I am certainly finding that to be true for me.

Obviously, I'm still very much a beginner, but I don't recall any activity I've ever attempted where being a novice was so incredibly much fun. Even if I never, ever develop any real talent or skill for drawing and painting, that's okay. This is my own personal haven; my creations are really just for me and don't have to please anyone else or meet anyone else's expectations. Art has become such a wonderful refuge from the everyday that I can no longer imagine my life without it, no matter where my skill level - or lack thereof - may lie.