I recently took a Reiki class hoping to improve my health, connect with my animals better and, generally, be in harmony with the Universe. Lofty goals for a simple soul but as I didn't feel like I was making any progress toward better health, I thought what the heck! During the class it occurred to me that I just might improve my artwork, too. Our teacher, Janet Shettle, was very good and very patient. Her connection with the spiritual energy is amazing. Anyway, I was reading about the Reiki and how it was recommended to keep a journal of our experiences. I happened to read an article in International Artist Magazine and they recommended the same thing for artists. So I'm going to try it. Don't know if I will log in every day or month or irregularly but if it helps I'm all for giving it a try. Hope somebody out there will be interested enough to read my ramblings but it's OK if I'm on my own
Saw a demonstration by Stan Sperlak on Saturday, March 24th, at the Maryland Pastel Society General Membership Meeting. (By the way, these meetings are open to the public. The next one is April 21st).
Stan started out with a slide show then worked on a night landscape in pastel. Very interesting! He talked about having confidence in your art and really thinking about why you paint and why you chose the subjects you do. I know why I do, I love those animals!
I am amazed all the time with artists who don't seize the moment and take advantage of situations. They pass up golden opportunities! They get stubborn, they bulk at a new idea and there by miss an opportunity to learn! I've met sculptors, oil painters, pastelists, etc. who refuse to think creatively when a problem arises. From being dissatisfied with a Life Session pose to complaining about some physical ailment, artists need to work around problems. My artwork projects are not so precious that I won't switch gears in mid-stroke. I'll try something different just to see what will happen. I always think I may stumble onto some technique or look that will be really interesting. Hey, I'll always go for it! I'll always Be Curious, Be Adventurous, Be Happy, Work Hard, Stay Peaceful.
Why make art? Communication, certainly. Connection, definitely! Some clients look at my work and are taken to a place in their past and a calm, happy feeling over takes them. What a connection! A pet portrait client will exclaim, "That's her. That's my Baby!" I was plein-aire painting one day and a lady stopped and said, "You're making it look better then it does". That brought the scene into her and she was smiling when she walked away. I'll continue to make art and connect
A lot of the artwork I've seen lately has looked the same. The plein-aire landscapes look like the same old stuff. How many of those can you paint over and over again and have them all look the same. A lot, apparently! I've tried pastel collage for something different. It looks a little different and it definitely is different to work with , , , not the easiest collage material! Check a few out under Abstracts. Just finished a multi-media piece of an elephant. VERY COOL!
Almost everyone has or has had the urge to draw. Every child draws. Chalks and pencils, markers and watercolors, all bring out the artist in the child. Too bad we become aware of the sophisticated, professional drawing. Then you don't draw any more. You are not good enough. But some of us do continue to draw, to record what we see and how we see it. Vincent Van Gogh said "I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing." I agree!
SallyAnn Mickel Spotted Springs Studio