I will be out of town for longer than anticipated, but, ever the artiste, I have been working on a few small creative endeavors! My mother has fallen and broken her shoulder, so while I have been driving her insane with my concern, I have also been doing a bit of sketching, and have almost finished a small painting. It certainly helps to focus my mind a bit during the quiet moments, and I am learning that art can really be a sort of meditation and calming influence during those times when you are near to panic. I had once considered art therapy as a vocation, and I can see that it would have been a really viable choice. Because I don't have access to my photos, other than the few I brought along, I will share with you a collaboration: my husband carved this wonderful ostrich egg, and I painted the hummingbird in metallic paints. Look for an upcoming picture of my soon-to-be-finished latest painting of an iris, when I can figure out how to download onto an unfamiliar system! For those who know and love my creative mother, she is hanging in there, and will soon be having surgery...she is curious to find out if magnets will stick to her once she has the metal plate put in her shoulder. She is such a trooper!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I will be gone for a week, so send good thoughts for the Altered Book Nature Journal class. With my 'Progress Report' foremost on my mind, I am setting a few art goals while I am away. I plan to bring a canvas with me, and paint something ...I am not sure what. My sketchbook will come with me, of course. Also, the area has some delightful art galleries, and I hope to get a bit of inspiration by seeing what others are inspired by.
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:14 PM
It has been 2 months since I began this blog, and I must remind myself of why I started...to encourage the creative process and progress in my amount and quality of painting.
I am pleased with part of my progress...I see where I am being creative. I am starting to find out WHEN I am at my most productive, so that I can start to structure my days better. However, I can also see that I am leaning heavily on past creations, and need to step up my productivity a LOT! I don't know how any of you out there do it! Are you focused, and schedule your day? Do you tune out the distractions? This is where I really fall down as an artist. The truly obsessed artists that I know are constantly trying new things, are excited about what is coming next, and can't NOT create. I still find myself at that tentative stage...afraid of greeting that blank canvas, and not really sure what I want to paint, or communicate.
I was told by a long-time artist and teacher that if I don't communicate with the viewer, I am wasting my time, and my painting is a failure no matter how pretty it is. That stopped me dead in my tracks for weeks!
So I will focus on the positive points...I have learned so much the past 2 months of blogging, and feel that I am on the brink of a real breakthrough in my art. I am starting to understand what I want to accomplish visually, what I want to say with my art, and where I want to go with it. That is a 30 year bonanza in my mind! Knowing that I can blog it out, put it down in words as well as pictures is helping everything to come together.
I look for great things ahead...or a lot of little things. Progress is progress!
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."
---Louisa May Alcott
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:06 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sometimes art is just for living and observing...who could say more than these flowers? Maybe sometime I will try to come close to this artistry and put these beautiful colors together in a painting. But for right now, I am loving Nature's composition and pallette!
Posted by Rose Altom at 1:14 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I love working in pen and ink! For some reason, that medium more than any other works for me. I was traveling for a few days this week, and you know how you miss your own TV, garden, and STUFF! so I was glad that I had brought along my sketchbook and Pilot pen to play with. These two sketches were the best of the bunch, so I wanted to share them with you. I loved the Grey Owl's eyes...so deep and interesting!
Posted by Rose Altom at 12:12 PM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I also decided to do a pen and ink drawing as well. All of the reference photos that I took of this bird showed it singing, mouth open every time. I couldn't get a picture with it just sitting still, minding its own business. My husband says that this is why I identify with the bird. Hmmm!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:14 AM
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Today I was inspired to work with watercolor pencils and pens...MUSHROOM DAY! I love fungi, there are just so many shapes and colors. I decided to work in miniature, so I drew a full watercolor page of 9 mushrooms. It is so interesting to draw with the colored pencil, and then see the color come alive when you touch water to it! I chose some of my favorite mushrooms, some of which grow in our yard. Then I decided to make it all into a tiny book...it is 3 inches by 3 inches. It is so much fun to just play occasionally, and not take yourself too seriously.
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:19 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Posted by Rose Altom at 12:27 PM
My trip to the coast and an early spring brought on an attack of allergies, which in turn heralded the worst cold of the year. What does this mean creatively? Well, of course I was too muddle-headed to think of much, so I did my favorite quiet thing, which was to look up quotes to inspire me. Well, someone was trying to tell me something! I found quotes aplenty on the subject of procrastination! I do tend to let excuses get in the way of my creativity, mainly because of fear.
"The greatest mistake you can make is to continually fear you will make one."
So, while I was sniffling, sneezing and self-medicating with chamomile tea and honey, I read quotes like:
"To rest is to RUST!"
and "If you are not committed to something, you are just taking up space."
Even more brow-beating: "Man's ability is usually rated by what he finishes, and not by what he starts."
and "Success is a result, not a goal."
My favorite? "We have two ends with a common link.
With one you sit, with one you think.
Success depends on which one you use.
Heads you win, tails you lose."
Well, of course this was guaranteed to put me into a self-flagellating tizzy. I thought of all the ideas that I have had that were brilliant, and that I shot down with excuses. All of the paintings that I meant to start, and family crises got in the way. All of the FUN I could have been having, all of the virtuous feelings of accomplishment I could have had. What was keeping me from accomplishing great things?!
"If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way."
"Happiness is not a destination, but a method of traveling."
"There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who have no idea what happened."
I tried to encourage myself with quotes, but I ran into this one that stopped me dead in my tracks: "There is no smaller package than a man who is totally wrapped up in himself." Whoa! Deeeeeeeeep! Existential, even. I was over-thinking it all, AGAIN! Face it. I was just being lazy and fearful of not being perfect. As small as that, and no excuse at all.
So, what is this blog all about, after all? Encouraging myself to get off my tail and get to painting, get to expressing my life with a visual journal and possibly impact others with my vision.
"When there is no way out, the way UP is still open."
Look for more activity on the creative front, people! If you have words of encouragement, I will embrace them, and take them to heart. If you have words of helpful critique, I will be grateful. If you have similar defeatist problems, let us try to get through them together.
"The most drastic and usually the most effective remedy for fear is direct action."
Posted by Rose Altom at 12:20 PM