Whenever I complete a painting, or even during the process of it, I find spots of a painting that really attract my attention. The challenge is when it happens as I'm painting, particularly when it's something that can't remain when it interferes with the look of the entire piece. There are times I want to keep certain colours or marks so badly but I know that I need to sacrifice them in order to create an interesting whole, and then there are others where, even though the marks or colours might be a little 'off', that it just works. Sometimes I don't know why something works or doesn't, it's just a feeling, so it's nice when a new set of eyes can view the work and verbalize what they see. It's always about the details.
I've made an adjustment on the Painting Bees mini workshop that is available on Etsy and while I was going through the videos I stumbled upon some photos that were taken while the camera was being set up. I recently realized that I began painting bees six years ago, which surprised me. I've changed a few things in the manner that I paint them, but my process isn't really that much different. In my work I like to create an interesting background through layers of colour and pattern, then add and image, and then add the final shadows and highlights. It's always been easier for me to work on a ground that has colour on it than on a white base.
It's been nice having this series of paintings hanging on my studio wall as it gives me much time to view them and decide whether or not they are complete as is or require further work. This one had me stumped for awhile until I realized that I didn't push the contrast enough so I added a few more layers of glazes and now it's making me happy. The interesting thing is that none of the paintings have yet been signed as I'm not certain if they are all complete just yet. I'm definitely being more patient than I am typically.
I've re-hung the last of the Nasty Women project and am glad I did. It's so inspiring to be surrounded by these strong women...there is something so comforting and encouraging about seeing these women daily. Each of them have inspired me in some way and whenever I am stuck in the work that I am doing, I just have to stop and look at these faces to feel inspired once again.
I received an airbrush from my husband this Christmas and am so happy to use it! I've been concerned about my ecological footprint using spray paint but I love creating the patterns and layers on my paintings using stencils. I've tried using stencil brushes but prefer the immediacy and interest of the layers of street art which I feel can be replicated with spray paint. So far I've been using it with Liquitex Ink! which I've been loving and I'm finding the results softer but I really like it. I'm curious to see how this goes long term.
Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to repainting my studio. This is the colour my daughter chose when she used this room in high school many years ago (she's now a teacher) and it's been nice but I'm thinking of either going towards a deeper shade or something more neutral...like a deep sage green or soft white or grey. The carpet is brown (which I'm hoping to remove at some point) so that may dictate the direction I head. Cozy or bright? I guess we'll see.
I've been giving a lot of thought to the arts community and how challenging it can sometimes be to be welcomed in...especially being juried into arts groups. I had a nice chat with another artist who had a similar experience to mine a number of years ago, being rejected by a jury on more than one occasion without any explanation. Juries are interesting to me, as I really have no idea what they are looking for and I believe that if an artist is prolific and practicing their craft and, even more, their work is accepted into exhibits, they have sales, and may have studied in some form, then I don't understand why they are rejected. I personally love a huge variety of styles of work and love an arts community that is inclusive. There are times when everything I submit is accepted and I receive awards, and then others where everything is rejected. It really is a conundrum. And yet, I cannot imagine being anywhere else in my life because it is the process of creation, above all else, that motivates me. It's the time spent in my studio that is more important to me than anything else. Don't get me wrong, exhibiting and selling my work is a huge bonus, but creating it is definitely a necessity for me. And, whether I am part of a juried group or not, the community of artists that I am privileged to know is the support I really need.