I've often been asked for advice on loosening up and painting more intuitively...these are ten things I like to practice:
1. work standing at an easel or wall as that can help your body to loosen up instead of being seated at a table.
2. turn your canvas upside down - a new perspective is always refreshing.
3. work large so that you have to use your entire arm including your shoulder and not just your hand and wrist.
4. paint (or draw) with your non-dominant hand.
5. put on some inspiring music, maybe try something different than what you would typically listen to.
6. treat the work like play, don't plan to create a 'finished' piece as that can help take the pressure off.
7. draw quick loose sketches to get the right side of your brain working as it's the creative side that you want working for you, not necessarily the logical side.
8. close your eyes for a little while as you work - a few 'errors' can sometimes be just what the painting needs to pop.
9. sketching every day helps teach hand/eye coordination so that when you work you can trust your body to be more involved in the process plus it is excellent to get those creativite juices flowing.
10. finally, I tend to spend a lot of time with a cup of tea just looking at the work in progress instead of pushing myself and it - I find that I get creative ideas just doing this (perhaps by adding another color or seeing an image I missed before) and I realize that loose brush strokes and marks add so much interest which helps me trust in the process.
I'm still in vacation mode but that's about to change...in a week both my girls will be back to school - one nearby and the other far away - all my guests for the summer will have gone, I have an exhibit to finish preparing for, and I've been selected to paint a local utility box, hopefully the first of many by numerous artists. I'm a little nervous but really very, very excited to work on a public art project in my community. Public art has been a long time coming here and I really feel honored to be able to contribute. I'm especially looking forward to the first day I begin work on this project as I love dripping paint, layering and making marks. So, keep your fingers crossed for me, that the weather stays warm and dry and that I stay true to my vision. And,
I'm so excited! The newest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine just arrived and my article looks wonderful! I am so impressed by the level of quality of each issue and feel very honored to be included once again. My etsy shop has also been updated to include these little gems that are real a treat to create. I've been so fortunate to have neighbors who gift me with leftover building materials which I then can turn into art - love recycling, or rather upcycling. It feels so good to reuse something that would otherwise end up in a landfill plus it gives me the opportunity to play, not worrying about the possibility of ruining something precious. And everyone that I have had the pleasure of working with at the magazine have been so gracious and professional. Thank you CPS!
The paintings of Veronica Funk
August 21 – November 5, 2012
Veronica Funk was born on June 25, 1966 in Winnipeg and raised in Leaf Rapids, northern Manitoba. In elementary school she began to draw, was taught the basics of cartooning by ‘For Better or Worse’ creator Lynn Johnston and learned aboriginal arts such as weaving and beading. A move to Alberta in senior high school offered the chance to formally study visual art, fashion design and drafting as well as the opportunity to design the logos for the 1986 Alberta Winter Games.
She studied Art & Design at Red Deer College in Alberta, apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters in Manitoba and spent a year painting on a farm in Saskatchewan. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and currently resides near the Rocky Mountains in Airdrie, Alberta. She has been painting professionally since 1999 with exhibits across Canada and the United States and her work is found in private and corporate collections around the world.
Her goal is to create a sanctuary, a quiet place of contemplation, an offer of an inviting place to be still. There is joy to be had in life’s everyday comforts; there is beauty in simplicity. Her paintings and writing have been recognized in books such as The Pulse of Mixed Media, International Contemporary Artists, The Best of Worldwide Watermedia
Artists, and more recently in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine with an upcoming article to be published in the September issue. Veronica’s studio will be featured in the winter issue of STUDIOS magazine.
I've just returned home from the two most wonderful weeks at Crimson Lake Provincial Park - such a surprising place. We spent sunny days building sandcastles and painting on the beach. We hiked and biked for miles along beautifully groomed trails. We visited wetlands, sand dunes, forests and went on our first geocaching trip. We learned about the flora and fauna of the area - I now know that Alberta has an edible provincial mushroom called the rough stemmed red top, that an owl's head turns 270 degrees in either direction, that bats can eat 1200 mosquitos an hour and catch them with their tails, and that a beaver's teeth is red with iron. We visited the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site which was the home of both the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company as well as David Thompson, who mapped most of western Canada, and still died penniles. We were visited by a dozen deer, six prairie hens, a few rabbits, scores of ground squirrels, and a black bear - twice! Must be some spiritual significance there. Next time we'll definitely kayak as the lake is quite still and very shallow. We read every day and each evening we walked along the lakeshore before roasting marshmallows for s'mores. I enjoyed the fourth in the Game of Thrones series, cannot wait to get book five, A Dance with Dragons, in my greedy little hands and am currently enjoying The Red Book by Sara Beak. A lovely, lovely holiday.
My studio will be featured in the winter edition of STUDIOS magazine - how exciting! Here's a sneak peak at some of my journals and my lovely, lovely ThumBox pochade from Judson's Art Outfitters (other photos here). I've had mine for a number of years but they do still make them, though they are a little different than this one. I love the fact that I can set it on a surface (such as a cafe table) because it has little 'feet', it can be attached to a tripod, and also held in the hand (there is a small thumb hole on the bottom). It carries my palette, brushes, rag, water dish, paint and four 6x8 inch panels (or one standard canvas). It has a lovely leather carry handle and I can also purchase a long strap for it to loop over my shoulder or around my neck. When I used to work in oils, I used the palette attached to the box but now that I totally focus on acrylics I use a small stay-wet palette. Today I'll be packing it up to spend a couple of weeks on a lake - sigh...I love summer.