Tuesday, October 21, 2008

4 season girls

6x12 wood panel
based on techniques learned in 
Les Petites Dolls with Suzi Blu

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I don't know why I but I'm always working on several projects/paintings at the same time.  I currently have at least 6 different paintings in various stages of completion and this week I worked on yet another piece. The Muse...

It's for my friend Barbara, it's her birthday next week and she's been having a bad week, not to mention feeling uncreative lately, muse-less one would say.  So here she is, a Muse to hopefully tempt her to come out and play, Happy Birthday Barbara! 

I recently had a little discussion with a fellow Workshop student about multiple projects going on at the same time and basically, it boils down to this: 

1. I like to have several pieces to work on because I don't always have large blocks of time to work (I still have lots of mommy duties) so I like to do things in batches, sketch out several boards, burn the outlines, color wash the first layers etc. Working in batches is great for stuff like wood burning or waxing  because once I pull out all the tools involved I might as well do more than one, before putting it all away again.
2. I sometimes get anxious about the later stages or the finishing, it's sometimes easier to start an new project than to work out all the challenges of finishing an old, half done project, so I just start a new one. 
3. I also like to start new projects  because I fear running out of ideas (I don't know what to paint) or I think my current ideas are not good enough (this panting is so lame!) so I keep trying with a new project.

But in the end, the fact that I actually do finish some of stuff I start, makes me feel like I'm not giving in to these fears but challenging myself to work through them. When I have an excessive number of unfinished projects, I challenge/force myself to finish at least one of them. It also helps to have a specific goal and deadline in mind, like the painting I made for my friend. Sometimes I make a list of the unfinished projects and get satisfaction in crossing them off the list when I'm done. There is much to be said for the feeling of accomplishment of getting something done that doesn't get undone (like laundry or washing dishes...)

So here's to finding your Muse and being brave enough to let her into your studio.  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

me and the boys and kitty too!

I just wanted to post a few pictures of the board I've been working on this week.
It was inspired by a painting Suzi showed in the class review video. It was a commision she did for a woman and her daughter.  It made me think of of doing a portrait of me and the boys. Of course this is a challenge because we were mainly making pretty pretty girls, and making handsome young boys is hard without making them look too girly.  So I made a few sketches and decided that the boys, look less girly if you shade only the upper lip, keep the lower lip more neutral and for older boys, making the jaw line more square seems to work well.
It is 12x24 birch plywood. A picture of me, my two boys, and of course Beauty, our kitty.