Adieu été - Oil Study
Finally we have had a little rain, not much but enough to clear the air and freshen up the garden. This morning I walked my dog Ellie through trees and fog with occasional sunshine reaching through the branches touching the rain drops and turning them into tiny sparkling gems. This gave me time to reflect on my last several years, the knowledge I have gained and the wisdom of what to do with it all. I am constantly pushing myself to explore and reach beyond my ability. It's easy as an artist to fall into the subconscios 'stuck' trap. We all have bills to pay, studio rent and all that extra stuff that comes with it, oh and then the endless art supplies!
Art has been my life and never have I strayed from it even through children and illness. When I leaped into renting this beautiful studio space above our little coffee shop in town (although the coffee shop came a few years later) I imagined spending days and nights just creating gigantic masterpieces completely undisturbed but that didn't happen. What I discovered is people had higher expectations and demanded I paint in this way or that and I was pressured into selling all my work to pay the rent and not dip into our personal meager savings. In many ways this hindered my artistic development.
One gallery suggested I paint landscapes in the colors I had just painted a portrait, another insisted I paint old cars, old barns and vineyards. Friends told me to not paint wildlife and others told me to keep painting wildlife. I had open studios and had visitors tell me to go more loose and abstract and others didn't like my work at all, and the constant 'can you paint my dog' questions.
|Master painter Virgil Elliot|
Phew...it's hard taking all that advise and try to decipher what is constructive and what isn't and still each month the rent is due. But through all of this I kept painting, reading, attending workshops and discovering. I found other skillful and master painters to study with and travelled to Europe to see Old Master paintings. I wanted to further develop my foundational skills and knowledge and to nourish my creativity so I could come back to my studio and re-invent myself again.
I still have a long way to go but now feel I am no longer wasting time. I have found other ways to earn enough to pay my bills by teaching the knowledge I have gained, sharing techniques and getting involved with our community. My thought process and conviction has become clearer and my energy level has increased with my passion to explore and create, and maybe one day that masterpiece I dreamed of will transpire. Today I am grateful to have had all this experience and the wisdom gained from it, and for the rain to clear the dust and help my vision to forge a path ahead.
|Drawing and Painting with Sadie Valerie|
|Color Study and Portrait with Studio Escalier|
|Knowledge of light and form|
|On the Easel|