I have been contemplating doing this now for a while where i challenge myself to a walk a 30 days of art process where i publish something NEW i have created that day
to my social media. Initially i thought this would be a great way to share more of my art, art process, and Myself, as well as pushing myself to create new art each day. This is a quick sketch i did of my partner as we were in a cafe enjoying an afternoon coffee. For Christmas this year I asked for a small sketchbook that I could carry around in my pocket, so here is the first time I cracked it open!
Today i worked on my orca painting. I had painted in some water ripples the previous day but wanted to restructure the flow of the ripples at the top of the painting. I had painted in 4 ripples initially but thought 3 would be better to slow the feel of the painting down a bit. So worked on that today.
For todays Art Share, i pulled a tarot card as a jumping off point and pulled the word “Conditioning” which showed a Lion surrounded by and covered in sheep. From there i observed how sometimes “conditioning” for me is like being covered and surrounded within and without by strings of memories, thoughts, pictures, emotions where you kind of have to start with one of those strings and begin untangling all the threads by just taking one point and walking it into understanding.
Here i show some raw video of me applying a wash layer of green to the foreground of my painting. I would eventually take this further into the piece to create the affect that the Orca is submerged into his environment. As i get to know acrylics more i have naturally gravitated to using washes as a method to build the painting. Something that i never really did with oils.
Throughout my process as an artist my style of the work I do has shifted, changed, and evolved. In retrospect I can begin to see specific phases and stages of the development of my art, and within that I can see the particular “values” that I was holding during those years that ultimately ended up shaping and forming the work. One such “value” that I see in looking back over the artwork that I have created during the years that is quite a prominent thread running throughout almost all my work is the point of “Expression”. Now in one period in particular I can see this point of expression was quite dominant and I held to be of the utmost importance when I created my work. I remember during this time that I would never pre-plan anything. My focus at the time was simply “creating in the moment” as a result I would be preparing my canvases and I would have no idea what I wanted to paint, but that this was done on purpose, and as such it was a kind of a rule. So, the rule, was that “I have no rules”, lol. This aspect has changed throughout the years, but I still do see it existing within me and it still does come up in the creating of my work in varying degrees. I can never recreate work I did in the past. It was specific to my beliefs, values, and situation at the time. My theory during my ‘Expressive Period’ was that I couldn’t use “I don’t know what to paint” as an excuse not to do art. In fact this reminds me of a very influential statement I read when I was around 16 or 17 years old that struck a chord within me and that would in a lot of ways serve as inspiration, direction and motivation for my art in the proceeding years, and even today, this statement I read at that time is still a part of me.
The statement came from an Italian Renaissance workshop by way of conversation between the Master artist and his curious apprentice. Perhaps maybe the inquiry of a young Michelangelo or Leonardo. The young artist was curious about what made a great artist and what the secret was. The Masters response was grounded, and sober. “Draw Every Day Without Fail”…..When I read this, I stopped in my tracks. I realized the simplicity of becoming effective at art or anything that one wants to do. This statement was so inspiring to me and supported me during my early development and beyond which in part was why I adapted a way of working where I would not allow “not having good ideas” as a reason or justification to not create art.
So I would simply paint, whether I had a ‘good’ idea or not, or no idea at all. This allowed me to move through drawings that were very much free-flowing and expressive.
As adults we tend to get stuck in patterns, and hardened into routines and ways of being and doing things where if you observe a child, they are much more free and expressive and not so hung up on if what they are doing is right or wrong or what other people think about it, they just express, unconditionally, and so for me during my expressive period, my art was unconditional in a way, I was just exploring and expressing as an artist.
Today I worked on a new project that I started yesterday. It’s an alabaster sculpture of a sitting polar bear. My first one in this sitting pose. The alabaster is nice because it is a softer stone which allows me to work more with hand tools if I so chose. Sometimes I will spend some time shaping with a small rasp because in these moments, I can just turn the power tools off and slow and quiet things down for a moment. I especially do this while working on the faces of the animals that I carve.
I was also finishing up another Custom project this week of a Samoyed dog sculpture where the clients wanted some stone inlays done and so I was busy with that this week which can be quite a tedious process.
Other than that I have been spending some time in the evenings after carving re-designing my website, aligning it in a way that is current and representing WHO I AM at the moment in my life and in my career. I have done this so many times, maybe 6 or 7 times since I first put my website live in 2012. The website is really an ongoing, ever-evolving process.
So this has been an interesting time for me as I continue to explore different directions with my art where lately I am pushing in a few different directions to see which one of these gets some traction. That is honestly what I like about being an Artist. I like the diversity and range of things that goes into doing this professionally where at this stage consists of carving stone during the week, and then doing some drawings on the weekends or in the evenings. Also, I work quite closely with the gallery that sells my sculpture, and I usually spend 1 day a week on the gallery sales floor speaking to customers and packaging any recent sales that I have had. Then in my spare time, I will work on my website, adding content, writing blogs, sharing photos, and doing my social media stuff. There is quite a lot to maintaining an engaging digital profile as an artist which I am still getting the hang of but find it deeply creative. Doing my online work is quite interesting to me because the internet is vast and it is a great place to showcase artwork as well as being able to interact and engage with people who are interested in my Art. Ultimately it is my goal to make sure that anyone that ends up on my website or any of my art pages, knows that there is a Real Human on the other side and not some ‘automated robot marketing machine’ which I think could actually be beneficial to have as a particular personality suit hat one has in ones closet to wear strategically enough to encourage sales of the work. But for me, one who has always been more of a recluse, I see its as important to really share who I am though my media channels so people that like my work can get to know me on a more personal level.
Okay, just thought I’d do a quick update from Inside the Artists Studio.