I’ve been feeling rather joyless lately about my art. Not for very long, just a few days but none the less, I started to think about why this last year I have been able to find such joy in painting. So much so that I couldn’t wait to get back to it. It has not always been like that. I used to torture myself throughout the process of doing a painting. I really never found much joy in the process, only the result. These last few days, I have been feeling like that again and it all has to do with that nasty old ego. It has stepped in and is trying to take over.
“Go away ego, I will continue to paint for the joy of it and if someone likes it along the way then that is just the icing.”
I did these two ACEOs tonight and it was fun. So there.
I did this mixed media ACEO last night. The tam is inspired by the artist Dadaya from Kyoto on etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5069929 I just love her stuff! It is so whimsical and colourful. She was in the same treasury as me yesterday. I have added her to my blogroll tniytoadstool-label.blogspot.com Check her out.
Continuing the Circus theme. This is an ACEO of a bearded lady. I actually don’t know if this woman (?) was in the Circus. I found this photo online and thought I’d do a little painting of it. I just don’t know … she really does not look like a woman. But then again, what would I look like with a big bushy beard?
This is an original 2.5″x2.5″ mixed media painting of Circus Girl ( I think she is going to have an actual name very soon!) I am working on this character for a children’s book. Every now and then, I just have to paint her to get myself all inspired about this story again. She really is beautiful and I love painting her. After the disaster painting day yesterday I thought I should ease myself into painting by doing something that I know I love. The story is slowly coming together. I am trying not to rush it but maybe it is time for a little more of a tough love approach. My husband thinks so. I don’t know.
I adore Beatrix Potter’s illustrations of tiny little mice. Angelia Ballerina looks great in a Tutu, I’ve always like Mickey and Mighty and I will admit, Stewart was a great addition to the Little family. Cinderella made clothes for them, Snow white cleaned with them. Both sang to them, and their cute little mouse voices. Remember Gus’ little gruff voice? Just adorable! But what is the one thing that these stories have in common? THEY ARE FICTION! Yes, mice are CUTE … on T.V., in cartoons, books and movies!
NOT in my house! Not in MY house! Not in my HOUSE!
I saw him come out of the heating vent. I screamed and he ran back into the vent. I was standing there stunned and a little too still because he came back out again. I took one look at him, pointed my finger and stamped my foot and yelled:
“You get back in there RIGHT NOW!”
And he did.
It makes me think of the book Theo le Seig wrote:
… “now you know,” said the mouse. ” You know what there is in a people house”.
Well, I know what is in my house! A MOUSE!
This is a 8″x 8″ profile canvas that I painted for 8 minutes of Peace. http://www.8minutesofpeace.com/
My first daughter was born at eight minutes to eight in the morning. It was the most profound, awesome and blessed moment of my whole life. To know that she was finally in this world and that she was healthy and safe was the greatest peace I had ever felt. Life is just too precious. We are all someone’s babe. All of us.
“Lace Coat” 8″x12″, mixed media painting on canvas, 2007
So this morning when I was getting dressed I wondered to myself where that perfect little black cardigan I just bought was. Then I realized I had only dreamt about buying that cardigan.
I was so bummed.
It all came flooding back to me.
I had dreamt about shopping for clothes and I’d found quite a few cute little numbers. I felt so jipped, I mean, a lot of these pieces that I acquired were classics that would have filled a lot of gaps in my wardrobe quite nicely . I felt like I’d got them for a good price too but that, I can’t be sure of. I know I’d tried on a lot of stuff so, to wake up and realize that it was all for nought, was just so unfair! (Now I sound like my five year old).
I still feel kind of robbed and I can’t help but think, that maybe, all the clothes that I purchased in the dream are actually hanging in my closet but are somehow, mysteriously INVISIBLE. Like a “phantom wardrobe”.
I am sure that it is going to make it even harder for me to decide what to wear ever day and kind of makes the expression, “I have nothing to wear”, even that much more literal.
Not only am I not a landscape artist, I will take it one step further and say that I am not even a horizontal artist! I have painted quite a few paintings over the last six months and I have only completed one horizontal piece. (The above painting of Lilies). The other horizontal painting I started never got finished. This is rare for me. If I start a painting, I usually finish it, but not this one. This one was NOT good and was going to remain that way. So I ditched it.
None of this matters really but yesterday I was just wondering why I like vertical so much. I was looking at a new painting that I was working on and it struck me: VERTICAL! AGAIN! WHY?
I guess the answer is fairly obvious. I am a figurative painter (mostly) and we humans are vertical by nature. So it does make sense. Let’s just say, I am horizontally challeged. Hey, come to think of it, having two little kids makes me horizontally challenged in more ways than the way I turn my canvas! HA!
We are flying off to Victoria tomorrow. Going ‘home’ for a little visit. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Edmonton for over ten years. That is so crazy. And more than a little sad… you see, I love Victoria for so many reasons. I was born there, which is a tie but my brother in law was born in Germany and I don’t think he is longing to get back. It is more than where you are born and it is even more than where all your family still live, although that is a huge draw. I always thought it was the Ocean that was calling me back or the view of the mountains but that is not it either.
I think that I have finally figured out that it is the familiarity of it that I love. I know it like the back of my hand. Everywhere I go I have been, in some form or another. Even if the shop is new, I know the building or the building before it or even the land before that. I know it. I feel so comfortable there. It really is like being in the comfort of your own home. I have never been able to find that comfort level in Edmonton, it is like I am always looking over my shoulder. In Victoria, I never have to look, because I already know what is there.