Calm during uncertainty........I think this is what most people are looking for these days. I am.
I've never experienced a pandemic before. Culturally, many of us remember the Mt. St Helene's eruption in the 1980's, and 9-11 is still aching in all our hearts. People came together to help people. It's what humans do. This current "event" has affected us in ways discouraging physical helping of others, with distancing...but that hasn't stopped the creative ways we reach out to each other to support and connect.
I desire to offer my talent in ways to help. I offer my Art for your temporary relief and distraction. Ease and appreciation.
I've decided to change things up a bit during this time. Am focusing on 'calm paintings'. I've been playing with less intense pigment values to produce a softer and more gentle effect. Part of my stress relief is to hike in less traveled areas and photograph serene nature scenes. I paint them for me... but I want to offer them to you, for your viewing also.
Studies indicate Art decreases stress. (I don't have specific journal articles, for all my science friends but can easily come up with some for you. Ha.) Color alters mood. Landscapes transport and elicit feelings.
It is my hope to gift you a moment or two of calm.
Here's my first pandemic painting:
Criticism of the Old Masters and Contemporary Critique...Art is an expression.
Where there is Art there will be people who appreciate and hold the artwork in wonder...and also be those who not only do not like the creation, but feel the need to 'squash the artist'. Perhaps standards dictate the sway from the norm, but artists don't create on demand, the good ones follow their inner fire and tend to the embers that need to take flame! (Dang, that was a good sentence.)
So you probably won't be surprised to read that Claude Monet was told by an art critic of the time that his paintings looked incomplete and that as a painter he had poor technique. This person wrote a scathing review in a French magazine stating that a "Preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than his seascape". Ouch. Vincent Van Gogh's paintings were dismissed as amateur.
Pablo Picasso introduced a new technique and had a profound understanding of the human form. His work was called schizophrenic and the paintings did not belong in galleries.
These artists are a small sample of the times. They weren't feeling' the love.
But... in spite of bad reviews and criticism they each continued to create because they believed in themselves! They believed in their art!
Now these two paintings are my works...not to be mistaken for the Old Masters! (Ha!)
Let's come back to contemporary times.
Artists realize that making art is a solo practice and much of our time is spent in the studio. It is with the greatest of appreciation for critique, discussion, socialization, and education that we gather in small groups to discuss each other's art. I value these opinions and bring my most challenging pieces and those strong enough for competition. Critiques are done respectfully, usually addressing an area the artist requests help with. It's supportive and helpful.
Art critics??? I'm still a small fish in a very big pond. They just haven't found me yet!
I thought that was interesting...did you? It's fun to go back into my art history days. Let's do that again sometime.
Next week it's all about CONNECTIONS! Yep...we all need them. I never would have thought I'd be hanging around with these types of people! :-o
Am so very grateful for all your comments and recommendations.
Interested in a specific area of art? Ask me! I know everything!!! (Ha!)
A Complex Painting Progression...As many of you know, my technique is fairly new and still evolving. I am continually looking at subject matter that somehow is increasingly more complex. I have had good success with complex paintings if I paint them large...22" x 30"...but lately I have been interested in providing "Small Space Art" for my upcoming Spring Show. Decided I would paint a bunch of busy dahlias...because I could. (I have always had more guts than brains). My paper size is 10" x 15" and I sketch in the entire paper. My experience tells me this could be really really cool, or a disaster.
I throw caution to the wind, with my 'Laisez-Faire' attitude, and eagerly jump in.
There's my black and white photo and my sketch. See that yellow on the paper?...that's a special substance I paint on the areas I want to keep absolutely white. I'm a quick and sloppy painter at times and protect this white value. I peel it off when the painting is done. It helps to make my paintings successful.
OK...so far so good. Painting in my dark values helps me to make sense of all the shapes.
Am starting to lay in some light value color. It's pretty wild. If my values are right on I may just pull this one off!
I like it!!!!
As with most of my paintings in this style...looking at it close up appears quite abstracted but when you look at it a few feet away, your eyes see the images...that is the work of distinct values...lights, mid tones, and darks. Matted with a 3" white mat will give some resting area for the viewer. I think it's an exciting painting, how about you?
I came up with a really cool title for this one:
Next week let's explore how the old Masters created and critiqued their art. Critique groups are valuable in one's art career but there's something much, much more important...and the Masters perfected this!
I've had questions about how to obtain Prints of my work. That's easy...I have an online store at:
A Glimpse into My Painting Season...
The holidays are over and this is my busy painting season!
I have submissions for competitions and the Lake Area Artists group show in April, to prepare for.
There is a slight difference in preparing for these events. Competition paintings are judged on the elements of art: composition, line, shape, space, color, value, texture, plus uniqueness of subject with masterful execution. I spend quite a bit of time preparing and painting these pieces. They also are the paintings I will take to my critique group to have other artistic eyes view, and comment. Being 'juried into' a show or exhibition, validates the skill and creativity of the artist. But...even though jurors are well known and excellent artists, they are as objective, within a subjective arena, as they can be. I am delighted when my paintings are chosen and understand when they are not. That's pretty grown up of me, don't you think?
Here is an example of a recent submission into the National Watercolor Society. There is a lot of strength in this painting with values, shapes, depth, and visual interest. I paid special attention to the face of this ship's figurehead, my focal point of the painting. Wish me luck!
Art shows are fun and exciting for me as I have much more freedom with what I choose to paint! Viewers tend to appreciate art differently with attention to emotional impact of subject matter, memory, color display, and uniqueness. It is not uncommon to overhear viewers say to their friend, "I love that one!" Viewers know what they like and enjoy wandering through large exhibitions, taking their time.
During the past summer I accumulated lots of fun photos references to paint. I've been pouring over these and choosing which ones to paint for the show & sale. My selection process?...land or seascapes, and interesting, everyday life subjects. If I find it interesting and valuable, I'll paint my pleasure and delight into each painting. And therein lies the meaning to my art; an offer of beauty and good feelings to viewers...my visual gift to all.
Here's a lovely I painted for the April show. A soothing subject reminiscent of hours of enjoyment in my Spring and Summer garden. What I would have you know about this one is I painted it during a very long, rainy grey stretch, and I found myself enjoying the sunshine and shadows, hearing my wind chimes, and contemplating which annuals I'd plant this coming season. I think my joy transfers onto the paper.
I'll keep you all posted if my paintings are accepted into exhibition and also when the Lake Area Artists will be having their Spring Show. Stay tuned.
Next week I will show you a new painting I started from beginning to end. This one was particularly interesting, and I'll share why.
Thank you for your continued support and great comments.
If you know of someone in searching for the perfect artwork for home or office, please consider giving them my website or contact information. I appreciate your referrals.
Hi...I'm Patrice... an acrylic painter who writes, and enjoys sharing how I create and think.