I painted this watercolor portrait of London Vale for “I Art You,” the brain child of The Spanish Lady. Crys pairs two artists to get aquianted and create portraits of each other. Here is what I had to say about the experience…
“I Art You has been a fabulous experience for me. I heard about it through a friend and was eager to participate. As a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, I have been pretty limited to the outside world, especially with other artists. I was excited about the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other artists. Creating a portrait was an excellent challenge for me as I have had very little experience with portraits. I also love the “accountability” aspect of the collaboration. I had to paint four different portraits before I was happy with my painting!!! If I didn’t have other artists to be “accountable” to, I feel like I would have given up and never pushed through the feelings of self-doubt. Not walking away from the work, but walking through the struggle to the other side, helped me to grow as an artist. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey on so many levels!!
London has broad artistic interests and abilities: in acting, oil painting, fashion illustration and letterpress. London has been passionate about art since a child and one of the things I find inspiring about London is her tenacity and courage to pursue what she has been passionate about regardless of obstacles or approval.
London is a beautiful woman and I had a lot of great material to work with. The muted colors, beautiful braids, and a quiet pose of one particular image of her immediately struck me as something that could be from bygone century. I was inspired to create a portrait that captured the peaceful and pensive pose from this image and combine it with a modern ethereal quality that would reflect the London’s inner light and passionate nature. I am so happy with where the painted resolved!”
This is a watercolor painting I did back in January of last year. I haven’t posted in awhile and realized I haven’t updated my artwork in awhile. I did this out of the book Step By Step Guide To Painting Realistic Watercolors. It was a really fun learning experience! I would recommend the book as a way of learning watercolor techniques.
This is a watercolor still life and study of a beautiful cow skull I have. I love lines, form and structure of cow skulls. Macabre? Maybe. After reapplying myself to learning watercolor for a year or so this is the most happy I have been with a painting. It’s hard to see in this picture but I was really pleased with the fall out light in the background. I did that first and then next eighty percent of the process was frustrating but I came back around to enjoying the process and the outcome towards the end. This painting gives me hope for my potential.
In other news I have opened an etsy shop! Right now I have fabric and textile products up. Once I am finished with fine tuning details with the printer I am working with I will also list prints of my art, including this one. I am excited to see products that I have labored over and love all cozy and hanging out together.
I did this watercolor landscape of Glencoe from a photograph of a recent trip to Scotland. The Highlands of Scotland are so inspiring and beautiful. I would love to go back some day just to paint. This painting was also part of an exercise in the book I am working through called Watercolor Class by Michael Crespo. The excersice is called the “The Three Zones of Landscape.”
Having read the War of Art, I know that feeling like giving up is normal. I know to push through it now. When I was working on this watercolor the question I asked myself was “How much and how strong of that feeling is normal?” Because I didn’t feel it like a whisper, but deafening trumpet while I was painting this. A “Why do I even bother, what am I thinking, I should just give this up” constant feeling. So far I have felt that way each time I tackle a painting. Sometimes it is not as strong and I can get past it sooner, say fifty percent of the time. I swear I felt that way during this piece about nintey two percent of the time. Painting it felt more like a struggle than relaxing and enjoyable. I am hoping that comes from being so new and not really knowing what I am doing. Somehow at the end I felt, “Okay. That isn’t horrible. That’s decent.” And then when it was done I immediately got out a new piece of fresh paper to tackle another painting, the next “puzzle”. I really want to keep a documentation of the process of learning to paint, and how this inner dialogue plays out. I read one artist say recently “Finally after fourteen years I am painting the way I always dreamed.” That was both frightening and encouraging at the same moment. Frightening because I am not far in and I have a long way to go; encouraging because it’s helpful to know how long others have had to keep at it. Sitting in front of the paper with brushes in my hands is some of the happiest moments I have. With each new painting, the more I push through and “fight the resistance,” the harder it is to imagine my future without doing it. So I’ll cling to that!
I have only recently started to study watercolor. As in, months ago. I am an absolutely an amateur. I thought it would be interesting to paint the plants around me, native and transplants, as a way to study the medium so elusive to me. Documenting this study here is practise in releasing my perfectionism, forgiving me of my mistakes and faults, and embracing vulnerability.