The Art of Practice

Do you ever just feel like trying something completely different/new with your art?  I do.  In fact, usually this shift in my work means something new and amazing is coming.  This is the feeling I got before deciding to paint bikes and trucks.  It's what got me started painting to begin with.  A deep need resonating throughout my bones to just paint.
Proof that there is an ugly....ugly stage to all paintings.  Matisse started all his paintings with a charcoal sketch.  I started my composition this way and loved it.  I love the smudges and lines it leaves behind.  I usually use a black primed canvas but this time had Home Depot tint my primer gray to create a softer base.  I am loving the way all my work in translating with the gray instead of black base.  And by canvas I mean wood.  I always paint on wood.  I am not a lover of the canvas texture.  Or "boinginess" of canvas.

I'm taking the class led by Jeanne Oliver called Studying Under the Masters.  I'm still percolating  some ideas from week one.  We are already on week 4 by the way!  Good thing I have a year to look back at the material because this is good stuff I tell ya.  The figures in Matisse's work have been kinda haunting me.  I had a little time to fast forward through this weeks videos and it turns out this week is Botticelli.  Oh sweet cream filled donuts he is a favorite.  His portraits are dreamy.  So now I am more inspired to paint figures!

I'm also peeking in at Christy Tomlinson's She Art class.  That girl will get you inspired to do all sorts of things you didn't know you needed to even be inspired about!  So Saturday I decided to get into the studio and first clean it up.  It was a ridiculous mess!  And then I grabbed a board, primed it, and just started.
To my little eyes she is beautiful.  She is tender, and sweet and just perfect.  I know figures and angels and this sort of subject are kinda saturating the artsy market right now.  And I didn't want my figure to look anything like theirs.  It's funny.  I tell my students in class that a brushstroke is kinda like your handwriting.  Everyone's is different and unique to the person holding the brush. 
And even though she was brought to life from an idea sparked by Matisse and a She Art class, she has my signature.
In one of the videos tonight Jeanne talks about gaining perspective as an artist.  And that sometimes it's okay to just paint for you.  I think right now during this transition period I'm doing just that.  I don't think anyone would really want to buy this painting anyways.  That wasn't my mindset when I was painting it.  I just knew I wanted to paint.  Truth be told I lost complete track of time and lost myself in the studio.  I haven't felt this kind of joy for painting in a very long time.   It's not really about selling art right now.  It's about exploring and pushing myself as an artist.  Stepping into the haven't painted part of my sketchbook because I thought I wasn't good enough.  When you become labeled "whimsical painter" it's sometimes hard to get out of that box.  I love the quote in the workshop tonight.  It read, "If you hear a voice within you say you can not paint.  Then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."  -van Gogh

How true.  I silenced that puppy up pretty good Saturday evening.  Looking forward to my next date with the brush this weekend.


Jill Cooper said...

Just love it Jenni! I liked the very first picture when you hadn't even filled anything in yet. Makes me want to leave work, go home, get in the studio and play!

Unknown said...

Love it...what kind of wood do you paint on? Oils or acrylics?

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