After finishing my Fine Arts degree, I stopped painting for several years. The job I took to pay the bills had nothing to do with art. I kept on drawing in my spare time, but without the direction and studio space provided by art class, I did not paint. I can’t remember what inspired me to pick up a brush again, but I do remember what I painted. It was an awful picture of hay bales that I did on cardstock. It was my first attempt at working with acrylics, and it did not turn out well. As bad as the painting was, it obviously sparked my interest in painting again. After practicing for a few years, I now love acrylics and I am much happier with my latest attempt at hay bales.
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I photographed this Alberta landscape a couple of years ago on a cold, sunny spring day. The colour of these red graineries seems to hold the promise of warmer days. I love the way the red siding contrasts with the crisp, dry field and the icy pond.
It seems that I have mainly used the three primary colours here. I could pretend that it was deliberate, but I only realized it as I was finishing up.
I am starting to lose track of the number of paintings I’ve done of Jericho Park. You must be getting an idea of just how much time I spend there. I love this little bridge and I’ve painted it before. It is surrounded by huge trees, making it great practice for painting dappled light and shadows.
I am very pleased to have an article posted on 365 Days of Genius – Melissa Dinwiddie’s site about creativity. Since writing doesn’t really come naturally to me, I have to thank Melissa for her encouragement and coaching with this article. If you are involved in any sort of creative endeavor, you’ll find some great articles and resources on this site.
On a related note, I also would like to thank Linny D. Vine for mentioning me on her blog. I shared some photos of the Mayerthorpe grain elevator with her and she created the most beautiful painting. Please go have a look.
I live in a city where it rains a lot. In spite of the amount of rain, we don’t have any mud. I’m not talking about the puddles or wet bits of dirt at the side of the street. Or even the squishy paths in the park. I mean real mud. Where I grew up, several miles from the nearest paved road, we had mud. Deep enough to for a car to get stuck in or for a child (me) to get their boots stuck in while walking to the school bus. (So stuck that their mom had to walk out into the muddy lane to rescue them).
Maybe it’s these (fond?) memories that attracted me to this muddy field, south of the city. The beautiful sun surprised me on a day that was supposed to be socked-in with rain. The sunshine only lasted an hour or so before the dark clouds rolled in again. It was long enough for me and the kids to have some fun, trudging around in the mud.
As you can see, I have been attempting to get some work done on the potatoes. Although I am not ready to comment on my progress just yet, I thought I could talk a little about my work environment.
Our apartment is not very big, so if I want to paint, I have to paint in the kitchen. Slightly inconvenient, but not a big deal. A bigger challenge is trying to find the time to paint with two small children in the house, especially in the summer when they are not in school/preschool. Usually I can find some time in the evenings. Or, like yesterday, if the kids are playing well, I often pull out my paints and attempt to get something done.
Invariably, I get in about 10 minutes of work before someone comes in and says, “Mommy, can I paint?” Of course the answer must be yes, so I get out the watercolours. Then they ask for stamps, then they take out the stencils, and lastly, the markers. They get lots of art done. I try to get a bit done too, amidst the chatter and activity. As distracting as they can be, the kids approach to art offers me some important reminders. The easy way they work with the materials reminds me not to take myself or my work too seriously. Their joy in the experimentation reminds me not to be too safe with my art. I should be trying new things as fearlessly as they do – just to see what might happen.
One day I hope to have a studio of my own where I can really focus on my art. And I will happily share it.