Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm a Kid Again!

I know I've been absent for a bit but I've been embroiled in three online e-courses; How to Paint an Owl, Flower Crazy and Paint Your Story. They are all so much fun! Each one taps into the artistic whimsy I've been seeking. I am planning to do a blog post on each one. The first one I will tell you about is Paint Your Story from Mindy Lacefield of Tim's Sally.

The premise of the course is to get in touch with your inner seven year old. It's all about play and having fun. I honestly don't remember having this much fun as a kid. We are exploring what we love, creating inspiration boards and building a personal library of marks, symbols and colors. I'm using all of my art supplies on this one. I'm trying to discover if I love the paint or pastels or just plain everything!

So far I've made some collage papers and a background and I've started playing with faces. I've been trying so hard to create child like characters and Mindy's method has opened up the floodgates. I've started a mini notebook of characters. They are 3" by 5" thumbnail sketches that only take a couple minutes to create. I don't know if they will make it into a painting or not. They are just so much fun to draw!

This course also has a wonderful private Facebook group. The ladies are very supportive and encouraging. It has been an inspiring experience so far. We currently just started week 4 and there are two more weeks left! I'm so excited I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next. I believe registration for the current run is closed. Check the website. I'm sure Mindy will run it again. This video will give you a taste. If you want to loosen up your style and play like a kid again, take this course when Mindy run's it again.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding Focus

I thought I had focus in my art but in reality I don't. I've never analyzed what I like and what I don't like. It's all kind of been scattered in my head. I am a big fan of the artist Wyanne. I have taken a couple of her classes and she is a guest teacher for Life Book. She is wonderful in helping you find your own style and reminding you to play in your art. Some things she said in an interview for Life Book made me realize I had never really sat down and thought about what I like in art. What excites me? What moves me? So, I decided to do a little exercise to help me focus. This is something I learned in creative writing class. It's a brainstorming method. You take a word and put it in the center of your page. Then from that central word you draw lines and write the first thing that comes to mind. Then you continue branching off from those secondary words. I did this exercise for three catagories; Painting, Drawing and What Inspires Me.


After I did that I looked at common words that popped up and I have discovered the kind of art I would like to make; Whimsical Paintings that Tell a Story.

The above image I did on my iPad. It is my roadmap for the kind of art I want to make and the media I enjoy using. Ironically, while I was writing this post I started a new e-course called Paint Your Story and we are doing a similar exercise. We are creating inspiration boards with art/colors/critters/marks we like and then we have to note why we like the things we chose. This course's exercise is all about finding your own style. Do you think the universe is trying to tell me something?


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Moving On and a Review of Flora Bowley's E-Course

Sorry it's been ages since I posted. Illness struck again in the Metcalf household. Tummy bugs for me and the kids and then migraines for me. Ugh! If it's not one thing it's another, right? Anyway..... When we last left off I was feeling Flora Frustration! Well, I am moving on from the Flora class for now. I tried and tried and could not get this painting to work. There are elements I love and elements I don't.

I like the birds on the left and not the ones on the right. I feel I've lost the layers and depth. The more I worked at it the more irritated I got. Maybe it's too big for me to work on. I usually work smaller. All I know is I need to set it aside for now.
As promised I will give my opinion of the course. I wish I could say "I loved it!" but I didn't. I loved the painting portion despite my frustrations. I think my main issue was the lack of community. I was hoping this course would be the next best thing to an "in person" class. From what I've read online the friendships formed in the "in person" version are as life changing as the painting process. I was hoping for a private Facebook group but they chose Flickr for the social aspect. Flickr is great for posting photos but it didn't do anything for me in the community department. I recently took The Art of Wild Abandonment . This was a sketchbook/art journalling class and they did a Facebook group and it was awesome. The participants were very supportive of each other and if you felt insecure about your work they encouraged you to keep going. I was expecting that from Flora Bowley's Bloom True and it just wasn't there in my opinion. Do I regret taking the course? No. I value the painting process I learned. Flora has a book coming out soon. I will likely get it and will compare the ecourse with the book. That will help me decide if the ecourse is really worth the $200. If the book provides the same info, then why spend the money. I really wanted to love this course. I think Flora is an amazing painter. I have access for a few more months so, I will soak in the videos as much as I can. Maybe my opinion will change in the future. Right now I would recommend it with strong reservations.

This is a family of owls I did for The Art of Wild Abandonment. I did a very layered background like I learned from Flora, then sketched the owls and then I did some masking to preserve portions of the background. Adapting Flora's techniques worked better in a smaller format for me.

I have 3 new courses coming up that I am excited about, How to Paint an Owl, Paint Your Story, and Flower Crazy. These are all whimsical/intuitive painting courses which I am quite drawn to. I'm going to try and be more focused in choosing my courses. I like whimsy and painting without thinking. I'm hoping these courses help free up my style some more.