paint is cheaper than silver

I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from jewelry making.  Every now and then, I have to prove to myself that I deserve to call myself an artist.  I like to remind myself that I can rely on my creativity, and that it’s not the medium that’s important.  I may not be skilled in every technique for every media, but I remind myself that the gift of creativity is there for me, God’s gift to me, wherever I choose to apply it.  And that it’s there for me to enjoy and to share with others.  Whether that’s pushing my skills in photoshop, photographing and producing a catalog, developing a logo for my son’s business, or–this week–painting!

In jewelry making though, I’ve been feeling something of a creative drought lately.  The pressure of a $34.00 silver price doesn’t help at all.  So, after investigating a number of altered art websites, buying a few books by artists whose websites I liked, I cleared off the work counter and got out paints, papers, and dived in this week.  I picked up some great books of poetry and chemistry at the library “free books” shelf.  Cut the covers off to gesso them to paint on, and saved the guts for use of the poetry and chemical notations (or whatever you call the formulas and charts and stuff) for collage.  Got more books from the used bookstore for cheap, including some Art in America volumes from the 1960s!  Again, I tore off the covers, but tore out lots of pages to use as well.

Here are two examples I painted:  the first is a 6″ square canvas with a combination of collage, acrylic and oil paints.  I painted the face in oils over gesso.  I’m not sure I’m comfortable about the technique of oil over acrylic… I’m too impatient.  Anyway, the background has a handwritten quote from the late Henri Nouwen about being the Beloved.

The second piece is one of the book covers, so it’s about 7.5″ x 9.5″  (I do wonder about using non-standard sizes)…  It’s heavily influenced by kelly rae roberts, one of the authors I picked up.

I think the background is a little busy.  The face on this one is acrylic and I like her better.  Can you see my fashion illustration style?  Every face I draw seems to belong to Barbie… so much for the theory that we intuitively draw how we look… ha!  Anyway, by the time I’ve done 10 or so paintings, I think I’ll settle into a personal style and look.

Now is the time for the honest disclaimer:  Getting from the state of being stuck,  to being once again confident that the creative spirit is with me, is not easy.  I began by saying I have to remind myself of being an artist no matter what…  It’s a process, full of doubt and painful for a while.  It takes building myself up a bit and then diving in with courage.

Have a great weekend.  I hope to do some more painting, but there’s soccer on the schedule as well.  Indoor soccer, of course, but Spring is coming!



Posted in artistic life, painting
2 comments on “paint is cheaper than silver
  1. terry says:

    I am sure you will enjoy Kelly’s book. Make sure you actually read her text and not just jump to her technique pages. I underlined a whole bunch of her writings. Gee, it has been a while since I read that book, I should pull it out again.
    I love the simplicity of your faces. I am drawn to faces but feel sooooo inadequate drawing them. I am more comfortable sculpting them. But that hasn’t been for a while too. I REALLY need to get my hands off the keyboard and into the art room. Gotta get messy!

  2. Michele says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Patti! I love your paintings- it amazes me how creative you continue to be! I will bookmark this so I can keep up with you!

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February 2011
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