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Monday, October 26, 2009

It's all about the passion

In talking to a budding student of mine today, I hope I got a clear message to her that good art comes from a passion for either the act of producing the art, or from the subject which is being painted.  You're really happy when both happen together.  I find that there is an inner drive or feeling ( instinct?) that happens to me, and I just have to paint.  Often it's the subject that gets me motivated first - that I want to create an image that will preserve the something special or unique for eternity.   This is what's happening lately, on the subject of heavy horses -  I just have to capture their elegance, strength and beauty.  Sometimes though, I just have to paint, and end up looking through my vast album of pictures for a subject that fits the mood. 
Whatever the motivation, being creative shouldn't be a chore, and can't be scheduled or forced.  Too many demands take the joy out of it, and the magic.    You need to recognize when the passion to create is there, and grab it that moment.   

"Live like you mean it."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On a roll

What a busy time of year.  I did really well at the Fair, and then there are still more shows coming that I'll be part of.  I enjoy having goals, long range plans... it gives something to work towards.  It'll be a long cold winter, and I know I'll have some great pieces in the new year.  In the past weeks, even during good weather, I've been painting most of the time.  The garden is pretty dormant now, so it doesn't matter.  I'm just not getting much exercise!  I'd say that I'm painting easily 10 hours a day.  It's nice that Pete's working on his birds again too, so the 2 of us are working together.  Check out my site for the latest.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I've just finished 2 pictures of a student, playing a cello.  Way back in university, I did the best of all my work of a cello player, using a model.  Unfortunately that piece was burned in a fire, and I've always wanted to replace it.  It was also a challenge to see if I still "had it".  In the first piece then, the face didn't matter, and did not need to look like the model.  Here, however, knowing the subject, it was important to get the face with more accuracy.  I met the challenge in the paintings, but the faces were more difficult than I thought they'd be.  They took as long as all the rest of the composition.  Working from a photo is usually easy, but when seeking a likeness of a person, especially one you know, everything matters - colour shade and tone, brush direction, position, angles, etc.  It's close, but as  a perfectionist, I'd prefer it to be closer.  People say that pets and people are the hardest to paint.  I have no problem with animals, you'd think that would just transfer to the task of people.  An ongoing challenge.