Practice Practice Practice

Late at night I find it easy to fall into the painting groove. It is quiet and everyone else is asleep. There are no distractions. It’s just me and my current muse. Tonight it is sweet Jorgie, my Aunt Angel’s adorable fur baby, who passed from life suddenly.

I have decided to spend time between commissions painting the former and current pets of family and friends. They are just small portraits, none over 8 inch square. It’s an opportunity to work on developing my style, working through different color combinations and just trying to capture the personality of the pet. It is more than just practice for me (although I need all of the practice I can get), it is also my way of letting the people in my life know that I am thinking of them and that I love and care about them. Painting practice = heart practice.

Painting Videos

I’ve recently been working on recording my painting process. I’m self taught when it comes to oil painting, so it’s a learn-as-you-go kind of thing. I find that I get so lost in time while I paint, I tend to not notice what I am doing while I am doing it. So, I thought if I record the painting in progress, I would have a reference to go back to, when I want to use a particular technique again. I’m still getting used to the camera being there while I paint, but so far I find that it’s paying off. I’m making high speed videos to post here.

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Studio Chaos

Okay, so I’m not the anal-retentive neat freak, but I do like (and need) order to my life and the space around me. In my studio life clutter happens. I start out working on a watercolor and while it dries, I hop over to another area in the studio to work on a piece I’m doing in charcoal, then I might work on a third project or sketches (or something). In my wake I leave a trail of reference sketches, scraps of test papers, photos, notes, a bottle of water, a cup of tea, my iPad, my phone, several pairs of headphones, dog treats, magazines, pencils, pens and assorted brushes… every surface covered with stuff! Depending on projects, deadlines and just deep immersion into a painting, this chaos can last for days, building in layers until I find myself digging like an archaeologist to find just the right pen, pencil or brush. Frustration causes Left-Brain to throw the breaker switch and say “enough”! I look around me in disbelief, and horror.  I take a deep breath and slowly start to declutter, putting things back in their order, vowing I’ll start being tidier as I work, putting this back after I’m through with them, keep this chaos in check…

…and Right -Brain just smiles.

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