Friday, September 26, 2008

Which Way? That Way!


As I promised I am posting the finish of my last painting . "Hanna's Storm", the image is 12"H x19"W . I am about to mat and frame it.
I was able to develop the light and feel of the storm that had just passed. This piece was actually inspired by Hurricane Hanna that I watched as the daughter of a close friend was exchanging wedding vows !
It is unusual for my work to have structures or objects,such as the boats . I find that the more I paint experimently in acrylics, the more my watercolor paintings develop a layering of texture and color and detail. I have enjoyed the beginning splashes of color across the paper, painted with great energy and abandon to be followed by the control and shaping of the details. There are just some piece that simply feel right and this one did.
The greatest joy is that I get to start another one....!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Which Way?

I have one of those paintings in front of me.You know them. It's the kind that you stumble on because you know that there is something new afoot. It's not going to follow the tried and true path. It is going to make you get lost,not following in the rut you know, leading you astray. Arghhh...just when you thought you knew how to handle that brush, paint ....idea. Oh! It is so tempting to just walk away but I'm drawn back seductively as that wash every so softly glazes over the base color. Images are popping through the granulated surface and I can feel the fog gliding over the water surface....where do I go? LOL ! This should be interesting ... Come back soon and I'll post my final painting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Answers & Appreciation

I just completed answering questions for an upcoming interview with Ralph Serpe of CreativeSpotlite http://www.artinstructionblog.com.
Situations like this always give me an opportunity to really think about just how and why I got to where I am. Sometimes I am surprised when I read back my answers. I have found mentors, read books and articles,attended and given demonstrations never realizing just how much I've absorbed over the years and now pass along to other painters.
It was in this frame of mind today that I tackled the difficulties in a painting that I feel has great potential but isn't quite there yet. There was a time when I wouldn't have even seen the problems let alone try to solve them!So I went back to basics. I remembered all the sage advice, the examples and and experiments that others have discovered and shared along their journey. I found my path again. I hope sharing my ideas and questions ,in my blogs, interviews and demonstration will one day find a way to the margin notes of another painter and give them the same "ah-ha!" feeling that I have known through the kindness of others. I thank you all for blazing that trail before me and know that when I go off the beaten path I can always find my way back because of the markers you left behind.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Listen to yourself

Struggling lately with my work, yesterday's post seemed appropriate...just do it!I listened.
I dug out an old acrylic canvas and simply played. Acrylic is not my usual media, watercolor is. I struggle with paint that stays put. I am an intuitive painter.Rarely drawing in any elements, attacking swiftly with brush and going where the color flows. Yet that is exactly what was NOT taking place lately. Switching to the acrylic made me labor, think, placing each stroke, pushing the image into the canvas. I've done this before, knowing that the result I was striving for was not a finished painting but an opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone. It worked.....

This morning I pulled out a freshly prepared sheet of paper and let the watercolor flow.
I'll return to the acrylic ....but not now, I'll just go with the flow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A quick note..

There are days when you simply over think everything. A feeling of being overwhelmed ensues and questioning of the very idea that you try to make a living as an artist. First and foremost ..STOP! Go for a walk, get a scrap of paper and just draw, paint ...play. Enjoy being swept along on the silliness of mixing colors at random ,scribbling doodles ...gazing at the clouds that then become the shapes that dreamers see. Remember ...just do it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Split Personalities

Go ahead ..for those who know me well,have a good laugh at this title! Already known by two names Helen/Kelly, this subject should come as no surprise. My struggle this morning is the on going tug -a- war I feel working between fields: fine art /commercial arts ..oh and I guess now that I'm showing work on Etsy ...crafts !

I left the craft world behind years ago, actually giving away all of my craft supplies,fabrics,books etc. The slower economy recently caused an adaption of my marketing and my higher priced work gave way to a spurt of paper goods such as blank cards, bookmarks etc. Lo and behold they sold too! I'm enjoying the added income but I'm not interested in repeating an idea, such as multiples of a card design. One of a kind , that's ok....maybe that's why I prefer paintings and I work only in originals not prints.
check out
PineShoreStudio.etsy.com
I suddenly was offered an oppportunity to work with writer, Hal Alpiar, on a brochure,with many illustrations, too good to pass by ..again considering the state of economy, but I know that this is just a detour in my day of painting. Visit:
halalpiar.com
Gallery sales needing to strenghten after a season of cautious buyers finds me changing locations on walls ,adding new work ,even (gasp!) revisiting my pricing structure.
Visit:
http://mainavegalleria.com/, http://pictureperfectgallery.com/ , http://helenharrispaintings.com/
My dilemma? Who am I today?Where do I focus my energy? Crafter, illustrator, painter?How do you define yourself? Does it matter?
In the past I always thought that I needed to concentrate on just one area.
These days I find that my skills and opportunities are not so neatly packaged and seizing the opportunity is the difference between surviving as an artist or going back to 9-5.
If you find yourself juggling different aspects of your art work, please drop me a note .How do you cope and make the switch mentally or in the studio?