Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Colorful Artistic Journal Sketch as Artist Journey Breakthrough


Artistic Journal Color Sketch
5 1/2 x 9 inch acrylics on paper
(click image to enlarge)

This color sketch I painted yesterday in my artistic journal is a bit of an expressive breakthrough for me. My color explorations of more than three years seem to be moving me into a new phase in my art. I wanted to loosen up and become more expressive in paint colors and brush strokes. I didn't want to continue as a scientific "reporter" of realism resulting from my drawing skills.

Because I enjoy playing with colors in a variety of media I've endeavored to focus on only one or two. That meant that I had to reassess the use of acrylic paints which I had narrow mindedly labelled garish poster paints. I had to decide if I would again focus on oil paints with the physical restrictions of air quality and drying times. Likewise I've had to consider if I will pick up my pastels again as I remembered my initial artistic inclinations in grade school. Watercolor has been my main media for many years, but I reached a plateau and wanted to develop more spontaneity and brighter, clearer colors. Also new canvas products suitable for watercolors needed to be explored. Maybe that would solve my oils on canvas versus watercolors on paper dilemma.

Among the books I'm currently reading, the biography of Chuck Close resounded with me as I read about the artist's search for personal media that fits one's personal art focus. I was encouraged by his journey. Also I've revisited books in my art library by Nita Engle, Nancy Reyner, Nita Leland, Ted Goerschner, and others. I reviewed again Robert Burridge's non-traditional approach to painting with acrylics.

Before I painted this sketch yesterday I had been "attending" a workshop on line about the personal experiences of women's search for validation for being who they really are as individuals rather than the roles "assigned" to them by authority figures or social mores.
It struck another chord with me because I've dealt with this all my life. I wrote articles and developed workshops about creativity for women when it was considered "new" in the era of "paint by number". I spent a year working with artist Judy Chicago who championed women artists in her unique art. I had people who had read my articles on creativity in a national magazine call me to ask, "How could you work with her?" Corita Kent continued as my heroine artist from my time involved with Catholic education. I admired the individualist Georgia O'Keeffe. Some collectors in my watercolor gallery exhibition days commented that my work reminded them of her.

So, yesterday I painted with a conviction of "yes, I can!" and produced bright, clear colors expressively applied. Not a masterpiece, I admit. But whose criteria decides a masterpiece anyway? I came to that conclusion in my art history classes long ago. For me, it's my personal masterpiece for yesterday. Today I keep moving forward to the next breakthrough masterpiece.

If you haven't seen my "Color Chord" series of abstract paintings on greeting cards, an outgrowth of this blog focus of playing with colors, please find them here. You can also find them among my website's "recently sold" paintings.

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