When hectic times occurred, I would have to really boil down my priorities to the essentials. I succeeded in clinging to what I was really committed to, but that was because I made choices and, again, didn’t try to do so much.
Making a painter’s resolution is my new creativity in life besides my passion for travel photojournalism (I still have many other photo stories on Finland to blog in due course). I want to spend more time critically assessing my compositions before picking up a brush. I want to sketch an idea, play with color options, and think it through — really enjoying (and not hurrying) through the process. Artists tend to be a friendly, supportive, caring group of people, generally happy for other artist's successes, and concerned about the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. There are many artists and art organizations doing great things in the world and we need to support one another. The world needs more artists.
My traditional painting technique involves some basic steps. First, inspiration! Often I get my inspiration for my paintings whenever I travel. I've traveled a lot, and have a large library of photos from my travels to use as reference images. Then I draw a basic sketch of my scene on a piece paper. (I never do detailed sketches before I paint. I enjoy the immediacy of creating the art when I paint it the first time. Likewise, I never go back years later and do any corrections to a completed work. Once it's done, it's done forever!) I assemble reference photos from my own photo library and research the subject. With reference photos pinned up around my work area, I do a light pencil sketch of my scene on the canvas substrate I'm using. Then I just dive in and start painting. Whether I'm using acrylic paint or colored pencils, my approach is the same - I apply many layers of color on top of each other to build up a luminous depth to my image. In the case of acrylics, I do an underpainting of the basic forms in the landscape, then use transparent washes or glazes as I build it up.
When painting, I realise the best results often come about when you aren’t chasing perfection. This also applies in many other things that I do in my life. I want to create work that is thoughtful and well-executed, but I also want to spend more time in the moment, responding immediately to what I see and assessing a painting as it progresses.
For now, I really enjoy painting trees in landscape form. I will showcase them here when ready.
What are some of your art resolutions for this year? I’d love to hear them, along with any advice on how you think I can reach my own.