I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends

Part 2

I took photography in college but now I mostly snap pics on my IPhone. I can compose my shots in the camera giving me good reference to paint from later. Painting outdoors is great, but as I’m painting one thing I see a dozen more things around me I want to paint.

I have friends who are photographers and who are generous enough to allow me to use their photos from time to time as reference for my paintings. They have more patience than I do to get some fantastic shots. This “White Iris” was shot by my friend, Deb Drew Brown, which I turned into paint.

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/689337

White Iris
“White Iris” 8×8″ oil on canvas 

I Feel Like I’m in a Detective Novel when I’m Downtown

I grew up in the suburbs and I enjoy drive in the country, but I was born in the city. I only lived in Detroit for 4 years but we visited my grandmother there for years.

And I went to art school downtown right behind the Art Institute.

Maybe I’ve read too many novels or seen too many movies. When I’m in a large downtown I get a feeling of mystery. I want to know everyone’s story. Especially on a gloomy day the intrigue seems intensified. A perfect time for a painting of an urban landscape.

Crossing Capitol Ave
Crossing Capitol Ave., 10×10″ gallery-wrapped canvas

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/669057

“Untitled”

Creating a piece of art is not enough if you put it out into the world. A titled is required. Some artists think the art should speak for itself and “Untitled” is sufficient. Most viewers would like more. They would like to gain a little insight from the title. What was the artist thinking when they created this piece?

More likely, what was the artist thinking when they created this title?

Obvious titles such as “Apples in a Bowl” at least allow a way to inventory the work. I am guilty all too often of taking this easy way out. Other options are to pick a small, bright spot in the work, or the focal point.

Some artists look to poetry, songs, quotes, religion, books, or humor to find their titles. If you paint a lake you might avoid the name of the lake or you may turn off potential buyers because it’s not their lake.

Every once in awhile when I come up with my concept for the piece, I come up with the title at the same time. That’s the best. I feel like I’m on a first name basis with my art before I’ve even painted it. How can that not turn out good?

After much soul searching and staring at my new painting I came up with “Ethereal Glow” for the title. I didn’t want to be obvious—”Fish in Pond”, Koi and Goldfish”, or “Sunlit something”. They certainly did glow in the sun, and looked somewhat heavenly as they swam in and out of the green and blue depths. What do you think?

etheral-glow
“Ethereal Glow” 6×8″ oil on panel

Available at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/643073

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Cutting Tulips

I was listening to a podcast by the Savvy Painter, Antrese Wood, where she interviews successful artists (http://www.savvypainter.com), and the artist was saying he works on 40 to 50 canvases at a time.

Holy moly!

Well my studio isn’t big enough to do that, but I’ve been working on one piece at a time. Working small and in oil, wet on wet, it generally requires finishing a painting in one session.

Lately though, some of the techniques I want to use haven’t been working and it would seem the paint needs to dry before I apply the next layer. So working on more than one piece would be beneficial.

Also, a fellow artist point out to me that if you are having a problem with a painting and getting frustrated, setting it aside and working on another can 1) build your confidence back up, and 2) going back to the first painting later you may see the problem in a new light and it has solved itself.

Indeed it seems to be working. I started this tulip painting, and then started a beach scene. Came back and finished the tulips and started 2 more beach scenes. Solving problems in one saves time with the next and letting areas dry for a certain texture is working well. I like it.

It Can Make You Happy

blue jar

A huge winter snowstorm is a great reason to be inside painting. The 10″ of snow makes it quite bright outside in a basically black and white world.

My painting from week 5 of my eCourse is also bright, but very colorful and much more cheery than the blowing snow outside. It makes me happy to be reminded that Spring will come again and flowers will bloom. It makes me smile.

I was about to wipe out one area I didn’t like to repaint it, when I took a few steps back to have a look and saw it looked really good. Sometimes we are too close to something and we need some distance to see it clearly.

When I was just about finished I took a photo and was amazed at how a few problems stood out like a flashing lights. So a few more tweaks to take care of those and I’m happy.

A good reason to paint and a good reason to have art around me—it makes me happy.

Here is my flower painting from week 5. #DreamLovePaint

New Year—New Colors

 

Gazing
Gazing, 6×8″ acrylic

Pantone Inc. is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. Annually, Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies look to Pantone to help guide their designs and planning for future products. Pantone has said that color “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”

Pantone has chosen two colors for 2016, Serenity, muted pale blue, and Rose Quartz, a pale pink. A challenge was put forth on Daily Paintworks to create a piece or art using those colors. This is my answer to the challenge.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/gazing/438373

New Year—Fresh Start

blank canvas
blank canvas

People like the idea of a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to do it “right” this time (as long as starting over doesn’t involve losing any built up vacation time).

As an artist I’m lucky—each new art piece begins with a blank canvas. Some people go to work and do the same thing every day. Even a doctor might see her waiting room as a sink full of dirty dishes so to speak.

Of course that white space staring at you every day can get intimidating. I have to think of something to put on it everyday. When inspiration doesn’t come I still have to work. I put a wash of color on the canvas. I move some paint around. Inspiration comes.

Creating art is good for the mind. Creating art is good for the body. Looking at art is good for the mind and the body as well.

In an article by the Huffpost, Art Isn’t Just Good For The Mind, It’s Good For The Body Too, Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, “referenced a slew of studies chronicling art’s ability to reduce pain, counter fatigue and promote general physical wellness”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/art-isnt-just-good-for-the-mind-its-good-for-the-body-too_5683094ae4b0b958f65ab92a?ir=Arts&section=arts&

So in 2016 be sure to include art in your schedule—sign up for a class, attend a show, visit a museum, buy a special piece for your space that you will benefit from in more ways than one.