fighting the creative block

29 May

Hello friends! I’ve been wanting to talk with you about that age old issue that so many of us have experienced: “creative block” or “writer’s block.” It can be difficult, especially when working in an artistic field, to consistently come up with fabulous new ideas all the time.  With some personal struggles earlier this year, I got hit hard with a creative block… as with most things, time was definitely helpful, but the other catalyst that encouraged me to get out of the rut was observing the work and drive of other artists. When one of my favorite art blog writers, Danielle Krysa of the jealous curator, mentioned her upcoming book release, appropriately titled Creative Block: Get Unstuck. Discover New Ideas, I knew I had to pre-order a copy. creativeblock1-2Krysa interviews 50 successful and well known artists (Wayne White, Kate Bingaman-Burt, and Justin Richel, to name a few of my favorites). Each feature includes a dynamic little bio, several images of the artist’s work, questions about their practice, suggestions on how they personally cope with creative blocks, and finally a “Creative Unblock Project” designed specifically by that artist. I am about two thirds of the way through the book, and for the most part I am enjoying the read. In terms of actually doing the “unblocks,” there are some projects that just don’t speak to me, and that’s okay, while others do hold some potential that I hope to harness on a rainy studio day. creativeblock1-1Ironically when I read Cassandra Smith‘s interview, her suggestion for unblocking was already something that I had naturally explored on my own. “Make a little sculpture using a found object. Find something at a thrift store, wacky junk store, anywhere! An object about as big as your hand is probably the best size to start with. Transform the heck out of it! Paint on it, glue things to it, cut it apart. Use the object’s color or shape to inspire you.” creativeblock1-3Do you remember this little post about the golden fawn? If not have a read! I will be sharing more fun things from this book with you in the future, to help inspire both myself, and perhaps you, out of an artistic rut.

 

frida: boss lady

20 May

Frida Kahlo and Pet HawkMost know of Frida Kahlo. If not because of her beautiful artwork, then for her fantastical, creative and bigger-than-life persona.  I stumbled on this particular photograph of her recently, and it came to me at an appropriate time when a lesson needed to be learned; we often forget to recognize the importance of being ourselves and owning it… for that, Frida was a boss. Thanks for the reminder to constantly hone our own individual awesomeness, Frida! Below are some of my favorite creations of hers, because apart from making me want to celebrate my uniqueness, she also really makes me want to paint.kahlo_self40Self-Portrait – 1940 – Oil on canvas kahlo_waterWhat the Water Gave Me – 1938 – Oil on canvas kahlo_deerThe Little Deer – 1946 – Oil on Masonite

*side note* my grandmother’s name is Frieda (and although spelt differently) she is no less of a boss lady herself…

the house finch

19 May

Over the past half decade I have really taken a liking to bird watching. I find it to be a fascinating hobby; one that would definitely take years to master, as there are just so many beautiful birds with ample variations. Not only are they gorgeous creatures to watch, but they are also a great source of inspiration for my artwork. Serious bird-watching started in 100 Mile House where you may remember a few cuties like red-polls and chipping sparrows from post these: frequent winter visitors, the birds are back and chipping sparrow.  When we first moved to Castlegar, there was a short one year hiatus of feathered friends, as we lived in a basement suite… we really missed having the outdoor space, as well as the company of birds and their songs, so moving to our own little house, with a gorgeous front yard, allowed me to hang a feeder again. IMG_8149We have a great variety of fliers come to visit our “restaurant,” but one of my favorites so far is the house finch: bright red highlights, speckled stomach, deep browns on his back, and that fantastic prominent beak! I painted a tiny little portrait of one a few weeks ago, but had yet to share my results here with you here on the blog, so here he is. He was all hand-drawn with graphite, painted with acrylics and then finished with ink on a one inch deep 4×4 wood panel. IMG_8343 IMG_8349 IMG_8354 IMG_8371If anyone is interested in taking this little guy home, send me an e-mail and we’ll discuss details: naturesmyfriend@gmail.com

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