Friday, January 31, 2014

Common Mistakes with Painting

Today I'm going to talk a little about common mistakes while painting. These aren't some top five I found in some article or anything, but are ones that I find myself on the wrong end of. Maybe you do some of these too. Who knows? Let's find out together shall we?

1. Impatience

This one is pretty obvious. When you get impatient about wanting something to be finished then you don't produce your best work. You end up pushing the paint around instead of actually finishing, and that my friend leads to mistakes.

2. No Clear Vision

Now this one isn't always a bad thing. Some of my neatest paintings have come from just rolling up my sleeves and diving in without any idea of what I want. However this way of working can easily backfire, and you end up with more of a mess than anything else. 

It's especially dangerous if you have an idea of what you want to do, but no idea how you want to go about doing it. I had this problem recently. I wanted to do one particular type of landscape, but dove in first without an idea of how to proceed. It was only after I'd started that I looked at reference pictures and as a result had to redo some of my work. It was a downward spiral from there, and I ended up scraping the project instead of wasting more paint on something I couldn't save.

3. Over Correcting

This one I know is common among most artists. It's when you see something you don't like, and so you correct it. Only then you see another thing. And another. And another. Soon your painting has changed so much you no longer like it. You can also correct so much that in your correcting you make a blunder.

I did the latter of the scenarios once while doing an intuitive painting. It was really gorgeous, but had a couple of white spots. In trying to correct the white spots I completely messed up the flow of the painting to the point where it couldn't be salvaged.

4. Not Letting Things Be

There comes a point in painting where you need to walk away. It could be you've spent too much time looking at the darn thing and you're starting to go cross-eyed, it could be you don't know where to go from where you are and are feeling hopeless, or perhaps it feels like it might be finished, but you aren't sure.

When you become unsure it's best to take a breather and walk away. Sometimes that's all you need. Sometimes you need more time. What you're hoping to achieve is a different state of mind. A fresh outlook. If you don't do this and just stare at the canvas you won't get anything done, or worse you make a mistake that messes it up. The same thing is the case for something that's finished, but you're unsure about it. If you don't sit on it you can end up having to redo the whole thing.

5. Not Trusting Yourself

This is a big one. Ultimately, with anything in life, you must trust yourself. If you aren't able to listen to that part of you that tells you it's enough, to do something this way instead of another, or to not put the paintbrush in your mouth then you end up with a lot of problems. You must have confidence, at least a little, or you'll never get anything done. What's more, when you have finished you'll be easily swayed by the comments and criticisms of others.

So these are my top five issues I have while painting. They don't always come out, but when they do it's super annoying! However, if I just chill a bit, relax, breathe, and then re-access the situation usually I can get through whatever the problem is. So if any of you suffer from these issues make sure you try to do the same.

I wish you luck in all of your creative endeavors.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Why With The Annoying Things!?


That is how I am currently feeling. Why, you ask? Why indeed! Well, there's only the little issue of one of our cats getting a little friendly with my blankets again. Nothing new really. Although this time it was because I left a hoodie on my blankets that I had on when visiting my sister's place. They have an unfixed cat there. So yeah... big whoopsie on my part.

Still, this isn't the first time he's done this, or even the second time. He done it four times (that I remember anyway) to my things, and at least once to his owner's. These are at random times, and are usually far apart, but the last time he did this was last week. Last week! Gah! And he did it around the same time too, as in right before I was going to go to bed. 

After I went to put my things in the wash he started to follow me, giving me this "are you still mad at me" look. It was pathetic and clearly a ploy to get back into my good graces. It did not work. Instead I sent him to his mother's room to stay in for the time being. He was less than pleased.

So now I'm here typing this, and waiting for my linens to finishing washing. Then I'll put them in the dryer and wait some more. *SHAKES FIST*

Monday, January 13, 2014

Poetry and Other Things


Shards of frozen glass
Clinging to the evergreens.
Nature’s ornaments.

This was a poem I submitted for a haiku poetry contest on a site I frequent. There were several entries with 3 categories you could enter, and each category has a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. This poem was entered under the "Winter" category, which ended up being the most entered category. I didn't have much confidence that it would win.

It did.

Not only did it win, but it won first place! I was so excited about it. Even though I didn't win anything other than fake money, it was still nice. I felt validated in some way, my talent acknowledged.

This is something every artist struggles with. The wish of being seen as talented. The hard part about this issue is that you're usually the one who is your biggest critic, your biggest obstacle. I know, at least in my experience, that if I didn't get in my own way so much I could do so much more. I just need to stop tripping myself up.

I think this is true of all people, no matter what you're doing or where you come from. We all just need to give ourselves a break and see our strengths for what they are. 

To learn to celebrate the wonders that can be if we just believe.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year!

So it's a new year. 2014. What are your plans?
As we look into the new year one of the things my younger sister likes to do is get and read us our astrology forecast for the year (it's actually a little longer than a year, but close enough). This year is supposed to be year of growing for me. Yeah, I know that's a common theme in astrology, however it was far more prominent a theme then the normal vague things. It was a very nice sounding year, however as I'm sure all of you know change can be a little tough sometimes, especially if you have a normal disposition where you tend to neglect yourself (with it usually not being a conscious thought). So I may have a few bumps and bruises throughout this year, but it should be worth it.
My mom and two sisters have slightly worse sounding forecasts. For one thing theirs had actual "Hey you should be careful around this time" parts whereas I had none. My mother's had two, one financial and one health, and my sisters (who both have the same astrology forecast) have a similar one, though theirs focuses on the health part more than the money. Good news is for all the health issues should be cleared up, and as long as they are on top of their finances they should be fine.
Astrology aside, I really hope that this year is a productive one. Not only would I like to find myself and my family moved into a better home, but I also hope that other areas of our lives stabilize a bit more as well. Both my younger sister and I want to get to a place where we actually have income coming in for ourselves. Whether this happens from being able to procure a part time job, or finally being able to start up our Etsy business, or both (preferably both)- any of those options would be awesome.
We both would also like to be more comfortable driving. I already have a license, but have a bit of a driving phobia, and my sister has yet to get enough training to go take the test. I really hope that by year's end I'll be able to drive to the store without feeling like I'm going to die or throw up.
Another thing I'd like to do is meet new people and try new things. Progressively throughout the past few years I've been slowly coming out of my shell. Being homeschooled left me with a bit of a shyness problem, and an aversion to such things, but with a bit of effort I've been able to make new friends and do some things I hadn't thought I'd get to experience for a while yet. I hope to continue this trend, and with it gain more social confidence.
I'd like more confidence in general thank you very much, but I can be patient. I know that all of what I hope to accomplish takes time, but with any luck my wishes will come to fruition. I just need to keep trucking along, make myself lists, and goals, and keep myself on track. If I do that then I should be fine.
So what are your goals/wishes/dreams/lamas for this year? Let me know in the comments.
Happy 2014 everybody!