Art Show

Artwork

For a while now, I thought it would be really fun to do an art show. I’ve never had one, and an acquaintance’s husband got his art put up in a local coffee shop and had an opening party. It seemed like fun! And who doesn’t like a party? I wasn’t sure whether I would go as far to get my stuff put up somewhere public or just rearrange the garage and invite over some friends and family. But, details…those could wait. So last year, I took one day each month to devote to creating a new piece of art. My goal was to have 12 new pieces to put on display. And the event was going to take place in June.

So, about that art show… I had decided I wasn’t ready to put my stuff on display in public (I know. I’m a chicken). Nick and I usually try to do some sort of gathering at least once a year, so we decided the art show could be a part of that. And then Covid happened. And that made planning anything really difficult. Would the quarantine be over in time for the art show? If it was, would we feel comfortable having a group of people over at our house? Would other people be comfortable coming to our house? There were so many questions that didn’t have answers, so we decided it was best to just not plan at this point in time.

So maybe next year? But we’ll see. Nick and I have been rewatching The Office. After seeing the episode where Pam’s class has an art show and only a few people show up for Pam, and the other artists ridicule her stuff for not having a greater meaning behind it and just being random things she drew while at work, it’s made me rethink things. I have basically just painted a bunch of random things that I felt like painting that day. Some were photos I took that I thought would make nice paintings, and others were just random things I found on the internet that I wanted to paint. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s keeping me creative and upping my skills. But is that what I want for my art show? Or do I want something that is more meaningful that I feel truly expresses a part of who I am? Or do I just say, “F*** It!” and have a show with this art, and then in a few years, have another show that is more meaningful? I’m not sure. But even if I never put on a show with what I’ve created here, I’m glad I created it, and I can see how my skills have improved.

Most of these paintings were done with Gouache. Lately that seems to be my go-to medium. I used acrylics mostly when I was younger, but in college I really got into watercolors. Gouache seems to be a good in-between medium that I had never tried until I took my friend’s (Alison Nowak: https://www.alisonnowak.com, in case you are interested in taking a class from her. She is an awesome person, as well as a great teacher!) pet portrait painting class at MCAD. And I love that I can work in tandem on 2 paintings, as well as get something else done while I wait for everything to dry. It just seems like the most productive day ever!

The Koi Fish and Japanese Waterfall painting were done digitally in Procrate. That was really fun, and I’d like to explore that more as well. But I think I have been gravitating to the non-digital realm, since I spend so much of my life in the digital realm. It’s nice to take a break and just go old school. And it’s good to deal with not being able to hit undo all the time. If I make a mistake, I’m mostly stuck with it. Especially since watercolor and gouache tend to look worse the more you go in and try to fix mistakes.

Anyway. This is what I would have put up, had I had an art show this year. I hope you enjoy!

Website Redesign

Artwork
gouache painting of a tree frog on a leaf

I finally did it…I switched my website over from a self-hosted site to a WordPress.com site. My old site needed an update…badly! The unfortunate thing that I learned from my last update, is that unless I buy a theme from the exact same developer, things will break when switching over because developers may code things differently. And learning how someone set up their new code and how to fix it to do what I wanted it to do was not interesting to me. Maybe another time, but not now. Now I want to create and post and not worry about the code. And I have had so many posts that I wanted to make, but since I was first planning and then in mid-switch, I didn’t want to take the time to post on two sites while they were simultaneously existing. And, I thought this was going to go a lot faster than what it did. So I just didn’t post.

The switch to WordPress.com was easy, but difficult. The easy part was backing everything up and porting it over. The difficult part was deciding which pricing tier to pay for and which theme to get. I was torn. One thing that drives me crazy about the new site is how it says, “Home” on the front page. But…I have to upgrade to the next tier in order to be able to get rid of that. Is it worth it to pay $4 extra per month on a website I don’t make any money off of, just to get rid of this ugliness? I wish I could tell you it was a no-brainer, and I quickly got over it. But it really bugged me! Eventually, my voice of reason won out, and I reminded myself that it isn’t as important what the site looks like. The content is what’s really important. Of course, if it looked like a site from the 90s, that would not be ok. But the WordPress free themes are ok for the most part, and I’m pleased with the overall look. And, all the other stuff that I really don’t like, I’m learning to deal with it. Because it’s not just the word “Home” that I don’t like…

I chose this specific theme because it takes advantage of the Portfolio feature in WordPress. I’m hoping that eventually more themes will use this feature, and when I need to update the site again, it will seamlessly switch. But we’ll see. Who knows? When I need to update again, maybe I’ll be all fired up to code again, and I’ll head back to self-hosting. You never know.

Wow! I just checked, and my last post was September of 2019! That was awhile ago. You may think that I haven’t been doing anything, and that’s why I haven’t posted, but that’s not true. I’ve been trying to spend at least one day per month creating art. For awhile I was doing a lot of gouache paintings. Then I moved on to painting some miniatures. I tried some digital painting as well. And work has been really busy. I’ve been working on some booth designing and learning 3D, which has been a challenge, but fun. And my newest endeavor has been learning to play the guitar! I’ve only been at it for about 2 months now, and I still sound horrible! But I am getting better. That’s good news for Nick, who sometimes hears me practicing!

The painting above is a gouache painting I did of a tree frog photo that I found online. It’s the most recent painting that I did, so I thought I would share it now.

I’m going to wrap this up now, but I’ll be back soon to share some of the stuff I’ve been doing and keep you updated with anything new I’ve gone on to! I hope you have all been well and are keeping yourselves safe.

Daily Drawing

Artwork

Last year, I started a daily drawing, which I had planned to keep up for a year. I began with a list, and then supplemented it with an app so that I had choices, since the list seemed to be geared more towards photography and some concepts were difficult to complete in a smaller amount of time.

At first, I was doing all of my drawings before I went to bed each night. Which worked out ok, but then would cause me to stay up much later than I wanted, when I would get home later. So I then switched to morning drawings before leaving for work. The only bad part about that was if I really was getting into whatever I was drawing, my time was cut short. But it was also good to force a time limit, so I knew I had to get to drawing and not spend forever staring at a blank canvas.

For most of the year, I only missed drawings when I was out of town. But after the New Year, things all seemed to fall apart, and I barely did any drawings. I was trying to figure out why this happened, and I think it was because of my new job and improv. At my old job, I didn’t do much creative work. There were some opportunities for it, but it seemed that whenever something came up that I could help with, my workload got really busy, and I would get incredibly stressed out trying to figure out how I could get all of my work done (knowing it would take overtime to complete it), in addition to adding in a few hours to design something. At Chip Theory, I’m not not only doing more creative things every day, but I’m spending time with creative people and seeing the things that they are working on. Improv was also fulfilling that creativity need and helping me to think more quickly on my feet.

Most of my drawings were just quick sketches that were done in only a few minutes. Some of them I spent more time on, but I was more interested in the thought process and coming up with ideas more quickly. There wasn’t a drawing that stood out to me, so I just compiled a collection of drawings that I feel drawn to, for one reason or another.

Since I didn’t fully complete the entire year of drawing, I could see this project as a failure. But I don’t see it like that at all. I feel like the project was there for me when I needed it, and then I just didn’t need it anymore. I’m glad that I did it, and I’m excited to figure out what my next project might be!

 

Art Day!

Artwork

This weekend, Nick suggested that I take some time to make some art. And what a great suggestion that was! I have to do that more often.

Since I bought some gouache a LONG time ago and had never opened it, it seemed like the perfect medium to play around with. I looked through my photos, but wasn’t really inspired by anything I saw. (Sounds like a photo excursion is in order too!) So I headed over to Flickr and found this beautiful photo by Michael Chandler. I love it!

Since it had been so long since I’d used gouache, I forgot how to use it! I thought it was more opaque than what it really is. So I made some choices early on that were not so easily fixed. Oh well. For a practice/playing around piece, I think it turned out nice.

While I was waiting for the gouache to dry, I remembered to take in-progress photos and a photo of my workspace. They are below. I’m excited for my next creating day!

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Art Day!

Artwork

A few weekends ago, I went to an art day at my friend’s house. She invited over some people, we drank, and created art. It’s a bit similar to those painting studios that were popular (and maybe still are?), but instead of everyone creating the same thing, we all do our own thing. It’s nice because it’s a dedicated day to just create art. I know I can just make a day like that for myself, but I seem to do everything else on my to-do list, and keep art as a treat for when I finally have everything I need to get done, completed. (Unfortunately, since my to-do list is every growing, this doesn’t tend to happen…)

My original plan was to create black and white watercolors in an “Asian” style to put in our upstairs bathroom. After starting the Buddha painting, I really didn’t think my style looked very “Asian,” and I wasn’t loving it without color. So I added some color and gave up on the idea of it going anywhere specific. I like the Buddha painting, but I don’t really like the other one (I was being lazy and didn’t want to create perspective lines, but it really needed them!). Oh well. Maybe next time I will get closer to what I’m looking for.

Buddha_WatercolorPagoda_Watercolor