Friday, July 31, 2009

Winsor and Newton new acrylic paints

I've never used the W&N brand of acrylic paints but their watercolors are wonderful to use. The main benefit is the color is the same whether wet or dry. Their longer open time would take some getting used to.

Here is their main web site. And here is the color chart. I like the broad range of the red colors. Also take a look at this site for a review.

The W&N web site says Art Media in the Portland area carries the new brand but I haven't looked for them yet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Catching up

The flowers below are just starting to bloom in the 105 degree heat and are blooming all at once. The scent in the backyard is just luscious.

Not much happening on the art side of my life right now. My husband has had two emergency admissions to the hospital since 7-19 with only one day in between admissions. Maybe we'll return to what passes for normal soon. Here's hoping!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bastille Day Celebration

Last Saturday, July 11th, my daughter and I went to the Bastille Day celebration in Jamison Square which is in Portland's Pearl District. It was a lovely day with sun in the afternoon. We ate lunch at Fenouil which is right on the square. Their large windows can be raised up so the interior becomes part of the whole outdoor eating area as well.

Lots of children playing in the fountain. Nice size mellow crowd. French food booths that were overrun with customers. A fencing demo with French commentary. I've had four French lessons now and occasionally could pick a word here and there that sounded familiar. Lots going on and we really enjoyed the waiters race.

What's going on in the studio? Not much right now but it's always on my mind and I have five 16x16 pieces to finish up and will post photos when they're done. What I'm really interested in doing is working on the 36x36 piece that is totally gilded with gold leaf. Just having a busy time with other things right now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Crisis of confidence

Above are two pictures from Hilda Kluger's lilac garden in Woodland WA taken this spring.

I know many artist read the Robert Genn twice weekly art newsletter. A few newsletters ago he published a letter from artist Bela Fidel who works in a very diverse style using several different mediums. She wrote about the difficulty of "tearing" new work out of herself. The ideas don't flow anymore but still she must produce.

Here is part of what Robert said in his letter: "Evolving artists often encounter a "crisis of belief." This means a failure of belief in the possibility of one's art connecting and being worthwhile, as well as belief in oneself as a creative dynamo. This crisis, which can lead to inertia and outright failure, is the penalty that comes with knowledge and understanding. It was ever thus, and it's part of the evolution of cultures."

Does this crisis of confidence in being an artist affect all artists? I've certainly spent a fair amount of time in this state. It's very uncomfortable and I don't know what the cure is except to give it some time to pass. I have very little encouragement in my life as an artist. It's always been something I did only on my own and for myself. So I've dealt with the "crisis" by myself as well. It helps to read upbeat writing about artists and how they cope. It all just makes me wonder why I or any other artist keep making art. I know I'll never stop and I'm not in the midst of any sort of crisis at the moment. I am, however, avoiding finishing up work on seven canvases. The finish is always the worst part of it for me--the final 10 percent.

I'm not depressed or discouraged right now. I'm just watching myself avoid painting and finding lots of other things to do. I know I'll get back to my paintings because I won't start anything new until I've finished the started or nearly finished ones. The ideas for new paintings are still coming into my mind and the impulse for something new is still healthy and "on point". I am very patient with my process. Like I have a choice? OK, enough introspection for today!