The 3 best things I did for my art in 2013

2013 was the year that I finally began to feel that I had found my style, and really began loving my paintings.
I became comfortable calling myself an artist.

 

"Mim's Valentine" available as a print
“Mim’s Valentine”
available as a print

This is the third time I’ve done this review of the previous year, and each time it’s been incredibly useful in setting my direction for the coming year.

Feel free to use the idea yourself, and add yourself to the linky doodad below.

1. I took two online Art Courses

In January I took a self-paced course, Mindy Lacefield‘s “Paint Your Story“.

“Bring your Bucket & Spade”

It really helped me to develop my own style and gain confidence and speed in creating.
I learnt basic rules about shading faces and gave myself permission to make more mess.

Perfection, I began to realize, is an illusion.

Then in September, I began a year-long course, “Serendipity”, with Juliette Crane.

In it, she is sharing everything she herself learns over the twelve months.
We’ve been learning techniques (especially for when you get stuck), trying lots of new media, and seeing how Juliette solves different dilemmas as she creates her own beautiful paintings.

I feel like I’ve learnt so much already from this course, and it’s not even half-way done.

"Not on THIS Parade" original available
“Not on THIS Parade”
original available

The main thing I feel I’ve gained so far is more enjoyment in the process of creating. By seeing that someone as talented as Juliette gets frustrated with her paintings, covers bits up, redoes faces, gets stuck, I’ve become much more kind to myself as I lay down each layer.

I know now that every mark I make is perfect,
because it adds to the depth and story of the piece I’m creating.

(even if I end up covering it over)

2. Instagram opened my eyes

Seeing others’ work, connecting with other artists, and sharing my own art on ig was as important a step for me in 2013 as facebook was for me in 2012.

"Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom" available as a print
“Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom”
available as a print

Using hashtags (#) mean that my art is being seen and loved by a much wider circle of people, and it’s so easy to find lovely art by other artists – and people with the same interests as me.

I’ve met a whole new group of creative people, some of whom I’m now connected with on fb, and learnt about new ways of making art – like art journaling, which I’m loving so much.

What’s more, seeing my art alongside that of so many other’s meant seeing my own work in a different light.

3. I learned to trust

Most of you know that we had a rough year. The silver lining was a doozey, though.

I finally learnt to deal with stress in a more positive way.
I’m not religious, but I now really do know that there is a reason for things happening the way they do.

"You Rule My World" original available
“You Rule My World”
original available

I went through such a long dry spell and feel that my art is deeper and truer than ever before. It expresses so much more than previously.
And because I’ve been through that, I no longer fear that I’ll wake up one day unable to paint.

I’ve been there, the worst has happened.

And you know what? I came back stronger and better.

It’s so helpful to be able to look back on the steps I’ve taken along my path since the beginning of 2011.
I hope that you’ll give it a try and let me know how you go.

Cheers, and happy PPF!
jane xxx

Something New..

I’ve been doing a bit of finger painting lately, as part of my continuing efforts to loosen up, have fun and try new things.

Something New - original mixed media girl painting - etsy listing

It seems like every time I do manage to loosen up a bit, I do really well for one or two pieces.

But then I gradually backslide until I’m doing waaay too many hard lines and I begin to lose that impromptu, expressive feel.

Something New - original mixed media painting - detail

I really love the loose, organic feel I’ve found with this piece.

I especially like how the body and red bow or scarf on her head just appeared to me out of the background as I was finishing her face.

Something New - original mixed media painting - detail

The two canvases I’ve done since have moved further away from that feeling, but I’m really quite happy with them, too.

I’ll share them with you later this week and you can tell me what you think.

At the moment, it’s looking as though I need a big sign on the wall, reminding me to just let go & become a loose woman..

Today, I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday.

Towards the Light…

The past couple of weeks have been kind of tough, healthwise.

Towards The Light - mixed media girl painting on 4x4in canvas panel - available as a print

I had to deal with the CFS “payback” after R’s birthday party, the cleaning that involved, four dental appointments for R after he broke a baby tooth (bad momma, how could you let that happen?), and L’s three school assignments.

TowardsTheLight - detail 1 - mixed media painting - depression

When I look back at it like this, it’s no surprise that I’ve spent so much time sleeping since then.

TowardsTheLight - detail 2 - mixed media painting - depression

So, there’s been lots of going back to bed after the kids left for school (zzzzzzzzz).

Lots of asking my mother for help – she did the school run for me, thank goodness.

And lots of feeling frustrated and scared because I haven’t felt this way since last year, and I was afraid that I was going to have a relapse & go back to being useless again.

TowardsTheLight - detail 3 - mixed media painting - depression

Thankfully, I’m feeling a whole lot better today.
I feel like I just got off a flight with terrible turbulence – just let me at that ground, I’m gonna plant a big fat wet kiss on it!

TowardsTheLight - detail 4 - mixed media painting - depression

It’s reminded that I do have limitations, and to make sure I respect them.
But beyond that, I also have much more physical & emotional resilience than I realised.

I really am a lot more healthy than I was last year, and I have my art to thank for that.

I’m just so grateful to have found my way to where I am right now.