Lady at Café

As part of a three week project in art class, I had to measure a figure from an image, transposing it firstly on paper, the on canvas, and finally painting it with oils. Figures aren’t my strength. Neither is measuring. I’m much better at making things up…sort of.

Once again I found myself at the bottom of a steep learning curve. I learnt the importance of planning, measuring and taking the time to draw out the main outline of the image I was copying – a lady sitting at the table at a café. I was inspired by the image, hey it was a lady sitting at a table at a café! This is what I love to do, except I’m usually writing, or catching up with friends.

I managed to draw the figure on the canvas, I got the idea of using tones to build up the colours, yet it just didn’t feel like it came together for me. Why not? Just a week or so before I learnt a new technique, produced a Bunny and was inspired to go and try this at home. But with the Lady at the Café, it felt flat.

lady in cafe 2The photo here shows where I’m up to, and I’m not quite finished, but I’m so uninspired to try and do any work on the canvas at home. How can the Bunny work but not the Lady? Well, different teachers? I do understand the different techniques used, but I am struggling to apply tones with the oils. With these canvases there are two very different techniques. That could be an influence. For whatever reason even though I wanted to push through and try and point a figure using oils it just didn’t work. To me it feels flat.

Then I realised that in the last lesson of working on this painting I did feel flat. Maybe my frame of mind came through into my painting. After all, a week before when drawing the lady on the canvas, even though I had done her wrong (the measurements were way out), I felt inspired to go home and try and fix her up (I didn’t which perhaps was a shame, but life does get in the way sometimes and it’s just what it is).

But the final lesson of working on this project because of a variety of factors unrelated to the art (hot weather, looking after bubs, and writing) meant I was feeling a little flat.

While doing art or craft or other creative projects can help lift your mood, be good for wellbeing, and help process life, the reverse can also happen.

I think this is what could have happened in this painting. And it’s helpful for me to be aware of this. To be mindful, so that if it happens again (which is a reality, because it is part of the creative process), I can recognise it for what it is, not be judgemental on myself, and choose to work to fix the art, or move on to another project.

All is not lost with Lady at Café, I can still continue with this painting. I won’t as right now I’m not inspired too. But I might be in the future. Now at least the process of creating this canvas has given me insight on how my mood can influence my art, and that by being mindful I can gain valuable insights to how the creative process works for me.

Have you noticed a time or stage when going through the creative process where you have gained insight to your approach? Please share below in the comments.

Bunny Art

As part of my general art class this term we had a lesson dedicated to a guest artist Cat Leonard who taught her unique approach. Once again, I felt like a fish out of water, plunged into the unknown and having to adapt and learn.

This is all part of being a student so it wasn’t like I was opposed to this lesson or process. I just have to ensure I keep an open mind, pay attention, and be ready to give it a go, and to adapt if it doesn’t go to plan, which of course is part of the artistic process.

At least now when I comes to drawing and painting I know how to mentally prepare for trying something new and going with the flow. But how else can I be self-aware or mindful of this unique process for myself?

I gave this new technique a go, while being able to accept my feelings of hesitation, and amazingly I produced a rabbit using a mix of mediums and techniques. Not what I was expecting.

Maybe my attitude of being open minded helped?

By not having any pre-conceived expectations, as well as an open mind and a willingness to ‘give it a go’ and being mindful, I’ve come away from the class with a painting of a bunny which I’m happy with.

In addition, I’ve not only learnt a new technique, but I’m inspired to try this again at home – by myself (I’m going to try a dragon!). This is a sign of how much I’ve grown with my artistic skill. It’s not so much going up a level, but how I feel.

Can I do this at home? Alone? Before I was too scared to try, but now I’m willing to. This is the real next step in my unique journey as an artist – stepping out and going it alone, prepared for any sort of outcome. And also by being mindful, I can continue to learn along the way, gaining insights to myself, my approach and how I relate to the art I produce.

Stay tuned for how I go!

Have you noticed this stage when you’re creating? Please share in the comments below.

Lilliana

Art Classes with Bubs

As a new mum, there’s a lot to juggled. Maybe I don’t need to be going along to art class, I’m not sure I’ve got the time or if I can really afford it. But then my soul needs nourishment, and for me it’s natural to go along to art class with bubs. Can’t start them too young! So far bubs has been exposed to university, art classes, Pilates, and a creativity writing workshop I presented. His education is about to continue with an upcoming conference I’m presenting at. There’s lots of variety for him to experience, even now, just by me simply living my life.

During art class, Bub is in the sling, resting on my chest as I paint. He’s content. The other ladies in the class are amused, nothing like a little baby energy in the room to help with the creativity! Instead of a tea break half-way through the class, for me there’s a bottle break. I can use the time to chill, and also reflect what direction I want to take my painting (which I’m having to go to plan B because I’ve stuffed up! And Bubs has been such an angel I can’t even blame him. Completely my lesson to learn here!). I’m very grateful for Splashout to help accommodate by letting me come along with bubs.

my art in need of fixing

By going along to art class, I’m reminded that my mum did something similar. She had her baby daughters in the wicker bassinets, under the table, while she did her china painting. It’s what the women in our family do. It’s a tradition. And I’m glad to be continuing it. The quiet things you’ve learnt from mum, which you then pass down to your child; an unexpected bonus, which also helps keep my memory of mum alive.

Lilliana

Pomegranates

For various reasons I stopped art class for a few months, just sometimes there are other things which need attention. I’ve returned to art classes for the three lessons at the end of the term to complete the Intermediate level.

The usual block wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t feeling as critical towards my art or self-conscious or worried whether or not I’d create a mess or not. I even went straight into a small painting of a pomegranate, no sketching beforehand, just marking out the outline with a paintbrush and a little watered down Alizarin red. I’ve never done anything like that before. I wasn’t nervous, critical or even doubting myself. I stepped up, and outlined in paint, then I got painting. What had changed?

pomegranateMaybe I feel a little more familiar with drawing and painting. I wasn’t attached to the outcome, because I wasn’t trying to be perfect first up and I wasn’t trying to produce a masterpiece. All I wanted to do was to finish this small painting in one lesson as best I could.

Reflecting on how I felt, I also noticed that I was more connected to my art, just as it came out, just as it was. I wasn’t tyring to force the process, but simply be. Without being critical about my art or doubting myself I could also be more connected to it, find the flow and let it out in whatever way that was going to be.

It was a more harmonious process. It was refreshing not to have an internal tug of war with myself. This particular art class marked a turning point in my painting journey. Before I was so out of my comfort zone, but now less so to the point where I could begin to enjoy myself and not be crippled by fear and doubt.

This was also the first time I’d been more aware of this change during a creative journey. In the past I’ve not been so self-aware. By being self-aware of the process I can ensure I repeat this positive outcome in the future when trying new writing projects or any new creative project. my painting

And of course it’s a gentle reminder to keep persisting.

Has there been a time when you were completing a creative project and you noticed a shift in how you connected with your art? Please share below.

Lilliana Rose

rose clipart

www.lillianarose.com

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Joy After Art Class

Before art class I was feeling tired, low energy and not at all in the mood to leave my home and paint for a few hours. Creating was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was curl up on my lounge under a blanket and watch mind numbing TV. I’d also like to note that I’d had a busy week so it wasn’t surprising I was tired.

Despite my tired mood, I picked myself off the lounge and went off to art class. I started a new painting, I learnt a new technique and I stepped into the unknown that’s always there when creating.

It was much better than spending the evening at home. And I was much happier. It certainly worked for me to create and lift my mood, and help me to reconnect with my joy.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

The Perspective of Art

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ve all heard this saying and something similar can be said about art and the creation of art. During the first lesson of my intermediate art class, the teacher took us through mixing colours to create tones, tints, and shades. The mixed colours were used to create a colour palette on canvas and then to paint a small image, the purpose to attempt to create the colours seen.

I’m very nervous in art classes. For me, I’m not so good, I’m learning and trying to develop my own skill in its intuitive uniqueness. I’m more of a free-from artist, even when I write, so it was natural for me to add my own approach to what I was painting. When the teacher came by and asked me what I was doing, I answered I was making it up. She re-illiterate the task, and left me to it. Re-create the colours you see in the still life. At one point I had to add more blue to the purple and something about high or low tones. But why, if what I was doing was painting what I was seeing?

I was painting the colours in my own perspective, which was unique to me – just as I do when writing. If describing a scene or an object, I use my perspective and so my words would be different to someone else who saw the same scene or object. The point here for me, is that I gained an insight to my creative expression which is similar in both writing and painting. I create what I see, but I don’t always see what everyone else sees.

This makes it tricky to teach art. How can art be taught when it’s down to the personal perspective and expression of the creator? There needs to be a basic understanding, which of course that’s what the teacher was trying to teach me. I don’t want to mix colours and always get brown, but it’s in the creativity where the perspective changes right from the first brush stroke. Once the basics are learnt, then it’s about bringing alive my own perspective, whether hidden or intuitive. It’s about valuing the perspective of art, the creating, applying intuition, adding a little logical thought, and then simply letting it be to shine out in the world.

The Benefits of Art

I’ve been doing art classes as a way to help me develop my drawing and painting skills. Going through this process has been beneficial for me on many levels. I’m getting out of the house, doing something for me, meeting new people, learning new skills, and expressing myself.

blank canvasI’ve been reflecting on how I feel during this process and trying to capture the new thoughts that come to me as a means of becoming more self-aware.

I noticed recently how I felt at the start of the art class, after a full days work, tired and not wanting to do much except lay on the couch all night. I became aware of the resistance and negative thoughts going through my entire body at the thought of having to stand at the easel for two and half hours, trying something new which would require me to concentrate, think, and feel. Not as appealing as I’d hoped for. It was a little more than just me having trouble getting started. I was like a car that wouldn’t start because it had been flooded with too much fuel. I already had an active mind from work and I was resisting taking on anything that would add to my brain activity. It was a resistance of sorts, which I worked through, and in doing so I gained insights to the process of creative expression.

I was resisting because I have to give up a part of myself, and to let go of control in order to create. I didn’t want to do that when I was tired, as I was already feeling vulnerable. While it’s not a big part of myself to give up, it felt like it, and of course my ego was in on it.

To create you’ve got to surrender part of yourself, give up control and just write uninhibited, or paint without a care. Giving up this control is only temporary at the time. Thanks to my ego, it feels like it will be forever, and a tug of war can begin. When I let go of the rope and wanting to be in control, I draw, paint, feel inspired and become energised. My tiredness is reduced and I find a little confidence within myself at being vulnerable while not being in control. I also have a sense of accomplishment at creating something uniquely mine.

During the class, I’ve connected with people on the same path as me and I’ve spent time in a new environment. It’s not just the benefits of creating art, there’s an entirely bigger package that is part of this process, either way there are many benefits of art and creative expression.