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

Change is in the Air

This morning I decided to head into the Central markets, for a sneaky scrambled eggs breakfast, and for some time to write in a cafe. A trip that would normally take 15 minutes, took an hour because of traffic. And when I got to the cafe the chef was off sick.

I’m glad I still made the effort to go. The young girl at the cafe made some beautiful scrambled eggs, and I wrote. I began typing up a letter as part of my family research which is address to my unborn child – a letter I wrote over a year ago well before I was pregnant, and at a time when I’d given up all hope of having a baby.

I realised the significance of this trip into one of my favourite cafes in the Central markets. The next time is going to be very different for me. I’m not sure when the next time will be. But it will involve a pram, my baby, and quite possible not much writing.

This morning’s trip into the markets may not have been the perfect last time, but it was just as good to get the insight of how much change is in the air for me, and how different such a visit will be in the future. And to be reminded of the letter I wrote (stay tuned for more about this, but you’re going to need to be patient!).

Depending of course when baby decides to come!

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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Hectic Time of the Year

Often during the year there are busy moments, but I can’t help comparing them to this time of year – the lead up to Christmas. To me, this time of year feels more hectic than any other, especially in shopping centres, cafes, even simply driving around. It’s like there’s a panic in the air. Deadlines urgently have to be met, jobs cleared before people go on holidays, cooking treats made,Gingerbread.JPG and of course Christmas gifts bought. I find it hard to escape the chaotic energy buzzing around.

In amongst this busyness there are times when I find moments of peace within me, and in my own personal environment. This reminds me how this time of year doesn’t need so busy, and how restful and rejuvenating the sense of peace is when I don’t go into this hectic flow. Sure it’s busier with extra jobs of Christmas preparation but I want to approach this time of year with a harmonious mindset instead of being on edge with rushing around.Christmas tree

Peace on earth, had taken on a new meaning for me. While I’d like peace to be on earth, it’s a long way off and a challenge. What I can do is start with peace internally within me. And when I’m in this mindset I find it more harmonious to reflect on the year that was, releasing it to help make room for the New Year. Also in this mindset I find I reassess what’s important in my life, and how friends and family have influenced my year, and my life journey. I list off people and events to be grateful for, which enhance my inner sense of peace, which in turn evokes a sense of joy within me and I keep connected to my personal life flow. This all hits a deep root of what’s important for me at this time of year.

Merry Christmas, may this time be safe, peaceful, and a joyous time as 2017 comes to a close.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

outside christmas trees