art blog

"Focus" - the word for 2019

It’s been over a year (yikes!) since my last blog post, but I’m vowing to try it again this year and be more consistent with my writing; so, my word for 2019 is “focus.” Every year I pick a word and try to live it; and this year’s word fits especially well, since sometimes my art is all over the place and I need to pinpoint my style and technique. But, after two plus years of experimenting with painting abstract art, I think I’ve finally landed on a style and technique that intrigues me (well, maybe a couple of styles, but this is actually an improvement for my sometimes erratic and non-behaving brain!)

Can anyone else relate? Do you find it difficult to accomplish a goal because that laser-like focus is all over the place? I can only say to be patient and enjoy the journey and discovery, that it WILL come if you work at it. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but I’m living proof that hard work goes hand-in-hand with finding your unique voice, and will eventually pay off. So, below is painting that I’ve recently completed, using the new skills that I want to implement and focus more on.

I’d love your thoughts and comments. Here’s to 2019!

“Dancing at the Edge of the Sea” - ©Terri Edwards 2019

dancingattheedgeofthesea.jpg

Being "authentic" for 2018

Every year I choose a new word to try and live by for the year, a word to concentrate on, a word to make me stretch and grow. For 2018, my word is “authenticity.” This is something that I often struggle with, as there are so many wonderful, talented artists out there whom I admire and, quite frankly, would love to emulate. So, next year is my year to reinforce that, even though I might find my work lacking at times, especially when compared to those whose work I love, I need to remain “authentic” and true to myself. It may mean revisiting some old techniques, some that were very successful for me in years past, but maybe adding a new twist. Or, it may be going in a completely different and new direction. The important thing is to constantly remind myself that whatever I offer, it will be mine, and mine alone, with my own unique stamp on it, that keeps the authenticity real. What about you? Will you join me in keeping yourself authentic? I’d love your thoughts. Wishing all of you your most successful, wonderful, happy, and authentic new year yet!

26001362_912066065610754_1529825915247464827_n.jpg

The yearning

I've got to get something off my chest: lately I've been thinking about my own mortality and what will happen to all of my unsold art when I'm gone. Now, I'm not normally a morbid person, but recently, since I've been thinking about this little issue, it's made me think about how many years I might have left and how I'm spending them. I'm sure you've all seen the famous painting by Edvard Munch, "The Scream," and lately this is how I've felt in my mind. I feel like screaming because all I want to do is paint, and be successful at it. But here I sit, at my regular day job, bored and frustrated because I'd rather be home painting. As jobs go, my day job is not a bad job; I've been working in a political atmosphere for 24 years and involved, in a roundabout way, in the law-making process in Virginia, and I count myself lucky to have found such an interesting job. However, 24 years is starting to feel like 50, and the yearning to leave and do my own thing is so strong it hurts. And I don't even ask to make thousands of dollars (although that would be great!), just a nice living from painting to add to my retirement income. And I wonder: what will my daughter do with all my paintings? Certainly, I hope she keeps some that she really loves, and perhaps passes them down to her own children. My husband and I both had grandparents who painted and we have some of their paintings, and they are some of the most cherished possessions we own. So, I hope I didn't bore you with this little bit of candor; it's rare that I write about such a personal and emotional thing, but it was nice to get it out, to speak of my fears and dreams out loud. Do any of you have similar thoughts? What your legacy will be, and how you'll spend the time left to you? Some heavy food for thought. I promise I'll be more cheerful next time.

"The Scream" ~ Edvard Munch

"The Scream" ~ Edvard Munch

Dip or hamster wheel?

I'm currently reading one of those self-help books for entrepreneurs by Seth Godin, called "The Dip." The Dip is a stretch of time for creatives, business people, etc., that you go through in your career, but that sometimes makes you feel stuck, but that, even when it seems difficult to keep going, you do. You're experiencing The Dip, according to Godin, the time when you are learning and honing your skills and promoting yourself.  Going through The Dip can take years of hard work. The opposite of being in The Dip is being in a cul-de-sac, or, if you prefer another analogy, a hamster wheel, where you keep running in circles, or find yourself in a dead-end cul-de-sac going round and round with nowhere to really go. So, the premise of the book is do you work through The Dip, or realize that your're in a hamster wheel/cul-de-sac and go on to something more suited to your skills?  Once you get through The Dip, it's supposed to get easier, you just have to stick with it. I feel like I've been through a lot of dips in my art journey, but probably more hamster wheels, truth be told. It's probably why I sometimes go from style to style, trying to find the one that suits me and my personality best. So, think about your creative endeavors or business strategy, and ask yourself if you're Dipping, and working through The Dip, even though it might be tough at times, or ask yourself if you're in that wheel, spinning around and getting nowhere, and maybe it's time to change your focus. I'm sharing a small piece that I'm working on that has a "dip" in it, and I wonder if if I put in there subconsciously. Hmmmm... Comments always welcome! Tell me about your dips or cul-de-sacs.

Boo boos, or "why did I do that?"

Take a good look at the piece below, because I kept messing with and it will never be this good again, in my opinion, but we will see. Sometimes these "uh oh" moments work out for the best, but sometimes a big tube of white paint is an artist's best friend. That's what I love about being an artist, though: the constant challenge of working out color combinations and pleasing composition. But, I tend to do this after the fact, that's just how I work now and it suits me better. Rather than write down ideas and pencil in a composition, my paintings lately have been intuitive and organic in nature. Yes, I usually have a particular color palette in mind, but rarely will I have a design mapped out. Some professional artists might say that's not a good way to work, but everyone has their own way and I don't think there's any right or wrong way, as long as it works for you. So, I'm going to blog more about my process and works in progress, and post some progress pics along the way. This way, maybe you can connect with a piece more if you know the story behind it. For this one, I wanted to do circles, just because. Circles are complete and aesthetically pleasing, I think. The title will be "It's My Party," and you know how the rest of the line goes. I'm going for balloons here, and the suggestion of crying, but I want it to be a festive looking painting as well. Tune in later and see how I finished. But I'm still thinking "why oh why did I do that?" 

Raising a ruckus

I thought I'd share my progress so far of a new, colorful abstract piece that I'm working on, "Raising A Ruckus." We've probably all heard that phrase (or maybe it's mostly a southern thing), but it's mostly used to convey calamity or chaos, and goodness knows we've got a lot of that going on in the world today. But I'm thinking of it differently; couldn't raising a ruckus be done in a good way, for good? Like getting active and participating in a cause you're passionate about. So, in that context, this painting has happy energy and colors, I hope. At least that's what I'm trying to do. No darkness or dark colors allowed!

I'd be interested in your thoughts on things you've gotten stirred up about; please feel free to comment below. Now go out there and raise a ruckus.

raisingaruckus.JPG