Saturday, July 28, 2012

What We Made Today-Like Mother Like Daughter Edition

Today I finally decided that the Kid was old enough to begin sharing my artists' acrylics with me. As much as I love to sew and embroider, illustration is my first love(I always thought that I would end up illustrating children's books someday!), and I have to make time for it or else I get a little nutty(and not in a good, fudgy brownie or Peanut Buster Parfait kind of way...). I think every type of art or craft I do helps me improve all the others, so I feel no guilt about subtracting time from my crafting to do a little pen sketching or paint sketching.

 The Kid loves to watch me work, so I thought that I'd let her try a little bit of "big girl paint" today and see how it went, since she does pretty well with her watercolors. I am happy to report that she was very careful with the paints, didn't try to eat any of them, and only put her face in her painting once, which I actually thought was pretty inventive, so I didn't mind helping her clean up the little mess that followed. I have no specific hopes or dreams for my child, aside from health and happiness and responsibility, but it is kind of exciting to think that she too may gain some of the valuable life benefits that creativity has offered me, throughout my life.

Here's our paintings...

Painting on cardboard(I saved from boxes that advertising material arrived in at my old job) is a whole different beast from canvas paintings. Cardboard sucks up the paint so you have no time to really push it around and mix it, the way you can with a gessoed canvas. Thus my cardboard paintings are a slightly different style from my oil paintings or canvas acrylics. You can still tell their mine, though. I definitely have a particular style. I have a penchant for portrait painting, and I usually paint women. Those women are generally big eyed, and are small lipped, with faces that are always "off" in one way or another. I was greatly influenced by the Post Impressionists as a young artist, and I think that influence definitely shows in my work, which never seeks to be part of the worlds of realism or photorealism.

The Kid's painting is on the left, and she helped me with the painting on the right. Pay no mind to the luchador or band-aid on the floor. The Kid is going through a band-aids=stickers phase...*sigh*

Painting is such fabulous creative therapy. Whenever I feel depressed, in a rut, angry or creatively worn out, painting always help mellow me out, revive me or energize me, depending on the circumstances. It is a wonderful way to deal with issues that are difficult to honestly and openly deal with as well, much like writing in a journal is. What you may feel uncomfortable or unsafe saying in the "real" or public world, you can always feel free to say on a canvas, or cardboard or paper, because nobody ever has to see them, if you don't want them too. OR, they can view your feelings and emotions without even really understanding exactly what you are saying. You can make a statement in public, and expose people to the statement, without them even understanding what exactly they are being exposed to, aside from "good" or "bad" art. Ha.

I often find myself thinking there there are probably hundreds of dead artists who are laughing in their graves over the lengthy and detailed political, social and personal meanings that art historians have attributed to their paintings. I know I will be, should anyone ever take an interest in the body of work I shall leave behind...

Anyway, painting is awesome. If you don't do it already, you should try it. Really. Don't be afraid of sucking. Just paint for yourself and you'll be more likely to experience the joy/relief/serenity that it can bring.

I find that philosophy also holds true for most things in life...

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