So many days I struggle as an artist to truly create something that is fresh, new and unique. I’m not alone in this daily struggle. It’s a common topic of conversation in Artist circles. Of course, like most people, I’m influenced by everything I see and hear. And, like so many people, these images, colors, or symbols will appear in my work. This is not because I lack an imagination but because I share a connection or a sense of belonging with these images. It is a way to describe a little bit of myself. Some folks call it collective consciousness others think that this is “voo doo” – “new age” crap. Call it whatever you wish, Artists often need to paint in a series or paint similar subject matter to find their unique voice.
We’re living in a time of information and unlimited access to visual stimulus. All you have to remember when you sit down to paint is: nothing is “new”. All subjects have been painted. You need to just make it your own. While even Matisse and Picasso challenged each other for years by painting similar subject matter; some say this helped each artist develop their inner vision. Others might call it their own method, technique or style. This technique can be useful to the solo painter as well.
Give it a try, the next time you’re struggling with what to paint, try painting a common object and do it in a way that describes your interpretation. You are unique! Allow this uniqueness to surface and make your Art memorable.
What a great day! The sun was out it was like 65 degrees, Roo (my grandson) and I went out in the yard and played with the dogs, we sang, threw rocks basked in the winter warmth and ate Mickey Ds. I stayed up till three am last night so I painted a couple of small paintings, this is one of them.
I used to have lilies in my pond but my Koi are large now and they think I’m putting those beautiful flowers in there for them to munch. So now unless I protect them by cordoning off a corner they get devoured in about five minutes. But I can still have them anytime I want, I just have to get out the paint brushes. Isn’t it wonderful to have an imagination?
The final finished painting is at the bottom of this post.
This is how the painting looks before I have glazed it. Take a look at the painting and you will be able to see how different a painting can look after glazes have been applied.
You may also see area or shapes of some things which haven’t been painted yet. Some direct painting or glazing with the same color will also need to be done to bring the values in line. Values are difficult to determine unless you can see how all the various colors and glazes effect each other. Often an artist should go back and take a look at anything that has been changed just to make sure that anything that needs tweeking gets tweeked. This means perhaps darkening an area previously thought to be OK.
Above you will see a section of the painting. Look at the light green leaf here in the middle, I will glaze over some burn’t senna and then some green and last some pink which should push the leaf back a bit and look like a shadow.
You can see this in the next photo below.
Under the bright orange leaf there is also an area which is not defined, look at this area and see how it will be redefined by direct painting & glazing. This photo above shows how I changed the shape of this area (under the large orange leaf).
Next look at the photo below… there was a very light shape which was only painted a light grey blue but was left mostly white. You can also see the blue leaf’s edges (in the corner) was given a blue and purple glaze .
This painting is NOT a daily painting but a part of a series called “Living Jewels” . I thought it would be nice for those folks who see my daily paintings to see some of my more challenging and artistically complicated watercolors of which I’m known for.
As many of you know I have a koi pond and I love them as pets. Well pets might be the wrong word but I am their care taker. I love watching them because they comfort me and while sitting or standing by the water’s edge, listening to the water fall, I feel a sense of overwhelming serenity like no other thing I’ve ever experienced. Some folks say it meditative, others say its similar to watching a BIG fire on a snowy night. Seeing how much I love Koi you might think it strange that I would eat fish but I don’t think its odd at all but of course I wouldn’t eat my own Koi.
Don’t get me wrong I love all animals and of course fish too and yes I eat both fish & meat. I came to terms with that decision many years ago. I decided that I can’t be vegetarian on the grounds of cruelty unless I also gave up using all animal products. This included everything from Jello to thousands of leather products like shoes, belts, & furniture just to name a few. Don’t forget feathers, fur and lots of health products. Knowing it would be too difficult to eliminate all these things I choose to eat meat and fish. I do find it interesting that so many vegetarians eat fish and will not eat meat. A vegetarian diet is a very healthy way to go and it’s good for most people.
If healthful living is the reason for you to be a vegetarian, I agree with it 100%. But…. Vegetarians who feel its unfair and cruel to animals to be used as food but think its not cruel to fish bothers me. Its difficult to know what is right, but I have been around fish for awhile and from my experience as a angler and as a pond enthusiast I think they feel pain. I didn’t always think this and my opinion evolved form fishing with barbs to catch and release to not fishing at all.
I was indoctrinated in the catch-and-release ethic that was growing around 1990. (The idea of catch-and-release has been promoted by the conservation group Trout Unlimited and other fish sporting groups since the 1950s, yet there are still many parts of the country where fishermen think it’s ridiculous.
Back when I started fishing, most folks I met on the banks or out on the lake liked to catch their daily limit of fish and eat them.) I did too on occasion but as I started to really watch the fish and fell in love with them, I wanted to learn ways to avoid hurting them, to catch and release the fish properly. Usually I would use a net with a soft mesh rather than the BIG string like net so as not to pull off any scales. I would wet my hands before handling any fish (so as not to take off the protective slime coat), then gently I removed the barbless hook from its mouth, and swish it back and forth in the water only letting go when it appears it had its bearings (though fish usually just flit away at the earliest opportunity). Like many fishermen/anglers, I had the experience of catching the same fish twice, and it bothered me to see them thrash about but using my softer technique it appeared as if really I wasn’t hurting them; it was as though we were wrestling. After several years of this type of fishing with my husband I decided to do a bit of research and found that the latest studies indicate fish feel pain but can tolerate being caught and released. and their movements are not knee jerk reactions.
Research studies backed up the my intuition that catch-and-release worked. Generally, if you don’t deep-hook a fish, exhaust them on the line, hold them out of the water too long, or bash them on the head, they have a good chance of living to fight another day.
Most fishermen will admit fish caught and placed in a boats holding tank don’t seem happy thrashing about in the water, and some fish make an unpleasant croaking sound when you’re trying to get the hook out. Seeing them gasping for air, it’s hard not to feel like a jerk sometimes.
Finally the 2003 Edinburgh study confirmed that trout have polymodal nociceptors around their face and head—i.e., they have the ability to detect painful stimuli with their nervous system. After reading a bit more I found I would rather keep fish in a pond then try to catch them for sport or food.
In several places on this painting…the paint is thick and it has a tendency to reflect back to the camera lens. You will see this reflection mostly on the reddish orange fish. In person it does look like this it looks like the thinner paint.
I love painting these Koi just a bit animated or you might say with personality… Koi speak volumes while looking back at me while I peer down at them thru the water. It’s amazing how many actually do look up at me.