Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grandparents WIP

As I am painting my grandmother, questions flood my head of what I would have liked to ask her about her wedding day. There is mystery behind the unsmiling lips. Did she make her dress or did she buy it? So on, and so on.....

I'm not finished with my grandfather's suit. The reference is very dark and doesn't show much detail. I got tired of working on it, so I chose to work on the dress for awhile.

Friday, February 20, 2009

1920 Work in Progress

Here's a preview of what I'm working on now. I'm using Prismacolor French Grey and Sepia colored pencils on Stonehenge paper. The picture is of my grandparents wedding day in 1920. My grandpa was born in 1898 and lived to be 101 years of age.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Process

Focus on the positive. Learn to focus on the process and not on the finished product. ~ Julia Cameron

I have found the above quote to be a very true statement. I am learning to tell that to my students. Some of them seem to focus on the end product and not enjoy the process of art. The process of drawing or painting is extremely satisfying to the soul. Like today, I was kind of bummed. I decided to work on some art and what do you know? I enjoyed the process and healing came to my soul.

The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Did you know that people who offer you encouragement are people who believe in you? Yes, they believe in you. They believe that you are capable of the encouragement they offer to you. I find that thought encouraging in itself.

If we go down into ourselves, we find that we possess exactly what we desire. ~ Simone Weil

Look deep into yourself. Do you find that you possess what you desire?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Leaf - Complete

"Colors of Fall" copyright by Valerie Jones
7"x5" Colored Pencil on Stonehenge paper
I am finished with the leaf! It took approximately 15 hours to complete and I used 49 colors. I might change the name of the piece later to something more catchy.
Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Leaf Steps 12-19

I finished the leaf on the left.

Step 12 – added Tuscan Red in the deepest shadow areas.
Step 13 – added Pumpkin Orange in the shadow areas.
Step 14 – re-defined veins using Cream, Limepeel, Canary Yellow, Dark Green, Olive Green. I added Dark Brown and Light Umber on the stem.
Step 15 – applied Canary Yellow to the light areas.
Step 16 – added Light Umber and one of the greens to certain light areas.
Step 17 – added Raspberry and Black Grape in the shadow areas.
Step 18 – defined every area of the leaf and applied color as needed.
Step 19 – blended with colorless blender.
One of my goals for this year was to work 10 hours a week in the studio. Well, lesson plans have taken over my studio time. I haven't had as much time to paint but hope to get this done sometime in March.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Be Good to Yourself

I think it is time for a dose of inspiration. I have been reading too many blogs of late that have the “blues”, including myself. We have had trouble finding the inspiration we need to create. We are tired, worn down, too much thinking, not enough rest, etc. Our inner well is dry.

A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller. ~ Paul Klee

Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit. ~ Norman Mailer

We are becoming smaller, dying a little more each day instead of growing, mentally, spiritually, and artistically. I could say, read your Bible. Get into the Word of God and focus on the positive. Yes, I can say that, but have I been doing that? Ashamedly, no. Should we give it a try? Definitely! We will be no worse off than we are now. We can only become better.

How do we better ourselves mentally and artistically? Go to the pages! Start writing in a journal every morning before your day begins. Write three pages of raw, unedited script about what is going on inside of you.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. ~ Henry Miller

Lately, I have had a heightened sense of things going on around me. It’s rare because normally I go around in a fog, trying to get through the day. So, be aware! Inspiration is just around the corner or in your own backyard.

Take yourself on a date to your favorite place to find inspiration. Go alone, don’t even take the dog. Go to a museum, art gallery, coffee shop, library, etc. Go once a week. If you are working at full speed, take time to go twice a week. Our inner wells dry fast and we need every source of inspiration we can find.

Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist. ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

Now, go out and do something good for yourself. I know I am in the weeks to come.