Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Here comes the New Year: “We hereby Resolve to. . .”

"And all that Jazz"  11 x 14 acrylic on panel, framed

I can feel it coming: when the celebrating is over, discouragement sets in. A look back reminds me of how many goals were unmet, of how much more I have to learn,  and of how "average" my skill level is when compared to those I admire and try to emulate.

After beating myself up with this big stick, I feel even worse. And yet I do it over and over again at the beginning of each New Year. Why do my dreams, my aims always fall far short of their target? Is it really this hard or is it only a negative state of mind that wraps its tentacles around my slumping creative soul?

Am I alone in this or is it symptomatic of our times? Tomorrow I will give myself a good swift kick in the psych and get on with the business of creating. But for now I will lick my wounds, snack on junk food, and hope that the sun will shine.
"Lucky Lady" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel w/real card, framed
Goals can be elusive. Our good intentions are sometimes not enough in the face of reality and circumstance. The point is to move on. Don’t beat yourself over the head with the same dead stick. Instead, turn it into a paint brush. Like an old friend, pick up where you left off and begin again.

Progress is made one step at a time, not in leaps and bounds. As long as we’re improving our skills, having fun, and dreaming the dream, we’ll achieve our purposes and desires. One of my goals is to create better compositions. I found this lesson plan for children that was perfectly suited to my diminutive brain.

"Shimmy Shake" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel, w/glitter, framed
The 4 main elements of composition are:
*Picture area: This is the surface within the four borders of your picture that is used for the drawing or painting. The picture area will help you determine placement of objects, and how big they should be.

*Depth: This is the illusion of distance or a third dimension. Depth creates a three dimensional effect, making objects feel closer, or further away. The finished result will not appear flat on the paper or canvas if depth is created.

"Vamp on a Ramp" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel, w/feather & glitter, framed
*Line: The line or direction the viewer's eye takes to go through the picture. The objects or forms within the picture should lead the eye to the focal point. When art is viewed, most people will begin in the bottom left corner, and continue through the picture to the right. A good composition will not allow the viewer to keep going right, all the way off the page. The viewer should be lead back into the painting in a flowing motion.

*Value: This is the lightness, or darkness of an area, or a shape within the picture. It is also used to create the over-all feel of the picture.

"Yes, Sir, that's my Baby! 11 x 14 acrylic on panel w/glitter, framed
Tuck this lesson away and use its simple message to critique your own paintings. In the meantime, please “LIKE” my Fan Page on FaceBook. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

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