Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Beat the Heat -- Summertime Brain Slog is just Ahead

"Fairy Glen" 11x14 acrylic on canvas
Somewhere in the last few weeks; I lost my “MoJo.” Maybe it’s the heat, which is already in the 90s here in Florida, along with muggy stifling air. The rising temperatures came early this year, and with them the beautiful Poinciana flowers weeks before their time. Early blooming brought one of the worst hayfever seasons in years.

I planted some cool weather flowers in February and they never took off because the season turned hot too soon. My brain wilted along with them. I'm going to cooler climes for a few days and maybe that will revive me.
(work in progress)
My weird and wild “Fairy Glen” painting is finished. After allowing myself “off the reservation” so-to-speak, I’m ready to get back to more serious painting. When this happens, I usually think "portraits" or at least a close-up view of something earthy and lovely. I haven’t zeroed in on what, just yet. My canvas is 20 x 20 so I must find what I consider the perfect subject.

I’m in one of those moods where I have to clear my head. I need some time and space to collect my thoughts and review some of those old photos and files labeled “to paint.” If all else fails, I’ll get close to nature and see if I can scout up some ideas
With Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner on the cover of Vogue, I know my meanderings must seem impossibly boring. Perhaps that’s why I’m seeing such strange artwork these days. Artists are trying to outdo each other in the category of sensuous, sensational, and stunning. The world of nature has suddenly lost its appeal, and people are going gaga for “Gagacious” curb appeal.

There are still some outstanding paintings and photographs happening on web sites such as Red Bubble, Fine Art America, Art Span, Etsy and others. There are also juried competitions not only in your local art galleries, but online. While you’re cooling down and trying to get a grip on your own art career, Google for these contests and enter them. They can not only inspire you, but give you a sense that you’re not so bad after all should you snag a win.
(From an old Stereopticon card cc 1898 by Strohmeyer & Wyman) Anfinsen Art on Etsy 
One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t create in a vacuum. Your mind must be chock full of “stuff” and nonsense in order to create. If nothing else, re-read your old art magazines.  Look at Family photos and old photographs for gems that may stir your emotions to the point of creation. If all else fails, read a good book. I’ve been reading some exciting historical novels and mysteries of late.

Here is an old Stereopticon card, one of the first colored ones. copyright 1898 T.W. Ingersoll
Anfinsen Art on Etsy
Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that just a diversion to keep you from typing on your keyboard or slapping that canvas? Perhaps. But it also fills my mind with a lot of new images and ideas. The secret is to have pen and paper at hand. I’m constantly jotting down ideas, sometimes even just a word. I search. I scout the Internet for what’s out there. If cyber space is not already inundated with similar images, I know I’ve got a winner.

Explore your neighborhood, nearby parks, lakes and beaches. Once you’re out of yourself even for a few short hours it’s amazing how refreshed you’ll feel and ready to get back to work!
(close up of one side of the card. Notice the group of people? Rough carriage rut road?)