Leave your Baggage at the Studio Door


Shoot! Look what day it is? Is it the new year already? What happened?  The last time I was on here was way back in October.  I did not complete the 30 days of art challenge. Disappointing. I know. Well, what happened was life, that’s what happened.

Sometimes I have a real bad habit of letting life get in the way of my studio time. Until about a week ago I would just gaze longingly into the studio door and not enter. Not paint. Not do anything creative.  Really for me, it can’t get any worse.

Truth is…I battle some mysterious autoimmune disorder that sidelines me more often than not. I will not go into the details, cause that would only start me on some lame pity party and I’ve had enough of that already, not to mention…do ya really want to hear it? Nope? I didn’t think so….it bores me too.  All I will say is that I let this stupid health thing keep me from doing what I love most….painting.

I am not sure why, that when I feel so bad I can’t find my way into my studio and forget my troubles.  My doctor told me what I kind of already knew about all this health misery-my diagnosis and what to do about it. I, for many reasons, can not take the medicines that will make me more comfortable, so his answer was…”you will not be the person you were before…you need to find a new balance and live your life.”

Okay…I got that…he is right…after he said those words my hubby and I went to Europe for 10 days and lived our lives.  The pain there was unbearable, but the trip was the highlight of my life! I had never felt so inspired to paint, to live!  I guess Europe can do that to a person.  

My resolutions for 2013 is: (even though I hate resolutions and never make one. I think this one is important) to find my way into my studio every day.  Even for just a few minutes, if that is all I can handle for that day.

I never did finish the Art Challenge.  But I am going to move past that. Forgive myself for letting myself down. 

I listened to a podcast today that quite possibly may have changed my life.  I recently found Artist helping Artist Blog.  There are podcasts there that I am quite addicted to.  All art talk.  (I am giddy just thinking about it!)  One of the podcasts was about best advice given to artists.  My favorite piece of advice was “Leave your baggage at the studio door”.  I think I heard there are 8,000 listeners to these podcasts, but I am definitely sure that statement was meant for me to hear!!!

I am going to leave the baggage of my illness at my studio door!

Today was a good day…I spent quite a bit of time in my studio.  I have started a new painting.  This one is from some reference photos I took in Cinque Terre, Italy.  That place is simply magical! I had wanted to paint this town, Monterosso, since I stepped foot off the boat and onto the dock.  I have carried this painting in my head for months and months and finally I am letting it out! I couldn’t be more excited!

I started this painting with a charcoal underpainting that I sealed with fixative.  I haven’t done this technique in quite some time.  Usually, I use pastel pencils and make a sketch onto the paper, or I get right to the painting without a preliminary sketch.

This subject is so detailed and architectural with a lot of value changes.  I thought the best way to tackle that would be the tried and true charcoal underpainting.  This is a good way for me to work out all the problems and kinks before I take pastel to the paper.

In this photo you can see part of the underpainting, part of a base of pastel, and part on its way to completion. I usually work from top left to the right bottom.  This order keeps the pastel clean and smudge free.  This time I broke that rule of mine and started in the center-to me the most detailed part of the painting.  I figured I would get the hard stuff out of the way…then it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way!

As you can see, I have a long way to go. 

I promise to stay true and leave my baggage at the studio door.

I’ll be back soon!





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