Thursday, March 25, 2010

Path to Painting for Myself

So most of you know I started my career in Fine Art a couple years ago so I am still an infant in terms of becoming a professional artist. That is why blogging and visiting blogs have so important to me. Other artist’s works inspire, motivate and feed my soul.

I feel I am still all over the board. Sometimes I feel like a ship without a rudder and allowing whatever dominant wind push me in any direction.

Reading this post from Katharine A. Cartwright's blog slapped me on the forehead last week. If you have not visited her blog, you must if you want some mental stimulus on the subject of art. Besides Katherine is an exceptional watercolor artist and an outstanding teacher.

I took several days after reading that post to take a break from blogs and blogging to try and figure out who I am in terms of this new role of an artist and what gives me passion when I paint.

I was working on the top painting which is another scene from the Dublin St. Patrick's Day fair. It took me about 3 days to make me feel like it was completed. It gave me a 2.5 out of 10 on my excitement scale. Then just for kicks, I painted the bottom painting in about 3 hours and it gave me about a 5 out of 10 on my excitement scale. So I'm not there yet, but besides the pet and other commissions, I'm going to start exploring on how to find that 10 out of 10. I hope you'll stick around for the journey. Love to all!









both pieces are 20x16 oil on canvas

34 comments:

Jackie said...

The second piece is my favorite.I just think it has more passion. I am just beginning to try to get to know myself artistically only was attracted to art about 8 months ago.So many artist feel this same thing you talk about .I am off to visit Katherine's post

Lori Bonanni said...

Hi Sheila - I like the composition and lighting. You did great job on painting the man walking away which is especially hard to do.

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

I love them both yes I do.
Did you use knife as well?
Love them.
Will check Katherine's blog ASAP.
Thanks for sharing.

suzanneberry said...

Sheila, your growth as an artist is astounding! Both paintings are incredible and enormously inspiring. I will be visiting that blog and look forward to growing too. Thank you for sharing your wise words.

PAMO said...

I look forward to your continuing journey Sheila! Both wonderful paintings you've posted.

AutumnLeaves said...

Gosh, Sheila. I so know what you mean. That woman is simply fierce looking (and in a more definition of fierce, in a good way); beautiful and stunning and full of direction. Unlike me. Really interesting to hear of your soul searching as it relates to art. Unfortunately, I know what you mean. There have been a couple of challenges I just couldn't get excited about but was just anal enough to feel that I had to give them a try. Most of the time I simply will quit a painting that doesn't get me excited to paint. Then again, I rarely start one if I am not excited about it. And of course, there is one that I am excited about but seem to be lacking motivation when it comes to finishing it! (I think it is because of the size of the piece and the inordinately anal me that is doing brick by brick. Sigh...) Anyway, I have truly wondered where you've been! I think we can learn alot from the blogs we follow. What we like, what we do not like, can we figure out how they did that, etc. You, my dear, are one of the best. Do you know that I just commented on another blog that the man's brush strokes reminded me of Sheila's?

Kathy said...

Thank you so much, Sheila, for mentioning my little blog! I like where you're going with your work and can feel your excitement!! Keep going ... I'm a fan :-)

Starr said...

I've been trying to find my place as an artist for years... just recently settled down to doing stuff just for me and not caring if anyone liked my work or not... it's very liberating... I'll be waiting to see where your journey takes you :)

liz wiltzen said...

Sheila, I'd love to see you be the exception, but I find myself and most professional artists I know feel a 10 out of 10 about 20 % of the time. The other 80% of the time is working on skills that lead you to the 10 out of 10's...

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Sheila, the only way to find your bliss is to keep trying new things. Find artists who paint different things, or in different ways, and just... try it! I also would recommend taking a class with an inspiring teacher! But you're doing all the right things, and really, what matters is that you find joy.... You deserve joy, Sheila!
And your figure painting is really nice - you chose a difficult pose and did a great job!

Pat Koscienski said...

Sheila, I'm not sure you or any artist will ever reach a 10. When you get close, you will find yourself raising the bar. You don't want to stay static, so you will continue to grow and try different things. Your artist self will continually emerge. Thanks for sharing Kathy's blog.

dominique eichi said...

First off....... you've been an artist even in the police dep. but now it is for you there is a difference. I can relate to been all over. I seem sometimes to like everything as you mentioned. I'm real proud of you because you are pushing yourself no matter what. Each piece you made have Sheila stamped on them just keep going. There's passion in each piece. We love you.

Gwen Bell said...

Both paintings are wonderful and yet so different in their style and energy. That's one of the great things about you. You can change up your style but your core essence always shines through. Love the portrait...very strong and sensuous.

Greener Bangalore said...

The second pic is beaaaautiful Shiela!

Edward Burton said...

Both of these are wonderful, but my favorite one is the portrait - I love her expression and the spontaneous brushwork. Well done, Sheila.

Cathyann said...

I have seen a lot of your growth in just a year, Sheila.
What you are experiencing is part of the learning process. Trying different genre as well as techniques will permit you to have choices, even if you return to portraiture...you have the discipline to get up and do it every day and that is what makes the artist. Discipline and the willingness to try, fail and get up and move on. It will come together. I agree with Pat and Kelley. Keep the faith,girl.

PPASP said...

Sheila, I feel "all over the map" too. But, I was thinking about that the other day (the fact that I paint many different subjects and with different palettes and so forth..) and I think that is preferable to "playing it safe". I know some artists who just paint the same tried and true things over and over. To me the very idea of exploration is 10 out of 10. I think you are the same way. Good paintings, both. Good post. I love your blog.

billspaintingmn said...

Wow! That second painting has got to stop you!
It demands attention! The colors
are powerful and dramatic!
I imagined you as a bit timid, but this painting is a tiger.
I think it's a good thing to search for your artistic path, I think you're on it!

Manon Doyle said...

I adore both of these pieces, Sheila. I'm glad to have followed you on part of your journey. You clearly have developed a beautiful style and I so enjoy viewing each new piece that you create. Great work, my friend!!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Wow Sheila, such food for thought! I love the portrait..it is stunning, mysterious, and grabs the viewer and won't let go.
You seem to have found a "style" of painting that you return to often:with the blues and greens and vivid colors.
It is difficult to really find that 10. Sometimes there is a downside to blogging and the internet. We will see so and so selling a bazillion paintings of a certain subject, and maybe get influenced by that. First of all, I think an artist must find out why they want to paint. If it is primarily to sell, then there are the tried and true subjects that work. About 15 years ago, I found myself a single Mom with 3 kids (one very sick) and I needed a part time job I could do at home. I did very realistic portraits of mostly cats, dogs, and other creatures. It wasn't my passion, but it paid a lot of bills. Now, with the kids independent, I have decided to find my passion. Often its not the subject that is important and exciting, but how you approach the painting...your method of applying paint, your palette, how you start a painting. When you discover that, you can paint almost anything and be excited about it. It takes commitment, hard work, failures, and a lot of wonderful time messing about with paint.
Sorry for being so wordy...I could go on and on....

Michelle said...

I think your color choices are very exciting! Yes, I feel a little stuck as an artist (okay...really stuck!) but I guess we just have to keep on trying, right?! Hugs!

Ellen said...

I've said for so long that art is not in the hands but in the mind. Your post is a clear example of that. I love the way that you explained it all. I can hardly wait to watch your journey!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Sheila, Compelling questions you're asking! It will be exciting to see where you go in your investigations.

Dean Grey said...

Sheila!

I think it's very wise of you measure your excitement scale. That's how we grow as artists, by trying new things and listening to that inner voice.

But.....

Don't overthink things either! Sometimes putting too much restriction on what you should or shouldn't paint can be just as stifling.

I think both paintings turned out great and I can see passion in both of them!

-Dean

Abby Creek Art said...

Just catching up on all of your wonderful work, Sheila. I'm struck by your da Vinci sketch. That is just awesome!

r garriott said...

Sheila you're the inspiration for many of us! I love how you charge after a divesity of subject matter. This portrait is first rate.

Carrie Jacobson said...

Hey, gal - thanks for sending us to that post. It was interesting - as all your pieces and your thoughts are.

You do go here and there in your art - and yet I get the feeling that you are not merely wandering, but you are exploring. There's a big difference, I think.

One notion I've stumbled on lately, one that really intrigues me, is the question of whether anyone else could have made the painting I just made? If the answer is no, that I/you are the only one who could have made it, then you're on to something.

Know what I like the best of your recent work? The drawings, especially the Leonardo one. You are an amazing sketcher - and when your paintings are sketchiest, I tend to like them more.

Hope you're well - xo

Eva said...

Hi Sheila,
I think you do honor your creative self with these paintings. They are, strong, colorful, original works of art. Keep marching to your own drummer, Sheila, you're doing great!

Linny D. Vine said...

Hi Sheila - they're both great but I love the graphic impact of the portrait. (And these are both done with colors that you love, yes?)

Paula Villanova said...

Sheila, I have always enjoyed looking at your blog and you are clearly passionate about art. Keep it up...I think struggle is part of the whole picture for all of us but we keep painting. Maybe challenge is part of the appeal?

Krista Hasson said...

Beautiful use of color, very dramatic!

Pat Burns said...

What you are going through is called "being an artist"... keep going and I'll keep going with you!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Sheila I think your work is awesome and the portrait is striking. Great work. Happy to follow your journey!

sam said...

Well thats 10/10 from me Sheila, those strokes of colour on the face make it really bold, the purple and yellow go really well