Okay peeps...I'm BACK!! I decided to take a little pause (not a break, but just a mere moment) from the blog. ARE YOU ALL STILL READING IT AFTER ALL THESE WEEKS? I sincerely hope so! Not that I have earth-shattering news, or you need to hang on the edge of your seat. Ha! My life is waaaaaay too mild for either of those. But...I hope that sometimes, something I say here will make YOU pause in your life and remember what's important. If nothing else, I hope my gentle reminder to do good things in your life will impact someone else along the chain of humanity. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, and it's within ALL OF US to be better people today, in this very moment.
I'm somewhat enjoying my break. I say somewhat, because reality still is real in my world of bills must be paid and doggie needs his kibbles. So the days I work, I try to breathe deeply and tune out as much noise as possible. Believe me....IT'S NOT BEEN EASY. I did manage to schedule some very large groupings of days off during this time off from school. I've been painting and plotting and researching during that down time. I live for those moments. I had a few commission pieces pre-Christmas that were well received. I worked on two custom paintings as a thank you for someone. I'll be delivering those today - I really hope she likes them. YOU can see them on my Instagram page. :) See what I did there? Again...gentle reminder that you really should be following me! I'll create a link to my page to the image in this post - click on the image and it will take you directly to my IG page. Now I'm working on another custom piece for someone who contacted me in regards to another painting I posted. He wanted it, I had to say no. He then told me why he liked my painting style and a few questions later, I was instantly inspired to do something for him. You can see that unfold on IG too in the upcoming days.
I've also been working on painting with oils (the above mentioned paintings were all watercolor). I tasked myself with trying to figure out how to paint skin/flesh so that it doesn't look like a muddy mess. I'm overworking it. It's basically frustrating the hell out of me! I've been working on a portrait that was started at the beginning of semester, and it's coming along... But now I've reached the point where I'm stuck and I'd like to phone a friend. MN I'm definitely telegraphing you to help me here! For my Painting 480 class this coming semester, I'll have to write out an artist's proposal for the semester. You can bet I'll be tasking myself with this. I want to understand it. Do I grisaille? Is the grisaille in one color (like Burnt Umber)? Do I underpaint in grey scale to block in the lights and darks? Do I start with the eyes? How do I make the eyes realistic? How can I paint with the "less is more" process and have realistic skintone? How do you paint shadow on skintone? Do you use darker variation or do you go with varying coloration based on temperature? I understand and can easily recognize colors and hues and saturations. I know how to mix too. I just am uncertain how to make it work and have it look like a real human. So yeah...that's my goal. We'll see how it works out.
OMG...!! I'm what - four paragraphs in and I haven't even mentioned that my show has been extended through the month of January?!! They contacted me yesterday and asked if I could continue showing. Was I to say no? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I've sold five paintings. There's PLENTY more to choose from. I'm also thinking of going in and rearranging the work so that it looks like an entirely new show too. Plus, I'd really like to get my big oil painting (you know the one, the large autumn piece I finished a couple of months ago) framed and hanging so people can see it. We'll see if that happens or not. I'm currently trying to be very patient in letting it cure (dry) for the recommended time (4-6 months) before varnishing it. I'm like at two-ish months and ready to pour the varnish on to see it come to life. Sigh. I don't want to wreck it though, and I definitely want it to have a long life, post me. I know, I know. Good things come to those who wait. Message heard loud and clear!
I decided on a couple of things for my upcoming and into the summer semester. I withdrew my application to study abroad in Orvieto Italy for summer. It wasn't easy to do so. It felt like I was giving up on a dream. But, again, I must be realistic with my life. And if money is tight currently, how would it be remotely possible to even think of jaunting off to Italy? It just wasn't feasible. So I contacted the program director and told him of my decision. He wrote back and said that funding for the program was down this year, and there was less scholarship money than normal. Hearing that solidified that I made the right decision. I'm actually feeling much less stress about it too. I just didn't want to continue forward "hoping" that enough money would somehow come through in time for me to go. And honestly, I was having a very hard time justifying the $10K cost for five weeks, when that's the cost of an entire semester of school. Not in my cards to do Italy for Summer 2017. I'll get there someday. I still believe that. I also registered for 21 credits for this spring. It will be busy, but I'm motivated. Plus my classes are all Mon-Thurs, so I'll be working Fri, Sat, Sun full days. That should also help with the budget.
My friend Toni and I have decreed that we are going to empower 2017 with positive vibes for US. It's a new year and has the potential for all things positive and wonderful. I try very hard with the mantra "positive out, positive in". There's so much uncertainty and negativity today - I don't want to buy into it or be a part of it. No resolutions here that will be forgotten a few months (or weeks!) later. Just a reversal of our thought-process to take care of ourselves first and be positive in all things. Oh yes, and live creative lives! I encourage YOU my lovely readers to do the same too! I think this is a good place to end this week's writing. Remember to do good things, and reach out a hand to someone. You never know their journey in life. Happy New Year!