Friday, July 13, 2012
Artist's Magazine Finalist!
I have submitted work to The Artist's Magazine and Pastel Journal before, at $15 a pop - it ain't cheap - and haven't had work accepted before, so I was a bit skeptical about trying again, but I decided to try anyway. I'm so happy that they chose my piece.
The portrait is done in pastels over top of an oil painting with a very active surface - that's why it has an unusual texture. I've used the technique a couple of times and like how it works. The painting is done from a photograph my husband Chris took of me one night when I was trying to get some images to paint from.
I do art because I have to - it's how my brain processes the world - it takes information in as images or feelings or thoughts or facts or whatever and spits it back out as images created in paint or graphite or whatever else. I didn't use to be an artist - had no clue that I was - but now that I've realized that's who I am, the world feels very different. I recognize that this is how I fit into the world. I can comprehend the world better once I've processed it through expression on the page (sometimes in words, but I think more effectively in images). When I'm having strong feelings, I turn to the easel. When I see something I am not familiar with, I paint or draw it to learn about it. When I want to fully understand a concept, I conceptualize it visually and it becomes clear.
One sure sign I'm an artist is because if I don't do something creative on a given day, I end up feeling very grumpy and irritable. My kids lovingly suggest I might want to spend some time in the studio to help me feel better when I get like that. It virtually always works!
Another sign is that when I go on vacation and have nothing I have to do, I pull out my art supplies and play. When we were at the beach a few months ago and I was done in, exhausted, and wanted nothing more than to sleep and read and relax, I felt compelled by the beauty outside of the window to draw it! I set up the easel right away and began drawing. And it filled my soul and took away my exhaustion and fatigue.
I am so thankful to be able to live my life as an artist, doing what I feel so compelled to do. It is a rich blessing.