The past six days have been some challenging ones for me! After many years of debate I made the decision to have my vision surgically corrected. I’ve worn glasses (or contacts) over 50 years now . I suppose I could have waited another 15-20 years for cataract surgery to get them corrected but it just seemed like now was the time. I was not a candidate for the Lasik procedure that you normally hear about but instead had PRK. (Here’s a link that explains what that involves: PRK info) Ever the optimist, even knowing that the recovery period is longer, I was sure I would be back to my normal routine quickly. Instead I am in the middle of a healing process that may take weeks…in some cases months…to complete itself. In the meantime I can see but it’s like the world is slightly smudged and out of focus. The best comparison (especially as an artist) I can come up with is living in a painting by Monet. You can tell exactly what is there, yet it’s just not sharply displayed. I’ve had to cancel several activities I was sure I’d be up to doing and I’ve been relying on help from others – something I’ve never been very good at! On my home turf I do well, driving solo I’ve not been brave enough to attempt – although that is on my list for tomorrow. I’m past the point of wanted to keep my eyes closed all the time, no longer taking pain meds or numbing my eyes with drops but I’ve got a pair of dark sunglasses perched on top of my head at all time, even indoors, for when the light is just too bright to deal with. Creating art hasn’t been on the radar yet. I’m hoping that will be soon though, In the meantime I can do some cleaning & organizing and be prepared for when the creative times return! Patience has never come easily to me (does it to anyone?) so this is just another way to help me embrace it. Perhaps I’ll use these quieter days for posting more on my blog now that I can kind of see the screen!
Each year I pick a word (or words) that will be my inspiration, goal, good intention for the year. For this year the word “STRENGTH” has been coming at me from all directions so I’m going to claim it and run with it. It is something I can apply to so many different areas of my life!
After spending many hours the last few months creating hand made journals (I guess I need to post about those soon, hmmm?) I’ve added to that interest the idea of writing styles, script and other artful lettering. I’ve always loved to add words & quotes to my art but have never been particularly fond of my own handwriting. I’ve just been doodling around with pens, etc. for now but have an intro to hand-lettering book that should be delivered later today.
Here are some of my scribbles in one of my journals over the past week. Perhaps as I progress and become more skilled I’ll be able to use these words and thoughts in my artwork! I hope the new year blesses you with inspiration and passions to pursue. I love that feeling of hope a new year brings with it. Who knows, I might even blog more regularly this year! We’ve got another 362 days to find out!
So the last month or so I’ve been yearning to get back to being creative on a much more consistent basis. You know, like daily. 🙂 A friend of mine found this wonderful challenge page that just seems to fit the bill. One, it’s low-pressure and (most importantly) it’s not just a single media but ALL creativity. You know that fits well with my meandering bend! Here is a link to the page if you are interested in signing up as well:
THIS Saturday, January 10th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the first Second Saturday “Open Studio” Tour of 2015.
Presented by the Rural Routes to Main Streets Cultural Trail in both Hendricks & Morgan Counties, these open studio dates give you a chance to glimpse into a working art studio that doesn’t have regular weekly hours for visitors. I was part of the tour prior to moving and am happy to be included again this year in my new location! I’d love to have you pop by for a visit, I’ll have the coffee pot on and might even bake a few cookies for nibbling. If you haven’t visited the new studio yet this would be a perfect time to see it and I’ll have something creative for your to make & take during your visit as well.
Drop me an email if you’re planning on visiting and I can send you a detailed map on how to find me…I’ll also have an “Open Studio” banner hanging out on the white gazebo building in the front yard to make it a little easier. 🙂
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you probably know I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I try my best not to set myself up to fail if I can avoid it, and that’s just what I’d be doing with a resolution! BUT, I do choose a word or two to focus on during the new year. Although they might sound a bit counter-productive they related to different aspects of my work & life and both rang true with me very quickly for a change.
Firstly, in regards to my art, my word is “Experiment”. Of course I had to create an image to keep my word in mind:
I’ve spent several years trying to define myself as an artist, with a style or medium or something easily identifiable but for the life of me once I’ve found something I enjoy I work it for a while and then I’m ready for a new challenge. What once excited me and I was happy creating now brings less joy. I’m very glad that I followed the path but I’m ready to choose a new one! So instead of listening to the “shoulds” of the art world I’m going to embrace what comes naturally to me and experiment with what inspires me without placing any restrictions on it. It’ll be a surprise to both of us what I end up doing!
My second word is aimed more at my art BUSINESS (and to a certain extent, my personal life as well), and it is “Focus”. I am so easily distracted (see above) and always seem to be looking five items down the line instead of completing what needs to be done at the moment. Creatively, that’s probably okay. As far as marketing, promoting, applications, paperwork, blogging, website updates and running a business, well…not so much! Often it seems I’ve lost hours (if not an entire day) without accomplishing the items that I set out to do. Add that to my tendency to procrastinate and I feel like I spend a lot of time putting out fires of my own creation. I distract myself AWAY from creating art on many occasions! So, in order to really fulfill the creative part of my life I’m going to do my best to focus when I’m working on the non-creative so I can get it out of the way and get back to what I was put here to do!
Do you have any goal, focus words or resolutions for 2015? I’d love to hear about them!
I hope everyone is enjoying the hustle & bustle of the holiday season…and also finding a bit of time to relax and reflect on the events of the year. I still have boxes of decorations to unpack and set out and gifts to create and wrap but today, for whatever reason, I feel like I’m over the “hump” (on a Wednesday – go figure!) and on the downhill slide with everything. This has been a crazy year with lots of changes in my life (that seems to be more and more what a “normal” year is for me!) and I’m looking forward to whatever 2015 brings along.
I wanted to thank you for following my sporadic blog postings and let you know I really do hope to do a more consistent job of it next year. I’ve got plenty of art to share, dedicating the time to share it seems to be my stumbling block. 🙂
Warm hugs, Lynne
P.S. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift I have my gift-certificate available at a 30% discount through the end of the year. Use coupon code HOLIDAY30 on my website to purchase.
Just for fun I thought I’d share with you how I take photos of my artwork. (Disclaimer: The photos I’m sharing here were taken with my cell phone and would not be the ones I’d submit for shows, etc.!) Since I’ve set my website up to have all the images on a black background that is how I always photograph them. Occasionally I’ll do them on both black and white backgrounds if one just really needs the white to look good. I don’t keep my photography backdrops, stands, etc. set up in the studio so I pretty much drape the black cloth over whatever I can find. Depending on the size of the art I’m photographing some creativity might be needed to get it large enough to surround the artwork. Here’s ares pictures from this morning showing both the front & back of the set up.
As you can tell from the shot of the back this is one of those “creative” set ups since a few of the pieces were over three foot tall. As long as it works no one (normally) sees how it’s put together so who cares? I placed it up on the table so I wouldn’t be bending over so much to get the pics, plus there was more available light coming in through the windows & doors at that height. Unless it’s a late-night desperate situation I prefer to take these shots with natural window light instead of room lights or using a flash. Today was cloudy out so it was perfect conditions…not too dark but no hot spot of sun shining in to deal with. Here is a pic of a new art piece sitting in the photo area:
Doesn’t look too spectacular at this point but, as I said earlier, this was taken with my cell phone so I didn’t have a lot of control over the amount of light, etc. that was being captured.
One of the hardest parts of photographing square or rectangle images is to get the perspective correct so they actually look like squares or rectangles. Aiming your camera at the center of the piece and keeping it parallel with the artwork helps a lot, plus just being aware of that it’s not skewed when you shoot helps too. (Multiple shots up the odds as well!) If all else fails you can straighten while you’re making adjustments to the image with your computer, but that’s extra work so I try to get mine lined up correctly when shooting.
This final image was still on the cell phone but was taken closely to the art and then I also tweaked the lighting/color in photoshop before I uploaded it here. It’s an improvement over the previous image!
The one taken on my Nikon will be even better than this! Since this is a semi-flat (it hangs on the wall, anyhow!) piece of art with black borders on it I didn’t care that it blended right into the black background. With more dimensional pieces I try to place them with a space between them and background to help emphasis the depth and give them some separation.
So that’s that…
I’ll be sharing more new work as I get a chance, heck I’ve still got a couple of pieces from this summer I haven’t gotten on the blog yet.