Let’s Talk Weather

I’ve been putting off writing a post because I didn’t have anything even remotely insightful to say lately. I’m pretty sure the first rule of blog writing is don’t talk about the weather. Nobody cares about the weather! Well too bad, that’s all I got for ya today! And when the weather spikes from -40 to +10 degrees Celsius all within a week, I’d say that rule is asking to be broken. This painting I’m about to share with you seems appropriate for all the rain we’ve been getting, so sit back and enjoy.

If this painting looks familiar, it is because I painted it in parallel with this one so it essentially has the same colour scheme. It is another one of my comfort painting pieces.

I started with a background with a palette knife then drew some guidelines with chalk
I started with a background with a palette knife then drew some guidelines with chalk
Then I started to add some depth to it
Then I started to add some depth to it

Finally, I added a girl with an umbrella and some shadows, and called it a day.

Girl with the Red Umbrella - 12x16" Acrylic on Canvas
Girl with the Red Umbrella – 12×16″ Acrylic on Canvas
Side View
Side View
Zoomed in view of the girl with the red umbrella
Zoomed in view of the girl with the red umbrella

I had to swap my rain boots for my winter boots yesterday, although I think the temperatures are dipping down again today so maybe I’ll just skate to school…

So how did you like reading about the weather? Or do you just skim through and look at the pictures so it doesn’t really matter what I write about anyways? Either way, thanks for stopping by 🙂 Hope you’re staying dry!

Comfort Painting

We’ve all heard of comfort food. You know, the food that is easily made, tastes delicious, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Food that is good for the soul.

So what do I mean by comfort painting? On those days when I just want to sit back and relax and not worry about a thing, I usually engage in what I like to call comfort painting. That is, painting without thinking. There is no end product in mind, just paint going on a canvas step by step. Similar to comfort food, it is simple, enjoyable, and just makes me feel good.

At any given point, I usually have at least 2 or 3 paintings on the go. These are usually the non-comfort painting type. Their culinary equivalent would be that intricate recipe with 100 ingredients that takes 4 hours to prepare and leaves a huge mess in the kitchen. Enjoyable, but only on those days when you really feel like it. Lately, I’ve had no desire to continue tackling those, but I’ve engaged in quite a bit of comfort painting.

Step 1 - paint the background using a palette knife
Step 1 – paint the background using a palette knife
Step 2 - Add some of the foreground
Step 2 – Add some of the foreground
Step 3 - Continue building the foreground
Step 3 – Continue building the foreground
Finished Painting - Acrylic on three 12x16" canvases - Total size 36x16"
Finished Painting – Acrylic on three 12×16″ canvases – Total size 36×16″
Zoomed in Section
Zoomed in Section
Displayed in my room over my bed
Displayed in my room over my bed

I realize these paintings aren’t as interesting to look at as the non-comfort painting type, but while the thermometer is sitting at -39oC (that’s -38F for you American readers out there), I really can’t be bothered to do anything that requires thinking. So as the temperature rises, so will my painting creativity. Fingers crossed that happens soon. Ottawa, I’m over the cold. Let’s move on.

Hope you are all staying warm if you happen to be experiencing this lovely arctic-like weather.

What is your favorite comfort activity on such days? Or comfort food? As I’ve already mentioned, I enjoy comfort-painting, especially if it is paired with something warm and delicious from my crock-pot.

Oh Claude, you are so bright

Have you heard of Claude Monet? I sure hope so. If not, go Google him NOW. Trust me, he’s worth knowing. One of the greatest artists to ever exist. He’s not only brilliant in his painting, but also in his words.

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.” – Claude Monet

I love this quote. Mainly because I can totally relate to it. I often don’t understand my own art. I don’t know why I did it, or what I was thinking as I did it, because truthfully, I wasn’t thinking and I just did it. Sometimes people want to discuss my art with me, and they attribute much more symbolism and meaning to it than I ever did. It’s actually quite impressive what others can come up with.

The Original Painting, that I did a few months ago
BEFORE: The original painting, that I did a few months ago

 

On that note, here is a painting I re-did over the holidays. Why? I have no idea. It just didn’t look “right” to me the way it was so I “fixed” it.

The "fixed" painting.
AFTER: The “fixed” painting.

So no need to discuss this one, just love.

When you go to art galleries, do you feel the need to discuss the paintings there and try to guess what the artist was thinking when he/she painted the piece? I’m the first one to admit, that I rarely do this and I am terrible at it when I try. I prefer walking around quietly and simply enjoying the paintings that are either pleasing to the eye or cause me to stop and wonder what is going on. I usually feel like a fake artist because I have nothing insightful to say. This stems from the fact that my own paintings rarely have some deep hidden meaning. Although I will admit, there are ones that do, and I will share those with you on this blog, however, that painting above…I just wanted it to be pleasing to the eye. I didn’t think about it, I just painted it.

Also, which one do you prefer? The before, or the after?

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Creativity – Nature versus Nurture?

I come from two very artistically creative parents. My dad is very talented with woodwork; he not only designed, but also built, just about every piece of furniture in my parent’s house, including the kitchen and all the bathrooms.

My mom on the other hand can knit and sew like it’s no one’s business! She grew up making a lot of her own clothes (by necessity more so than by choice) and still makes us curtains, throw pillows, and Halloween costumes, among other things. She openly does not enjoy doing these things, but she does them anyways and we love her for it!

A few months back, I came across a pattern on Pinterest for a very cute, girly, ruffly, apron. I e-mailed it to my mom, knowing she could easily make it. I never heard back so I assumed she simply didn’t want to make it. Understandable, since I am well aware of how much she dislikes sewing. My heart just about melted when I opened this on Christmas Eve (yes, we open presents on Christmas Eve here, not Christmas morning…).

Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.
Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.

I was beyond excited! I mean, how cute is it! And it’s purple too. Bonus. I think it’s too cute to wear cooking and risk getting dirty, so right now it is hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

She also made this one that was initially going to be a gift for someone else, but she didn’t think it looked good enough to gift, so she kept it for herself instead.

Here's my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. Just kidding.
Here’s my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. […sarcasm]
Pretty talented, no?! I will eventually show you some of the incredible things she has knit me over the years too.

Since I know how much my mom dislikes sewing (and cooking!) and yet she put in all that effort for Christmas, I gladly did another painting for her when she requested it. This one was for my parent’s bedroom, to hang over their bed. Like I’ve mentioned before in this post, my mom likes much different paintings than me. Knowing this, she was very clear what she wanted me to paint for her. Based on her instructions, this is what I came up with.

The finished product on five 10x30" canvases
The finished product on five 10×30″ canvases
Panel 1
Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 2
Panel 3
Panel 3
Panel 4
Panel 4
Panel 5
Panel 5
The painting hung up in their bedroom.
The painting hung up in their bedroom.

Now back to the title of this post, do you believe that artistic creativity stems from our nature or nurture? I believe that nature has a lot to do with it. Before I could even understand the difference between the two, I know that I liked to create things. Because of this, I was always doing just that. This innate desire caused me to practice this skill over the years, which I am sure helped improve my creativity, however, had I not had that initial interest ingrained in me, I don’t think I would have ever practiced in the first place. So basically, our nature will often predict what we nurture.

On the other hand, I think if I didn’t have this interest and my parents tried to force me to do artistic things growing up, I would have only resented it. For example, I tried karate and I absolutely hated it. I’m athletic enough that I believe I could have gotten decent at it if I stayed in it, but I don’t think I ever would have grown to actually enjoy it and intrinsically want to pursue it.

What do you think on the nature versus nurture debate? What is something you always knew you enjoyed doing and thus pursued (or didn’t enjoy but did anyways) growing up?

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