In which I return to my journal to make art
Now that calendar creation and holidays and family matters have relinquished their front row seats, I have had time to contemplate the matter of time. I look around me and I see books - art ones and all the others - that I would have to live two lives to finish. I see project boxes and lists that haunt me to the point of freezing me. I have a roomful of studio supplies and tools and a computerful of apps and photos and notebooksful of inspiration and ideas.
So I made a promise to myself the other day. I would schedule a minimum of 4 straight hours of time to do nothing but make art. Random, willy-nilly, or purposeful. I would not stop to organize stuff, Or read the paper or book. Or check email. Just play with paint or carving tools or whatever fancies me. Because I know from experience that making art is just so much fun. It's time to more regularly use those tools, try those ideas, use those books in a deliberate manner, like going to a well-loved job one looks forward to each day. (And, lucky you, if you have one of those.)
That is all to say, that yesterday (and today) I opened a book and tried something I had bookmarked, which led to some art I not only enjoyed but think is quite satisfactory! Learned a few things along the way, too. I did these in my current art journal, another purposeful decision since I have been neglecting those well-loved repositories of all things arts and experiences (and some side roads, too.)
Yesterday, was my first day keeping my promise. In Just Paint It, I was intrigued by a portrait with strong shadows, and the shadows were represented with cut paper. It inspired me to draw a face, figure out the shadows, and cut the shapes out of paper.
That was fairly successful, so I challenged myself to do it with a "real" face. I checked for a famous birthday for that day or January 23, today, and I found a perfect one. It is the anniversary of the birth of Eduoardo Manet, born in 1832 in Paris.
I researched his paintings, looking for a face that would give me shadow to work with and chose Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets, 1872.
I'm happy with Berthe. I must say though, it would have been easier just to paint the shadow, but that wouldn't meet my self-imposed assignment.
And then I found a few more things about Berthe. She was an artist, too, and was the first woman to join the Impressionists. She persuaded Manet to take up plein air painting. She is the subject of at least one other of Manet's works, and married Manet's brother. She achieved some respect and fame of her own. And like the word or concept you never heard before that you then hear and see a half-dozen times, the last things I did before nighty-night was browse one last time an old Art for Elementary Teachers book I am donating. And there on one those pages is this painting by Berthe.
One last thing for friends and readers who have tried to comment with no success. It's fixed. You can comment without "signing in." I hope you'll leave your name and email (email won't show up) but I do plan to have a freebie soon for those who comment or subscribe.