Friday, June 11, 2010

Website Redesigns and Easel Time

I finally did it! I rebuilt my website from the ground up. If you've been reading here you'll see that I am not as focused on painting landscapes as I once was. My interest has shifted to life drawing and my old site didn't reflect that very well. It does now.

While pretty basic the site is meant to focus on my art. I didn't want the distraction of slick effects (...well, I wouldn't know how to incorporate them anyway.)  I want to make this blog part of my website (I'm worried you won't find your way back once you've clicked away...) *Sigh* ...this stuff is a never ending learning-curve, and it sure can get in the way of easel time!

Easel time - that's what I need. All the important stuff happens in that sacred space - brush in hand and the million possibilities of a blank canvas. It inspires terror - "what if I screw up?" But it also is a delightful challenge - "what if I paint something awesome?" The ambiguity of creating art can be intimidating, not knowing where a work is going to go, how it is going to turn out. The risk of failure can keep you from even starting - so many paintings fail to live up to the first hopeful promise. But our failures teach us our craft. Once in awhile it all comes together in something good and that enables us to move a little forward.

I am adrift in ambiguity right now. Having abandoned the comfort of my preferred medium - encaustic beeswax - I am experimenting with acrylics. I have also left the security of familiar landscapes to explore the challenge of painting nudes on large canvases. I'm not "there" yet, but I AM on my way "there"... (that's why I call this blog "an Artist Arriving.") While I'm finding the steps between rough sketches to large scale canvases elusive, each failure takes me a step closer to accomplishment.

There is no roadmap when creating art. You have to find your own way by trial and error. Growing as an artist is like stumbling through a dark forest, knowing where you are only by what you've just passed through, wrong turns and blind alleys included. Once in awhile you stumble into a clearing full of light and beauty - tempting you to linger and savor it for awhile.

You COULD stay in that lovely safe place for the rest of your days. But artists are restless souls -  compelled to leave the safety of what we know in search of new horizons. Constant movement is the heart of our survival.  I'm looking forward to the serenity that comes when reaching another plateau in these dark woods of creativity.

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