Getting Back to the Brush
Hello friends! Thanks for sticking around even though my email newsletters have been sporadic.
As many of you may already know, I am not a full-time artist. Though I hope to pursue my art full-time one day, right now I am employed elsewhere and also wear several other "hats" including wife and mommy, the latter being of utmost importance to me. So, there are times when my family duties and work duties pull me away from my artistic endeavors. The past few months have been one of those times. We encountered some challenges with our youngest child (a three-year-old) acting out aggressively at daycare, and we have been working on strategies for the past several months to set new routines and put in place methods to encourage positive actions and positive behavior from our little one. It seems we are finally starting to see the results of those efforts. Those of you who have children might empathize with the three-year-old stages, but I must say, it has been a challenge for me!
Consequently, my artist "hat" has been on the shelf for several months. I haven't painted anything new since last September, when I was working on illustrations and when I also had the opportunity to take a workshop from the talented Ian Ramsay
, a local artist whose work I greatly admire. In fact, I admire it daily - since we actually own several of his paintings! He creates wonderful pastoral scenes, cityscapes, and water scenes. His paintings are full of layers of color and richness. Luckily, I was finally able to find a workshop close to home and at a time of the year when I was able to attend around my work schedule! Ian also happens to be a very nice and humble man who originally hails from England, so listening to his lovely, soft accent for two days of art instruction was a bonus. :)
In the workshop we all worked on the same scene together and Ian guided us through the various washes and stages he would use to create the painting. Here are some pics of my workshop painting in progress, and the almost-final piece (I still have few detail touches to add). It's amazing how each artist can be working on the same painting and yet come out with completely different results!
The workshop room in Provo, UT. (My painting is on the white board on the table).
My painting in progress - first layers of paint.
My almost-final painting
While this scene is something very different than what I would normally paint, I learned so much about layering, intensity of color to create depth, and pre-planning your composition. All tools which will be very useful as I move forward with my work in any theme, subject, or style.
So, as I mentioned earlier, thank you for sticking around even with my art hiatus. As the new year is upon us, I am hoping to "get back to the brush" this year. I still have several book illustrations to finish for my VERY patient authors and will be turning my efforts to that project as I put my artist hat back on. I was going to offer up an apology for my lapse of painting and communication, but then I realized that it is not necessary to apologize for prioritizing my life. Being mommy is always first and foremost my most important duty - a stewardship that I am grateful for and blessed to have. So, if my personal goals and endeavors have to take a back seat to me spending time with my children or learning to be a better parent for them, I have realized that I don't need to be sorry for that nor feel guilty for it. But, I am certainly happy and excited to be able to turn some of my time back to my artistic pursuits! I hope that pursuing my talents and passions also provides a good model for my children as well. I hope it teaches them to make an effort be a well-rounded person and to make time for your passions - even if it is not as much time as you would like. We count our blessings and do the best we can with what we are given!
After speaking to the authors of the children's book I have been working on illustrating, we thought it might be fun to share a few of the illustrations with you (some completed, some in-process). Sometimes a project takes much longer than you think it will. But, in the end, we hope the process will be worth it. I have to admit, I have developed an entirely new appreciation for children's book illustrators through this journey! It is not as easy as it would seem. Even a "simple" illustration requires a lot of thought and planning, and the paintings are never completed as quickly as you would like!
Here are a few of the illustrations so far... :)
As I put my "artist hat" back on to continue this project, I hope I will be inspired and continue to come up with work that pleases the authors and will, ultimately, please the readers as well. :) Thanks for the encouragement and support many of you have given along the way!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that you are enjoying a healthy and happy 2014! Thank you for taking time to read my newsletter, for purchasing my artwork and/or following my endeavors. Feel free to email me anytime with your thoughts, feedback, and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow my blog at http://www.jenniferloveartwork.blogspot.com/