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Creative Juice

I was sitting here in Tampa when my hubbie looked at me and said, “Everyone’s going to forget about your Egret canvases.  You haven’t been blogging.”  I said, “I’ve forgotten about the Egret canvases!”  Business has picked up exponentially this week.  I worked last Saturday and Sunday on a mural job which I rarely work weekends anymore.  Monday and Tuesday I was up and down the 10 foot ladder working a ceiling faux finish job.  Also during that time I managed to squeeze in two look-see appointments for two great commercial murals and booked both of them.  Now we are in Tampa painting doors.  We are finished for the day, thanks to our afternoon thunderstorms and I can take a breath and turn my attention to my blog.

I haven’t touched the canvases since I last blogged.  The Egrets have been sitting on the easel watching me in the evenings.  One evening I noticed how they seemed to glow as the sun shone through our drapes and backlit the canvases.  What a beautiful look.  I may have to investigate adding some kind of lighting behind the canvases.  Bob can figure that one out for me. 

Today on my way to Home Depot for glue and screws, I made a side trip to Michael’s.  My agenda was to pick up paint for a ceramic tile job but first I got side tracked by all the pretty beads and baubles in the front of the store. Show me sparkles or feathers and you can entertain me for hours.  Once I took all of that in I cruised the fabric painting aisle.  Cool colored t-shirts lined the shelves which made me think about designing our polo shirt logo and then finding the right colored polo shirt to represent our business.  Moving on I came to the canvases…big ones and little…fat and thin.  I have an idea for some artwork using all the different sizes but I just haven’t worked it out in my head yet.  Besides I already have a stack of canvases at home.  Of course they aren’t exactly what I need for the project I am thinking about doing.  I resisted temptation to go ahead and buy a few to play around with and moved on to the most dangerous aisle for me.  Brushes and fine art paints are my weakness.  To my delight I found the tube acrylics like the white acrylic I love so much and put 5 different colors in my basket along with a few new brushes and a pack of palette knives in different shapes and sizes.  I am going to have some fun. Finally I made it to the ceramic tile paint, found the colors I needed and added them to my basket.  It was a fun hour and I came away with some creative juice.  I feel excited again about creating new things and I feel excited about life.  It’s been a very good week.

Formal Art Training or Natural Talent

Someone recently asked me if it is necessary to have formal art training or do some people just have natural talent.  Speaking for myself, this artist is living proof that a formal degree is not a necessity.  However, having this natural talent means that I am in a constant and continuing education from which I never intend to graduate.  I read a lot on the subjects of art and business and am always studying my subject matter through books, photographs and in person.  You will also find me most days elbow deep in paint and paint mediums expanding my knowledge through work, play and experimentation.

I feel very fortunate to be actually making a living doing what I love to do.  Most of my art is commissioned works which means I paint on demand.  This type of work is continuously changing and challenges me with each new project.  The special client requests take me out of my comfort zone with style, subject matter and unique surfaces.  This keeps my work fresh and makes me fearless.  I am a people pleaser and my husband and I together are troubleshooters; therefore we make art and home decor happen for the client, whatever their request.  The projects always turn out to be better than all of us imagined and there is tremendous satisfaction in that.

As for my natural talent, I think my strongest talent is seeing the details.  I can actually visualize the layers of colors in my subject matter and instinctively know which to lay down first.  I pay attention to the highlights and shadows that form the shapes of the subjects. I especially love the tiny details of animal hairs and whiskers.  It’s what makes them who they are.

Another aspect of being able to “see” is that I can look at a blank wall or a naked piece of furniture and see the life it is supposed to have.  It’s as though there is a story waiting to be told and I am the conduit through which it is told.

Not long before my dad passed away he apologized for not sending me to art school for formal training.  I told my dad certainly not to feel bad.  He and Mom gave me a great and beautiful life and I have truly had an education of a lifetime with my traveling through this life.  I have no regrets.  I love my life and truly feel that the life I have led has made me the artist God meant for me to be.