Sharing knowledge and my original work

creativity

Depression Ten Ways Artist Battle

Depression and art is it a problem for me? Yes and many other artist. Depression kills my creativity leaving me with weeks and sometimes months when I need to push myself to do any art work.

Cycles of depression can be brought on by weather changes, seasonal sickness and emotional changes. The worse cause is changes brought on by a divorce, death or illness because of the gamete of emotions that follow a loss. My desire to take my ideas and use them creatively is at the lowest when depression is at its worse.

Finding the strength to just get up is a struggle, so you can imagine how difficult it is to work at home. You don’t have a time card the only thing that you know is if you don’t work your bills don’t get paid. So many of us work outside the home because the bills have to be paid. This is a blow to our self-esteem because it leaves you feeling defeated.

Artist who suffer from depression also turn to drugs and alcohol to fill the void of not being able to do what they love. Discipline is hard because your energy is going everywhere except to create. I find ways to cope with taking care of everyday life and scheduling time to do what I feel I was born to do.

Finding ways to be creative is in everything I do. When I cook I have to have balance between the colors, taste and presentation for every meal. I am compulsive about the details in everything I do. Presentation is as important to me and is my main focus in my home, myself and everything I do.

Now I have the time to work in the studio but due to my heath I don’t always have the ambition or the strength. This raise my anxiety which throws me in to a depressed state of mind. I find it hard to execute any ideas to a finished piece of art. Depression is often treated with art therapy, so you can understand when I feel there is no physical energy to do what love.

Keeping in mind my accomplishments and wanting to do more art is hard. Some days I am unable to work so I pick up my computer and do what I can to gain exposer for my finished work.  It is try hard not to fall into a pattern of thinking that leads to depression because it is a viscous cycle that if let go can spiral out of control.

Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya, just two famous artist who suffered from depression. There are composer, actors, writers, musicians, dancers, scientist, students and teachers that also suffer from bouts of depression. I believe it is because we are thinkers, we think about everything. How do we present our thoughts, and talents to the world is our gift.  Any person with a creative mind over thinks every detail of life the good and the bad.

Depression is crippling to anyone with a creative mind. I found that sometimes it’s better to be alone for a while than to draw people you care about in to your viscous circle. Finding ways to battle depression is the key.

10 Ways I Battle Depression:

  1. Reach out to someone you can talk to. A therapist, Doctor or really good friend.
  2. Know your triggers for depression.
  3. Simplify your daily routine and reduce stress.
  4. Exercise is an important part of your daily routine.
  5. Read up on different methods to work through your depression.
  6. Eat foods that support your mind like omega 3 fats and incorporate them in your diet.
  7. Change negative thoughts to positive thinking.
  8. Get out in the sunshine.
  9. Concentrate on all the positive accomplishments in your life.
  10. Get up every day, get dressed and do something nice for someone else.

The hardest thing is to take action when you suffer from depression. It is hard to get moving when you’re depressed that’s why you must! Get up and do something like reach out and talk to a person that is honest and will hold you silently accountable to your word. They can help you with those coping skills that just don’t come that easy during a deep depression.

Artist needed down time to prepare for the tasks ahead of them. That doesn’t always mean they’re slipping into depression. Knowing your triggers like negative thinking and stop them before they get out of hand.

Me, I have to get up and move every day because I have ADHD and it helps my mind and my body. My compulsion to move must be directed to a physical activity; like gardening or walking my dog. This keeps my focus off what I can’t do and on what I can.

I try hard to do something nice for someone even if it is just to call and say hello. I know how I feel after and it’s all good. Sometimes talking with a friend is what I need. Taking time for a visit is even better.

Depression thrives on lack of nutrition and dehydration, I try to eat, drink my way to brain health. Since you have come to the end of this article you already are doing number 3.

Create something, put you thoughts into action…

Battle depression with action.

Battle depression raise your head and take action.

 

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Finding Motivation

My photos

I’m sitting here looking at my computer thinking I should be up painting or drawing something. I have to find so motivation somewhere. The painting is on the easel crying out for me to finish it. I know what I have to do and how to do it, I just am not feeling it.

In the past I would have painted until the piece was finished and not leave the studio until the next one was laid out. Know as I contemplate my day it just doesn’t seem like a priority I think it due to the winter blues. I am finding ways to be creative I’m just not feeling the painting.

Time has away of changing the things that matter on a daily bases. The main thing is that I am trying to keep my focus on my art so I decided today if I wasn’t going to paint. I could work on showing of some of my work.

Art 8x10 Drawing

Art 8×10 Drawing

 

Drawing bear sleeping

This shows you my motivation today.

 

Daushounds

We all have that one friend that keeps us motivated

 

Pencil Drawing

Sometimes I just want to hang out with my friends.

 

Acrylic

Sparkle’s Afternoon Nap is just what I feel like doing know.

 

Start magnolia

I think it’s just so nice out side I’m going to look for motivation outside.

I found some motivation and I’m back on track. Meanwhile I will be posting and working on my sites and adding more photo’s of my work.

Grace my insparation

A nasty smell is motivation for Grace.

 

 Giraffes curiosity was my motvation

I love capturing a look of curiosity these giraffes have as they look down on us.

 

Sea Turtle

Some of my pieces of work are rather large. Like this sea turtle.

I know posting the pictures of my work has given me the motivation I needed to get in the studio and get back to work.

 

 

 

 

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Getting Back To Art Is Hard

When life throws you a curb it can be hard for some of us to bounce back into our creative selves and create art. I have been hit with a few curbs and it has stop me from moving forward in a creative way. Call it grief or shock, it doesn’t matter I am find it hard to move on creatively.

I can go on helping others and the everyday routine of life. I just find its hard to pick it up when it comes to drawing and painting for now. I find that I would rather be alone with my thoughts than draw them out on paper. Art is the last thing on your mind.

I’m blocked and for the first time I can’t seem to find away around it. I have tried different things, none of them worked. I think I need to step back and evaluate my priorities. What holds the most value for me right now? What can I express it in my art?

Inspiration is easy because it is in the beauty all around me. That is where I have to start. I’m ready to get on with this already. Opening my eyes to the love and beauty around me is my way back to doing the art I love.

For all that I have loved and lost I will miss you, your souls surround me with love yet I can’t feel it. I look for you in every smile I see, every flower I smell and all the laughter I hear. I will keep myself in your memories until we meet again. My friends I feel you around me, pushing me to start a new piece of work. I will start doing art work now.

I see beauty everywhere it is my gift to share that beauty with you through my art. To show and record a moment in time that will bring joy to the eye of the beholder. I have set a date to teach again this summer and to schedule studio time where I will work and bring wonderful pieces to life.

Ready or not here I go!

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Teaching And Art

As I get ready to embark on another year of creativity. I can’t wait to start a new project. Teaching and art is what I  do. I enjoy teaching I just don’t do enough of it.

Every day is a blessing and I am truly grateful. I found that putting out content on a teaching blog is not as fulfilling or easy as I thought it would be. I need the inter action teacher to student.

So I have decided that the best thing I can do is to go back to that one on one experience that I find in the classroom. I do this through our public library.

I do private teaching as well. The things I love to do above anything else is painting, drawing and sculpture. They say if you do the thing you love you will never feel like you’re working. Okay that for me is creating beautiful works of art.

I have to say that I still believe I have given you may readers a great foundation. Composition is the key to any great work of art. I believe if you have a great foundation you can build anything.

Over the next few weeks I will be adding more work to my gallery and incorporating a shopping cart. It’s time for me to take what I’ve learned to push my site to a higher level. This will take me some time do to the fact that I am going to do what I really love and one finger typing in my option sucks.

Finding ways to keep motivated are not hard when you’re doing what you love. For me there’re subjects all around me. I am inspired by life, shadows that form shapes, light that defines, space that creates perspective and colors that dance across the world bring it alive.

I have always been driven to express myself though teaching and art. Showing off my gift as an artist is opening up to you. I want you to see as a viewer how I see the subjects I paint and draw to capture a moment that has trigger an emotional response in me. Sharing this is bringing you into that space. Teaching is showing you how I build that space.

Emotion is the root of all humans it can be found in this space. It is an invitation for most artist to start a conversation or maybe provoke feelings of joy, sadness or excitement. Teaching is showing the student how to bring themselves into their work.

Artist do what works best for them and go from there.

bwxx

 

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Elements of Composition In Action

The artist that tackle action as the focal point must take a careful and sensitive placement of all the elements in the picture area. Composition is drawing a clear, sharp and simple foreground and background with the subjects in the middle ground.

Come up with a composition that is subtle is the goal. In this example there are lovers in the park sitting at a picnic table. Keeping the four elements of composition in mind as you build your vision on paper.

The over-all picture areas composition is filled with the shape of the main characters to include the two people and the picnic table. How do you utilize the picture area with a form containing the main subjects? Can you have the two people stand out in the form? The answer is yes but the placement is critical because the line they form will be subtle.

The two-dimensional pattern you are drawing is important. The challenge is to create depth inside the form. You can create a strong feeling of depth. Making the figures and the action stand out by setting them at the far end of the picnic table will lead your eye in this composition. The perspective comes alive with a dark table, carry your eyes back in the space to the figures creating the action.

Now think about how the invisible line in this composition and how it effects the picture the area. The contrast between the invisible circular lines and the obvious straight lines of the table along with the landscape will draw your attention to the center of interest. Pay attention to the relationship of the figures. They create the top of the form.

Their heads are facing each other and they are holding hands creating the circular line. This invisible circular line stands out against the straight lines. The vertical lines converge to the vanishing point just beyond the figures heads. The horizon runs three quarters of the picture area just about eye level of the two figures. All hard lines lead to the center of interest.

The foundation is in place. The value of the key is what sets the tone or mood of this drawing. The contrast between dark and light, between the background and the figures heads will draw your eye to their faces. All the other dark and light areas are not in strong contrast blending in value with the foreground and background. The composition is strong because all elements come together to sends you to the center of interest. The subtle choices made by the artist to use a middle key directly affect where your eye travels in the picture area.

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Thinking Your Picture Through

Artist have a picture in their head and the task ahead of them is to share their vision. People can appreciate when it is a finished piece of art. We work at getting things the way we want by learning and applying what we know.

We learn that taking a thought and put it down on paper has to have interest and provoke an emotional response from others. We can just draw what we see or we can take what we know and arrange something we feel that will be interesting and believable.

What element do you want the viewer to see in your picture? There can be different was of presenting your main subject to the viewer. That’s were a few rough drawings come into the mix. Take the element and try different angles and sizes, have fun with it.

A great exercise is to take four elements. Like a dog, a ball, a section of grass and bush. Now draw the basic forms, see how many different ways you can arrange them in a frame on your paper. By doing this you can decide how much of the background you what to show, what eye level your want to show and show how the other objects in the frame support the main element. Each time you do this exercise pick a different main element. This helps train your brain to see other points of view. Depending on which main element you use in the picture area, your focus will change everything each time you draw it. Creating many views and these rough drawing will give you more choices for your final picture.

Asks yourself these questions about your vision.

What is the largest form or object in your vision?

What is it your main element in your picture area?

What do you think will create the most interest picture?

Where do you put the foreground, middle ground and background?

Once you have four or five drawings. Just pick the arrangement you like the best.

There are four fundamentals you need to remember about composition. Picture area, the elements inside the frame.  The depth, creating a three-dimensional illusion inside the frame. Line is important because it is the outline of the shape of the elements and also the invisible line the other elements follow the same direction to support the main element. The value the last on the list and has two parts is the lights and darks in the area of the main element and the overall mood of the picture.

Every time you do rough drawings keep these in mind after a while it will become second nature.

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Creating A Three-Dimensional Drawing

An artists’ drawing is subject to the opinion of the viewer. The artist who is creating a realistic illusion will want the perspective to be correct and the arrangement of the subjects or objects to be believable.

Start by establishing your eye level and the vanishing point. Now work out the size, placement and proportion of the largest forms and then start carefully detailing the drawing. The largest forms must be established in their space before you can concern yourself with the smaller forms or the details.

The largest form or shape will have many smaller forms or shapes that make up the details. Each form must be in an accurate perspective. Remember all parallel lines meet at the vanishing points on the horizon if you were to draw them in.

Where your subjects are fruit or people the placement of each form will draw your eye to the area you direct in the illusion. Once your largest form is established you will want to add the rest of the forms. Keep in mind that each object and their detail will supported the idea. Every drawing is telling or leading you into a story.

Things to remember when drawing form.

  • Leave enough space between forms when one is in front of the other. If you draw both objects through you will see if the first object leaves enough room for the second and so on.
  • Learn to make ellipses by drawing them in a rectangle. They do not have pinched or flatten edges.
  • Draw a form through constructing the mass before you start the shading or detailing.
  • An interesting drawing with two or more forms has a great composition, it will lead your eye through the illusion into a three-dimensional space.
  • To create a three-dimensional form show the light, a middle tone and a dark space.
  • After establishing the largest shape make sure the horizon lines recede in depth. So the side closer is larger than the one further away.
  • Make sure that your view of objects on the same plane have the same eye level or view point.
  • When drawing an object pick the view that will make it most recognizable.

We have explored form or shape so we can create a three-dimensional drawing and a convincing illusion. You are telling a story of the object or subjects and how they relate in the space they occupy. Having an accurate perspective is essential.

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What Artist Focus Their Attention AS They Draw

You’re an artist and you have the ability to look past what the average person sees. The world opens up to as you open your eyes every morning, as light blankets the room you imagination comes alive. You see pictures in the shadows reflections on glass and mirrors and when you close your eyes your mind takes over.

You have the ability to focus on what is important and lock it into your memory. Observation is an artist most valuable tool. We focus our attention on Shapes and how they are formed. Light and how it cast itself on and object bringing out the colors guiding us to the shadows that form a visual memories that we can access at will. We see emotion, character, joy and sorrow.

Observation is the ability to mentally record emotions big, small, extraordinary and common place. You have many ways your mind catches details that are missed by an untrained mind.

It takes practice and discipline for years to develop into a style that is recognizable. Improving your observation skills start when you decide to train you eye to record and your brain to store the emotional story you want to create.

As your brain becomes more aware you will be able to select the right subject to draw or paint. Composition will become second nature and the application of materials will follow without a thought.

Noting replaces drawing or painting from life and nature. How to develop your skills in this area. Start by doing sketches taking notes on how the light effects the subject you are sketching. Take notes on the character of the people around you and notice the emotions they use by tapping into your empathy (*empathy- the imaginative ascribing to an object. As a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.).  Looking out your window, take mental notes. Watch the seasons change, the time of day and weather effects the light, color and emotions you are feeling during your observation.

By spending an hour every day or every other you will develop your mind’s eye. Discipline yourself to practice drawing and training your hands to tell a story in a drawing. Fill your mind with important details that you find will portray what you want the viewer to see.

Now that we live in the age of technology it is easier to record your subject matter with a digital camera. This is a great asset to record your visional surroundings, vacations and people that you can use later to trigger your memories and emotions you had when taking the picture.

 

* resources  http://dictionary.com/   Famous Artist Course

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Think With Your Pencil

Think With Your Pencil

The artist builds confidence by research and mastering the tools he or she uses to create their work. They all so build it by knowing their subject. That’s when research comes to play.

Thinking out loud with your hands comes easily for some seasoned artist. As a beginner you may want to start with a well thought out plan. This is a rough drawing. You can draw out your thoughts as fast as your brain processes them.

A rough drawing is where you really get to use your eraser. Test out as many roughs as you want you’re not worried about mistakes or lines left on this paper because it is not meant to be the finished drawing.

Your first thought should be about what is most important in the picture you’re creating. Every element you draw will support this. Some artist start with the outside shapes of the objects, animals or people they are drawing. The rough drawing is filled with shapes, light and shadow. It will develop more detail as the artist thinks more about what he wants to portray in his finished drawing.

Other artist start with guide lined, shapes and the back ground to draw your eye to the main focus of their drawing. This is a favorite of artist who what the action that has, will be, or is taking place. The finished drawing is filled with detail that are more precise.

A rough drawing is where you check the* position,* proportion, *perspective and* textures. The position of the objects in your drawing. Does the perspective support the proportion of what you’re drawing? What textures stand out and how are you going to represent them?

A rough drawing is where you plan out and tell a story with your pencil recording all the options you can think of. Until you come up with what you want others to see and experience.

*Perspective– a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.

* Proportion – comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.

* Position – condition with reference to place; location; situation.

* Textures- Fine Arts. A. the characteristic visual and tactile quality of the surface of a work of art resulting from the way in which the materials are used. B. the imitation of the tactile quality of represented objects.

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Artist Materials Is How We Define Ourselves

How you define yourself as an artist maybe in the materials you choose. The one thing that remains constant is you will have to use artist tools and materials to create a picture.

Every piece of art that you have ever seen and liked, or disliked it is because of the artist devotion to his materials and his skills in using them. Art would not exist through time, if the artist did not perfect his materials and his methods.

In the beginning all the materials are strange to every artist. All they know is that they want to create. None of us knew what to expect the first time we took pen, pencil or brush in hand, and yet our desire to create and our determination to control these tools is what creates a masterpiece.

Don’t hesitate the first pictures will be crude and unprofessional. The only way we begin to create beautiful works of art without difficulty and frustration is to master the tools and materials at hand.

Before long, you’ll feel at home with your pencils pens, brushes and paints. You will be creating pictures that you dream and better than you have ever believed that they could be. It takes practice to train your hands in the direction your mind wants it to go.

Be very patient with yourself, no one is looking over your shoulder to embarrass you. Do not expect perfection or speed in this process. Just relax and have fun. No one becomes a master overnight. No artist ever has, it takes discipline to become a master craftsman.

I want you to experiment with your art materials and as you do this you will discover a great joy in handling them. The more you practice the more positive the response is going to be. You will open a clear direction with your pen, brushstroke, or speed of the pencil. I find that pencil and paint are my best friends. Mastering them took time and became easier than I thought once I learned about the tool of the trade.

You can only learn these skills by doing. Whether you want to draw or paint. The more you do the better you will get. As you skills develop, so will your style. This is what will distinguish you from other artists.

In the next few weeks we will look at different materials such as pencils, brushes, pens, ink and paints. Just to get use started. I want you to take each and experiment with them to see what medium you are most comfortable with.

Have fun before you know it you will be creating beautiful works that you will want to share with everyone.

 

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Looking Through The Grass Painting

Grace is my 5 year old dalmatian and a joy. She is full of energy, love and mischief. So you can see how I am drawn to using her in this painting. I use photos to capture her personality then my artistic prospective creates a unique piece.

Here is the painting Looking through the grass.

 

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I start by getting my under painting done…

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After laying out the under painting, I work on adding layer after layer building a piece I am proud to sign my name to.

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Working in acrylic is a fast medium. I find that I can use them to create the effects that I want.

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When creating this piece I worked on putting the compostion together when I was taking the photo of my dog. It was like an artistic light bulb going off in my head. I knew I wanted to capture her mischievous nature in a well balanced piece.

 

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I think I like the way it turned out and I welcome your critique.

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When painting or drawing a new piece I try to capture the personality of the animals I use in each creative adventure I embark on. No one has my perspective, so sharing mine with you is what I love.

Grace maybe my muse as most animals are. They triger my mind to want share an my artist perspective in mediums I love to work in.

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Sharing New Paintings

New

New painting!

I know it has been awhile since I had done any art. I felt the desire to start painting but I did not have the energy. Sorry folks I never thought my illness was going to affect me the way it has. My mind which runs a mile a minute is going through a long recovery period so bear with me while I am on the mend. I am working and have started two new paintings and will share them with you as the develop. I have found photography has helped me and I have that to share with you also.

When I paint I usually have more than one painting going at a time, I also am constantly drawing inspiration from every thing around me. Drawing at least two to three times a week for now. I need to tap into my brain and find the skills it takes to create a piece I am happy with.

Having meningitis real hurt my brain and how it functions. I will be retraining my left side to mirror the right side in my thoughts and actions. This may not make sense to you and it took me awhile to figure it out myself.

 

Painting Pond

Under Painting

The under painting is putting your shapes on the canvas. Keep in mind in you will keep building on your painting.

 

The painting is taking shape.

The Picture Area

 

Adding color to bring more depth.

Building Depth In Picture Area

As I was painting these pictures I found that some things I was doing was working well with the composition.

 

 

This picture is coming together nicely.

The Pond

 

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Perpared canvas for my new painting.

I start with a light background on this new painting.

 

Building the picture area with shapes to balance this painting.

Painting shapes in light and shadow.

 

The under painting

Looking though the grass. A painting of my Dalmatian Grace

 

 

This painting follows the same process as the one above.

Building the composition with shape.

Looking Through The Grass

 

Things are looking pretty good. Feeling inspired.

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Never Leave Without Your Camera 3

Photos entertain all of us. We love them because they reflect our interest and after awhile the camera is a part of you. We search for something to photograph and share with others.

When you see these pictures you may think I have a thing for mushrooms, toad stools and things that grow in the dampest conditions. I see something new to photograph everyday. I do have fun with my camera. My dogs Sparkle and Grace are in so many of my photos. Animals, insects and nature are so much fun to capture on film because of the amount of interest we have for them.

Our neighborhoods have a wealth of beauty that is constantly changing. I just love to see things spring up out of the ground. The cycle of life is a picture that changes from moment to moment and if you don’t see it you may just miss it. Some flowers bloom for only one day. Birds are constantly moving. Nature changes with the weather and I love all of it.

As I walk my dogs I am aware of everything around me. My eye is drawn to the changes I see as the seasons change. The photos inspire me to keep my creative juices flowing. I use the camera on my phone plus I have a few digital cameras that are pocket size. I still have cameras that use film so I will share those photos from time to time.

When using your cameras’ view finder realize you are seeing the picture area. The composition is important. Fill that picture area with objects that reflect your mood, perspective, contrast between light and shadow and a center of interest.

Most of the photographs I take are to collect reference material to use in a painting or drawing. I even use them to develop sculpture and banner ads along with inspirational poster art. These photos are nature related.

 

 

Taken with camera phone.

Birds eyes view of a fungus.

 

Taken with camera phone.

Japanese Beetles in squash blossom.

 

Taken with camera phone.

Hidden Gourd.

 

Taken with camera phone

Garden Spider

 

Taken with camera phone

Feeding Garden Spider

 

Taken with digital camera.

Rushing Water

 

Photo taken with digital camera

Grace

Taken with digital camers

Sparkle

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