I've been keeping this Italian village painting a secret, because it was commissioned for a gift. It was given to the recipient last Saturday as an early Christmas present so now I can "spill the beans." The majority of commissions I receive are for gifts. It makes creating the art SO much fun, as if it wasn't fun enough already.
In any case, two of my dear friends went to Italy this past year, and asked me to create a painting of one of the villages they stayed at. We chose this charming, in the mountains and on the water, town of Riomaggiore. It is 24 X 36 inches on gallery wrapped canvas. I know you've seen gallery wrapped canvas before - it's when the edges are thick and the artist also paints the scene on the edges of the canvas. You don't need a frame because the image goes all the way around.
This was such an amazing learning experience for me. I thought it might be fun to share the process with you.
I can't tell you how often I hear from people "I can't draw" "I can't do art", etc. I understand we all have our strengths, but at the same time, I've noticed that art is a lot about perseverance. There's a lot of "pushing through"; pushing the materials, pushing through one's own negative judgments about how the work is turning out, and pushing through one's desire to give up at some points. There were many times during this process that I thought I had messed it all up. Or even just in the beginning I thought, how in the world is this going to look anything like what I want it to look like?
There are often many layers to a painting or any work of art, just as there are to any human. There are messy parts and there are beautiful parts - that's what makes a work of art.
If there was a way to report blog neglect, I think I would have been reported by now. I am hastily forgiving myself as this is all new territory. As much as I love the idea of a blog, I haven't jumped into the rhythm of it yet. What I have jumped into the rhythm of is daily writing.
In almost every book I have read regarding creativity, I often find major encouragement toward engaging in some daily ritual. This always sounded so confining and structured to me. I like spontaneity. I like change. (For the most part anyway.) I couldn't get into the rhythm of doing anything daily...until about April of this year. I made a commitment to walk each morning and write three pages of free association in my journal. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron calls this "Morning Pages".
This has been an incredible practice in self-discipline. I always thought I would get sick of something if I did it everyday. Now I find that I look forward to my morning pages. They set the tone for my day. They are a constant in my life when other things are unpredictable. I spill out true honesty every morning. I would go so far to say that it has been transformational. Somehow it makes me more giving. Perhaps because I take time for myself in the beginning of the day, I have more to give others throughout the day? I don't know.
Is there something that you love to do, that you could commit to doing each day for just a couple of minutes? As I've said before, I'm starting to find that the most simple solutions make the greatest impacts. I'm fascinated by new perspectives, simplification, refined systems, etc. True creativity is ultimately finding new ways to solve problems...it's finding new solutions. What can you do today to make the day just that much better? What rhythms are there in your life that you could do without? Is there a way to truly do without them or a way to re-position them so that they become a positive for you?
Find daily rhythms that bring you joy.
I love words. I love art. I love the combination of words and art...