be the artist you are

Marian ParsonsMustard Seed Studio

At the end of my post on Friday I shared, “I feel like I’m finding my legs a bit as an artist…trying to embrace the artist I am, not what I wish I was (if that makes sense.)”

Well, it did make sense to several of you and I’ve been thinking about that statement and your responses a lot.

I’m realizing how much I limit myself when, instead of working developing my artistic voice, I focus on other artists I admire and how my work isn’t like theirs and it probably will never be.

I love browsing the works of artists to find inspiration, ideas, and to learn from them, but I constantly have to fight the natural tendency to compare my work to theirs and to allow their talent to discourage me.

If I can’t paint/draw/create like her/him, I shouldn’t even bother.  

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First off, I’ve been watching some tutorials on watercolors and pastels.  In a recent video, the instructor pointed out the fact that art is a learned skill.  Yes, some people have a natural knack for it, but it’s a discipline.  You have to practice in order to grow and improve.

I’ve actually said these very words when teaching a photography workshop, but for some reason, I needed to hear it from someone else.

Second, as with all creative endeavors, we bring our unique selves to our work.  It’s not supposed to be the same.

So, I’m going to work on that… being the artist I am.

I want to encourage you to do the same.  Be the designer/decorator/photographer/writer/maker/creative that you are.

It was so prevalent in my thoughts that I painted a little reminder to put in the studio…

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…and I decided to make it available to those who are encouraged by it.

Here is the printable… (click on the image to open it in a larger format in a new tab and then download/print from there.

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Now that I am thick in my “art phase”, I felt a calling to try pastels.  I have honestly always had an aversion to pastels for the sole reason that they made a total mess of my art box when I was a kid.  And I was not a kid who liked messy, smudgy things, so I picked them out and threw them away.

Recently, though, I’ve seen some amazing work with pastels and I wanted to give it a try.  I stopped by an art store and picked up a inexpensive set of soft pastels.  I like starting out with supplies that are not very expensive, so I make sure I like the medium and it’s worth the splurge on better supplies.

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After watching some tutorials, I worked on a simple sky/landscape scene and I am so excited at this whole new medium to play with!

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I showed Jeff my first attempt and he said I should buy some nicer pastels, so I ordered some and will let you know how they are.  I have a lot to learn about blending colors and, well, just about everything else on working with pastels, but I’m looking forward to the journey.

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Some of you have asked about buying prints or originals of my work and it just makes my heart sing that you’re even asking!  It’s like when I first started painting furniture and I could hardly believe it when a piece sold.  People complimenting your work is one thing, but when they spend good money to buy it, that is quite another.

I just need to figure out all of the ropes of making prints and decide what the best route is for my work.

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And, honestly, I could use a little more time to practice…

be the artist you are

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