Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting out the "artist" in me

I've always been a crafty/artsy type of person and for 12 years I transferred that side from hands-on to the computer with my web design. I am also sad to say that the "drunk" I was also took over so you combine computer graphics and photo manipulation so everything looks "just so" (straight lines, not a flaw to be found) with my ADD, and having a buzz for about 75% of the time, my inner artist really suffered.

With my newly found sobriety, living in a new space and idle time I've decided that the inner artist needs to stretch her legs again. I also have to remember that with hand-on materials like paint, brush and whatever other things you use nothing is nearly as flawless as computer generated web graphics. I find that in today's mass produced society, we have tended (myself included) to see handmade items that do have "flaws" as ugly.

Now, with that said, I can say that I do look at Etsy every so often for inspiration and I am either highly impressed with the skills of a certain seller or I am horrified that that person would even consider trying to sell something "like that". It's always in the eye of the beholder I guess, to each their own. However, when it comes to your space, your place, handmade with the flaws and all has a different meaning.

I haven't painted anything that wasn't one color and simple brush strokes in many years so I have been hesitant to just do it. What if it looks bad? What if the lines aren't perfect? What if someone else thinks it's ugly?

Oh stop that! It's my house, it's my space and *you* don't have to like it. So there. ;-)

I have a vision that started with the cheap baskets I put in my bathroom you may remember:

It's kinda blah but I can't afford much and since I decorate in ones, twos, threes or fives (four is bad luck you know?) I thought I could come up with something that would not cost much - ie: things I have on hand. Turning to the fountain in my bedroom:

(sorry for the large pic, I don't like big pics and even with my mad skills in Photoshop, it loses its detail.)

To create my first thoughts on notebook paper (must get graph paper and sketch paper), first with pencil, second with the beloved favorite a Sharpie:

With some quick Paint Shop Pro (I use both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro) just to see the colors - please note, my web designs NEVER look like this:

To another quick photo manipulation just to see my vision:

I gathered my paints, poster board (cheap, cheap, cheap!) and brushes to come up with this:

It's not perfect, it lacks detail and is very simple, paints are not cohesive (two different types of basic craft acrylics), poster board is not a good vehicle for what I want to do so it's just a prototype but I like it! Flaws and all.

Instead of a mirrored effect, I would like to do the second one using something else that's simple in design. Not sure I am digging the diamond around the dragonfly as it's a bit 80s and not very organic. But I do like the simplicity and the fact I felt brave enough to show the world.

I am going to do a few more things like that on the cheap poster board with cheap acrylics and such so the inner artist I lost along the way is massaged and feeling strong enough to tackle other things. I have no visions of turning my artist into anything worthy of selling on Etsy or elsewhere but I am having fun with it and that's what counts.

BTW, I don't see that that attempt will make it to the bathroom but I may get brave enough to get a couple of small premounted canvases, some real paints and invest in better brushes to actually do it.

Ah, the release of the stifled artist inside feels good. I recommend it to anyone even if they think they can't draw, paint or whatever. It's very satisfying!

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