Sunday, February 12, 2006

Everyday art

I am very inspired by this . #1) because I love Frida and anything that has anything to do with her. #2) because I am intrigued by Diego. #3) because it reminds me that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

I am also inspired because it reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago while preparing for my Senior Show. I worked day and night, night and day. I lived and breathed painting. Even though it was a requirement to graduate, it was probably the most important show I'll ever have: after all, it was my first solo exhibition. Not to mention, through painting, I was telling the most important story of my life. The exhibition was titled "Portraits of India" and was mostly large pieces, oil on canvas. The biggest measured 5' x 6'--and I painted almost the entire thing with a #2 size (tiny) paint brush! I was obsessed with detail and perfection. But my painting instructor, Carol, was wonderful. She was there for me everyday with advise at every turn. But mostly I wanted to be left alone. Carol and I would have daily or weekly critiques of my work. There was one piece in particular that came out faster than the rest--a painting of a young Indian woman breast feeding her baby. Carol, being the good teacher that she is, was trying to find things to say about it to make it better. I felt like such a beginner! But at the same time I was pleased with the way this one had turned out. Carol took her thumb nail and showed me a spot where the ochre colored background did not perfectly meet the orange colored sari. Ok. I remember thinking--OMG, she is more anal than me! Needless to say, I spent a lot of my time doubting myself and wondering if it was good enough--with all of it. At the time I had only been painting for a year, but I wanted it to be the absolute best work I could produce.

The next week we went to The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. I found a Georgia O'Keefe hanging on the wall--it called to me. It was beautiful--stunning actually. I got closer and closer and closer until--OMG (with eyes just inches from the piece)-- OH JOY!!!! THERE WERE MISTAKES IN HER PAINTING! SHE IS NOT PERFECT!!!! I found several spots where I could actually see BARE canvas!!! I was so inspired! GEORGIA O'KEEFE IS A REAL PERSON!!!


"Oriental Poppies" by Georgia O'Keefe
Oil on Canvas @ The Weisman Museum


Needless to say, I never did fix that part of my painting that Carol had pointed out to me. It wasn't to rebel against her--she's one of the best teacher's I've ever had. Rather, it was in celebration of the fact that, yes, even famous artists are not perfect. And that means that it is ABSOLUTELY possible for ANY ONE OF US to become the next Georgia O'Keefe!

sorry for the poor image quality
(it's much darker than the original--especially at the bottom),
but this is her. These days she hangs out in my writing room--
she's smiling at me right now.
"Didi" Oil on Canvas


Sometimes I think we are too hard on ourselves. I know I am. And to be honest, I love O'Keefe even more for her imperfections. Thanks Lauri for reminding me about that.

(also a dark image!) the 5' x 6' example of OCD at its best,
"Hotel Sapna" Oil on Canvas



In the gallery
"Meme" on the left, "Didi" on the right


This one was part of a series of oil on paper.
I was trying to loosen up my style and quit being such a perfectionist!

Anyway......................
Whew! I sat down to write about my week in review and look what happened!

oh well. It gave me a good idea for my next artist's date. I've skipped them for that past 2 weeks. Technically, I've only went on one (which was time spent in the bathtub with a glass of wine). Maybe I should make it up to my artist with a weekend trip to Minneapolis--for some more ART INSPIRATION!

These days it's getting tough to keep up with the aw. However, I keep doing it because it's becoming painfully obvious to me that it's doing me a lot of good. Actually, at this point, I can't imagine stopping. If I did I'd feel like I was giving up on myself. I want to write more. But maybe I'll save it for later when I need a break from my work.

Here's to week 6!

9 Comments:

Blogger Leah said...

what a wonderful, wonderful post! i loved seeing your art, hearing about your process, and the moment you realized that famous artists aren't perfect. no one is! i love imperfections, they're what make life interesting.

i especially loved your oil on paper piece and the hotel piece. i hope your next artist's date is full of inspiration!

12:52 PM  
Blogger Jyesika said...

The one of the little coffee shop/market reminds me of a place I used to go when I lived in India... they would serve the coffee so VERY hot... and provide you with a saucer and little thimble of a cup (both metal) which you pour the coffee back and forth between till it cools. It's a skill they must learn early on, as I'd always end up with burned fingers and half of my coffee on the floor.

Anyway, your pictures are lovely. I've never been in a gallery before (although in Kansas they are rather exclusive sorts of places) so can only imagine how thrilling having your own show can be.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Blue Dog said...

jyesika, the painting is of a resteraunt in Paharganj in Delhi (near the train station). maybe you've even seen this place? or drank your coffee there?

btw, the coffee you descibe sounds wonderful! i think i missed out on something good! :)

ps. do you ever want to go back? talking about these details makes me want to go--right now.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

You love your painting - that is the only important thing. And about perfection? Perfection is a very slippery word. Who decides what is perfect or not? Does a little blank canvas mean imperfection? Who gets to set this standard?

I took a course last summer called Process Painting, with Stewart Cubley through Process Arts. (Google it and read more...) This is a phenomenal experience if you ever have the chance. It will change your whole paradigm about what is good, perfect, how you think about criticism, ya da ya da, and you will begin painting from the heart. You will your deepest emotions and it will explode why you think you are. It is an amazing energizing experience.

Keep painting. And ejoy the process.

Namaste'
~M

1:49 PM  
Blogger Blue Dog said...

meredith--thank you and i will check process painting out. it sounds incredible!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

Thank you for sharing your paintings. They are filled with emotion and such wonderful depth of color! Beautiful! Also, thanks for the reminder that the quest for perfection can make us irrational and make us unapproachable. I need so much to remember that!

2:44 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Tess, at Chameleon Chronicles, has a lovely story to tell about perfection. Check out her post called "God is (not) a mean, mean Coke machine " (Sorry I'm not able to figure out how to do a link to one post, but here's the web address.) http://tesstime.blogspot.com/

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Just gorgeous oil paintings!! Kepp up the good work!
I'm behind on my artist dates too, and also feel it's a little hard to keep up with the AW process, but wouldn't abandon it for the world! Enjoy this week!

6:14 AM  
Blogger LoriLaurieLauri said...

Whoa-this was totally surreal! I'm just reading about Frida and how much you love her (But, you couldn't possibly love her more than I do! lol!) and you have this link to something that inspired you and I'm thinking I'm going to see a great piece of Frida Art, and suddenly I'm at my own blog!!! WTH? Something must not be right...so I keep going back and forth and back and forth...ROFL!!! Gosh...I can't believe I did or said anything to inspire anyone-what a great compliment!

OK-moving on...your paintings are wonderful! My personal favorite is the little cafe one.

3:12 PM  

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