I've been very busy. Holidays are fast approaching, and my house is a mess, laundry is piling up, and I've been preparing the grocery list for Thanksgiving. Craziness abounds this time of year at our house.
Still, preparing for gift giving involves, at least for me, painting. This year, I have completed two winter scenes in soft pastel for my daughter, Kim, and her family, to enjoy in their beautiful home.
As the holidays fast approach, I have always found that handmade gifts hold a special significance, especially if it comes from the heart. Sure, an iPad would be great, but since I never really grew up, and I like to play and craft, and sew, and quilt, and paint, and and and ... well, that's what I start to think about once November kicks in. I probably should start sooner, but November is about the time I really start thinking about what I want to give my family for Christmas.
Although I have done a few paintings in pastel in my career as an artist, I really did want to take the plunge and play with the medium. The first landscape painting I did was ... well ... in my opinion, "crap." But such is the learning curve with a new medium like this. My brain keeps wanting me to put away the pastels to collect dust in my studio and just stick to oil paints. But, for some reason, I'm getting brave.
Brave, because, as an artist, treading into new creative territory is like jumping off a cliff and hoping the parachute opens.
I'm going to try to do several pastel paintings a week, crap or not, we'll see how it goes ... or grows.
Something I am definitely NOT good at is trying new things, attempting new ideas, branching out and just taking the plunge into unknown territory. Today I did just that. For 2 hours anyway.
As an artist, with lots of artist friends, I know that venturing out of one's comfort zone of creative endeavors and trying something new is shaky territory. The problem with this train of thought is that we each see the work of various artists that we love and want to try to paint in the style that we admire. At least try it. Be Adventurous!
Of all the subjects I have tackled in my career as an artist, horses, sailboats, and people in their natural element are my favorite. I can't explain it, I'm just drawn to those subjects. So, when I first saw the image from photographer Aaron Huey's journey to the Pine Ridge Reservation in the Badland's National Park, South Dakota, I knew I had to paint it.