Saturday, August 21, 2010

Do what you love .

image courtesy of Kat Ostrow
"You could be doing other things,but do those things that you want to do "

Last night I sat at a table painting a background for a class I was taking online. I was slapping acrylic paint onto the watercolor paper when I realized , I am not enjoying this . I stopped . I thought, why are you doing what you do not enjoy ? I asked myself "What do you enjoy "? The answer came easily , I enjoy sketching in graphite . I love the shading process. I pulled out my pencils and did a sketch using my pencils . No , it wasn't great but as I was sketching I enjoyed it . I took out a few conte crayons added a little color , smudged with my fingers and still I felt joy in the process. As you know from previous postings I have taken and am taking online art classes with a variety of teachers . I always learn something . Most concentrate on mixed media techniques and wet media . Sometimes wet medias frustrate me . I, like alot of others, seem to be searching for a niche . A little place in the art world . A place where we can find our own style . As I processed all of this last night , I thought about why I create art . I thought about what I want to express and what would make me feel like an artist .The Answer - To create something that I am pleased with . If I were creating or forcing a process for someone else, I don't think I would want to create. Then a sentence that I have heard from many artists over and over entered my mind "it's about process not product" . I get it ! when I was told this the first time , I thought yeah right , whatever, but for the first time I understand this.
Then I thought about other artists who's work I am drawn to and why . One that came to mind was Kat Ostrow . I remember the first time I saw her work online . I loved her work and as I think about why , I know that alot of it is the freedom and impulse I see in her work . I love all the lines . I wrote her once and she was so kind . I expressed to her how frustrated I was and how I wished to find my own style . I remember that she told me that if I could ever just let go and draw from a reaction to what I see I would probably find what I was searching for . Smart Lady Huh? I hope you will visit her to see more of her work and I love the way she shares process on her blog. Last night I also googled other artists who worked in a style I was drawn to . I was led here . I found her because of one of her portrait images . Again , I thought, "what is it I am drawn to in her work?" . It was about the softness , the lines . I also emailed her and got a very kind email from her that was very helpful . I want to say how wonderful I think it is when an artist will actually reach out and answer your questions . I know it takes time and I am very grateful . So based on this I have decided that I am going to spend more time exploring semi dry mediums and doing what I enjoy. Maybe if I take the time to listen I will find what I am looking for . What about you ? Are you enjoying what you are doing ?
p.s I am heading to Dick Blick to indulge myself a little (maybe alot) ;)


  1. Awesome post, Jackie!! I can totally relate to watercolors. I did them for a long time and they frustrated me beyond belief. I needed something I loved and I did find that.
    Finding your own voice is a process. Once you listen to your heart it all comes together.
    Love your piece!!!

  2. You hit it right on the button. You have to create for yourself, and stop worrying about other's reactions or trying to do what others are doing. Once you forget about all of that is when you really are in a happy way.
    I just got the conte crayons last month, but haven't used them yet--any tips?
    P.S. I also just got back from visiting a Blick store in Columbus, Ohio, and spent a sinful amount of money!!

  3. This is a really great post. You definitely said it all. I used to do all kinds of "art" things, but I think I finally found what I am best at and that is sketching. I enjoy it alot. Say, if you're intersted and looking for some weekly inspiration, I hold a weekly art co-op called Sunday Sketches. You can draw whatever you want with whatever materials you choose. The ladies that join me each week love it. :)

    Hope you have a good week. Hugs!