Friday, January 31, 2014

No Rules Painting

I have always been a rule-follower. I don't like breaking the rules, I like knowing where I stand, and I don't like upsetting people.

But somewhere along the line, I came across art journaling, mixed media, Tangie Baxter, Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey, and so many more, who threw the rulebooks out the window, and encouraged me to do the same. [In fact, I read an interview with Teesha Moore that said that very thing--she actually hates rules]. I learned that this was one "safe" realm where I didn't have to follow any rule I wanted, and it was so freeing!

So the irony is, by creating that "safe zone" for myself, I actually gave myself my own rules. I never tried to paint or draw anything that looked remotely real. I was afraid that the "true" artists would come and yell at me for not having proper technique, for not using the right paint/paper/etc. They all know color theory, anatomy, perspective, etc, and I have never taken a true art class, so I know very little.

There are a lot of things artists will say not to do/to do. I know there may be a right/wrong way to do some things, but what's going to happen if I don't follow the rules? What if I use cheap craft paint?
What if I use the wrong type of paper or brush? What if I do my shadows the wrong way?

The worst that can happen is I end up with a big mess that looks like crap, I suppose. I will have "wasted" time and materials. But oh well! At this point in my life, art is a hobby, something I enjoy. And if I enjoy it and I don't know the real rules, OH WELL! Maybe later I will take more time to learn them, but for not, I am having more fun not worrying about fancy rules and just doing whatever I want.

All that being said, the other reason that I've never tried fine art is that I was afraid I would suck at it. I'm the type of person who hates failing at something, and pathetically gives up when I don't get it fast enough. I know that that's an awful way to be, so I have been trying to overcome it.

So, when I saw a newsletter from Craftsy recently that advertised a free acrylic painting course, I jumped on it. I watched the first few videos, and the teacher made it look so easy, I thought that I really might have a shot at doing this!  (I have also attended a couple of those "wine and canvas" events that seem to be everywhere these follow instructions to make a painting while relaxing with your girlfriends and sometimes drinking wine) So I have been trying my hand at painting lately. I read somewhere that it takes drawing/painting about 100 faces to start being very good at it. I don't know what number I'm at by now, but I can see a true progression at this point.

You can judge me for not following the "art rules" if you want, I don't really care. I just want to show others out there that it is worth giving it a shot. If I never tried, I wouldn't get any better.

Ok, rambling over. I want to show you what I've been working on!

 First, let me remind you of some previous painting attempts I have posted on here before (notice they are all firmly in the "mixed media" realm due to the really crazy backgrounds they have)

They're not horrible, but the first two especially lack any depth at all. The last two, I made more recently and they are starting to look a bit better.

So here's what I have done in the past few weeks...


And faces....

 Something's off about this last one, but I'm not sure what. Her eyes are too far apart maybe? She looks a bit manly for some reason. The shadow on the side of her face is definitely off, but after messing with it for quite awhile, I decided to just let it be.

If it helps put it in perspective, here's the magazine photo I was basing her off of:

I will keep trying and post updates in the coming months!


Melody said...

I love how the lips have gotten depth- and your eye shapes are great! I think the magazine pic itself is a little manly, but maybe the shoulders are wide? I didn't think manly until you mentioned it, though. You're about 100 faces ahead of me (but I can draw a mean banana.)

Donna B. said...

These are gorgeous Lynn!! Keep painting!!

Lisa said...

WOW! I am in awe of this talent you had lurking but I'm so glad you threw caution to the wind and went for it! Your current works are faaaaabulous my dear <3 I actually came searching you out to offer you (and any friends) access to my shop for supplies to cut up lol I am so thrilled you are having fun and your work is VERY good ! xoxoxoxLisa

Cheryl M said...

I too can relate to the freedom of letting go of rules. Part of the reason I love art journaling is that it requires me to turn off the logical and verbal part of my brain and to just enjoy the process. It's a lesson I am trying to extend to the rest of my life. Sometimes letting go and not analyzing is the most effective approach, and sometimes we need to let go of control.

Gorgeous pictures. I especially love the pink flower with the blue background. And I want to be that girl with the blue hair.