Monday, November 5, 2012

Square Hole


"Maybe you're just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole." Someone said this to me recently about my career choice. Let me just say I love talking to people about art. I love showing people how to draw. Most of all, I think little kid art is the most mindblowingly awesome thing on the planet. This is where I am now, but it is not where I will remain forever. I use to think I get bored with things very easily. This is not true. I just don't know the path I am suppose to be on yet. Over the past 7 years I have gone from psychology to art therapy, to art teacher, to museum teacher, to researcher, and back to teacher again. All of these things are part of me, but nothing feels quite right. I haven't found my place just yet.
There is also the schizophrenic nature of my blog. Most of my posts are about art and creativity, but there is no clear thread or thesis (still a researcher!) that binds everything together. In order to find my unique voice I have been doing some writing independent of the blog. Some of these are short stories  that I don't know if I would ever have the courage to publish and another project is my statement for my PhD. application for the fall. One thing that is helping me figure to out what I want to be about both creatively and professionally is keeping a board on Pinterest to collect visual inspiration to make the process something more tangible.
I know that this whole "finding myself" thing is a rather clique, but cliques usually exist for a reason. I am fairly young and I know that developing a career plan/creative identity is not something that will happen over night. (Most of my other favorite creative entrepreneurs are well into their thirties before really "making it".) Finding my square hole isn't going to happen over night, but I'm excited to see where the journey will lead me.

-M.W. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New Challenge

Creating makes me sane. It is the one thing in the world that I know I can do and do well. Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday, launched a book called Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice which documents how she set aside one day a week from her 9-5 job to be creative. The result of this was the start of her painting sales, blog, fabric line, and eventual book. This shows how powerful setting time to pursue what you are really passionate about can do. For Marisa, a single day devoted to creativity led to a thriving creative business. 
I am currently embarking on my first legitimate 9-5 endeavor myself as a middle school art teacher. You would think that being in a field dedicated to teaching others to create would give endless inspiration to throw yourself into your own work. Instead, the opposite has occurred. As any first year teacher can tell you teaching is much more that just being a facilitator in the learning process. There's paperwork, grade deadline, phone calls home, and endless planning for the next step. As an artist/teacher/researcher it's easy to loose your own creative vision amid the red tape and early mornings. 
Marisa has inspired me to take my own creative days (which may or may not be on Thursdays). In order to completely give yourself to helping others or anything else that is meaningful in life, you much cultivate the good in your own life. My good is creating. 

What's yours? 

By the way you can pre-order a copy of Marisa's book on her Esty website.   

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Finished Painting and Keeping Up Your Artistic Mojo

I have been in a bit of a creative slump as of late. Deadlines arise, friends need help moving, job applications need to be completed; and as a result it's been a fight to stay enthusiastic about my own work. One problem is that I really don't know where I'm going anymore as an artist. The figure has always been my strong suit, but I feel like I really need to start pushing myself in a different path to avoid my same old rut. It has been encouraging that I have made a painting sale and completed another painting over the past months. I just want to keep doing. 


Most recent

My next project for the time being is to define was artistic problem I'm trying to solve in my work. I'm torn between color and linear composition. It is very difficult to purse both in one painting. One thing that has been working well for me is getting rid of subject matter. It makes it easier when I don't have to think about how something looks is suppose to look. 

Referencing other artists has been a help in this process. I cannot stress enough how valuable Pinterest is in doing this. I have one album on my personal Pinterest account completely dedicated to artists that I find inspiring to my own work. These artists range from painters, multimedia artists, sculptors and a few friends. Below are those I've been looking at most recently to get ideas.


Pierre Bonnard
Michelle Armas

Marie Theres Berger

Joan Mitchell

Lance Letscher
Lance Letscher

Amanda Bush. I know this one :) 




Friday, May 25, 2012

Little Bits

More sketchbook pages from my tiny visual journal I've been keeping this summer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Color Studies: On Hiatus from the Figure

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that most of my work
is from the human figure. Color has never been one of my strong suits, so I've been trying to improve. My hope is to eventually turn out works that are good both in color and figure quality. The following are some color patterns I did while watching tv. Some of them are actually based on some of the wardrobe from the ladies on Mad Men. For anyone trying to design with color: watch this show. The designers know what they are doing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spur of the Moment

I was watching Mad Men, suddenly the painting sitting on my easel beckoned for some attention. It's far from finished, but I like the direction it's taking.

The before shot is the one on the bottom.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blog Tools: The iPhone

Most of you have probably notices the lack of updating on this thing as of late. I really hate doing these, "Hey, I'm still alive posts", but sometimes life just happens. I recently purchased an iPhone and I can honestly say it's the best thing I've ever done. Really, if you are an artist trying to sell your work via blog it's a necessary tool. It's perfect to keep track of your emails, twitter updates, and posts.
This is a test post using the free blogger app. The sketchbook photos included in this post were taken from my iPhone and directly uploaded to my blog. Expect, more frequent updates in the future. You can still reach me daily on my twitter account @thewastepapers.
More soon :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unscripted

This is what my past week has looked like...


With an applied project (i.e. thesis) and general life stuff on my mind it is noted that there has not been the weekly amount of activity on this blog. Also it has come to my attention that some of the posts on here have sounded really...should I say...scripted? The main purpose of this blog is to give myself some accountability as an artist and a place to put things of interest. There are going to be some set features where I have put some extra effort into editing. Right now I want to add a section of monthly or bi-monthly interviews with some of my art friends. For now here is some work that happened less than an hour ago. 


Add a few slight changes...


This isn't finished now, but I had to do something other than write. It has been a pretty stressful week, but some good has come out of it. I've realized that every now and then, even if you don't think you have time (or probably really don't), you've got to breathe and take an hour to pour whatever stress/negativity out of you. This might mean reading a book, grabbing a beer and getting away from the kids, or attacking the blank canvas that has been sitting your living room for the past 8+ months. You never know... the results might be kind of beautiful. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sketching to Grow

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy looking at sketches and preliminary work of other artists. Sometimes the preliminary sketches of an artist's major work are more impressive to me than the work itself. There is just some kind of unabridged freedom present in sketches. This type of freedom is something I am trying to replicate in my own sketching, in hopes that it will be translated into my paintings. Perhaps my favorite series of sketches that illustrate my point are Honore Daumier's representations of Don Quixote. I love the fluid movement in these. 






Here are some examples of my work since the last post. I was pretty pleased with how these turned out. I have found that the key to making freer marks and artistic choices is to create tons of sketches or studies. The more you have the less precious they become, so you are more open to taking risks. These were an offshoot of the abstract works in my last post. They are all done in oil pastel. 




My goal for the next couple of weeks is to develop another good many of these to build up my confidence in painting on canvas again. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Year in Pictures

Happy New Year! Here is a sampling of artwork I've made over the past year of so. Most of the figure drawings are from my Spring 2011 anatomy class at UGA. The last landscape/ abstracted watercolors at the bottom of the page are something I want to pursue this year. They are rough experimentations, but I think they are promising if I concentrate on making the linear qualities sharper.














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