2

Love & Hate Learning

I am currently enrolled in Tamara Laporte’s newest class called. “Ever After” The class is geared towards helping you develop and recognize your own style. It’s a brilliant class and I am so thrilled to be a part of it and. Yes it is definitely helping me to begin recognizing my own style.

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You can learn more about this fabulous course here http://bit.ly/EA2016Tam

That said, I also have come to a love hate relationship with parts of the lesson. Lol Learning may be fundamental but it is not always 100% fun! Lol The first lesson was one of Tam’s, since I am familiar with doing her tutorial’s I didn’t struggle as much with this one but still as always had my moments.

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You remember those times when you look at your work and feel your stomach working its way up to your throat as you contemplate your next step. That step that brings fear and causes your heart to do that thumpity thump… Yah so I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.

But again I pushed through and tadahhhh a new little mermaid was born, to swim happily through the majical fairyland under the sea!

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The next tutorial was Beauty & the Beast by a wonderful artist, Andrea Gomoll. Now with this one I got to the sketch phase and from there on was in a constant battle between the forces of Love & Hate. Her style is so very different from my own, but I was determined to keep mine as close to what she did as possible, so that I can learn. I was ok with the initial steps of using watercolor as I am familiar with that process, and I wasn’t too concerned at this point. Then the next layer came and although I loved the softness of my girl and beast and I also loved the texturing step, which was totally new technique for me, I hated the darkness my background had taken on and my rose. (ughhh)

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Yet I wasn’t doing this course to love every step, I took the course to learn. So buck it up ranae’ and keep going. The next steps my blood pressure had to of been lifted and my mind was doing the “this is terrible, I can’t so this, I hate mine” mantra. I wanted to give up on this one so many times. But hey we can’t let the hate win, we have to push it back into a place of love, so I moved forward.  Here is my end result.

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This particular style is not me, but I was amazed at how much I learned from pushing through those rough patches. How much I would of missed out on learning had I not completed the lesson. I also learned how much I appreciate Andrea and others who can do this style so easily!!!

The next lesson has me already at Hate stage, and I have done nothing on it but sketched out my girl. Lol But it is a style I have never ever tried any of the steps on. So it will be pretty much completely new to me. I will post about it also when I am completed. Of course as I typed that my mind is saying “IF you complete it” lol, but I will, my hate relationship with learning NEW art techniques will not win!

 

Hugs & Love – Ranae

11

Mad Hatter Day

Does your art sometimes turn into a series without you meaning for it to?  Do themes just happen or are you one who plans them out?

I started out working on a new project that revolves around Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, I am unable to proceed further than my preliminary sketch due to having to work out some kinks with the background material I want for her. So in the mean time I began to look for something else to do.

I don’t usually have a list of what I want to do next and in this case my mind was blank. I only knew I wanted to paint.

I have a great friend, Savannah, who has her grandma’s tea recipe tacked up on my fridge and as I went to get something to drink I looked at it and there began my inspiration. She loves tea so I decided to paint her a whimsical teapot. It was a lot of fun to paint and I definitely want to do more of these.

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When I was finished with it, once again I turned to my friends. While chatting with them I just asked them to name me a few of their favorite things. One of my friends, Nicole, said bunnies. And so this lil bunny was born. She was an ornery bunny and as usual I almost gave up on her as she went through her ugly stage, but I pressed through and I rather like her now. Not too bad for my first ever acrylic animal.

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Still running into trouble with my background and having to wait now for delivery of the material I designed, I once again was looking for something to paint.

My friend Michelle and I have been talking about holding some of our own paint classes at some point and were chatting about what things we could paint in those classes. Being a lover of hat’s I told her I wanted to try a whimsical top hat.  And so this hat was created.

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Now look back at the various items I wound up painting over the past couple of weeks… do you see the theme?

It was completely unintentional but I wound up painting items that can be found relating to the one thing I “truly” wanted to be working on, which was my Alice in Wonderland!

Funny how things interweave isn’t it? “Curiouser and Curiouser!”

How about you? Do you find yourself working in themes without intent to do so? Perhaps it’s just a certain color palette you keep using unintentionally. It may even be thicker than normal line strokes or an embellishment you suddenly realize you put into many of your art works.

I would very much love to hear from each of you regarding your experience with such.

Hugs & Love Ranae’

10

Projects Galore

Does it help you to have more than one thing to work on, or does it hinder you from completing projects? How many is too many? How many projects do you have going at the same time? I currently have over 12 things started… Over achiever? Nah, probably just my ADD kicking in…

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I always have many various things I am working on. I find it helps me a lot to do this. This way when I hit those pesky roadblock monsters threatening to push me into the Land of No Return or drive me to Depressionville, I have something else to move on to.

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Of course too many projects can be a block also for some people. My artist friend Michelle shared with me that sometimes, for her, too many projects can also overwhelm her. Kind of putting her in a place where she doesn’t know which one to work on. This is true for me at times also, usually when I have so much going on in my personal life on top of it all.

When I first re-entered my artistic life though, I pushed myself to only do one project at time. This was due to me recognizing that I had a very bad habit of not finishing things. I would get to, what many call, the “ugly” stage of something and then quit. So to avoid this I put myself on a restriction and no matter how great of an idea I had for a New project I would not start it until I finished what I had already started. I would write my idea down instead. Kind of my own training/reconditioning process.

Now however, I have no problem pushing past my ugly stages and have completed many projects consistently. Therefore, I no longer feel the need to keep myself to just the one at a time rule.

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Another reason I often have so many things going at one time is that I just tend to go through the, “I am bored stages.” Do you get that way at times? That feeling where you find yourself constantly sighing? Struggling to move forward or even procrastinating with doing your next step?

If I try to push through the bored stage, I tend to find myself not being as attentive to what I am doing and before I know it have forced myself into another ugly stage, which could have been avoided if I had just let it be.

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I need my art to be free, I need it to be fun as I am working on it. If it is not fun, then for me it is time to put it away and work on something else. Do I need to have the 12 things going at once? No, not really. But I do need to have at least a couple, and when I find my creative mind just is not there, I break out the color books!!!

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But my color book craze I shall leave for another post.

I’d love to hear your feedback on Projects Galore and how many is too many for you.

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

6

Strange Inspiration Processes

Today I find myself wondering about those strange inspiration processes I go through to get to where I want my piece to be. A sweet friend of mine, Michelle, and I were talking this morning about where I get my inspiration from. That is a very hard question for me to answer but I answered the best I could. “I get my inspiration from life.” To which she so appropriately replied, “Playing inspires you. – Nature.”

I agreed she is correct. Yes I am very inspired by nature, I am inspired by oddities, by children, by animals, by other artists, by simplicity, by colors.. and the list goes on and on. However in reality there is no “One” certain thing that inspires me and I find that often times my inspiration simply comes from “playing”. Letting my inner child come out and just be silly and have fun.

So with that I thought I would share with you my process thus far today.

I woke up today and decided I wanted to design another Sugar Skull Girl. So I started off with just the basic face. Nothing Fancy just a simple sketch that I could build from.

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So with my basic sketch created I then scan it to my computer, this way I can make multiple copies and try various things until I am happy with my result. It helps to take some of the fear away, because I know I will still have my original also.

Then I play… and play… 

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and play some more! YAHHH

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I tend to draw this and that, then take a new sheet and do it again. Often I will play with adding to this base face for hours, not even realizing how much time has passed. Just letting myself have fun and not really thinking too much about it all.

Perhaps I will grab some old fashioned crayola’s and color this section, or maybe I will use simple bic pens. Stop for a coffee and a bit of dancing to the music or giggling at my pups then back to the art play.

I may cut one section out and lay it on top of another, to see how I like it or perhaps I will scribble some hair to get an idea of what she could look like. Or maybe I will cut out some hair shapes from card stock or use old frames I have and lay them on the face in various positions.

Many of the trial runs will be very scribbled and very few clean lines. ( I love my erasers!) Now keep in mind none of these are meant to be a part of my finished project, they are simply my way of letting my creative process have some fun until I find what I really like. Before you know it my typically organized studio desk will begin to look something like this…

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But messy or not I know this much. At the end of the day even if I do not like the results I came up with, I had a great day and a lot of fun. Not only that but as I look back on things the majority of “techniques” I now love to use came about from one or another of my “Play Session”.

So please don’t get so caught up in your end result’s that you forget to have fun. Let your inner child come out to play, you just may be very surprised at how very creative he/she is. Just  letting your mind roam until you feel that inspirational ah hah!!!

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Hugs & Love – Ranae’

14

Anxiety & the Ugly Stage

I cannot tell you how many times I have about given up on my art pieces. As a matter of fact, I can pretty much promise you that 90% of my finished pieces almost wound up incinerated at some point. However, I was able to turn them into works I am very pleased with, and often times even find myself saying, “Wow, this is my favorite piece!”
Trust me when I tell you every artist goes through this, no matter how long they have been at their craft. That is what I am experiencing today on this piece. I am not at all happy with her hair. It is nowhere close to what I want or envisioned. I tried to fix it and it looks even worse to me now. We all go through certain stages in the creative process. I will share with you those stages as I see them.

  • Inspiration – You have the idea in your mind and are giddy to get started, it’s the perfect picture in your mind and the project speaks to your heart.
  • Excitement – You begin organizing your process, maybe gathering up all the tools you will be needing, setting it to paper in a rough sketch or outlining the idea.
  • Nerves – Then you sit and stare at your paper or canvas for what seems like an eternity. Doubts and Fears try to creep in, but you persevere and begin. Your initial sketch turns out pretty well and again you feel that tinge of excitement. “I can do this!”

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  • Anxiety and the ugly stage – You have now begun the next steps, adding color, depth, embellishing etc. and it hits you. Nothing seems to look right anymore. You find yourself ready to give up and toss it into the bin. It seems like the more you try to fix it the uglier it becomes and you are moving back and forth between feelings of frustration, anger and defeat.

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DO NOT THROW IT AWAY!
DO NOT SCRIBBLE ALL OVER IT!
DO NOT TEAR IT INTO CONFETTI!
WALK AWAY!
No I mean like walk away right NOW!

Put the piece to the side, somewhere you can still see it but it is not right in your face. Gather up your tools and put them together in a drawer or something. Someplace it is not going to be easy to quickly pick them up and add even more.

Good!! Now relax and start on something else, or go read, for a walk, whatever other project’s you enjoy. Because the next stage in the process is going to be…

  • Revelation – At some point you will return to the piece, look at it and suddenly see it in a brand new light. The idea’s will start popping in your mind again and that stumbling block you tripped over is going to look like a tiny little pebble. Now return to it!
  • Skill – This is when your true skill and creativity will shine through. You will turn what you thought of as mistakes into creative opportunities and you will find that renewed sense of pride and more importantly “FUN”!

I am at the put it away stage, where I will remain until my revelation comes!

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So don’t feel like a failure, don’t give up and don’t think you are not an artist just because you’re stuck at the ugly stage. If anything the fact that you are there proves you are an artist, if you weren’t you would not have even gotten that far!

Stay tuned to see my revelation result’s. I am positive they will come at some point. In the meantime…
Hugs & Love – Ranae’