Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nature Abstract Painting - There is Such a Thing!

No. 2 in the series, 24" x 24" original acrylic abstract, Gwen Duda 2012.
To purchase or see more about it click here.

The second 24" x 24" original acrylic abstract in the ocean forest series. I am loving the colour scheme/palette I use here. Who would have thought that visually pungent colour phthalo blue could be so beautiful mixed with earth tones?! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Break Out - Bust Loose!

24" x 24" Acrylic Abstract #1 in the series "Sea Forest" by
artist Gwen Duda 2012.
Let's just say I've had enough with realism and commissions and all that and it's time to bust loose! This painting is DEFINITELY the result of having to be contained for too long and too tightly. Frankly, I feel like my creativity has been held hostage and now, I'm letting it free. Throwing off the yoke of demands from others and just letting it surge forth through me, unrestrained, like a horse held too long in a tight stall and finally someone opened the gate. That energy just had to be allowed to bust loose!

What if you could just let yourself, bust loose, even a tiny bit?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NEW! Commissioned Oil Painting Completed!


Just finished this commissioned oil panting - ACEO sized (at 3 1/2" x 2 1/2") and it's of three pears on my vintage red table. I was contacted through my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/GwensArtDreamscape. I actually had done an earlier painting of the same subject matter back in 2009 (which sold). A lovely woman contacted me and wanted to know if I would do another. I have prints of it for sale but she wanted an original painting and an original painting is ALWAYS better than a reproduction no matter what ANYONE tells you. If the artist is using professional grade artist materials (which I do) then it will outlive all of us and several generations after that and stay colour true. As long as it is technically sound, it will last and last.

Even though my artistic adventure is leading me down the exciting road of abstract expressionism, getting back to basics - doing Realism - is always a good thing to do. Most artists start and train in Realism, hone their skills and then go from there. Currently there is a resurgence in Realism and I couldn't be happier for that. Any good artist knows, you have to get down the basics, and be good at them, to do any further work of significance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SOLD! Two of Three Oil Paintings at the Pennsylvania Moss Rehab International Juried Art Exhibition

Guess which oil paintings sold?

Well, I was totally surprised by a package that was dropped off with my superintendent today. I had no clue what I had ordered that was waiting for me in his office. Not until I got the package and saw the return address did it finally dawn on me - it was from the Moss Rehab International Art Show and Sale that I had accepted three oil paintings of mine and was, or rather, had been held in Philadelphia, PA.
The box though was smaller and lighter than the one I had shipped out.

I got right to opening it and just one painting was inside. I was really glad! Lol! Let's be honest, it's great to have your work accepted into a JURIED International show but I have bills to pay and to ship these pieces cost A LOT of money. So I basically covered my cost and maybe get a small bag of groceries out of the deal. I am grateful for that. It costs a lot of money to be a visual artist; quality art materials, shipping materials, packaging and freight costs. Sometimes, yes, sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it.

And then, I get this news. And yes, it enables me to exhale a slight sigh of relief and feel a bit renewed in my artistic enterprise as the joy I usually held for it had been waning because of various stressors. So, with this, it helps. Yes artists do the work because we have to but it's nice when the universe acknowledges us and helps us out a bit. We aren't islands.

So which pieces did you guess? Well it's the red umbrella cat and the portrait. Yes, the portrait - I had almost forgot about it?! It's such a beautiful piece and I am sure glad that someone will now be hanging it somewhere that they will get to admire it's smoky presence. And the red umbrella and cat, well, that one was going to sell asap - I could feel it. It's earth-pulsing red and there's a cat in it. Sold! Lol!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Time to Build

If you have found yourself here, it's a miracle! Because my own content was found elsewhere (than this blog) on the internet my blog has been heavily "demoted" if you will, in google search. I have found and requested the duplicated material to be removed and contacted google to restore my ranking but we'll see. So, yes, it's truly a miracle you found my art blog!!!

And now the good news. Between making art (paintings and jewelry creation) and I am maxed out. Every day by night fall I realize I ran out of time and social media is not getting the attention it used to. But, for now, that's how it is. First you have to do the work to HAVE work to talk about. 

So, if you don't see a new post for awhile, it's because I am REALLY busy trying to do all that is on my plate art, creativity, wise AND get some sleep. Oh and eat, and errands, and laundry and take time for family. The world demands we give EVERYTHING to social media. I disagree. Social media has it's place, and it should be given a respectful include. Not used to clog up people's minds, overflow their email and tweets, and stuff their blogs with useless garbage info. We have so much of that.

So we'll see you soon! Have a great, beautiful, blessed summer : )

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cherry Blossom Lovers

5" x 4" original oil painting "Cherry Blossom Lovers"

This 4 x 5 inch original oil painting depicts two lovers enveloped by the glorious cherry blossoms! Shades of pink and red, trees and mountains in the background with a near by stream close enough to reach out and touch, truly these lovers are in a safe, loving paradise. Even though I started this painting two years ago it sat unfinished until just yesterday. Life's like that.

This idea came to me and I can see I have been much influenced by Klimt's "The Kiss". I love his work  and that of the other Art Nouveau artists. This painting is just a little sweet romantic note and I hope it finds it's home with someone who can relate and enjoy it!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Name This Abstract!

20" x 24" original acrylic expressionistic acrylic painting by artist
Gwen Duda © 2012.

I finished it yesterday. I know what it represents. I am curious to find out what YOU think/feel about it and what title you would give it. Leave me a comment below and tell me how it makes you feel, what you think it's about and the title you would give it. 

I know this work is rather different than the majority of my work to date, but a human being is a work at process and so is their body of work. You know, I LIKE this painting. It's direct, it's True.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Latest Addiction, um, ery, Artistic Outlet!

My latest addiction, I mean, um, er, hobby.
A set of three turquoise bracelets. Aren't they pretty?
On my "The Bad Cat Beadery" jewelry shop here
    Well it all started innocently enough. I wanted to find Mom some more stretch bracelets as she loves them but with her Alzhiemer's, she can't do up clasps. So, I went online to find some. Do you think I could?!

   I usually score pretty good on Etsy.com for such things but the bracelets I found that were semi-decent I just couldn't afford them (I wanted to get Mom several) and the one't that I COULD afford, well, let's not go there *shudder*. So I decided to make them myself. What could go wrong?

Mom's necklace I made and sent out to her last week. It's got three
hand made charms to dangle at the bottom of it and it should match a good
portion of her new spring outfits. Made with glass pearls, faux shell beads,
 silver beads, crystal beads and silver-plated findings
all on heavy-duty stretch cord. 
Here are the turquoise bracelets combined with
a gorgeous white satin wood and silver stretch wrap.
I made these for a friend of mine in the States. Shades
of lavender and silver - so pretty!
For Mom, a yellow tri-bracelet to match a yellow top
that she got. I kept it upbeat, fun and pretty,  just like her.

It's kind of expensive, let's just put it this way and much more time consuming that I thought it would be BUT I made Mom some awesome bracelets and she actually really likes them! That is such a HUGE reward as if you know anything about Alzheimer's, having those who have the disease notice and connect with things can be a real challenge. So, all in all, I would have to say that my investment in $ and time was a hit. I made over 16 bracelets and a necklace for her! Pretty sweet!

   So now I am looking at collecting new fall beads and will be working on putting together some bracelets and necklaces for her that are easy-on and easy-off without looking cheap or childish. Just because you may have a disability doesn't mean you don't want to wear pretty things, right?

   Here are just a few more of my creations. If you like what you see just visit my Etsy storefront to see more. Go here. And remember, if you want to take the dive into the dark abyss that is jewelry-making be warned. It is not for the faint of heart! Lol! Nah, go ahead. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feelin' Good Ain't Pretty - Sometimes.



I don't usually use black in my palette, but times they are a changing. Here is my "Love Fell Down" an 18" x 24" original acrylic expressionistic abstract painting. This vision came into my mind's eye about a week and a half ago. At first, I gently refused it. Then I realized I had to let it tell it's story. So I let it have it's way and come through me to be in this world where we can see the interior workings of the very active world within all of us.

This painting illustrates that moment when love seems to fail. Us, someone or something shuts down, turns away, refuses, for that moment, to love us, to tell the truth, to be brave. Love falls down, in them or us, they let it fall down, we let it fall down. But the good news is, it - they - us, can always get up again and do the right thing, let love stand and move again, through all of us.



This is how it started, I just had to get it down as the visual was in my mind and I wanted to work it out quickly - so I grabbed the nearest paper and my neocolor pure pigment water-crayons (which I love for quick colour studies). The paper happens to be the underside of my nitrile gloves box. It was the closest paper handy. I kept it propped up where I could see it as I worked it out the final on the 18" x 24" canvas.

Here are some close-ups of the final painting.


Here is the lower right portion.


Here is the lower left.


And here is the upper right with a smidgen of the wall in the background (on the left side of the image).

And there you have it. I am in the midst of another dramatic, expressionistic abstract painting. It's what needs to come through and I'm letting it. I'll post it and the explanation as to why my work has taken, what would appear to be a darker and some would say negative slant, but actually, it's not. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From Meh to Magical - Making the Framed Painting Sing!

To purchase click here.
I had never hand-painted a professional frame before but this one begged for it, so I went ahead and did it. Initially the frame was white but it just drained the painting of all it's vitality.

This white floater frame just sucked the
life-force out of what is a very happy, vibrant and
joyful image.

So I decided that the frame needed to be painted AND that I had to prepare a 4" x 5" canvas to mount the original painting (that was done on a canvas panel) so that I could place it in a floater frame. 
A regular frame would have made it a real yawner.



The two paintings that need framing painted on canvas board. In order to be placed in their floater frames they will be adhered to 4" x 5" complementarily painted stretched canvas panels.


The cat is totally uninterested in the complexities of the project. She has total confidence I'll pull it off so why pay attention? Right? Note that I have already painted the 4" x 5" canvas at this point with matching shades of light blue and blue-greens that are in the original painting.


I prepare a palette of complimentary (or analogous if you wish) colours to paint both the canvas that the panel painting will be adhered to and the floater frame itself. I use blues and blue greens as orange just would not have worked. Golden acrylic paints are used as usual. They are the most expensive professional artist's paint out there but WELL worth it. I know it's said often, but for my paintings, I use the BEST paint, boards, canvas, etc. I can find. I want my paintings to last far longer than my lifetime!


Here I have painted the recessed interior of the floater frame a medium bright sky blue. I should mention that I sanded the frame prior to painting so that the acrylic would adhere properly.


Here is the frame fully finished with the stretched canvas painted and screwed into the back of the floater frame. The frame itself has multiple layers of paint, with the interior being painted a lighter blue-green. The darker blue underpainting gives the recessed areas more excitement. The surface and outside of the frame are a more blue shade but still retain a semblance of green, like the green/blue of a robin's egg, just slightly bluer.


And here is the final in 3/4 view, with the painting adhered to the front of the already attached canvas. 


Wallah it's done! It is much better than just a regular ole white boring frame! All in all it took about 3 hours to complete all facets of this but the result is well worth the effort. 
Tiffie, you were right!



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sold! "Orange Sunset over Turquoise Waters" original acrylic painting


Sold today from my Etsy storefront, "Orange Sunset over Turquoise Waters", original acrylic painting, framed approximately 10 x 12". I just love it when someone instantly connects with my work. It's like direct mind to mind transmission. So cool! Thanks to Holly for her purchase and connection!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Can YOU Tell Which is a Kid's Scrawl and Which is Art?

Which is a child's and which is the adult artist's work?
How often have you heard someone say about a piece of art that their kid or a monkey could have done that? Well, researchers at Boston College decided to put those disparaging remarks to the test and challenged the regular, every day person to see the difference. They had people look at images done by abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Clifford Styl and others against children's and animal's doodles. The result? The majority of people actually COULD tell the difference. Could I? Yes, I picked it out immediately. To see if YOU pick up on the difference go to the article in Canada's Globe and Mail.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One EASY Way to Improve Your Colour Ability - Make Your Own Colour Wheel!

My own colour wheel on a piece of gessoed illustration board. Apprx. 12" x 12".
   I was in the middle of just starting a new painting and I wanted to check my colour palette theory. I looked up from my painting to check the colour wheel on my wall. There is no colour wheel on my wall. There were colour mixes and samples but no colour wheel. This is like basic painting 101 ( I HAD done a colour wheel in both high school fine art class and in college) but God knew where they went. So I quickly whipped up the colour wheel you see above.

   Gessoed illustration board works great. I quickly eyeballed the circle(s) and applied the colours straight from the tube and mixed. I want my colours to be modern but also capable of yielding a more subtle earth tone palette. The pigments are all professional quality Golden and Winsor Newton (no student grade paints as they have fillers and yield poor colour mixtures as a result). The colours you see above are: cadmium lemon yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and manganese blue (not real manganese as that's pretty toxic stuff). Remember as well, that the cadmiums are also toxic and not to be ingested or inhaled (airbrushing or pastel work).

   I decided to do colour mixtures from mixing primary to primary (cad red light and cad. light yellow, perm. alizarin and cad. yellow light, ultramarine blue and cad. yellow light, cobalt blue (added as a go-between between manganese blue and ultramarine blue) and cad. yellow light to yield my secondary and tertiary colours. You can see this on the colour wheel above. Some of the results surprised me.

   Before I didn't like how ultramarine and cad. yellow light mixed to form the greens they did. However, seeing them in opposition to their natural compliments made me rethink that aversion. In constructing successful colour themes or palettes for your work (be you a fine artist, a textile artist, an interior designer, etc.) it's all about getting the colours (hues, values, saturation) right and properly balanced throughout the colour wheel. Once your colours are balanced, you can then progress onto making more pleasing and workable colour mixes. Everyone's tastes are different. You'll notice I don't have a cadmium yellow medium or cadmium red medium on my wheel. I find I can mix those hues from the cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light and some alizarin. Also different brands colours will be slightly different from each other. For example, the Golden ultramarine blue is slightly different then the Winsor Newton ultramarine.

   So take the time to mix your own colour palette. It makes your work just a little bit easier in the short and long run and you'll learn a thing or two while doing it. If you're a colourist ANY excuse to play with colour is time well spent!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Part 3: When The Whisper Becomes Reality - the Finished Painting "Vibrant Serenity"!


14" x 24" original acrylic painting on stretched canvas titled "Vibrant Serenity"
Available here from my Etsy Store!

What I love about this painting is that it was done purely out of my imagination with no reference material. It's that place where dreams come from, the dream or idea generator. It's a place that exists yet you cannot grab it, hold it, buy or sell it. It streams these ideas, these dreams and, being an artist, I am fortunate that I can sometimes give these ideas or dreams substance in the tangible world. The world of shapes and forms - the waking world.

From my mind's eye, (the sketch and small painted study I posted previously) emerges to the final event. One thing did change however. The final seemed to just want to be blues and blue-greens, to be an analogous (be in one colour group, or of related colours) painting yet to retain it's vitality and energy. So I dropped the red-violet and here is the result. "Vibrant Serenity"! It measures 14" x 24" on stretched canvas (that I stretched myself as I could not find the size of canvas I needed that was already stretched and prepped) and its, alive! I wanted the atmosphere to literally breathe and vibrate whilst the mountains stood stoically, their reflection being more calm on the waters before them with the "breathing" atmosphere more subtly reflected. I think I achieved that.

   I want to thank Susan, one of my collectors with her perfect, succinct description of my work. She says,"They are both vibrant and serene.. seems to be a contradiction almost but that is what I feel when I look them them". She totally nails it and to honour her exquisite ability to do so, I title this new painting after her words. Perfect.

If you haven't seen them, I include the previous posts images, the initial sketch and study. Enjoy!

5 1/4" x 3 1/8" study for "Vibrant Serenity"
Initial sketch for "Vibrant Serenity"

Friday, March 30, 2012

Part Two of When The Whisper Becomes Reality - the Colour Study!

The next step, taking the sketch to a small painted study
on board measuring 3 1/4" x 5 1/8".

The second step from taking a whisper in my mind to tangible form was to paint a larger study from that little sketch I did over 2 years ago. Those sketches are like little seeds that may lay dormant for days or years but eventually, when the time is right, they grow into adulthood. This is the next step in that growth. 

I decided to use acrylics as I wanted the image to be very colourful, very alive! The colour palette is a split-complementary one using red-violet, blues, and green-blues. The moon is actually white with light blue-green in it which will make it vibrate a little more. 
I am really excited to go to the final now. Stay tuned, won't be long now!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Official, Video Game Art IS Art - the Smithsonian Says So!

From the game "Journey". I just love the use of space, the asymmetrical
balancing, the Zen-like use of space. As soon as I saw this image as I saw
this image I knew I wanted to play this game.
It also got a great review from IGN which doesn't hurt. 

I heard about this and thought, "It's about time".  For too long video game art, illustration, etc., has been looked down on by the high-brow crowd but it doesn't matter any more. Never did. Video game art can be one of the most demanding art forms and the artists working on them are professional, hard-working artists that deserve to be recognized as such. Also the art is interactive, it draws the viewers in, draws
the gamers in and it's often the quality of art that makes the games successful, both on it's own merits and
also in the commercial sense. That and good game playing mechanics coupled with excellent story telling
in the writing department. 

Please click here to see the Smithsonian's Video Art Game Show page video!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sneak Preview - Part One of When The Whisper Becomes Reality - the Sketch!


Here is the birth of my next new painting! Even though this idea was sketched over two years ago I carried it with me to my new apartment and tacked it to my idea wall. That was about 6 months ago and now, finally, it's becoming a reality.

I wanted to do a painting based on that space of where the consciousness dwells, in between the dream state and waking state, or rather, being in an altered state of consciousness like those people who live to tell about their near death experiences and the beautiful landscapes they inhabited while in them.

I am working on a step-by-step to show how this phenomenal experience being manifested into the form of a painting is coming into the physical realm. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Juried In and On Their Way to the Show!

These three original framed oil paintings of mine were accepted into the
All About Art International Juried Art Show and Sale
put on by the MossRehab hospital in Elkins Park, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A

I entered an artist's call for entries late last year from the "All About Art International Juried Exhibition and Sale of Art by Professional Artists with Physical Disabilities" put on by the MossRehab hospital in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania which is thirty-two years in the running. I then forgot all about it till I got my acceptance letter in the mail a few months later and was stunned with disbelief! Then came the real work.

The newer pieces "Moon Ascending Blue Mountain" and "Superstitious Shelter" which were done on canvas panel board needed to be framed and would have to complement and tie-in with the self portrait that was already framed. I turned to Franken Frames http://www.frankenframes.com/ to find real wood frames and linen matts to make the trio hang together in unison.

After much deliberation I settled on silver wooden frames and an off-white linen cloth matt. With the help of Roger at Franken Frames, I was able to get the measurements precise so as to maximize the image area of the painting. Also, Roger is meticulous so I could feel as sure as I could that these frames would arrive in the right size and in good condition, and they did.

So after assembling the paintings into their new frames I worked on packaging them all up and then trying to figure out how to ship them properly; what type of paperwork would be necessary and how to fill that paper work out. Fellow artist Roger and his wife Yoko, helped me, a complete stranger, with the never-ending paper work for customs and Nancy Pageau, the art curator for the show, was extremely helpful as well. Working with a disability that can make cognitive work a challenge, their help was very much needed and truly, greatly appreciated.

So the paintings were shipped, finally, today. Hoorah! The show runs from April 29 - July1, 2012. Here is a link to last year's show if you would like to see what kind of work is juried in, want to know more about the show and the MossRehab hospital who sponsors it http://www.mossresourcenet.org/art/allabout.htm. I will put up the 2012 link as soon as it is up. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Myth of Perfection and How it Kills Creativity and Productivity

Just finished paintings handing on the wall beside framer's corners. Boxes still unpacked but needing more storage and shelving. This is not a perfect studio, it's a working studio.

Perfection has always been a nasty task master and one in which nothing you do is good enough so you never do anything. Period. For the longest time I had imagined a studio that was just for it's own usage. And I got one back in the 90's but due to illness I lost it (and my house). When I finally began painting again it was in a multi-use room and I was outgrowing it very quickly. The cat even seemed to be looking at me sideways, seemingly tired of having to pussy-foot around everything (pun intended).

Well, I finally have a designated area again for my work and I noticed a peculiar idea or thought kept coming around. It was the idea that somehow, I should have everything already settled - a place for everything and everything in it's place and I wasn't measuring up. Now don't get me wrong, I am actually inclined to being quite organized, so what was this about?

Upon further internal inquiry I realized, it was just fear. Fear of economic hardship, of failure in all it's guises. Somehow, pre-occupation with organization and feeling bad about not meeting some predetermined idea of how my space, my studio and all that is entailed in that should function and be. It was seeping in and blocking me from actually DOING things. I have enough road blocks to deal with (like continuing chronic health issues that keep me out of the studio) so I sure as heck didn't need this. This fear was keeping me from doing new works of art, continuing to explore and produce and instead I was getting further entangled in the never-ending stream of paper work, organizing of studio, of my laptop desktop, of my paints, you name it I could go on and on. What I realized is this. That, of course, I need to be organized enough to know where everything is (generally) what needs to be done (today, tomorrow, next week, this month, etc.) and I have implemented a day minder binder for that (that I made from an old binder and outputting pages from ical) and have a year at a glance wall calendar (ical again to the rescue). Shelving needs to be ordered and put up but that's not going to make me be more productive, really. It's just going to suck even more hours away from studio time. The key is prioritization not more organization.

So, I have posted my art studio for all to see. As you can see it's being used, not sitting pretty for a photo op shot (though that would be okay too). It's amazing that fear can be so subtle a foe as to hide behind such a virtuous action as organization. But it can and does and it's up to us to recognize that and that it is keeping us from creating and producing something new, which, can be a very scary endeavour.

So don't let your fear block you. Whatever that dream, or idea, or project you have ready to go but feel like your just not ready, I think you just might be. Start small and build up and before you know it you're on the horse flying over the wide open prairie! Myself, having numerous ideas ready to go and thumbnails sketches to work from I am ready for the next white canvas. No fear, just excitement and actually, a bit of frustration just ready to bolt from the gates and transform into sheer creative joy! And, as you can tell by the shot, the cat curled up and looking out the window with the sun on her, is a lot happier too!

Beautiful, Glowing "Oak Glory" Nature Semi-Abstract Original Acrylic Triptych

Finally completed, the "Oak Glory" triptych! Three 12" x 12" original acrylic paintings.

There's a reason why I only do a series of paintings, a triptych like this, once a year. That's because it's a heck of a lot of work. It's one thing to do a single painting. You just have to concern yourself with balancing the painting unto itself. When you do a series like this, the final painting is usually different than the beginning one and in order for the series to hang together properly you have to go back into the other two paintings and make sure they are at the same level as the last painting. And, after you paint the first one, you are continually looking to it as you work on the other two. You get to create, but it has to be disciplined. So after at least 80 hours I was done! 


Shown from the gold panel to green, right to left.

However, the results are fantastic - glowing, illuminating. I used translucent, transparent, opaque and iridescent acrylics so the colours shift and move as you walk around them. This creates the look of slow-burning gems that literally pop off the wall.


Shown green to gold, left (closest) to right.
The middle panel shows the transition from the vigorous growth of
green energy to the brilliance of fall.

These paintings symbolize the transition of energy that drives all of nature's growth but that energy is not lost when the leaves turn gold and fall, even though to our eye, they appear dead. It continues but in another form and I try to visually show that energy in light, shimmer and contrast. 

These paintings are beautiful and unique. I couldn't reproduce them again, as they are, if I tried. The textures, iridescence, patterns, colour and depth of luminosity are unreproducible. The edges are treated just like the face of the painting, the leaf printing, colours and textures continue. Even though this series is wired and ready to hang as is, I have dark brown wood floater frames on order for them and they are going to look fantastic in them! 



This series is truly beautiful, and you know what, I am not going to apologize for creating beautiful art. The beauty, luminosity, energy that animates all I am driven to honour and will continue to do just that in my work. It is art. It is fine art. It is serious art. And, it is hard work, and, I feel privileged to be able to do it.


Any nature lover, healing and/or wellness centre, yoga studio, home or office that wants to bring indoors the energy of nature, well, this is the series for you.






Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pleasure, Pain and Persistence - The Three P's of Successful Creativity


12" x 12" last acrylic painting panel of the triptych "Oak Glory". It was through the
process of "the three P's of Successful Creativity" that I was able to complete
 this last panel. It was not easy nor pretty (I was oh so cranky at times) but the finished
 product speaks for itself. I gratefully pass on my experience
to those who would benefit from it. 


Pleasure is what gets you started. You get an idea that excites you, your pulse quickens, pupils dilate and you say YES! You want to do it, have to do it, and the excitement and energy runs high. Then it happens, you hit a snag and it starts - the Pain.

You feel it when your idea isn't working the way you thought and you're not sure how to continue on. It's like the ugly duckling stage and your wondering if it will ever turn into that unique, beautiful, never-seen-before swan you were hoping for. At this stage the work feels like it's taking forever, or taking too long to figure out or both and that initial excitement is long gone and replaced by anxiety and a growing dread. Not to worry however as this is the exact time to apply the big gun tool of Persistence. 

Once Persistence enters the picture she's the diligently determined dog digging in the hard ground of the back yard because she just KNOWS there's a big, juicy bone down there some where, and she's right. In the pain stage you felt like the universe was mocking your creative instinct, but when Peristence enters the room the universe falls back and marvels at the sheer power of it's tenacity, YOUR tenacity. One way or another you WILL finish this. And you do. It may not feel good, (usually doesn't), and your hydro bill goes up as you burn the midnight oil but when you step back and see the final results, and they are good, very good, you have no regrets, just gratitude. You are grateful to yourself for having the courage to see this to the end, with the fear that it could have been a gargantuan failure. And then again, there is no such thing. It's all part of the process to ascending the summit of successful creativity. 

And that is what I learned over the last 4 months crystallized in the successful completion of this last panel and hence, the series itself. I will post all three panels in a short whlle. They look beautiful, and I am oh so grateful to myself that I didn't give up. Don't give up, ever. Keep the summit in sight and push on through the pain (be it physical, psychological, emotional and so on). It's oh so worth it!