Full Steam Ahead

New, updated website for Creative Waters Art!

My old website, and blog, was cumbersome to maintain. Recently I gave a presentation at the Essex Art League about websites for artists. In doing so I realized my own site had ground to a halt. I wasn’t posting. It was hard to navigate. Of all the things I said artists should do with their website I was only ticking off a few of the boxes.

So I rebuilt my website. It should now be easier for me to keep up to date. I have added artist comments to every painting I post. The blog should be easier to maintain.

So much has happened in the past year I want to start sharing and getting your input and feedback. So “Full Steam Ahead” to a new and improved www.creativewatersart.com. Look for me to share not only my journey as an artist and new work, but resources and ideas, and tips/things I have learned now that I am a “Gallery Manager” at the Bryan Memorial Gallery.

Thanks for sticking with me. If you have not subscribed to my blog, consider doing so. Between Facebook and my website/blog you will keep up with everything I am up to as an artist.

Alan Kingwell Inspired “Winter Journey”

This will likely be the first of a series of posts about other artists I draw inspiration from. For this first one, I used the inspiration of Alan Kingwell’s work to paint this picture I am titling “Winter Journey”.

Winter Journey Acrylic Painting
Winter Journey

 

Alan Kingwell is a UK artist who is self-taught. His work is incredible. You really should check out his YouTube channel and watch him paint or choose one of the videos that show some of his work. What I like about Alan’s work is the way he captures the light and mood of a place. Whether its the glow of a sunset coming through the base of a wave or the light filtering through a winter woods, he manages to really make the light seem alive. His seascapes are just amazing!

I think one aspect of his painting that appeals to me is that there is a certain ‘left-brain’ aspect to it that resonates with me. His creativity is obvious, but the attention to detail, the intricacy of his work appeals to my left-brain side that likes perfection and precision. Yet his paintings don’t feel at all static or structured. Most artists are strongly ‘right-brained’ which is the creative side of us, but many of us also have strong analytical or ‘left-brained’ aspects to our personalties too. This method of painting, with such attention to detail, can be a satisfying activity to feed that side of the brain in a creative endeavor. Continue reading “Alan Kingwell Inspired “Winter Journey””

Knowing When to STOP! (and when not to)

I was reminded tonight, while watching a time-lapse painting on youtube by  fellow artist Brandon Schaefer, of a problem I have been having recently, and often have. I suspect its one shared by many who start to explore art in its various forms.

When am I done, when do I stop?

Every now and then I work on a piece and it all seems to come together and I know just when to stop. But sometimes, I just can’t seem to find the finish line. There is always something that needs adjusting, repainting or rethinking.

While watching Brandon do his latest piece I noticed he repainted the water, the sky, the mountains in the background, and other elements multiple times as he progressed. And he has painted many hundreds of paintings and has been posting on youtube for 3 years (or so!). The painting came out great. It was comforting to see.

My latest piece, which I am calling “Big Red” I repainted so many times I lost count. And each time it made me feel so helpless and inadequate. If I was ‘good enough’ and knew what I was doing I surely would have gotten it right from the start! No? Continue reading “Knowing When to STOP! (and when not to)”

Permission To Play

I think every artist, whether just starting out or a seasoned pro, struggles with the urge to make every effort something they can be proud of, hang on a wall, or possibly sell. Its hard to spend limited time and effort and not have expectations.

However I have yet to meet an artist who if asked why they became an artist their response would be “to get rich”. Most of us explore our art because we have something inside that we need to express. Art, in its many forms, is fun. Creating things that elicit a response, within us or others, brings satisfaction. It’s easy to lose sight of this when confronted with limited time to pursue art. The creative process needs to be fun, and I’ve met many artists who found the most success with the work they did for themselves. Stuff that they didn’t think would appeal to others conveyed greater emotion and lead to greater success, in sales or commissions, than the stuff created for that purpose.

So its good to remember to give ourselves permission to have fun. Paint something new, try a new technique, and remove all expectations that the result will be worthy of anything more than painting over. Better yet, enter into it expecting to not be happy with the result. The goal is to play.

Last night I wanted to try doing a sky like I had seen done by a painter I admire by the name of Jan Blencowe. Her youtube video got me excited to try a scumbled sky, with more color and less definition than I am used to. So I grabbed an old canvas that I had experimented with painting clouds, and started painting over it. I decided to just do the top and see how it went. Continue reading “Permission To Play”

Inspirational Day

Today was one of those days that you remember. A day that was full of moments you want to capture, and … to paint. It was a beautiful winter day, not too cold, bright sunshine, and great snow cover. Everywhere I turned there was something to make me say “Look at that!”

Luckily I had my camera with me.

Now I live in Vermont, which is one of the most beautiful and inspirational places you can imagine. I get inspiration, literally out my back yard, or in the woods behind my house. I find inspiration within minutes drive from here, at Indian Brook Reservoir or Mills River Park, or the roads around Jericho and Underhill with their magnificent views of Mount Mansfield. So there is seldom a day that goes by that I can’t find or see something that makes me wish I had my camera, or paint brushes.

Today stands out as different.

To begin, the day was already off to a great start as I was delivering a painting, “Winter Birch Forest I, with Chickadees” to its new owners. Wonderful people! ¬†And delivering a replacement painting (“Winter Birch Forest II“) to hang where this one came down, at the Mad River Barn Inn & Restaurant in Waitsfield. So already it was a good day.

Barn on the River viewed through the trees. Looks like a painting waiting to happen to me!
Barn on the River viewed through the trees. Looks like a painting waiting to happen to me!

Waitsfield and Warren, in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, are some of the most inspirational towns I know. And I hardly know them. There are barns, and fields, fences and trees, and streams and rivers, and mountains, and… well, you get the picture. I have had my eye on a couple of barns along route 100 for a while now as possible paintings. I’ve taken pictures in the past, for reference, but never in good light/weather. So today was a perfect day to visit them again and get better photos.

Continue reading “Inspirational Day”