My new favorite Art Supply

Hello My Beautiful Friends,

The last several weeks I have been playing with my new favorite art supply.  It is something that I have had for a long time but never really used.  It is called India Ink.  I believe it was created for doing calligraphy but I started using it as watercolor.

I did these 2 in under 30 minuets as quick value studies.  It was super fun and made me wonder if I could what else I could do with the Ink.  This year I am apart of a mentor group with Deanna Strachan-Wilson and one of the things she encourages us to ask is “What if” and then use that to direct our art.

This “What If” has opened the flood gates of creative ideas.  Here are just a few pieces that I have done with the India Ink.

This was my first real attempt.  Not super great but I learned a lot through this process.

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Sunny Day

My second attempt was much more successful. I  just love how the red makes the black pop.  The red was another What If moment.  I am normally not so bold with my color choices.

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Beautifully Out of Place

And this piece I finished today.  I had a lot of fun playing with the values and allowing the Ink and water to do what it wanted to do.  So much about this process is about letting go of control.  You can’t really control water and ink like you can with acrylics.  You need to really think through where you are going to put your brush strokes and them let them be what they will be.

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“She Lives Poetry”

I also wanted to let you know a few other things that are going on.   I have decided to place my original art for sale on SoulHart.com  I am still growing and learning but I also need to be able to afford my art supplies.  The reason I chose to go with SoulHart is that 10% of the proceeds go to charity, and I just love that.   So while yes, I am selling my art it is not my main goal or objective and I feel that the creators of SoulHart and their values match up with mine.

I have also added a few prints to Fineartamerica.com check them out if you want too.  I won’t be doing a ton of prints but on the ones that the Originals have sold and there is a high demand I will add them there.

How are all of you doing?  I would love to hear from you!

Update; The Past Year

Hello Lovelies,

I can’t believe it has been almost a full year sense my last blog post.  2016 turned out to be such a crazy hard year for me creatively, however it resulted in me having a clear idea of what my goals are and what is truly important to me.

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My Daughter Olivia, my “Sunshine Girl”

I got caught up in selling my art and therefore only creating art that I thought would sell, not what came from my heart.   With everything there are good and bad parts to that experience.  It pushed me to refine my techniques and to learn a lot about the technical side of creating and gave me a peak into the “business of art”  After becoming completely stuck and hating everything I was creating I had an epiphany.   I do NOT enjoy actively selling my art, and I want to take time to learn as much as I can and at the same time create from my HeArt.

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First painting of 2017, with my word of the year “Gentle”

So once I had that realization I enjoyed creating again.  I stopped actively trying to sell my art but will sell a piece of someone reaches out to me wanting to buy it.   I also began abandoning my artwork .  I create so often that I just can’t keep everything I make.  It is so fun to give it way for random strangers to find.  Sometimes they contact me to let me know they found it and sometimes they don’t.  Either way the process of leaving it for someone to find has been great for my heart.

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Poppies in Payne’s Grey 

Due to the fact that I am now just creating for me it has given me the permission to take risks and grow as an artist.  I have made a ton of “ugly” art or “bad” art but every piece is important to my journey.  The past few weeks I feel like a lot of things have clicked for me and so my drawings have become more realistic and my paintings have more depth.  I am also taking some time to explore painting imagined landscapes.

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Oh and before I forget I am playing with the idea of offering a mixed media art class that will be for all levels.  I am still in the very early stages of development but I wanted you all to be the first to know!  I am also going to start doing FREE mini live tutorials on my Facebook page to help get me used to speaking on camera.  I hope you will join me.

My wish for you  (and for me) my lovely friends is that this year in 2017 you will be gentle with your self as your pursue your creativity however that may look, that you take risks, embrace failure, and keep on practicing the thing you love.

Leanne

 

Update on the Journey

Hello Friends,

I apologize for not writing as consistently as I had planned when I started this journey.  I went on a mini vacation with my family to Payson Arizona, and hiked the Tonto Natural Bridge State park (It was so beautiful!  If you are ever in AZ I highly recommend it) When we got home I needed to do some soul searching.

The journey so far has been a wonderfully frustrating experiment and I have learned a lot about my self.   For the past few weeks my friend and mentor Petra had been trying to warn me about burning out.  However because I am stubborn I did not really listen to her. Petra if you are reading this I sincerely apologize for not listening to your words of wisdom.   I realized that while I was on vacation with my family “I had to create a face for that day” and I did not want to.  I wanted to be with my family, and I resented the fact that I was forced to create.  I was whining to my husband and he asked why? What would happen if I did not create a face? Would the world come to an end? l  was annoyed with him because I made this huge commitment and I was going to keep it if it killed me….so I told him that.

My wonderfully wise and loving husband asked me….why would you want your art to kill you? Isn’t this supposed to be fun?  He told me that he had been worried about me because I have been so stressed about thinking of a new face for every day and that he could tell I was not enjoying this anymore.  He was right.  I was starting to hate my art! This was not okay.  So I took a few days to decided if keeping up with this journey was worth me hating it in the end….and the answer was no.

As one of my friends Suzette (who is not an artist but has been a huge supporter) reminded me that this journey is fluid and will be changing as I change and grow.  I am also interested in learning other things with my art.  I want to learn about story telling, and creating animals and flowers not just faces! I also want to learn new mediums and with all this that I want to learn I was feeling trapped by the faces.

When I reflected about when was the last time I was truly enjoying my art and what I was doing I realized it was when I did not have an agenda.  I just played.  So that is what I am going to do.  I am not abandoning faces all together but I am going to allow my self to follow my curiosity or to take a break if I need it.  I will still keep my commitment to my art time every morning…but probably not a face every single day.

I will post here when I feel I have something to say or a special piece of art I want to share with you.  Some may say I am a quitter or that I am giving up.  I disagree….I tried an experiment and in the end it was not right for me at this point in my journey.  I may try again some day…I am not quitting just re-evaluating what works for me.  I created 48 faces in 49 days and that is a huge accomplishment.  It is more courageous for me at this point to say enough, then to press on in fear that others may think of less of me for not continuing.    

You can follow me on Facebook at. www.facebook.com/leanneschuetzart

You can follow me on Instargram at @leanneschuetzart

Here is what I have been working on.  I can already see the joy coming back to my art!

Here are all the faces I have created in this journey.

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Thank you to everyone who followed along with me on this journey.  I appreciate you more then you know!!  Please tell me what you think in the comments below!

 

 

Week 6 Wrap up: Days 37-42

Hello Friends,

I am so sorry that there have not been any posts for this week.  I was incredibly sick with the flu.  I did get a face done every day.  Most of them where not very successful and I was doing them in between Nyquil sleeps.  I am doing much better now, but still not at a 100%/

 

Here is today’s girl from week 6 of Let’s Face It.  This weeks lesson was taught by the amazing Karine Bosse.  Her lesson was all about water color, which is a medium I rarely use.  However I learned a lot and had fun using her techniques.

Here  is today’s girl. day42

Day 36: Bird on my Shoulder

 

 

Hello Friends,

This morning I woke up with a desire to paint.  I wanted to ease back into it so I took one of my small square wood canvas and decided to take it a step at a time for as long as it felt fun

I started by sketching my girl and the little bird. The I added some clear gesso so the wood would not absorb all my paint. image

Once the clear gesso was dry I started to work on blending in the colors of her face   I noticed that I missed a few small spots. So I let the paint dry and the I added more clear gesso. While I was waiting for the gesso to dry I started painting the birdie.

Once then gesso on her face was dry I stated blending in more colors to her face.  I worked as intuitively as possible and just enjoyed finding out who she was going to be.  I took my colored pencils, Neo Colors II and added details to here eyes, mouth and shirt.  I also used the colored pencils to fill in the details on her birdie friend.

Finally I added some liquid acrylics to the background and started on her hair. imageHere she is completed.  She is not the best girl I have ever made.  However I do like her and I am thankful that the painting seems to be coming back. image

Day 35: Self Care & Week 5 Wrap Up

Hello Friends,

I have been away from Facebook less then a day and I am already feeling better about my self and my art.

Today I spent time sketching in my sketch book.  I put on some loud worship music and spent the time sketching and praying and getting my focus back to what matters.  As much as I love my art, in view of eternity its not that important.  It is just paper, and paint or graphite.

I am trying to find my way back to art being about the joy of creating and not about what others think about it.

I started like I always do by lightly drawing her basic figures and mapping out where they should be.  I will usually use a ruler or a pencil to make sure everything is lined up.  However today I just winged it.  I did not care about accuracy but more about making the processes fun again. IMG_6045

Then I took my 8b and 6b graphite pencils and my blending stump and started shading her face.

Next I worked on her neck, shoulder, eyes and mouth.

Then I worked on her hair and sweater. day35a

Here she is completed.  day35

If I look at her objectively, there are a few changes I would make next time.  I wish I had made her eyes a tad further apart and I also need to pay closer attention to the spacing between her mouth and nose and mouth and chin.  I also need to pay close attention to make sure I am not leaving hard lines when I am blending in the shadows.  Over all I really like her.  I like her lips and I think I did a great job on her hair and her neck.

Here are all the girls from this week.

Thanks for coming with on this journey.  I will probably slowly start to get back to Facebook on Saturday…but I am just going to see how I feel.

Day 33 & 34: Comparison

Hello Friends,

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that today I decided to take a break from Social Media.

This has been brewing for a while.  I love Facebook and I am so thankful for the technology that allows me to connect with you and so many of my favorite artists.  However, Facebook also as a dark side…The side where we only see what everyone else is doing well and you start compare your self. 

Yesterday after a pretty hard art day, that is exactly what happened.  I am in several Facebook groups for all the classes I am taking.  It seems that everyone was “getting it” That every one was better than me, and I started to go into a shame cycle.  My inner critic was screaming at me “You suck at art” “You will never get this!!” “Who do you think you are?” And I started putting pressure on my self to be perfect…and to make art that is beautiful no matter what.

I started telling my self a story.  The story was that if every piece I make was not better then the last one then I am a failure and everyone was going to laugh at me.  Rationally I knew this was crazy, I could tell I was acting crazy, but I could not stop the shame cycle.  Logically I knew that this was a journey, logically I knew that perfection was an unattainable goal but my emotions and my heart wanted nothing to do with that.

So I reached out to my mentor and friend Petra.  She encouraged me to let go and to just play with my art and reminded me again how perfection is unattainable.  Honestly though I really was struggling to hear what she was saying.  I also talked/cried to my husband.  He is not an artist but he is so encouraging and instead of telling me what I could do better he just let me cry it out and reminded me that it will be okay.  I am not the sum of my last piece of art…good or “bad”

Here is day 33:   She was created from Iris mini class in Lets Face it.   I can look at her now objectively and see she is not that bad.

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Day 34:  

Today I was determined to just play and have fun.  To let go of the outcome and to just let the piece take me where she wanted to go.  I started out okay, but about half way through the negative self talk started to come back.  So I decided to take a break and look on Facebook for a while.  Mistake #1.  I saw all this beautiful art being made and I started to hate my piece.   I took a deep breath and told my self this is supposed to be fun.  I tried to be objective and I asked my self what I did not like about her.  It was her body that was bugging so I painted over her body.  Things still did not feel right and I was getting more and more frustrated and it stopped being fun.  So I did something drastic.  I took white gesso and painted over the entire piece.

I did not do this out of rage or being upset, I honestly did not like it and wanted something else.  I felt so much better once she was covered up.  My friend Jenn from B-Inspired is my art accountability partner.  I confessed to her about my comparing and how I was feeling like I was moving backward in my art.  She told me the comparing needs to stop now and and also offered some feedback and advise about my work that I really needed to hear.

So here I was, close to the end of the day with no face that I could count for today.  I asked my self what do I love.  What does not feel like work? That brought me back to my graphite and sketch book.  I immediately felt better.  I was having fun.  I was enjoying the feel of the graphite on my fingers, the way my pencil moved across the paper…IMG_6040 Here she is completed.  This is what play means to me.  This is what I currently love to do.  I am not going to give up on painting, but I am also not going to allow my self to beat my head against the wall if its not going well.

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I am taking a break from Facebook for a few days.  I need some space to feel good about my self and to get over the “comparison-itis”.   I will still be doing a face every day, and will post it here.   If you need me for anything feel free to post a comment on this blog or email me at leanneschuetzart@gmail.com

How do you handle “comparaison itis”?  Is it something you struggle with? What help you?  Tell me in the comments below…