Saturday, August 31, 2013

anniversary post....


Nightlife
Acrylic on 36" x 48" x 1.5" wrap canvas

2009 SOLD


I love reading about other artist's who are working independently and their established routines.   Probably, because I don't have  a whole lot of it.   So lately, I've been thinking about it again.  I had set a goal for Aug. 15th to be my back to the studio date.  That was two weeks ago and I'm still not there yet.  I've been working, but not with a routine. Life is about just going with the flow, much the way I paint and that is now my routine. 

Reminiscing today, the way I began in 2008 and kinda, sorta wishing I had just a little of the discipline I had then.  I had just resigned my job as a high school art teacher in order to pursue this new passion that I had.  It was not at all a decision that I had taken lightly.  Anyway, there I was believing that I could do this artist thing and actually sell my work.  There was so much to learn.

That first summer, I did not allow myself time off, as I went to work learning how to photograph paintings, list on line, write a bio, etc., everyday.  It all sounds pretty easy, as except that I knew nothing, which I am sorry to say does somewhat reveal my age.  Not a child of the technology age.  I used the paintings that I had created during the time that I was still working as a teacher.  I had about ten paintings in that inventory and that was it!   That was the summer.

Fall, arrived. No job.  Received my last teacher pay check in August. Time to get really serious.  I set up my studio in a basement room.  It was really a pretty nice set up with tables, lots of room and good lighting.  I really didn't know how I was going to accomplish this thing, but knew I had to.  I went to my studio each day, just as all my co-workers were going back to school. Each day from 8- 3, I arrived at my studio and was there all day minus a 30 minute lunch break.   After a few days, I began with what I knew best at the time.  Painting realistically with transparent watercolors.  I chose flowers as I my subject matter, as I had always loved Georgia O'Keefes floral paintings.  For months, I did this everyday just like a real job and really got pretty good with the the realistic floral watercolor paintings. 

Now, that I look back on it I realize that the important thing at the time wasn't what I was painting, but that I got started on something...anything. And, that I consistently kept after it.  This first step, led me to where I am today. Another story.

For several years I would remember and celebrate the beginnings each Fall with back-to-school.  As time went on, the routine fell away and my disciplines changed with the seasons and with whatever was going on in our lives at the time.  Then I forgot about the fall anniversary for a few years, until now.  Perhaps, it's just me realizing that I need to go back to some of that routine.  I have developed my skills, have new inspirations and work that I want to do,  but lacking the discipline.     

In remembering this from five years ago, I thought I would post one of my favorite paintings from that time"Nightlife"  which was painted during the early, early, still dark hours of the day, thus the title. Just as soon as I had established my working routine, new responsibilities came into my life.  In order to continue to get painting hours in, I had to get up really early to paint and I had to work fast.  Working fast was not such a bad thing as it taught me to work intuitively.  This painting sold locally at a solo show at Hawthorn's Galleries. 

There's a lot of work to this artist thing!

but, I love it!

thankful to each and every person that has encouraged and supported me along the way.

back to work on Tuesday.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


My web gallery can be viewed: HERE


Elizabeth Chapman
Contemporary Abstract Artist


2 comments:

Debora Stewart said...

Nice to read Elizabeth as I just retired from my school job. I miss the kids and adults and have not adjusted yet. It is hard work being an artist and I think my school job as a middle school counselor/art teacher was easier in so many ways. I'm glad you moved on from watercolor flowers to your vibrant abstracts. Have a nice day off.

Bren Thebeau said...

Well happy Anniversary! What a journey it's been, here's to the next leg of this artistic road! The strength and vibrancy of this piece is perfection, love the colour palette too!