Blog

My art process. Military Life. My Cause.

a look into my journey- creating BIG

Hello, welcome to my blog. This is something I have been avoiding for six years.... I had a list of excuses. Now I am pushing those aside with my loads of laundry that need attention. I am a wife to a soldier and mom to three girls, but these characters are not on main stage here. I plan to share the part of me that has been growing since I was a young girl with a clipboard and computer paper, "doodling" every chance I could get. I am an artist. I need to make "beautiful" things to feel alive. It is my sense of accomplishment when life tasks are unfinished. It is my safe place where I can be myself when life and relationships feel shaky. It is my place of celebration and sorrows. It is a place that I enjoy the company of close friends. They come watch me paint and chat. I don't need silence. Music or audio books are welcomed. It is a time of self-discovery and self-release, all in one breath. As I think back to when I first started making art.....I LOVED tiny things. I made so many tiny details, and I remember thinking a 22"x28" poster board was HUGE. How would I ever fill all that WHITE space?....

NOW....

My absolute favorite way to create is to paint in oils on large canvases.

Flying out of Darkness  5'x6' Oil on Canvas

Flying out of Darkness
 5'x6' Oil on Canvas

This one (above) was my first 5'x6' completed in 2006. Whoa. Ten years goes quickly when you’re not counting. This piece was part of a three part series on flight. This size canvas was delivered to me by "mistake". I was in the middle of a 14 piece painting commission (a story for another day) and I got two boxes with three 5'x6' canvases in them. How did I not notice? Seems like it would have been obvious, but I was doing 4'x6' and other various sizes, so I just opened them. When I realized I didn't have the ones I needed, I called about the mix up. I ended up buying them for a much reduced price, as I am sure they didn't want to come pick them up. This piece was quite a piece of self-discovery.....Making it stretched me. It is named "Flying Out of Darkness" and all three in this series are about flight.

Persistence of Flight  5'x6' Oil on canvas

View of Clarity 5'x6' Oil on Canvas

View of Clarity 5'x6' Oil on Canvas

Flight for me is a metaphor for faith. What was I going to do? These pieces were not easily transported. Let alone stored. I laid awake at night wondering how I would get them safely where they needed to go? I was not willing to pay to move them because I wasn't earning money from them. I was in a feast or famine stage of creating (though I ABSOLUTELY DETEST the phrase "starving artist"- I would have been one without the support of my family.) I lived at home with my parents after graduating from art school, to follow my dream of producing beautiful artwork that would transform the atmosphere of a room. I dreamed that God would bring people who would "fall in love" with my pieces and be willing to pay real money to take them home. It feels vulnerable to express what is inside you for all to see. There are times of sheer delight when you see people enjoying and taking in your art. But there is also disappointment when you walk into a venue and your work is hung sideways. I felt the continued prodding to make even though no one seemed to care. There were moments when I thought I should I just stop. Did I really have something worth saying?

I enjoyed the massiveness of making them and I learned (and am still learning) to let go of all the practical parts of me that say, it is foolish to paint huge pieces with hefty cost without a client. Sometimes the blankness was bigger than me and that was the best reminder that I can't see the full picture. That same massiveness I enjoyed was overwhelming at times. Do these pieces really have homes? Will anyone ever love them? Is this worth it? Worth the risk of exposure?

Now fast forward almost ten years to 2015..... I received my first commission (prepaid and promised artwork to a specific person) of this size. As I think of it, this is the FIRST time ever that I have sold a piece this large. Some of those first ones found homes but this one has a family waiting.....the piece is finished. I will post the picture once the client sees it for the first time (this weekend).

Flight and faith are taking on a whole new meaning in 2016 as I received a grant to produce my very first public art piece. I plan to chart this journey here. I hope you join me for a real look into my process.