Random Kitty Picture:
I recently bought this (because I wanted to see if I could live without Strathmore and Stonehenge, which is only available for purchase online):
and decided to do a test run with graphite, colored pencil and water colors (because the paper says ‘ideal for pencil, ink, markers, watercolor). I cannot comment on how the paper is with markers.
Here is the graphite work I did on it:
With colored pencils, it may not take many layers like Stonehenge (I love you….) but you can get the work done. Everything was going well until I thought – “Hmmm….use watercolor for the background? It will be easier!” This is what happened:
As you may notice, the paper buckled (I used a light wash). Maybe it might take dry brush technique but not actual watercolor as the paper claims. I tried to straighten the paper out but it didn’t work. Maybe experienced water colorists can handle the situation? Moral of the story: Don’t take the easy way out and don’t spend bed time watching Youtube videos.
On a positive note, you can erase colored pencil quite nicely:
All this brings me to the main topic of this post – being an artist in Sharjah (miles away from exclusive art supply shops in Dubai) and being in love with more than one medium and not having a car. I love oils, watercolor, colored pencil, pastel and (gulp) a new love has taken seed – markers.
Oil painting supplies are readily available; there is a shop just 10 minutes away from my flat. For others, especially colored pencils, I have to go to multiple shops and online. For a decent water color paper (and by decent I mean Arches, Fabriano etc,.) I have to spend Dhs 100- 200 for a taxi to Dubai. Just for a sheet of paper.
Online shopping gives you a lot of options especially with paper but can be expensive and leave you feeling guilty. As though I don’t have enough of that already!
I could just stick to oil painting considering the easy availability of the materials. Only that leaves me insatiated. I can’t seem to commit to one medium. I want to play around. Does that say something about me? Okay, easy now those who are poising to comment 🙂
Wanting to work in multiple mediums is fine, I guess, for the hobbyist. For the artist who wants to be a professional, committing to one or two mediums, at least for a time period, is not only efficient, it’s economical and time saving. This is just my opinion. Please feel free to write in if you are an artist in UAE in the same predicament or have a solution or even if you disagree.
There IS a solution to all this y’know – having a sugar daddy? But where’s the fun in that? I mean, if everything is easy, how will you get the drive to make a career as an artist 🙂
A random kitty picture post (a change from all art posts all the time:-) :
I have been working on this painting for the past week and today as I was working on it, I realized something.
This painting was started, I think, 8 months ago and put away for reasons I can’t remember:
I have an obsessive rumination problem. It’s nothing new – been battling with it, oh, for 5 years at least. Random stuff would pop in to my mind and then goodbye focus! Mostly the ‘stuff’ will be something somebody said. And depression causes lethargy and restlessness (among other problems) and often they attack together. You can’t sit in one place for more than 5 minutes but you don’t want to get up. See? No joke.
As I tried to wade through these problems and tried to commit myself to the work in front of me, I realized that no matter how much you love what you do, you still have to force yourself to work. Depression or no depression. It seems obvious but it hit me with a clarity that was uncomfortable.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I feel bored to tears sitting in my room and painting. At times I feel I am missing out on things. And sometimes I feel, “Will I ever reach my destination?”
And yet, I can’t imagine not painting! Anywhere I go, there is only one place I want to return to – my studio. It’s not even a conscious thought – more like reflex.
Okay, enough of that. Here’s something to cheer you up:
“Ethan”, 5″ x7″, graphite on paper:
Whew! Done with it! Actually I was done with it a week ago and was supposed to post it here at least three days ago but I was busy being a slob 🙂 Sorry. It is advisable to put away finished paintings for 3 days to a week and then review it for mistakes. I didn’t do that for this one; in fact there are very few times I have followed that routine. I keep telling myself, “next time”. Lazy!
It was hard not to keep on tweaking with this one but I controlled myself. This painting is done in loose brush strokes. Well, as loose as my tight self would allow 🙂 Y’know, my usual style is tight, detailed work.
So here it is: A painting commissioned by my mother. Photo reference by Sandy Scott over at paintmyphoto.com
And a big, heartfelt thank you for all of you who liked my previous posts and has been and is following my blog. It is a real motivator for me. Thank you so much!
My doctor said to me, “I think it’s time for you to start finding the answers to the question ‘Who am I’?” I wasn’t expecting it but I wasn’t surprised either. “You will need to be honest to yourself….about what you want.”
I was surprised at that! I always thought I knew what I want. Or did I?
Either way I feel it is a question worth considering. Maybe it might help me recover? See the light at the end of the tunnel?
Most recent WIP:
When I signed in to write up the new post and looked at the previous post date – wow! I guess I was quite immersed in this painting. Of course I was also on an emotional roller coaster (as is always!) but that’s not relevant here, is it?
Remember I wrote something about wanting to scrap it? I resisted the urge and just let it sit for a few days. Then last Tuesday, I listened to a short audio of Brian Tracy’s The Miracle of Self Discipline, in which he speaks about his book. I paid attention to what he said about self-control and tried it. This helped to bring the painting to its final stages. Frankly, I am amazed at the speed of the progress considering that I exercised just a little self-control. Like: I have a habit of watching random YouTube videos on my phone before I go to sleep. Suddenly it’s 4:00 AM, I go to sleep dry-eyed and wake up feeling groggy, foggy and dense. So, I cut down to one video, switched off the Wi-Fi in my phone and slept while listening to sleep hypnosis for depression or music or sitcoms stored in the phone. I didn’t feel fresh and dewy in the mornings but just the fact that I didn’t give into the urge to watch videos into the early hours of the morning gave me a boost. And for depression-sufferers, feeling good is a rare gem isn’t it?
Some other things I did was:
1) Limiting my ‘profound thinking’ to the toilet. That was inspired by a retort by Martin Crane from ‘Frasier’: “Ah, use the can like the rest of us!”
2) Cutting 10 minutes from my usual lunch and dinner time.
3) Mindfulness (which is, by the way, very helpful for distraction from rumination)
I have been slipping in the last couple days but that’s expected. You can’t expect to gain self-control in a week! I feel I should keep trying because being able to discipline myself is giving me a sense of achievement which in turn is making me optimistic. Also the thought of how much I could have done in the last 3 years with an ounce of self-control is dizzying. I could have avoided a lot of frustration!
So here are the WIPs:
The trunk of the tree was made bigger and then I felt it was over powering the rest of the elements. So I changed it back (it’s times like these you wish there was a Ctrl+Z for painting):
The sky color must have been changed at least 6 times. Sigh….when there is no prior planning….
Finally, I settled on this size of the tree trunk and I worked some more on the birds. I am doing a little more planning before I proceed any further. Hope you enjoyed my post today. Take care!