Nurturing the creative spirit is an ongoing life long process. It has its own ups and downs. Regardless of how well we try to avoid the not so pleasant moments, they will present their ugly selves as necessary, and as destiny demands. Gloom, for example, has a unique effect on each of us, just on different levels accordingly. Gloom can easily affect ones creativity with little to offer or inspire while draining the ability to visualize, and leaving behind what is better known as "artist block". An artist has the responsibility to avoid unnecessary disruptions when possible. This doesn't mean to avoid issues that need resolving. We have responsibility there as well.
I have meant many people, especially artists that are greatly affected by others negativity and the environment in which they are exposed. Some things we just can't change, but we must be responsible and protect our well being and creative spirits when at all possible.
Please don't give up when it's most difficult to see better days. This will pass once you have accepted the truth. You are creative! You are remarkable and unique! You are resilient!
Poem by C. Jernigan
In addition to mastering technique, composition, and knowledge of required art materials; inspiration, vision, motivation, discipline, and a healthy being are also necessary to create good art. And in doing so, there's gifted a special connection that only the artist experiences through this journey of process, and who’s reward is hopefully a completed work worthy of sharing. It's the height of excitement during the creative process with all that it entails that feeds a yearning to push and explore even further. Like a mystery that awaits the next step, the next movement of application, the continuous flow guided by emotion that in the end results in the completion of this thing called art. A refined artist is one who creates good art through this process; a creative who no longer considers it a struggle, but instead, a journey worthy of unknown ups and downs, consistent in both rewards and sacrifice. A refined artist not only welcomes the ah of a masterpiece, but can willingly welcome and accept the possibility of a failed work known only as reference for future improvement in which to build on.
This is a somewhat long video of an acrylic and mixed media painting in progress. Although not a step by step instruction, it is generous in application description and more. Sorry for the shaky camera. I 'm not sure if it was due to the cold I had or the medication that I was taking at the time I filmed this; maybe a little of both. I hope that you may learn something new or that it will inspire you to create something unique.
Visit the gallery to view the finished painting 'A Heart of Stone'.
Wishing you a day full of inspiration and creative visions.
One of the most pleasant memories of my childhood is attending art classes after school. I must have been no more than 9 years old when I started my first painting lesson. It was discovered that I had a gift that needed nurturing. Most art instruction offered in my area at that time was in oil painting, and so it was that I followed suit. I remember wishing class would last much longer. Time flew by and before I knew it, we were cleaning up to leave. My painting would remain wet until my return the following week. I attended these classes for most of my youth up through high school. The smell of oil paint still pleasantly stirs my creative muse to this day, even though I rarely paint with it anymore.
It was early 1971. I had since attended my weekly painting class for several years now. Acrylic was just starting to surface as a new medium consisting of a very limited palette. It was used mainly to paint houses at that time. Even its chemical makeup was somewhat different than it is today. More and more artists were beginning to explore its possibilities. It was still in the early stage of experimenting. Acrylic paint wasn't taken seriously, and was not yet widely accepted as a medium in most art circles. So I hadn't heard of it at my young age. I was still painting with the toxic pigments in oil paint; a safety issue my teacher appeared not aware of or too concerned about.
I loved to paint and draw, and so I practiced by copying sections of paintings that I was attracted to. My subjects were usually cute little fuzzy animals or bright colorful flowers. I developed a talent for mixing color to achieve what I wanted to copy. A talent that would some day come in handy for more than just painting on canvas. As a matter of fact it saved me from what probably would have been marked a grave day in the beginning of my artful journey.
It was spring, a few days before Easter, and I was much older now; twelve and a half. The half was a big deal for me. After all I was so close to being thirteen and qualifying for more benefits in addition to the traditional allowance increase. I could stay up later and enjoy a larger ice cream sundae while watching the previously forbidden Saturday Night At The Movies. I could be trusted to be left alone for longer periods of time, and those older than me may take notice and finally realize that I was just as smart. After all, I was now having bright ideas that I had yet to share. Besides who could possibly understand what I had discovered.
Little did I know that with more freedom also came increased responsibility. It also meant the consequences of hiding a secret from someone who trusted me, and the guilt that haunted me for fifteen years.
I am not exactly a morning person, especially since I've decided to cut back on coffee. This wise decision; as I keep reminding myself it is, was reluctantly added to the "Healthy Me" list. I'm down from the usual two 10 ounce mugs to one tiny 8 ounce cup a day. I'll get use to it, as my goal is to give it up completely. I must confess that at this stage I'm feeling a bit antsy and tired. I tend to work late hours in my studio with less outside noise at 2:00 am, and so it is that I often sleep in late as well. Keeping late hours combined with one cup of coffee in the late morning can hamper chances of a productive day. At least it's that way for me. Yes, it's true, I am finding it somewhat difficult getting motivated this day. To top it off, my creative muse has abandoned me and appears to have gone elsewhere :(
Here I am, trying my best to savor each moment, rationing sips throughout the morning, including several trips to the microwave in attempts to bring new life back to what remains in my little cup. It has long since lost its delightful flavor. So, please bear with me. It was all that I could do to drag my slow java deprived fanny over to the keyboard. But I knew I must. I love you my dearest creatives. You play a major role in my artful journey, as I wish to be in yours. And so it will be, minus two 10 oz. mugs of morning coffee, that I hear yet another entry calling out to be included on the "Healthy Me" list.
I yearn to be an early riser again. To break the late night work habit and coffee abuse. While it is quiet in the late hours, there is little to inspire me. There are no owls hooting or mocking birds calling in the softening darkness of my town this season. Only the sound of an occasional train whistle in the distance. I admit that I miss that stirred about feeling that only the early morning hours can trigger. I miss watching those breathtaking sunrises as nature gently awakens my senses to the feel of dew settling on my face, the smell of fresh air not yet heated by machines, and musical notes carried from branches above that no human voice could ever reach. I miss the opened invitation to explore trails of new mysteries left behind from the night past. Inspiration playfully whispering to my spirit, waiting to entice me with my camera patiently holding my hand. Comforting, peaceful, humbling....
Caroline Jernigan "C. J."
Your Host & Art Instructor
Hello and Welcome to Acrylic & Mixed Media Painting's blog; a special place for creatives to share and learn through art related topics that connects us. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated. So join in and share your thoughts and experiences.
Now a wee bit about your host: I have been teaching various mediums for over 28 years through live workshops and online, as well as authoring several art instruction books and many tutorials.