Friday, July 22, 2011

New Painting: Embracing The Solitude

"Embracing The Solitude"
Tabetha Landt Hastings
acrylic on canvase

"There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. " ~Colette

Usually solitude is more along the lines of an intoxicating freedom to me. I don't get enough of it. I think few people do in this society. Even in those rare times when we're alone, we have our computers, cell phones or tv's to keep us company. I was waiting for the elevator in a high-rise the other day, and they actually had a television in the hallway! It's no wonder we have the attention spans of gnats. 

We are seldom alone with our thoughts, and I think that most people like it that way. We're afraid the solitude will be that poison that will make us beat our head against the wall. Or we might be forced to know ourselves (yikes!). Afraid of what we'll find in the dark, we run away by keeping our brains constantly occupied. 

I'm guilty of it myself. If you know me you know that I'm pretty darn plugged into my mac and my iphone. But I do take time to embrace the solitude. Normally I do it by painting, but lately I've been dabbling meditation, and I've always been a fan of just sitting in the sun, or the shade, or the moonlight and simply being.

Do you embrace the solitude? If so... how?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Let The Paint Fly

I'm coming to understand more and more that the act of creating of art is more important than the art itself. Okay, that's not an easy statement for anyone trying to actually sell their art to hear. Or what if da Vinci had been about the process and not the product? Would we have the Mona Lisa? (Well maybe he was about the process. I didn't know the man personally... not that I remember, anyway.) But I think that when you are process focused, "in the paint" as I call it - not caring about whether the work is a masterpiece or a piece of crap - that's when you have the freedom to just let it fly. The blocks are removed, the inner critic has been booted out, and you may actually create something beautiful. Or meaningful, or fun. Or it may look like your dog painted it, but at least you'll have had a good time!

Artist Laurie Maves posted on her blog today that she's done 100 paintings so far this year. One hundred paintings!! That's like completing a painting every other day. I can't even fathom it! But I love it.
Personally, I tend to separate the work I create to sell from the work I create to teach, or create while teaching. Why? I don't know. It's all painting. A sand sculptor would surely count each sculpture she or he made even though it crumbles back into the earth. If I count the paintings I've done for Painting Soiree as well as to sell... I'd say I've painted somewhere in the neighborhood of  60-70 paintings this!! That's a lot of painting.

This video (stolen from Laurie Maves blog) is brilliant and says it all. ♥

So, make art. Bad art, good art, silly art, art that you don't even think you can call art. Just do it. It feeds your soul, and the process of creating lets you tap into a different part of your brain and can change the way you do other things in your life. I have a friend who says that painting changed his songwriting.
Art influences art, and art influences life, which in turn influences art. Just make some art already.