Monday, September 15, 2014

Ranney School Faculty Art Exhibit

I always have to remind myself to step back every now and then and look at what I have been creating from a different perspective. It might simply be that I have to walk away from a painting and look at it with fresh eyes the next day. Sometimes I take a photo of the canvas with my phone or iPad and see how it looks on a small screen as opposed to real life. Does something need to be a different color? Do my eyes focus on what I want everyone else to notice?

I have created many canvases over the last few years and what I remember most when I look back at my work is how much of a challenge each painting was to create. I have learned something from each one that I not only bring as a skill to my next painting, but it becomes something I can share with my students at school. My art classes have never been taught out of a text book, but out of my own experience as an artist. I am inspired by my students, and hopefully I inspire them. It is vital to me to be a working artist and so important for them.

So, why does my latest painting sit abandoned on my easel for the better part of this year? Every excuse in the book, from exciting new hobbies like quilting to a beautiful day to be outside, crops up and keeps me from completing this canvas. I have to get back into the painting mode again! What do other artists do when they lose interest? It is a good thing that I have not relied on my ability to finish a painting as a source of income!

I am positive that all creative effort has to be inspired and inspiration can come from the most random things. I can see an image on a billboard or a magazine that might send me to the art store to buy supplies for a new painting. Visiting a museum will always get my creative juices flowing again. But this time I did not have to look further than my own school and my own artwork. The art department at school is putting together a faculty art exhibit this week. Installing my work on the carpeted walls of Panther Hall Gallery was just what I needed at this point. I was seeing my work through the wide eyes of my students who could not believe I painted the adorable beagle or the larger-than-life tennis ball. I was given an opportunity to see my work from a different perspective. Just like stepping away from the canvas and taking a look with fresh eyes on a new day. This exhibit reminded me about my experience as an artist, my growth as an artist, and I could not wait to go home and pick up my paintbrush again.