Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oh! That James!! A Smart-ass Artist!! Love it!!

James Ensor
Skeletons Warming Themselves” (1889) Oil on canvas, 29-1/2 x 23-5/8 in. (74.8 x 60.0 cm)
James Ensor (13 April 1860 – 19 November 1949) Painter and Printmaker, who was known to be an expressionist and surrealist painter who caused a lot of uneasiness in his paintings. His paintings were sarcastic in terms of inhumanity in this world and religion.  Most of his paintings were themed with masks or carnival appearances that were grotesque.  I liked that he used fake Skeletons in his studio and would dress them up for his still-life paintings.  I also liked that he would use bright colors to receive psychological impact from his viewers while keeping his paintings skills with complete freedom.
The reason I mention him is that I was impressed in seeing his painting in Dallas, Texas at the Kimbell Art Museum in 2011 named, “Skeletons Warming Themselves” (1889) Oil on canvas, 29-1/2 x 23-5/8 in. (74.8 x 60.0 cm). It was a small painting but, the impact/impression was very powerful in both, sarcastic and in the wonderful painting skills he has with color. I personally did an artist copy of this painting. My painting is very colorful against his, but I am sure it was colorful at one point but, because of the passing of time, the original painting faded in color.  I was also interested in his themes of masks, color, and theatrical themes for it was exactly what I was thinking about my senior show in 2011, with the use of masks that was associated with my fear of clowns, while using theatre themes.  I was blown away when I saw this painting and found some association with it. I have attached my artist copy and his original painting. Enjoy!

Artist Copy done by Lucy Inserra in 2011

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Painter’s block… Losing my mojo.

All artists go through it, a time where everything is inspirational and nothing is coming out.  When I graduated from college in May 2011, my mojo was at the highest and it lasted for almost a year.  I automatically started on a new series of paintings, 10 paintings total. The moment I stopped and started on other projects to get ideas, looking at photographs, and doing some sketches, I have all the ideas together but, nothing is coming out. Even though, my second part-time job is a painting teacher, I am still painting. My next step, is to work on something out of the norm for me, abstract paintings. But, I find that hard to do for abstract is just using the elements of art and trying to express something through paint and brushstrokes.  I still continue to do paintings from my senior show-masks, still-lifes, and music series and also the series I just finished with the abandoned houses…I still continue developing the vision I see in those series. Now, I am just stuck…gathering information and no mojo to do it or afraid to start something and won’t  like it. A painters sucks! When real life gets involved, where I am paying bills, cleaning house, and dealing with minor details in life in general, that artistic mind gets lost and forgotten after a time. For me, it’s my sanity and brings me peace when I am painting or creating, it makes life more exciting for me.  As a painter, this is my survival food and keeps me alive, without it I would vanish into the world of chaos, no meaning. I realize that every artist goes through this and it’s just another stage of developing the next art piece.  So, I have given myself permission to use this time collecting ideas, sketching and photographing images that speak to me.  Painting is my passion, it’s my mojo!  
I made a list of encouragements for painter’s block or an artist’s block and I hope it encourages you too if you are having artist’s block. (Block is usually associated with writers and mojo is associated with sexual appeal; self-esteem or self-confidence). 
·         Read articles, watch movies or you tube movies  on your favorite artists.
·         Have conversations with friends that are artists on what projects they are working on or discussing ideas with them.
·         Keep sketching your ideas or images that interest you.
·         Collect photographs, magazines clippings, go back to old sketches or ideas that you have made.
·         Find an environment to inspire you: a park, a walk, listening to music or going to the theatre, visiting a museum etc.
·         Don’t feel guilty in this time away from your creativity; use this time to collect your ideas or information.
·         As a painting teacher, encourage someone else to become creative-it inspires you to do the same.
·         Don’t be afraid to try something new and out of the norm, this could be your calling or you can learn from the mistakes made or it encourages you to try other mediums.
·         Don’t ever give up!!! The most important thing to remember.  Don’t ever stop creating your vision or idea to come to life because someday it will happen and all the elements will come together in you and in your art work. 
·         Keep telling yourself that you are an artist, and no one can take that away from you. Just keep going on and grow as an artist.