Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lemon with a Jar Still Life

Lemon with a Jar – 8" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Last week I read Taking the Leapby Cay Lang, and in the introduction she encourages you to keep a visual diary. This is a little different than just keeping a sketchbook in that it is a means for discovering your mission as an artist, the inner voice that defines what inspires and drive you to create art.

Here is her description: “every night before you go to bed, write or sketch three ideas for your art in your journal. Don’t make a big production out of this. It doesn’t have to take an hour; sometimes five minutes is all you will feel like giving to it. The ideas don’t have to be good ones, and you don’t ever have to follow through on making them. You just have to imagine them and write them down, or make a sketch if you like. The point is to bring attention to your work, and to notice the ideas that occur. Within a short time, a week or two, a pattern will begin to emerge…. Pay close attention to these ideas. This is your heart speaking.” Pg. xvii

I feel the repetitive actions of painting and posting on this blog is helping me focus as an artist. Last year I happened to take a still life painting class and really fell in love with this genre. Since then I have been mainly painting still lifes, though I would not consider myself just a still life artist, as I also enjoy plein air and figurative work as well. However this painting just came into being from a random placement a few items set on the model stand while I was trying to get to an item that was behind the jar. From the random placement, I found something interesting, I liked the way the jar reflected and dissolved in front of the purple cloth, and then the yellow lemon also caught my interest. This painting was just the result of random actions, though to me it also has the quietness I love in paintings.

As of now, I am not sure if I have found my mission as an artist, however am learning that I truly enjoy the experience of finding a quite moment with simple items and recording them.


Terry Rafferty said...

Hi - Thanks for visiting my blog and giving me the chance to discover yours - I'm enjoying not only your work, but your writing as well. I know I'm going to have to look up the books you reference like Taking a Leap and the one on perception.

LOVE your mango from June 22, fabulous colors.
I see in your blogroll that we share many preferences; I'm adding yours into mine for sure!

E. Floyd said...

Thanks Terry - it was a joy to find your blog this morning.

Anonymous said...

The glass is beautifully done in this painting. I too really enjoy still life. The idea of doing the visual journal before bed is a great one. I recently heard about a study that showed that studying something and then "sleeping on it" actually improves our learning. So I wonder if visualizing some ideas before sleep help enhance the paintings that result from them later.

E. Floyd said...

Hi Jana, I think the study may have something there, having just started the practice of keeping a visual journal last week there has not been enough time to experience direct results. However I have noticed that day to day there is a better sense of direction in what I am paying attention to.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz

carol said...

Hi Elizabeth, I am an artist from Florida and have been following your blog for several months. I enjoy your commentary as well as your painting and find your use of color striking.

Would you be interested in exchanging links? My website is Check it out.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Blogging has helped me be more focused. I'm not posting daily,(yet) but enough to have momentum. I'm truly in awe of much of the art I see online.
You have wonderful links and much of interest here. I'll be back ;)
The downside of blogging is hours roaming the computer a few feet from the easel :( Oh,well. I loved my visit!

E. Floyd said...

Thanks Mary, I totally understand the draw surfing through blogs have. I find myself always exploring, however the positive is that I keep getting inspired, which helps in creating and trying new things out.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Well what do you know? I've been here way back then!
I love the idea of making a little entry each night to help me focus because I can get really scattered.
Look how far your work has come LIz.
Mine too if may say. The blogging thing was my best move ever in making connectoims and putting myself out into the world. There's no down side.

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Hi Mary! Blogging is the best way to improve, grow, and make connections!

And I really encourage you to keep an idea journal, I must say I now jot down things in the morning because by night my brain is mush!