Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Subject of Painting...

It all started with a little Sunday doodle...
But first, let me back up a bit...

Painting is the medium that first bit me with the arsty craftsy bug. I painted my heart out all through high school and went on to attend an art college. Somewhere along the line, I lost the simple joy of painting for fun. The joy of painting for beauty. The joy of painting for painting's sake.

You see, in art school they have what we call "crits." That's the cool way of saying critique, which is basically a bunch of 20 somethings who are really into "deep thinking" and 1 professor who is encouraging such "deep thinking" sitting in a room, staring at your painting... discussing all of the hidden meaning in your brush strokes.

Oh my... the discussions and theories that can be pulled from one stroke of red on a canvas are endless!

And sometimes they ARE indeed there. Some artists have great intent and beautiful philosophies behind their strokes. 
I am not that artist.
I never was. But, art school told me to be. And that made me tired.
Tired of trying to come up with something deep and profound to paint. Or, even worse... something someone would deem worthy of purchasing and calling a part of their "collection."
Oh my.
So, I stopped. 
I stopped making art.
Sure, I worked as a commercial artist on and off. But, in those genres, your subject matter is dictated. No one is looking for an epiphany.
Then, I was introduced to scrapbooking. WOW! Art with the pre-defined subject matter of your chosen photos! Yes - scrapbooking IS art. 
As I explored scrapbooking and the many mixed media techniques, I found a renewed interest in my paints and brushes. (Believe it or not, I still have all of that stuff from art school!)
But, what about this issue of subject matter?
I have done a few little canvases here and there and I tackled one larger canvas when I took The Curious Scrapbooker's Field Guide. In the small canvases, there was an embellishment or a word to define the subject. In the larger piece, I went with the standard tree and large word thing. I like how this turned out, but I can see my hesitation and insecurity when I look back at that painting.
While I have found my scrapbooking "style," I havent yet found who I am as a painter. I would like to try to find that person.

Now... back to the doodle. I like it. It's fun and I think it has potential to be something more.
So, I'm going to go for it!

Let's make a painting...

First, a bit of watercolor:
 And some more doodles...
 A bit of misting and collage...
Once I got to this point, I felt like this little doodly painting did indeed need some sort of direction. 
Oh my. 
My brain started wandering to ideas of faces, flowers, and such...
But, none of those ideas had me excited. They felt forced. 
Then I thought about how if only I was making a page, I wouldn't be having this issue. 
I scrapbook for my family, about my family. My home. 
That's it! 

So... out came the acrylics and some little wonky and somewhat abstract houses were added:
And then, I just played with all that wonderful paint...
I added more lines and doodles...
And a bit of texture...
Until, eventually, I had this:
Other than finding some sort of direction, the hardest part of this was knowing when to call it "done." That's what husbands are for :)
He said it looked complete...
So there it is!

Now, I wonder how this doodly painty fun will look when translated to a scrapbook page?
Because, yes... scrapbooking is indeed art! 
Perhaps we will take a look at that next week...


  1. ooo i love it. what a totally great background page or just hang it on the way. Either way a total win-win. Glad you found your brushes again.

  2. Oh WOW Ashli, you never cease to amaze me! This is absolutely gorgeous, you are in deed an artist my friend :D

  3. Oooo, I love it and want to touch it!! The colors and textures are amazing - the drips and doodles divine!!. I totally know what you mean when you talk about your past experiences with art, painting, and such. While I didn't go to college for this I did spend a good part of the 4 years in high school taking art classes and was highly encouraged by my art teacher to pursue this path yet it eluded me for the same reasons. I'm so glad to see you've picked up brushes again!!! Its a wonderful joy and you've definitely a gift, an artist indeed you are in many beautiful ways! xo

  4. I found it very interesting to read your story, and I'm glad that you are finding your way into such a personal and relaxed way of painting - so that we get to enjoy the results! I love this painting, and I agree with your husband that it actually does look complete. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Amazing! There's nothing you can't do when it comes to creativity, Ashli!

  6. fantastic to see how how you did that

  7. Ashli, this is fabulous! I love it!

  8. AND yes I agree SCRAPBOOKING is ART!

  9. Scrapbooking is ART! Thanks for sharing your story. I love your piece. Such great colors and layers. I usually look at art in a gallery and admire more technique than trying to figure out what they 'meant' by that.

  10. it's really sad that art school did that to you. So glad you're getting back into it. This might be a blog you'd like:

  11. Enjoyed the steps along the way, and I would be happy at different stages for different things. But, what you have at the end of all this painting fun, is just a delight to the eyes - color, shapes, texture. Keep painting Ashli!!

  12. ashli the artist, i adore it. i do. :)

  13. Wow that is such a cool piece! Love watching it come together through your photos. So glad you got to revisit something you used to do, but on your own terms! :)

  14. I love that piece - Use it in scrapbooking (which is indeed art) but that should be hanging up on a wall in your home. It's terrific!

  15. First hugs from a fellow artist who got lost while trying to find herself in "school". I love what you did. It's brave and beautiful. Calling yourself an artist is the first step to taking what you do seriously. Women's work is often devalued as decorative or too personal. Non sense! I can't wait to see more work in this strain. You are an inspiration!

  16. Amazing work Ashli!! Love all of the layering you put into this!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...