i feel better when the barometric pressure is low...

and today it's finally rainy so i feel a bit more like myself. 

the past week has been super hot and sunny and i always feel like crap in that kind of weather. my skin breaks out from the sun and i feel so drained. creatively, i feel blank. but today is better. 

i'm on vacation from work and i've been wanting to paint but it's been hard because my entire family has been home too and i haven't had much quiet time to get in my head. i've needed that. 

but this morning i had an idea. i often look to other artists (of all mediums) for inspiration. lately that hasn't been working for me so i've decided to take some time to look within myself. i need an exercise....an assignment. to get myself back on track. i've decided to do a 30 day project. i may extend it to 100 days if i feel i need to later on. 30 days of memories... from my childhood, my marriage, my experiences with my children. it'll be personal, and it will dig deep....but i feel like i need that. 

ill still work on other stuff when the mood and inspiration hits, but I feel like for right now this is what I need to create art that is totally mine, inspired from me and my life and art that tells my own story...

 

why i make art...

for all of my life, there's been this hole. i'm fulfilled by love, by family, by the lives and accomplishments of my children, by the greatest marriage i could ever imagine. and yet. the hole is there, even if sometimes it's only small.

and sometimes. when i'm lucky. whenever everything's working in my favor....

there's a moment while creating...when that hole is filled.  

even if for only a fleeting moment.

its enough to keep me going.

the work i'm trying to do right now is a complete excerice in restraint. far too frequently i work on a painting and think i'm so close, nearly there....only to take it too far and ruin the piece. 

on a rare occasion, that mishap takes me to a new and interesting place. but more often, i end up just painting over it. 

i think about jazz musicians. miles davis. coltrane. dizzy. parker. they were perfect in their timing, in their ability to push push push only to stop just in time. before it's too late. 

i think about poets. who can create an entire mood from a single word or phrase. rain. bright. linear. love. there's no need for more, the magic is in the in between.

this is where i'm trying to go. i'm not sure how to get there though. 

The 100 Day Project

I recently completed a 100 day project... 100 painting in 100 days.  I've shared the entire journey on instagram, seen HERE

here;s what I wrote with my final image:  I honestly didn't think I'd complete this project. I've attempted several creative challenges over the years--- writing, photography (I worked as a pro photographer for nearly 10 years) but I either allowed LIFE to get in the way and I wasn't able to finish or I lost #inspirationand interest. By completing this challenge, I've learned how important#painting is to me and I can't imagine a day going by without doing it. - Painting is HARD. ART is HARD#artishard - I'm a better painter now than I was three+ months ago - most days I still think I suck - even when you think you suck, there are people who appreciate what you do, so keep doing it - instagram has a GREAT community of#artists and I'm proud to be part of it - I started off really struggling with what to paint. There were days when the inspiration just wasn't there. But by not forcing myself to no post every day, while still painting every day, I found that creative juices would flow organically and I embraced that. - sometimes I'd start off with an idea or image and mind and very rarely that would successfully get translated to the canvas. That's okay. Sometimes, it's even better - I definitely plan to do this challenge again...but for now, I'm excited to get started on something new! 2. About this piece: I had a conversation a while ago with my daughter (who's a dancer, studying modern dance in NYC) about whether or not artists have a responsibility to make a statement with their art. I think artists have a responsibility to THEMSELVES to communicate their ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc with the world through their art. Sometimes it's just something esoteric, a thought, feeling or idea that needs to come out. Sometimes it's something to do with the world around them, how they (we) feel about it, how world and community events effect us. If you've been paying attention to anything in news even for one second in recent years, then you're aware of the#blacklivesmatter movement, and the targeted police violence that's sparked it. Will a single painting or photograph or poem or dance change the world? No. But collectively, when an entire community comes together to create bodies of work and make statements and stand together in #solidarity, then change can (and will) come. Thank you to everyone who's supported me along this journey. All of the likes, comments, new follows, and DMs have meant the world to me. Like many creators, I suffer from sometimes debilitating self-doubt and the little nods of encouragement that I receive mean the world to me.

here;s what I wrote with my final image:

 I honestly didn't think I'd complete this project. I've attempted several creative challenges over the years--- writing, photography (I worked as a pro photographer for nearly 10 years) but I either allowed LIFE to get in the way and I wasn't able to finish or I lost #inspirationand interest. By completing this challenge, I've learned how important#painting is to me and I can't imagine a day going by without doing it.
- Painting is HARD. ART is HARD#artishard
- I'm a better painter now than I was three+ months ago
- most days I still think I suck
- even when you think you suck, there are people who appreciate what you do, so keep doing it
- instagram has a GREAT community of#artists and I'm proud to be part of it
- I started off really struggling with what to paint. There were days when the inspiration just wasn't there. But by not forcing myself to no post every day, while still painting every day, I found that creative juices would flow organically and I embraced that.
- sometimes I'd start off with an idea or image and mind and very rarely that would successfully get translated to the canvas. That's okay. Sometimes, it's even better
- I definitely plan to do this challenge again...but for now, I'm excited to get started on something new!

2. About this piece:
I had a conversation a while ago with my daughter (who's a dancer, studying modern dance in NYC) about whether or not artists have a responsibility to make a statement with their art. I think artists have a responsibility to THEMSELVES to communicate their ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc with the world through their art. Sometimes it's just something esoteric, a thought, feeling or idea that needs to come out. Sometimes it's something to do with the world around them, how they (we) feel about it, how world and community events effect us.

If you've been paying attention to anything in news even for one second in recent years, then you're aware of the#blacklivesmatter movement, and the targeted police violence that's sparked it. Will a single painting or photograph or poem or dance change the world? No. But collectively, when an entire community comes together to create bodies of work and make statements and stand together in #solidarity, then change can (and will) come.

Thank you to everyone who's supported me along this journey. All of the likes, comments, new follows, and DMs have meant the world to me. Like many creators, I suffer from sometimes debilitating self-doubt and the little nods of encouragement that I receive mean the world to me.

I do have more to say about this project, the experience and where I feel my art is going.... but I'll save that for another day. I plan to take some time off my regular job in a couple of weeks to sort of re-work this website and add some of my favorite paintings from the last year.

Stay tuned!

art is a journey...

It's been nearly a year since I last posted to this blog.  As someone who's been a blogger for over ten years, who made money at one time from this very blog, who would often post every day, sometimes several times a day.... a year is a fucking long time.  but i needed that year to pool together some thoughts that weren't meant for the internet.

I've changed and evolved in this last year and what happens going forward will reflect that. Here's what's going on:

1. I am no longer a professional photographer. I quit. In the end, I hated it. Not photography---I still love that (although I am admittedly burned out and haven't made a real photograph in MONTHS)... but weddings, and portraits, and shooting people for money. I recently went through some old portfolios and I can gladly admit that I grew so much as a photographer, I photographed some amazing people and events, and I generally had a fantastic time.  But like most things, my career as a wedding/portrait photographer came to an end and the day after I photographed my last wedding, I felt absolutely no regret.

Wedding and portrait photography changed so much in the last several years. When I first started, about nine years ago, digital photography was taking off and wedding/portrait photography was new and fun and fresh again. It was exciting and photographers helped each other and clients were so open to CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY it was absolutely invigorating! But then more and more people joined facebook and which at first was awesome but quickly turned into a curse because clients no longer wanted something unique and artistic. They wanted what they saw on someone else's page. Then Pinterest took over and creativity went out the door.  Clients forgot all about "new" and "fresh" and instead they went full throttle with "regurgitated".  Some photographers thrive in that environment. I didn't. I found it utterly soul-sucking. And depressing. I got depressed. So I got out.

2. I am and always have been an Artist.  For many years, photography was my medium of choice. But before that, I was a painter. And since my near-decade long career as a wedding & portrait photographer has burned me out of shooting for the near future, I've started to paint again. And it's been AMAZING.

Which brings us back to why I haven't blogged in so long.  For my birthday in 2014, I bought myself a shit ton of art supplies --- brushes, paints, canvases, sketchbooks, markers, pastels, pens, etc.  And I dove head first in to ART MAKING.  Years and years of searching for my 'voice', searching for my 'vision', developing skills, building a craft, exploring ideas, experimenting with new techniques and creating new concepts have all brought me right back to where I started when I was 13 years old: Painting.  And I honestly could not be happier. 

I FEEL better.   I definitely have days when I feel like I'm wasting my time and that I'm always be a terrible artist. And trust, those days a fucking AWFUL. And sometimes frequent.  But I feel more FREE. More like myself than I ever have and it's allowing me to create much more honest work. Work, that instead would be appealing to a paying client, is appealing to my own soul and need for expression.

For the last year I've just been painting when inspiration hit, when I had some free time....some weeks I'd make a lot. Some weeks I'd make nothing. It's been a very exploratory time....trying new techniques and styles. It's been a blast.

But now I'm ready for the next chapter. I feel like I need to take things more seriously. Take myself more seriously. As a painter, as an artist. I need to focus more on producing a body of work. Not for anyone or thing in particular, but for myself.  I want to organize the works I've made. I want to share some of it with anyone who's interested in looking. I want to write more about process, because for me, writing about what I'm doing has always been a huge source of inspiration and self-revelation.

So that's what this blog is going to be going forward.... more of me talking about the art-making process. Sharing some works in progress and hopefully sharing finished pieces that I'm proud of.  And then we'll see where this path takes and we'll revisit again when we're ready for the following chapter. Because this journey never ends.