Wednesday, March 5, 2014

C4ward March Blogathon Day 5: Dynamics & Ecstasy in the Studio

Oh what a joy it is to be in front of my easel or sit at my work table with a brush full of paint in hand, or a pencil, crayon, charcoal or whatever suits my fancy in that moment. And there is music too! All sorts from jazz to world, from soul to rock, yes! It's playing and I'm dancing my images into being. Oh what fun!

As my brush, pen, mark-maker dances across the page, canvas, board, time disappears, hunger fades, doubts drop away and there I am doing the work I was meant to do.

Ideas and dreams posted in my studio
I am always looking to improve my skills, so I read books, attend workshops and experiment with new shapes and textures. The goals I have set for myself this year include bringing more value changes into my work and allowing the ideas to breathe in the space they inhabit.

Tools and doodads
I love my light-filled studio the only thing I would change would be...more space!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

C4ward March Blogathon: Taking on My Dreams

Taking on My Dreams, acrylic on paper study, by Karen Phillips
One of my favorite quotes is from Goethe (it's true, I have a bumper sticker to prove it):

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Day 4 prompts us to dream big and list some goals we would like to achieve within the next 30 years. At first I thought this would be soooo easy. But, right now I'm in a weird space where I'm comfortable with what I'm doing creatively and personally.

Aha! Perhaps I'm too comfortable because it took some real thinking to get to a place where I could start thinking about what I would like to have accomplished in the next 30 years. Boy, 30 years from now...hmm...that would make me #@!! years old! I'd better get started!

In having dug deep to do this exercise, I found that became more focussed on the direction I'm headed and I feel excited by it. Where will you be in 30 years? Try on a dream or two. Go on, I dare ya!

My goals:

1) List FIVE GOALS you would like to achieve in the NEXT 30 YEARS (or 10, or 20 years… think long term)
  1. Live in another country with my husband for 1 year to experience a new culture and make new friends
  2. Travel to Africa
  3. Show my work in major galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and South Africa
  4. Paint a series of portraits
  5. Know the history of my mother's side of the family, especially my great-grandmother
2) Now, thinking of the above far-reaching goals, list FIVE GOALS you need to accomplish in the NEXT FIVE YEARS to move towards achieving them. (Some of these might be the same as your goals above.  That’s okay!).
  1. Visit three countries to if we would want to live there
  2. Save $10k for trip to Africa
  3. Create 10 series of 10 works, get shows in local galleries
  4. Do 1,000 studies of drawing and painting
  5. Meditate, help people learn to read
3) Finally, list FIVE GOALS to be accomplished in the NEXT 12 MONTHS… as if it were the last year of your life! What will you have accomplished by March 4th , 2015?

  1. Visit one country with my husband
  2. Save $2k towards trip to Africa
  3. Create 5 series  of at least 10 works, find a local gallery to show my work
  4. Study Barnstone Method and draw everyday
  5. Meditate 20 minutes per day and volunteer for reading program

Monday, March 3, 2014

C4ward March Blogathon Day 3: My favorite work - Red Flight

Red Flight, gouache on board, by Karen Phillips
I am most proud of this piece of art. I started experimenting with gouache on paper and was having a lot of fun. I wanted to take the experiment further by adding texture to see what would happen. I like to ask myself "what if" questions a lot.

I took a piece of lauan board and smeared it with gesso and light molding paste. I learned very quickly that it was quite different painting with gouache on a hard surface (after all I'm an acrylic gal), one has to use a delicate touch in order to obliterate what was done before.

I also learned that I could actually work slower and over a longer period of time. I worked on this painting off and on over two months in 2012. Guess what? Now that I'm looking at it again, I see some areas that could use some additional work. Well, it's back to my easel...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

C4ward March Blogathon: The Big WHY

Image of painting Grateful, Acrylic on paper, by Karen Phillips
Grateful, Acrylic on paper, by Karen Phillips

Welcome to my blog! This is the first entry for the C4ward March Blogathon. We have been asked about the big "Why" behind the creative work that we do. My initial response was "I just have to." If I don't create, I get cranky and restless. Art is an integral part of my being.

After thinking about this question of Why for a bit longer, I wrote this poem to describe my process and how I move through this world.

Dancing with the big WHY 
I hold you close and whisper in your ear
Together we travel through this existence on the road to discover what is
Beloved we open our arms wide welcoming all
Let us witness together that breath of life that flows through our veins and just
I am grateful to be able to create art and to share it. What are you passionate about? and Why?