Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding Your Voice

Seeing Triple

This piece and twenty one other paintings will be in a show this Saturday at the Red Queen Gallery in Onancock. I am so excited to be the featured painter and to be able to spend time in this beautiful town along Virginia's Eastern Shore. You can bet I will have my camera out and ready to record the beauty of this area and to find new inspiration for future pieces. 

As a beginning artist working with a group of artists at The Artist Gallery in Virginia Beach, I marveled at how each one seemed to have a discernible style and a particular subject they seemed to embrace. I was all over the map with subject matter....basically painting everything. They all said that I was already developing a "voice" but it is very hard to see it yourself and part of the process of learning is to experiment.  That's why we try different sports, forms of exercise, types of food, and date a lot of frogs hoping to find that prince that is a perfect fit. O.k. maybe that last one is not the best example but you get the idea. Eventually you find what you love, digging deeper into the areas of interest and find your flow. I have loved animals all my life and find myself captivated whenever a dog passes me on the street, a cat looks at me through a window, or I pass a group of cows in a nearby field. During a trip to Ireland while my fellow painters were captivated by the landscape, I was trying to carry on a conversation with a big white cow in a nearby field. So my subject kind of found me. While I still enjoy painting still life, florals and seascapes, animals and birds, and people's pets thrill me every time. And I seem to find an audience for those pieces. Passion comes through when you find your authentic voice. So my advice for a beginning painter is to paint everything and paint ALOT. Your voice cannot help but be heard if you do this. If you are still not sure, ask your friends what speaks to them. And enjoy the process. My experience painting a raccoon in pastel almost twenty years when my skills were just coming together and the face came out of the leaves as I painted was SO exciting that it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It made me realize that I had found my new "home", a place I could always go and find solace and joy. Happy Painting!

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