I have always felt that art is an essential part of my life. I’ve spent so much time in art galleries, watching theatre, listening to orchestras and practicing my own art. Enjoying the beauty of someones effort is a luxurious thing to lavish yourself with. Absorbing beauty drives inspiration, motivation and makes you slow down for just a moment and get lost in something unique and static. You can just stand and absorb a painting, look at how the brush moved across the canvas. In a world where everything goes so quickly and stress is so high, I think it’s important to remember to take those moments to breathe and set yourself in art.
My own art is not something I invest as much time in as I wish I did. I tend to draw and paint when I am emotional, because it calms me down. I have spent a lot more time enjoy the fruit of others labour than labouring myself. Nonetheless I have seen my own skills expand. I couldn’t imagine how much better I could be if I dug in and invested a lot of time to learn and play with paints, inks, lenses and words.
As you can see, this being the earliest photoshoot I ever did, there are a lot of flaws in how this was captured. I still love this photograph, but I can see how I should have kept the vehicles out of the frame. I wouldn’t have put the photograph in sepia if a was editing it today, and I certainly would have put more attention into being able to capture her face as the draw of the photo.
Same lady in the picture, but about a year later. I can see how I framed her better than in the previous photo. Looking at it, it is over exposed, her foot should have been in the frame and I should have gotten her to pose her other hand so that there is more balance in the photograph. I can appreciate that I was playing with the contrast of the clothing to the background, but admittedly, with her natural red hair, perhaps toning down the walls hue or shifting it slightly would put her hair and head into more prominence in the photo. That all being said, I think this session yielded better results than the previous one.
After a while of not taking a lot of photos, I can see I let myself slip here. The biggest issue here was that I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening around me. There should have never been a person in that shot, or they should have been posed to look like a casual piece of the scene. Now it so happens that person is my boyfriend who intentionally messed up my shot, but it’s still my fault as the photographer that he was in the shot. I do love this picture because he is in it, but I was trying to highlight the building, and failed to get a clean shot without him in it, because I let myself get distracted by him. Yes I am criticizing myself harshly in this, but in order to get better you have to look at it from start to finish. You can edit a photo, but if you screw up the shot, you can’t fix everything.
Now this shot is something I want to talk about because of the amount of re-shoots it took to try to get an interesting in-camera effect like this. This is a panoramic shot, where the subject has to run out of frame, behind the camera, then into the other side of the frame in a very short amount of time. I can say that quality wise this isn’t up there, but looking back at it, I was experimenting with new techniques and that is a good thing.
A few months after the shot above, we tried to do it again. I shifted while he was running to get to the next layer of the structure, leaving a hard line in the photo, but I do like seeing how much better this one looks that the previous. It is more dynamic, but the subject is much less in focus due to poor lighting and planning. This was a unplanned shot, but one I think showed that I had become more flexible, seeing an opportunity and just going for it.
It’s difficult for me to judge my little flower here, but I am focusing more on the inspiration and improvisation of creating it more so than the quality. I think making this little spoon flower was interesting, I played with materials I never had before, melting them, snapping them apart and gluing it to give me a look I wanted. I see improvement in my mindset in this flower. More willing to explore, to try new things and to create something that isn’t made to be set in a frame.
This is another strange one to bring up, but I think doing little pieces of art builds your ability with other forms as well. I struggled to draw a stick man not long ago, so to see myself be able to look over at a picture and re-create it means I have expanded my ability to switch between styles and adapt to new art forms. Obviously the Mickey isn’t perfect, but I am proud of him anyways.
This was the first painting I had done in many years, and it is hugely flawed. When friends looked at it, they didn’t interpret the centre of the painting as the sun over the ocean, which is what I was trying to portray. I knew that meant I had failed in my venture, but I can still appreciate how I tried to make the water seem alive, how I tried to shade the rocks and how I tried to build up a sunset sky. Blending could have been better, but I still like it.
This painting has no paint on it. I wanted to experiment with knife pulling on a canvas, I didn’t own the paints to do it, but I did have a lot of old lipsticks that I knew I was never going to wear again, so I used them as my paint. Looking at it, there are points where the canvas show through, colours were much to close to each other to create the contrast this piece so desperately needs. Technique is obviously very amateur, but it was my first time trying it.
Not long after doing my lipstick painting, I thought I could try it with old foundations and powders I couldn’t use anymore. I think this one came out much better than the previous. It has texture, contrast and dimension where the previous didn’t. It could have been better with a few darker shades but I see a lot of improvement over the previous.
This is my most recent painting. There are flaws in it. The blending could have been much better, and I know where I went wrong with this one. I didn’t use enough base to be able to blend on top. My brushes were catching and pulling up paint as I worked on it. I learned a lot doing this little guy. I realized after placing my trees that I was missing texture for the ground. I didn’t put a defined horizon. At one point I started finger painting to blend things together because I just couldn’t get it right with a brush. I do think this painting is still better than any other canvas piece I have done before. And I hope to keep seeing myself try new things and learn new skills.
One day in the future I want to do this again. I want to keep showing myself my mistakes so that I can learn from them.