Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Work in Progress

work in progress

10 x 14

     Here's the new painting I'm working on. It's taken me a while to get back in the swing of things, it's funny how much things change when you miss a few days of painting. I keep going through phases of really liking where this painting is going, and not so sure about it. I have all the basic washes in the face done, I just need to strengthen things here and there. But I'm going to wait to do that until after I put in the hair, because I'm not sure how much I want to push it :) This is different from my usual portraits because there is no strong light. I took this photo on an overcast day and had my mom hold my baby facing the window. I hoped there would be soft and subtle light on his face. Now I'm trying to emphasize that in my painting. We'll see how it turns out :)

      Okay it's Wednesday! That means it's question time for all you bloggers reading this. Don't be afraid to comment, I love to hear all your thoughts :) Here it is:

      "How do you make time for your creative pursuits?"  I get asked this question a LOT. Especially from other moms. And my answer is always the same, if something is important to you, you MAKE time for it. We are all busy, that's not going to change. Somethings will get pushed aside and as long as it's not your family or bills then I think that's ok. I would rather fulfill my heart's desire by painting than spend hours making sure my house is spotless. Don't get me wrong I love a clean house, and I don't live in squallor or anything, but it's not what's most important to me. Painting fills my soul. I would not be happy if I didn't make time for it every day. And it's important that I'm happy, for everybody in my family :) :)

     So here's what works for me. I get up early. When it's still dark, before everyone wakes up. I run or write or paint. Then once the kids are asleep I paint again. Sometimes I stay up really late, but I'm ok with that because I'm filling up my happy tank. I can get by with my sleep tank being a little less full :) During the day I focus on my family, but I'll read or sketch sometimes when they're occupied. And I'm always thinking of the next step on my painting so that when I have time I know just what to do and I'm not wasting my precious time! And if you're wondering where handsome hubby is during all this night time painting don't fear, he's right there with me. I paint in our dining room which opens up to our family room and the kitchen. So we are always in the same room together. Sometimes we talk, sometimes he reads to me, sometimes we're just there together. But he knows this is important to me and he's my biggest inspiration to keep going, he supports me and encourages me and looks for ways to help me.

     That's my answer, now it's your turn :) And all you men out there, don't think you're off the hook on this question. We know how busy you are too.


  1. This is beautiful. The eyes are stunning.

    For your Wednesday question - I am a pretty organized person, so I like to get all of my tasks taken care of before I start painting. I will set aside a day or three to get all my "chores" done, then I feel free to paint for the next few days. Obviously, I can't paint as often as I could if I put the chores off, but at least it seems to clear my mind when everything is done and I can focus solely on painting.

  2. The eyes of the little one have come out so well, which is in an indication of the fact that this painting is going to be yet another masterpiece. Go on. I can imagine that you have had a shaky start after the break. But none of it shows on the painting.

    Lets get to answering your million dollar question :)

    A few weeks ago I told myself that if I wouldn't find time to paint I might end with nothing more than a bunch of regrets. And I decided to look at painting like eating - something that I'd have to do everyday. That did make a lot of difference. It keeps me motivated and I always feel the urge to paint. When I am doing nothing else I end up thinking about my next painting. Its become so much a part of me - like the air that I breath.

    When do I paint? Like I said, I make sure I paint everyday - or at least sketch. Sometimes I do both. I don't have a fixed schedule for it. I just make sure I squeeze painting into my daily routine. Sometimes it overlaps with the time that I set aside for my little one. But I make sure I make the best of both worlds by letting her sit beside me while I paint. She enjoys it. She likes to see 'things' take shape. And I guess, that might help to sow the right seeds in her :). My wife's not too inclined to paintings and stuff but she likes it when I paint and especially when I sketch. She's not the kind who (like me) enjoys the process, but always likes to admire and critique the end product.

    Sometimes I paint at day break. On a holiday I find time during the day. Sometimes I move it to dusk or even to after supper. I even end up burning the midnight oil for it. Am I stretching it a bit too far? Not at all. Like I said, I have come to look at painting like the food that I eat and the air that I breath. I enjoy it - not only painting, but thinking about it, looking at others works, writing epic comments one them(like this one) and so on an so forth.

    Dare I say; I paint, therefore I am :)

  3. Mmm...I don't really have a set schedule for writing (even though this is a painting blog :)) I'm not artistic in anything else. ha. But I normally do it at night after I do my homework, or sometimes I do it at lunch at work...It all depends on what my day looks like. :)

  4. Oh Crystal. You've captured everything about babies' faces (the little lips, soft full cheeks, big eyes...) so delicately. LOVE your work. And seeing it as you go. Miss my kids' baby stages....

  5. Gorgeous baby. The painting is beautiful, too. As always, I'm inspired, Crystal. You are a true artist and have such great talent in both writing and painting. I want to hear you say it again, "I am awesome!"

  6. I could almost reach out and squeeze this baby's cheeks! What a gorgeous bundle! The eyes are so alive!
    In answer tyo your question - I honestly don't know how I find the time. Sometimes I have to choose between a clean and tidy house, and drawing. I can never seem to have both. I make the most of any time I have when my husband and son are fishing and I get some time to my slef. I spend my days at work wishing I could be drawing instead!

  7. Stunning beginning Crystal! Your work amazes me. As far as making time to work, as you can tell from my blog, I whine a lot. Then hopefully, I take responsibility for making the time. Sometimes though, it takes quite a while.

  8. i LOVE this... so adorable. :)

    And being single & not having kids i seem to have a lot more time for things then a lot of other people that i do know! lol. I dont like to brag... So i am sorry! if it means anything i would totally give you some of my free time if i could!

  9. What a gorgeous picture! You're truly talented!!!

  10. Michelle, thank you so much! And you sound much more together than I am, I wish I was more organized! But I feel like I can't really concentrate on my painting until the house is put back together (at least a little) after my kids go to bed. So I guess that's a start ;)

    Sujit, thank you so much! And I agree with you about wanting to have no regrets. That is the main reason why I push myself to paint and don't feel guilty about it. I don't want to live my life wondering what if? And I think that is a great way to spend time with your daughter :) I liked this epic comment, you are very wise.

    Catie, bring on the writing comments! We're creative people of all types :) And I think that is very smart of you to take it day by day. Flexibility is a good thing, sometimes I stress too much (honest I do, you'd never guess right? It's hard to be sarcastic when typing!) about having a schedule. Good tips :)

    Kim, thank you so, so much :) I try to do that, I hope that's how others see it. I feel so drawn to painting babies (well really just mine :) right now. Maybe it's because my youngest is quickly growing out of that stage. Makes me sad just thinking about it!

    Roxy, thank you! To think that I inspire you is high praise indeed because I never fail to leave your blog inspired. :) Thanks again Roxy, you're the best, and you're really the talented one!

    Sandra, thank you! It is so hard to find the time isn't it? Especially when everything else is going on. But you do, somewhere and that's what matters :)

    Suzanne, thanks so much! And you do not whine a lot! I do a fair amount of whining on this blog myself. Probably more than fair. Anywho, I love that you said take responsibility for making the time. That is the key right there. Genius!

    Kimberly, thank you! You're at the stage in life where you do have free time, and I know you are making the most of it. But one day, you just wait and see. Mwa ha ha! lol! I'll take your extra free time, send it on over!

    Thank you so much Jen! Glad you stopped by :)

  11. Beautiful painting! My husband understands my need to paint, as he says, "When Mom is happy, everybody is happy." Taking a little time for ourselves is not selfish, as long as we have clean clothes, meals cooked, and a bottle in baby's mouth, everything is good.

  12. This one is already very good. The eyes are brilliant and capture the innocence very well.

    About your question...

    Well I let myself paint when my body and soul demand it. There are some days when I do not feel inspired. I have no ideas and no inspiration. Even if I force myself to paint I do not enjoy it and of course the outcome is bad. But about 75% of the time I feel very inspired. My body and soul demand me to paint. Like a drug to which I am addicted I cant do without it. So if there is something you cant do without you can always take out time for it.

  13. The expression is already in place and the skin is so well blended!I know its going to be a great painting, Crystal.Your baby is adorable...

  14. Gorgeous, captivating eyes! Truly Lovely!

  15. Thank you Susan!! You are exactly right! Your husband is a pretty smart guy ;)

    Prabal, thanks so much :) You are right about needing to feel it, we just need to figure out what we need to do so we're feeling like painting I guess. Easy right? lol!

    Thank you so much Arti! You are so kind.:)

    Thank you Elizabeth! :)

  16. After seeing the (finished?) painting in the next blog, you needn't have had those moments of being unsure about it, it is beautiful. I love kids, and your painting shows all the beauty of the child.

    I'm glad you added the bit about pursuing your creative pursuits in the presence of your husband - up to that point, I had visions of you locking yourself away somewhere. This was the mistake I made, shutting myself away somewhere while pursuing a hobby (not painting) that took over my life. It nearly cost me my marriage! Things are much different now though, as like you, realise these things can be done in the presence of your partner/family - the people you love.

  17. Thank you very much Franudgie!

    And yes, I agree with you! There is nothing more important to me than my husband and kids. They come first above all else, even painting. Hard to strike the right balance sometimes, but it's the people you love that count the most. If I didn't have them I don't know if I would paint, they are the reason I paint portraits, and my biggest inspiration :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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