Monday, December 23, 2013

Crash and Burn - and finished portrait

'Her Soul' 
16 x 16 inches 
oil on gessobord
SOLD - private commission
 
Hello? Anyone still out there??? I'm back. .. for now. :) 
The last half of this year has truly been a whirlwind for me and my family. With the majority of it spent prepping our old house for sale, showing said house to prospective buyers (ARGH), selling house, packing and moving out of house, moving into a rental condo for 2.5 weeks waiting for our new house to be ready, moving out of rental condo, moving into new house. 

Oh and all the hustle and bustle that just comes with raising a young family. :) 
 
And right in the middle of this I decided to start a new little side business for my little clay animal figurines that sort of took over my life. In a good way. :) I've been busier than I ever thought I would be, selling out of my little creatures faster than I can sculpt them. Here's my Facebook page if you want to take a peek: https://www.facebook.com/TumbleCreatures 

It's been an incredible blessing to be able to make a living from your creativity. While I've done really well with selling paintings and commissions it hasn't always been exactly reliable. There have been dry spells that stretched for a very long time, and a lot of the time lately when I was painting I felt like I was up against a wall. Painting because I had to not because I loved to and I just had had enough. I needed a break.
 
And while sculpting is not painting, it still rings all those creative bells that painting does, in fact. . . I think it does it a little better. Because these creatures are more imaginative, more whimsical. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to be a children's book illustrator but I really struggled to come up with unique and cute characters. Now I think I finally have, just in the form of clay.

I really had lost the love I had for painting. I dreaded it more and more. What used to be a joyful feeling of opening up a box of paint and holding a brush had started to feel like the worst form of torture imaginable. Finishing up these last few commissions took all my strength of will. I pushed through them and was very happy with how they turned out. But now I'm closing down painting commissions. I'll let you guys know when and if I open them up again. 

It's been just over a month since we moved into our new house and we are starting to feel settled. It's starting to feel like home. There's still lots to unpack, paintings to hang, photos to display, but it's starting to feel like home. :) 

Lately I have really wanted to paint again. I am starting to miss it more and more, and I know when that happens it's time to break out the brushes again. But this time I will be a little more slow to post them, and it will be a little more irregular. I don't ever want to feel that burned out again. 

I promised myself that this time I will only paint when I really, really want to. :) 

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas to all of you. 

Hugs and cupcakes,
Crystal

30 comments:

  1. Great to have you back,missed seeing your work.I find personally that painting commissions often kills the joy.So I often turn down commision unless it is something I connect to.

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  2. Crystal,
    I just love your paintings and this latest one is incredible.You can almost see the beauty of this girls';s inner soul shining through.
    Best wishes for life in your new home and happy creative work for 2014.( Painting or otherwise!)

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  3. Hi, Crystal, follow your heart is important and I do it, too. Otherwise, we cannot make a good work. You, too, have a wonderful and safe festive season. May health, a good year will be for you. Please take care. Best wishes, Sadami

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  4. I can not paint unless I want to. I can try but it never works out. Painting is the ultimate lie detector.

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  5. Yes. Life is happier when we are able to follow our bliss. I adore your sculptures! Your excellence shines no matter what avenue you choose : ) Merry Christmas!

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  6. Beautiful picture! Merry Christmas and best wishes to your family in your new home.

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  7. Beautiful portrait...we moved too and getting settled has taken so much energy and hard to get back into painting. Merry Christmas and enjoy the new house.

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  8. Okay. That explains why you have been so long... First of all a Big Congratulation for moving into new house. Its must be exciting I am sure. Hope to see you post regularly now. We have missed you. Merrrrrrrrrrry Chrrrrrrristmas..

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  9. amazing work as always! glad to see you back and congratulations on both the new house and new career direction! have the happiest of holidays and best of luck with the creatures in the New Year!

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  10. me again! just got back from sharing some quality time with your little dudes!! WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!!! it's easy to see why they are selling out! i've always wanted to work with clay, you are such an inspiration!

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  11. a very happy christmas to you and your family crystal glad .and wishing you a very creative 2014 .

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  12. So glad you have chosen to come back. You know was wondering about you. I hope you got the email I sent. Just wanted to let you know you were thought about and missed. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & blessed New Year.

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  13. Crystal, it is so good to see your post! We have missed you. Congratulations on your new home and new line. I think it's awesome that you promised yourself that you will only paint when you really, really want to. :) Commissions are tough. They can drain the creative juices right out of you, especially portraits. Restrictions and concerns about how the piece is turning out can block creative joy in the process. I am glad you feel inspired and have found a new medium for your strong unique voice. I love this portrait and your post. All the Best to You and Your Family Now During the Holidays and All through The New Year too!! xo Sandy

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  14. Merry Christmas Crystal! And follow your muse, it is the best way to keep the fire going!

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  15. Wishing you a wonderful creative 2014 - whichever form you want it in !

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  16. It's great to hear from you Crystal, I don't envy you the work of moving and moving again but doesn't it feel good now that it's done? :) Great news that you've found something creative to do while you let all the stress of painting go, I'll miss your paintings but lady, I've just went to your facebook page and those little things are treuly adorable! Creatures of cuteness indeed, nothing will stop you ever girl!

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  17. Hi Crystal,
    It's so good to see you here again!!! I hope all the chaos of moving is over - sounds like it was utter madness.
    I completely understand what you were going through with painting. I was feeling a similar pressure being at the gallery. I quit five days ago, and as soon as I made the decision, I felt a huge dark weight being lifted away. I am playing with subjects that I love, not ones that I hope someone will buy, and I am so much happier and creative. I wish you all the very best in the New Year, love and happiness, peace and a tad of prosperity, too, and much creative joy.
    HUGS to you,
    Kathryn

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  18. I've missed you and your work, Crystal... This portrait is AMAZING!!! as always, your paintings are beautiful.
    I can only imagine how busy you are but hope to see more and more paintings from you in the New Year!!...

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  19. Indeed I have missed your work a lot lately. Its always a wonderful source of inspiration. All great artists have stopped taking commissions at some point of time in their career, so this is definitely a sign that you are graduating onto the next level. I think the wait for your new work will be all the more worthwhile for me and other fans of yours as it wont be work done with a deadline. Wishing you the very best for the new year and hope you had a fabulous Christmas!
    Vinayak

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  20. Glad you are finding your joy in the art again, and I agree that burnout is something awful. Your little creatures are excellent! I'm so glad they're taking off for you!

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  21. Life has so got in the way of blogging for me too, Crystal.

    A Very Happy and Successful New Year ... may The Art Force Be with You!!

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  22. I know how you feel Crystal... I don't enjoy commissions at all and prefer not to do them. I like to paint what I fancy at the time rather than what I have been asked to. I think you are right to say no to commissions for a while and go back to painting as you please and putting those paintings up for sale. And we are all still here! I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you and you begin to enjoy painting again! I am waiting for the right Crystal Cook Still Life painting to pop up for sale some time :0)

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  23. Hi Crystal, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  24. Glad you're taking care of yourself. Sometimes being creative is an exhausting process and recharging is necessary. BTW, you painting is so incredibly lovely :)

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  25. You really have great talent for painting young people Crystal, the expressions you come up with are incredible! This one has quite a few cool colours in it but works so well.
    I have put on my website that I am open to commissions, but have been messed about by time-wasters so now I don't want them before I've even done one! I'm happy to keep selling the odd painting that I've enjoyed doing on my own terms now.
    Goods luck in the new house and New Year.

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  26. This is a really excellent portrait. Kind regards Brian

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  28. Oh my gosh! This is so beautiful. Love the lighting in this piece!

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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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