Friday, January 29, 2010

Feeling Inspired

"Self Portrait of My Soul"
10 x 14 gouache

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about goals with my artwork and my life right now in general.  I read a book about a month ago that I loved, "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater, and I've been following her blog and she has some awesome posts about goals and achieving them. So go check it out at, look up "butt kicking", if you are a creative type person it could change your life seriously! Also I found artist Laura Hardie at who does amazing work with colored pencils inspiring me to pick mine up again and take a break from watercolors (only temporary).  And this woman is an amazing photographer, she captures the moment truly and her portraits just blow me away, go see for yourself.  And music of course, I just found a great song "Monsters" by Hurricane Bells that I am loving and of course Muse because I love them and "Uprising" is one of my favorite songs.  Overall feeling like I'm getting inspiration from everywhere lately and am loving it!  So what has this flood of inspiration produced you ask? I am working on a colored pencil portrait that is going well, I am happy to say still to early to post as I only have one eye and side of the face done, but soon my friends soon. And I have decided (feel free to remind me of this later) that I don't care what other people say about my work, or what juror wants to let me into their show.  I just don't, I am doing this because I love it and I believe that good things will come of it in my life.  Maybe not right away, but someday. I know that because I will not give up, I will keep creating no matter what because ultimately I have to it's who I am. That being said I just got news yesterday that my painting was accepted to the Eccles Art Museum's Black & White statewide competition, I entered two pieces they wanted one. Yes that is me, behind one of my kids when they were a few months old. But I told myself before I opened the letter that it didn't matter what they thought, if I got in or I didn't, because I loved those paintings and I loved creating them. Just checked that off my goal list, not that I got accepted, but that I tried and entered the show anyway.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fitting it in

I have found it hard to fit in painting lately. In addition to my three kids and endless laundry piles that I am trying to conquer we also have a new puppy.  She is a lot of fun, but it really feels like I've brought another newborn home.  Well maybe not quite that intense, but still more work for me.  But that's ok because she is a sweetie, my son just loves her (she was his birthday surprise) and I am very attatched to her already.  Anyway, about painting.  I find that if I don't make time for it I am not as happy a person as when I am fitting it in.  So I have been thinking a lot lately about what to paint next which has been fun, I have some ideas that I am sketching out now.  And I think I will return to a few paintings that I haven't finished and get them done.  I tend to have a few projects going at once so that if I get stuck I have something else to work on without getting too frustrated about my problem one.  Then I come back to it and see things I can change and hopefully make it work.  Here are two that are close to being finished.  It's my goal to finish them up by the end of February.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hello, I'm Crystal Cook welcome to my blog! I'm a full time mother of three and part time artist, whenever I can fit it in. I specialize in portraits of children in watercolor, but also use pastel, charcoal and colored pencil. I just finished this pastel in black and white and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I was very drawn to the child's concentrated expression along with those full cheeks and lashes. But the thing that inspired me the most was the strong back light that framed that sweet face and caught the soft hair that only babies have. This was a fun piece to do, usually I work in watercolor which requires me to plan more in advance and usually takes me a while to finish. But this time I just sketched it out fairly quickly and tried to be as expressive as I could with my marks while still capturing a likeness. I think I need to break out the pastels more often it helped me get out of a rut I was in and inspired more creativity in me. Who knew a few little sticks of powdered pigment could bring such a change in my perspective?
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