Sunday, January 16, 2011

A new look, a new painting, and a new passion

It's Sunday night, I'm not working til Wednesday, and Tommaso is hard at work translating a TV show, so that means... lots of time to update my blog!
I've changed the look of the blog. No biggie, but I think it looks a little nicer. Still wish I could get a custom designed background though *hint hint to my graphic design buddies*

I've also uploaded a pic of a new acrylic painting, a self-portrait... well, kinda new. I painted it in December, so it's not the self-portrait mentioned in my last post and it sadly doesn't count toward my 11 in 2011 goal. It was actually a separate, very specific exercise. I usually take forever to finish a painting, using a lot of glazing and meticulous detail. With this painting I basically gave myself one evening to complete it, and challenged myself to use more "messy" brush strokes and hardly any glazing. I liked the freedom of allowing myself to be more messy and more liberal with color. Painting the hair into the background was fun and the scarf had about 5,876,194 colors, so that was interesting. It was a good exercise, and although the painting turned out less proportional, less "tight", less realistic than I generally like, I think I'll visit this technique more often.
Also, it reminds me of the Fayum mummy portraits somehow. Maybe it's the (ginormous)eyes. Or maybe I just have too much art history in my brain right now. Thoughts?

(Edited to add: The lighting is really poor quality in this picture, I will try to get a better pic later and re-post)

So, I've definitely been painting more, but I've also discovered a new outlet for creativity, which brings me to my "new passion". Cooking. That's right, Mom, cooking. I've always thought of myself as more of a baker, and honestly I was a little scared of the stove top. I tended to burn things. But lately, out of nowhere, I've found a love of cooking and amazingly I'm actually pretty good at it. I've been making all sorts of lunches and dinners for myself and Tommaso, and I'm finding that cooking is a great stress relief and a nice break from the boredom of having zero
work in low season. I may even start posting some of my favorite recipes.

That's it for now, gonna turn in early tonight. Buona notte.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year's Challenge: 11 in 2011

So, I usually don't make New Year's resolutions. I mean, sure, every year I say I'm going to lose 10 lbs, travel more, learn a new skill, etc... but my problem is, I never have my whole heart in it. Therefore, every year on December 31st I usually have nothing checked off my very generic resolution list. I hope this year is going to be different. I've decided to really challenge myself, and I've come up with my 11 in 2011 plan:

Basically, I'm challenging myself to produce 11 complete paintings this year. They don't have to be masterpieces, or great, or even good. They just have to be finished. I think forcing myself into the studio with a deadline will give me much-needed motivation and practice for when real commissions come along. Why 11? Well, aside from the fact that it has a nice ring to it ("11 in 2011"), it's a number that I think will be reasonable and doable. I would have decide on 12, one per month, except I know when high season picks up, I'll have at least one month in which I'll be giving too many tours to even think about painting. So 11 works... it's ambitious by my lazy standards, but not overwhelming.

Right now I'm mostly thinking in terms of self-portraits (I'm a cheap and available model) and paintings from reference pics I've taken in the past. But I've got some great new ideas, and hopefully I can get models soon. One self-portrait is already on my easel, about half completed, so I guess I'm off to a pretty good start :)

Here's to a great New Year and reaching all our personal goals this year!