Monday, August 29, 2011

Three Techniques for Creating Meaningful Art

Living with Faith, 72 x 106 inches, triptych, oil on wood.
©2003 Mary A. Gravelle.
Original is available. Contact me NOW!
Are you creating art that is meaningful to you? Or has your art making become dry, cold, and lifeless?

By meaningful, do we mean to the artist or to the viewer? Creating meaningful art, to me, means that I create art that is meaningful to me. I can only hope, that by creating art that is personally gratifying this will in turn be meaningful to someone else.

So, how does an artist go about creating meaningful art? I think that if the artist finds a heartfelt connection to something and creates from that perspective, this will indeed create a work of art that is meaningful to the creator. If a work of art is created from the heart, love energy will be implicit in the final creation. In turn someone looking at the work of art will feel this love energy.

As an artist, how do you find subject matter that is meaningful? Is the subject matter really important? Or do you create from feelings? Maybe the art materials used are themselves inspiring and meaningful to you.

Here are three techniques that will serve as beginning inspiration and fodder to instill meaning into your next work of art.

1. Observation
Get out of the studio and into the world. Go for a drive to a new place. Or simply take a walk anywhere. Movement is key. By moving, your eye is awakened and exercised to seeing new sights. Observe everything around you. What do you see that excites you? What are you feeling as you encounter this place? What colors and shapes do you see that are thrilling for you? Does nature bring you a sense of awe and wonder? Does the urban landscape arouse your curiosity? Could you extract any of these observations to be used in your next work of art?

2. Journaling
Journaling is an important way to capture your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Vow to write everyday on what’s happening in your life and what is transpiring over time. This will give you insights into your own life creating material for what is meaningful to you. Use your journal in conjunction with the observation exercise above. There must be something that is happening in your life right now that you could use in some way to create your next meaningful piece of art.

3. Sketchbook
Many artists consider the sketchbook one of the most integral aspects to the creation of their art. Some use it as others use their journal, except they draw what they observe instead of writing about it. I suggest that you do both. Draw what you observe. Then write about your observations noting shapes, colors, content, smell, feelings, and anything else you deem worthy of capturing. Find out if there is something here that can be used in your next creation, if only a small part of it, that could create more meaning to your art.

Do you have ways that you create meaningful art? What does it mean to create a meaningful work of art? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mary's Fine Art -- Shop on Facebook!

Dawn's Light, 28 x 22 inches, acrylic on canvas.
©2008 Mary A. Gravelle. Original is Sold.
Purchase a fine art print from my
Facebook Fan Page.
Are you on a budget but would love to uplift your space? Now you can purchase fine art giclee prints of my artwork,  right from my Facebook fan page. Click on the "Shop" tab to begin shopping. LIKE my page to stay informed.

What is a Giclee Print? Giclée (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. A giclée print is a high-end fine art print recognized as "the next best thing to owning the original." The quality of the giclée print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries. Giclée prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. Giclée prints are estimated to last over a hundred and forty years and are a valid investment for art appreciation because they are much more affordable. Every image is an original print in its own right; individually inspected from start to finish.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Wall Artists Need Walls

Exhibit in 2007 of paintings by Mary A. Gravelle
College Avenue Collection,
Silver City, New Mexico

This might sound like a strange idea but it is one that has come across my radar screen recently.

A friend told me that she never wants to pay rent or make house payments again. She wants to live in a tent or a yurt.  Another friend told me he never wants to own anything again, especially a house and property. And then a married couple told me that they had no wall space left to hang art. I guess I have been taking walls for granted. I never really thought about the implications of my art making requiring wall space. But it does. I’m a painter and my art hangs on a wall. That makes me a wall artist. Most wall artists are referred to as muralists who actually paint on a wall. For purposes of this article, I refer to anyone who makes art that hangs on a wall.

So, this has me wondering about my career as an artist. If people don’t have walls, where will my art hang? I could begin doing sculpture that stands alone. I could create environmental art like Andy Goldsmith. I could do sand painting that disappears with the wind or rain. I could do performance art. I could make any other kind of art that does not require wall space. But I love to paint.

Then this past week a magical thing happened on my way to my favorite hiking trail. I decided to take a different driving route. Instead of taking my normal left hand turn, I kept driving down the road all the way to the end. Much to my amazement it went up the mountain where a beautiful housing development of sorts had been created. Obviously these were people with enough money to build such beautiful homes on beautiful land with amazing views. Well, I’ll tell you, these people have walls and are most likely proud of those walls. So now my challenge is how to get my art up on those walls. I think walls will be around for a while. So my worries are over.

Have you had insights on wall issues as an artist? What are they? How have you reconciled them?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Organize Your Studio for Success

Organized for Success Art Studio in Silver City, New Mexico

Are you able to go to your studio and make art at any moment? Or do you have to move things and wade through the mess to get at it? Good for you if you are in the first category. If you are in the second category, you are painfully aware of the inhibiting factor to your art making capabilities and success.

I recently re-organized my studio after being in this house for almost two years. It is so refreshing to be able to walk right up to my painting and paint. I no longer have to clean off the table or move things out of my way.

I challenge you to get your studio organized this week. And then let me know how it feels. Or if you have already organized your studio, let me know how that feels as well. How does getting organized set you up for success?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Essence Painting in Process

Essence of Mary Alice Rush. Stage One

Stage 2. Tree branches filled out.
Rainbow whited out.
First of all, for those who have been reading my blog, you most likely see that I changed the look. I hope you like the change. Let me know.

In January I received a spirit message to create Essence of You paintings. This idea backfired on me at that time.

I have decided to paint the Essence of Me and discover the process for painting the Essence of You (i.e. someone else).

I'm using my birth name in the title of this painting since I believe that my true essence has not changed. I was most likely born with it. And you were born with your true essence intact too.

The Being on upper right of the painting is from an Igniting drawing I did 9/20/06. When I was figuring out what my essence might look like, she popped into my head that she is my essence.

That is all I would like to say at this time about my essence. I would like to hear your comments and ideas on the idea of Essence paintings. Do you think you would consider commissioning me to do an Essence of YOU painting for you with your input? Or would you prefer to hire me as a Painting Guide to help you paint your own Essence painting?
Stage 3. Left column and its foot rounded out.