About Lori, abstract art, art classes, beginner acrylic artist, inspiration

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Beginner

Twentysomething, 6×6 acrylic on paper

Hello guys! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with yummy food while enjoying the company of friends and family. It will just be the three of us this year — my husband, daughter, and me. We are making ribs instead of turkey this year, along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni & cheese, peas, and crescent rolls. Oh, and cheesecake! YUM!

Also, I thought I’d share with you a little about my journey as an artist so that maybe I can encourage you to start creating art if you don’t already. What I really want to hone in on though is that it’s important not to be afraid of being a beginner. All artists were once beginners who didn’t know much and had a long way to go before getting to where they are today.

Painting can be the most relaxing, challenging, and rewarding activity if you allow it to be. You can’t be afraid…afraid to fail, afraid of disappointment, afraid of trying new things, or afraid of what transpires on the canvas (because it’s a part of you and it’s not always pretty).

I remember back when I first began. I knew zilch about painting, except that I knew you used brushes and paint. I always took art classes in middle school and high school, but had more experience with drawing than anything else. And even though I wouldn’t say I was that good at painting, I enjoyed the process and found that it helped with my mental health. So I kept on.

So since I’ve been thinking about all of this beginner artist type stuff, I decided I’d like to try linocut printmaking and I would be pretty much be a beginner at it and the thought of that excites me. I love learning new things and trying new adventures, and I haven’t tried anything new for quite a while. So it’s time. Check out this artist’s process of linocut printmaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8lhESQ-bKs

I just loved watching her make that! I did printmaking one time that I can remember, once in middle school. I like the idea that I’d be able to do this kind of art while I’m in the living room watching TV with my family. I wouldn’t have to be confined to my studio to do it. It’s something that I think would be quite portable.

Now I share with you my journey from 2009 to 2020. As you can see, my style has changed somewhat, but you’ll probably notice that I’ve always leaned toward abstract, even my earlier representational pieces. I’m showing you this so you can see that we all have to start somewhere. Throughout the years I continued to get more and more abstract.

My journey 2009-2020

You might have noticed that two years are missing – 2011 and 2012. Our daughter was born in January 2011, so the first two years of her life I was a stay-at-home full-time mom, which I wouldn’t have traded for anything. But at the end of 2012, I went back to work in the peer mental health field, and also started painting again.

I painted part-time just in my spare time while I worked full-time from the end of 2012 to 2018. I’d say around 2015 is when I started entertaining the idea of pursuing art full-time. But I didn’t do so until 2018. That’s really when I consider my career began.

I’d love to hear about your journey. Leave me a comment or send me an email at loririveraart@gmail.com.

Cheers,
Lori

P.S. You can catch my next abstract art class starting January 8th. You can sign up on the class website at www.relax-paint.com.

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Communicating Feeling Through Art

gooddayIt’s Gonna Be a Good Day
12×12 oil on canvas

This is the first portrait I’ve painted totally from imagination in a long time. I forgot how much fun faces are to paint! I’ve been giving serious thought to my art practice lately. I tend to be all over the map…portraits, landscapes, still life, abstracts, and that is not what I really want.

I think I’ve come to a crossroads with my art in which I need to really decide what it is I want to communicate and how I want to communicate that. I’ve always thought I wanted to communicate feeling, and I think this is still true. Yes, I can communicate a feeling through my abstracts as well, but I think it is easiest for people to connect with portraits. After all, everybody knows what a face looks like.

I think it’s easier to capture an emotion in a portrait than it is a landscape or a still life. Whether it’s an emotion from the day or an experience, or an emotion I simply want to convey, a face can capture it clearly.

So after saying all that, I don’t think portraits are any higher value than any other type of art. However, if your goal is to communicate a feeling, maybe it’s most easily done with portraits. I want people to feel an emotion when they view my artwork, not just say, “Oh that’s pretty.” And as much as I love creating still life paintings, I feel like that’s the kind of response I’m getting from them.

Another thing I love about portraits is that this one I did from my imagination, and I thinking painting from imagination is hard. In some ways, for me anyway, it is more challenging than executing painting techniques.

Just thought I’d share where my thought process are in this never-ending journey of being an artist. I’m seriously thinking about creating faces for a bit and seeing how that goes.

If you are an artist of any kind, what has your journey been like? Did you have a hard time narrowing down what it is you want to be doing? I’m finding it difficult but I’m not giving up!

Lori