April 22, 2008


This past weekend I discovered something new about myself. Not only do I admire painters, I enjoy painting as well. After I painted the face on my rag doll I got to thinking about how I've never really sat down, focused, and painted. I've just assumed that because it doesn't come natural for me I can't enjoy it as a hobby. WRONG! I can enjoy something that I'm not gifted at.

In the April/May issue of Quilting Arts Magazine there is an article in there titled Altered Painted Art Quilts. The writer, Denise Aumick, begins the article with this " Growing up I always envied The Fortunate Ones. The Fortunate Ones were those people who, I believed, had been granted exclusive genetic gifts that enabled them to pick up a paintbrush and create impressive works of art. Who knew that while The Fortunate Ones might have had innate talents, these gifts needed nurturing and a lot of practice in order to blossom and flourish?" I like that! I think that our society has become very impulsive and speed driven. We, or I, may say I want my Internet faster! My food faster! My sewing faster! My phone conversations to be to the point...I could go on and on. Without realizing it, I have transferred this type of "now" thinking to the hobbies and extra curricular activities I choose to do. If it doesn't come natural the first time, or if what I try isn't considered good right away, then I chalk it up to "it's not my thing." Completely disregarding the fact that there is a discovery process to it all and it can be a fun, enjoyable, adventure if I allow it to be.

In the book Mind Set, by Carol S. Dweck, PH.D, she explains this phenomenon as the struggle between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. She writes "I've seen so many people with the one consuming goal of proving themselves - in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser? This is the fixed mindset...And, instead of seeking experiences that will stretch you, you seek out the tried and true. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it's not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset."

With that all in mind, I will share with you 2 of my paintings I did over the weekend. However, I have to tell you that these paintings did not come from my own imagination. I also discovered that I need to look at what I am painting. I have a hard time just pulling it out of thin air, but with time, stretching, and growth, I expect this to change. I knew that I wanted to paint a face and focus on the expression and shading aspects of the painting. I decided to study Emily Martin's work because she is amazing at capturing both of these components. My first 5 x 7 painting was inspired by Emilie's Poppy Print. Here is my version of it...


My second 5 x 7 painting is titled Julia because it is a painting of my sister.


I've always wanted to paint her because of her big beautiful brown eyes. Yes, currently she does have low-lights of blue in her hair, and now that I think about it, I forgot the tattoos on her wrist. Maybe I should give this painting to my Mom =)



Heather said...

You are a very good painter! These are great. I was scrolling down through the article and saw the second painting and thought to myself, oh that looks like Julia! before I saw what you named it. Fabulous!

Pretty Ditty said...

Thank you =)

Wild Thread Studio said...

Your aprons are gorgeous and I really like your paintings. There is something very appealing about their faces.
I also found the concept of the fixed mindset and the growth mindset intriguing. Thank you so much for sharing this information. We are such an instant gratification society that sometimes I wonder if we ever take a minute to savor shining moments.