A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Checking In



Here's a funny picture of one of my cats, Ozzie.

Okay, I'm going to try again to write every day or at least every other day, even if it's a really short entry.

I was looking for online art classes to see if I could get some feedback on my artwork and ran into multiple art communities. The one I just joined is called About.Com-Painting (you can find it with my favorite links if you're curious). It's got extensive active message boards and a ton of articles; it's even got some video tutorials on painting techniques. (I still don't have video on my computer unfortunately...I have to work on that). And many of the people who post on the message boards have websites to visit which is fun. Last night I went to the message board for open critiques and feedback and gave my two cents on two paintings. Today I uploaded my "The Looking Glass" painting in hopes of getting some feedback for myself.

The issue I brought up was that some of my better work is of paintings based on other established artists' work, in this case Jock Sturges' and that I was realizing that I can't sell those works without getting permission from the artist. (I went to Artid and made the paintings based on other people's photographs not for sale.) So far I've gotten three replies, all positive about my watercolor, but firm in saying that I would need to get permission to sell the image. I got several suggestions to use my own photographs or work from a live model. I could also use some reference photos that are listed for free online. If my house weren't such a mess and I were braver, I would try to get a model to pose for me from the university. I still have to check out whether the university has an open sketch class this semester. I've thought before of setting up in some out of the way spot in town or in a park and sketching/painting. That would be a challenge and it would be good for me.

There are other alternatives, such as setting up a still life to draw and paint from or doing more self-portraits. I can continue with abstract paintings. I can also continue copying from great artists for study, though I still don't know if it's okay to paint a copy of say a Cezanne to sell. I noticed someone on Artid selling reproductions of great art and so I thought it was okay. I'll have to do more research on that.

I spent so much time on the computer today, I didn't paint much. I worked a bit on a self-portrait in watercolor, but got lost in the shifting skin tones. I made some areas too red and other areas too orange. I still don't have a strong grasp on creating skin tone and making shadows. So I live and learn. That's the point, to keep learning.
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