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.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Business Cards, Brushes and Blogs

I ordered my business cards yesterday. They should arrived in 8-9 days. I also ordered magnets with all my info and an image on them. I think that’s a good advertising tool. So I’m officially calling myself Second Sight Portraits and I am officially promoting myself as an artist. It’s taken me long enough. I’ve been uploading a lot of my artwork--paintings, drawings and photographs--to Artid and I have more to go, but most of it is work I’ve done five to ten years ago. So I’m eager to get the photographs of the high school soccer players from Richard and start work. I have a feeling that I’ll probably do a couple of portraits of each photograph I get, one in watercolor and another in gouache or acrylic.

I went over my budget today and ordered three rather expensive watercolor brushes. I think they are definitely worth investing in. The brushes I have now are not very good. I was reading an article about a watercolor artist who uses just one sable brush. I checked out how much it cost and it was over $100. Wow! But he does really good work with his one brush. And if you take care of the brushes they can last for a very long time. His brush is a number 16, large enough to do washes but with a fine point to the tip to do detail work. So I’ll have a few good brushes and good watercolor paper--Strathmore and Arches, but my watercolors are mostly inexpensive, though I do have some tubes of Grumbacher which are good quality. I’m also picking up two books on how to paint watercolor portraits. They are basic books that I will use to strengthen my portraits. Right now, I’m just painting by instinct rather than by conscious technique. So sometimes I get it somewhat right and other times I’m way off because I’m not sure what it is I’m doing. I need a lot of practice.

I haven’t written an Artid blog yet. Well, actually I did but it got lost when I tried to upload an image. Frustrating. I didn’t write about schizophrenia, though I kind of wish that I could, but I did write about why I thought a lot of artists don’t blog on that site. How much does an artist reveal about him or her self to prospective clients? If it were just artists writing to other artists, you could be less reserved, more personal, but this is a public, professional blog. Still, I’m itching to write something. What do I say? How do I introduce myself? I haven’t been a dedicated artist over the years and have only just returned to it recently. I can’t say that can I? But my work does say something, even if it’s not in one consistent style. I’ll be speaking to the people in my community and I feel self-conscious. Perhaps I’m doing too many things at once. I’m just so excited to show my work to family, friends, the other artists and people passing through, but at the same time I’m trying to start a local business. Can the two mix?

I don’t know, but I can always change it by putting images in what they call the “warehouse” and not displaying them. For now, I’ll continue to display what I’ve got for a while till I get the business cards and start to promote Second Sight. Then I want to display more portraits, which means that this week I have to spend some time painting them. Maybe I’ll be able to paint another 5-6 portraits and put them in another “gallery” space. That would make me feel better. That’s the cool thing about this space, new work keeps changing things. So hopefully the space won’t always be static. My hope is that I finally become a dedicated artist and grow into my own style.

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