December 10, 2010

Create... Art. Gift!

Painting! Why don't I paint more? I feel like I will always ask myself this question. I will probably be asking myself this same question every day for the rest of my life. My art teacher in high school asked me the same question (usually loudly, in the form of a yell) when he knew I hadn't been expressing my creative ability in one-way-or-another. That art teacher, who I hated until he retired and was no longer there to push me, is now what I consider to be a great influence in my life and aforementioned creative ability.

I know that I am very fortunate that my career allows me to design - therefore expressing my creative ability. Not only 40+ hours a week with a pointy marketing hat, but also for friends, family and a few freelance clients. Lately I've been noticing that once I get a non-work related creative idea (many thanks to this crafty couple and this swell lady as of late) I simply cannot stop thinking about getting it done! I'll share more about that in a later post. Back on subject, though, I know I need and want to create art more often and that's what I've been trying to do - on top of my career, boyfriend, family, exercise and running, and now three (count them... 3!) pets.

Today I want to share my latest acrylic paint and canvas creation. I ventured into creating a copy of a famous piece... can you believe this is the first copy I've ever done? I guess I didn't really know that it was "PC" to copy another piece of artwork. Anyway, this is a Christmas gift (I was thinking very "season of reason" low cost gifts this year) for my Grandma Rosie and her long-time boyfriend who is practically my Grandpa. I know my Grandma likes scenes with people and nature and I think she has a few mother-daughter scenes in her home already. So, I pulled out a few of my gently-used art books that I purchased at the Denver Public Library Used-Book Sale this past summer to see what she might like. Ta Da! Mary Cassatt had several, but this one was perfect! I've always liked Mary Cassatt's "motherly" or maybe "caregiving" impressionist style. Check out the original below, followed by my copy.

Mary Cassatt, American (1844-1926) Summertime, ca. 1894. Oil on canvas. The Armand Hammer Foundation.
Kathryn Shanahan, Acrylic on canvas. Pose from Mary Cassatt's Summertime.
Low-resolution photograph (I'll post more later).
The original in the book I had was not so pink. I am not sure why it looks different here, there's several reasons I suppose, and it probably looks different on your computer screen anyway. I am happy with how it turned out - of course, I'm never really happy with the way my artwork turns out but it usually grows on me. I tend to overwork a piece to the point of ruining it... but I didn't have time to do that with this one since it was traveling from Colorado to Iowa about 9 days after I started.

Copying a piece of art is a terrific way to learn and develop skill. I have a long way to go with skill (with 6-year gaps between paintings!) and am so excited to keep working at it.

At the time I'm writing this Christmas is still 2 weeks away, so I don't know if my Grandma likes it. Though - she's my Grandma, she'll absolutely love it. If you know her, don't spill the beans!