I've experienced a ton of introspection lately. Who am I kidding - this is a constant! I spend almost equal time searching myself for answers and asking others for insights.
I used to watch Shark Tank regularly. You know, the show with all the rich entrepreneurs who listen to small business owners beg for cash to grow. There's that obnoxious bald shark, Mr. Wonderful, who likes to tell the presenters of bad ideas, "You're dead to me." He's so matter of fact, so certain that he wants nothing to do with the business.
Then there's me. I'm looking at this bunny, so clearly not alive, but I'm not sure he's dead to me.
By the way, same bunny, different day, feels like a "him" not a "her" this time around.
Oh, and I tossed the other frozen bunny. It wasn't perfect after all.
I am at a bit of a loss for words here. I haven't been this happy in months and the cause of my joy is a dead rabbit.
I find it really odd that the bird has always been male in my head, as are the glass and ceramic bunnies...but this dead rabbit was instantly a "her"...
My mom and her sister have a thing for collecting things. They've gone through many phases over the years including deviled egg plates, beanie babies, and millefiori glass. Today's bunny is from the millefiori collection.
The things in my life that are making me paint aren't getting any easier so I figured it would make sense to make the bunny harder too.
I'm late painting/posting today and for this I apologize.
Usually, I look at these and see some connection to my state of mind or my state of heart; but not tonight. I just see a glass bunny. Maybe that's a good thing...
There are stages to artmaking. For me, they are fairly concrete and flow in a logical order; start by setting up the object, select the surface size to paint on, sketch the image onto the surface in pencil, begin painting, take photos of painting, blog about painting, stare at painting...
I wish there were some concrete stages for other aspects of my life. I keep going back and forth from sadness to anger to indifference to depression (very different from simple sadness) to rage (again, different from anger) to pitty to relief... This is the flow, in no particular order and with no end in sight.
Glass is challenging! If I move, even a tiny bit, I see a different shadow, a different reflection, a different highlight. There is nothing clear about this glass, just like there is nothing clear in my struggles.
This is a new bunny. He's made of concrete. I find that I am reluctant to get attached to any of these bunnies in the way I was attached to the little bird. I think it will be easier to move on when it's time if none of the bunnies feel precious to me. If only it were that easy outside of the studio...
After completing my first painting for today I played outside for a while and visited with some friends. When I came back to look at my earlier work (something I do several times a day - staring at the birds and bunnies with a glazed over expression on my face) I realized I wasn't at all happy with the composition. Isn't it funny how a little time and distance will change your perspective on things?
My second attempt at the glass bunny proved a bit more challenging and the result feels less luminous. I think this is due in part to the use of incandescent lighting as opposed to natural light. I look forward to exploring the glass bunny further as I'm sure my perspective on the situation will continue to shift.
Today we have a new bunny friend. This one came from Marion, a woman who likely had the greatest influence on my character. If I remember correctly, she is the reason I started to go to art lessons in the second grade.
I think that most artists would agree that glass is a challenging subject to paint. Capturing the transparent and reflective qualities can be akin to trying to shovel sand in the wind.
I like a challenge. I like to work hard and I like to tackle things in life that are not easy. I don't always choose the challenges I take on wisely - some days I am unbelievably stupid and get sand blown in my face.
Today was not one of those days. I feel like this is a successful experiment with glass as a subject -though maybe not the best compositional exercise. I feel I captured both the solidity of the glass and the transparency at the same time. It feels heavy and grounded as well as luminous and delicate - in my opinion. Maybe you disagree? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this challenging subject.
Lora Marie Durr
During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time in the painting studio working with traditional oils. Teaching middle school art for the past 12 years has taken me away from those roots. This "one a day" project is aimed at re-inspiring that creativity and technique.
Other "one a day" painting blogs to check out:
Kellie Marian Hill
The usual Subjects