farm painting for school raffle

Something a little different than my usual illustration posts. I created a painting of a special farm associated with my daughters’ school. I am making prints to give to those who helped fund our raffle. Here’s some process photos. I always take process photos as I fear I will ruin it somewhere along the way and I like to save as I go. I’m quite thrilled with how it turned out though.

And now for some venting and stream of conscious thoughts. Bear with me, or move on until my next post comes. 

Projects like these, I’m very frustrated. I feel grateful to see that I can still paint beautifully and am mostly happy with the final (never completely satisfied – the plight of an artist apparently). But I also feel frustrated that I cannot do the illustration styles that I want. My realistic paintings always turn out better and that exasperates me so much! I am not a brilliant illustrator yet and I hate to admit, maybe never. In art school, I was always told I had such potential. It was always meant as an encouragement, but it always frustrated me as I felt like I would never reach that “potential.” I applied myself so hard to my work and yet it always just had “potential.” I know I need to do more work now. More work means more chances of creating great things. Practice makes perfect right. My output is very low as I stare at blank pages and flounder without deadlines. But I also have to continue to give myself grace for the stage of life I am in. Having just sent both girls to school this fall, my time should be increasing to create finally. It hasn’t yet. Still working on carving it out. 

I got to hear Oliver Jeffers be interviewed the other night at Rizzoli Bookstore. It was lovely (even though I’ve been horridly sick all week and spent the time there trying to covertly cough into my scarf). I forget often that I need to be inspired by others. So often I feel like, what’s the point? Why do I go to events? Why do I continue to pursue something that just seems to stay farther and farther out of reach? I hate being an “aspiring illustrator” and not a “functioning one” (Oliver Jeffers freudian slip to a question asker. Ha! He called himself on it, but everyone had a good, uncomfortable laugh.) I see so many people putting work out that they are proud of and I see it as terrible. The independent publishers are making it more possible for terrible artists to get published and continue to flood that market giving them odd confidence in mediocre work. I dread being in that position and fear I already have been. I know it shouldn’t completely matter what the market says, but it also should. Art is not entirely subjective. There is good art and bad art. 

I don’t see an end to this post and these frustrations as it continues to be part of my journey. Perhaps my muddled sick head shouldn’t be allowed to post my thoughts publicly. Perhaps I should delete this later, but I also want to do better at creating content rather than just consuming, and today felt like a good time to do just that as I sit and drink tea and nurse my aching body. This is honesty as an artist. I don’t know who reads this blog anymore, but I want to continue to use it as a place for my art and my artist heart. Thanks for listening.

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