It’s My Studio…And I’ll Cry If I Want To

'Stormy Reflection's - Freshwater Bay'Oil on canvas - 2013 30x40 inches
‘Stormy Reflection’s – Freshwater Bay’
Oil on canvas – 2013
30×40 inches

Happy tears, sad tears, hair ripping, foot stamping exasperation…These are the myriad of emotion’s  that can flow daily in an artist’s studio.  Believe me…I know.

Thankfully, it’s the happy tears I have been on the brink of this last week…I’ve been in the ‘ZONE’ and if you are a creative in any field whatsoever, from craft, to photography, to writing, to painting, you will know what I’m talking about.

The ZONE.=  informal (especially in art) a state of such concentration that one is able to perform at the peak of one’s physical or mental capabilities: e.g:  I was in the zone, completing the creative act of applying paint to canvas without resorting to ripping my hair out, raiding the pantry,  or even noticing how many hours have disappeared.

Good feeling.  Yep.

For me, getting into ‘The Zone’ is a signal that I’m on the right path; I’ve chosen the best photo to paint, the composition is good, that I’m using the skills I have learnt from numerous instructors over the years, books and the internet, that I’m not just slapping paint on canvas and hoping for the best, but I am actually visualising the finished canvas and academically assessing what I need to do to get it to a finished state.

I’m thinking about composition, taking each photograph that I ‘think’ will make a good painting and analysing it…where is the focus, what area needs to be pushed into the background, where should I use softened/blurred edges, what details are distracting to the eye, what colours would work best. Is there ‘atmospheric distance’ and how much? Do I actually possess the level of talent needed to paint this particular photo…or should I put it into my ‘future paintings’ file? (Hmmm…that reminds me…Firstly, I need to make a filing system!!)

I’ve just completed a large landscape..or riverscape actually.  If you are a regular follower of my  blog, you will have noticed that landscapes are not a regular subject for me to paint.  I have thousands of photos of gorgeous, varied land and seascapes, but, to be honest, the thought of painting some of these landscapes has filled me with dread.  Landscapes can be soooo detailed!

I realised after painting ‘The Guardian’, with its thick forest of trees

'The Guardian'Oil on canvas 2013
‘The Guardian’
Oil on canvas 2013

…and actually enjoying it, that I was ready to tackle a few more landscapes. Welcome to the world ‘Stormy Reflections – Freshwater Bay’.

I like a challenge…and I got one!  I even ended back in the beginners class,  with my instructor (re) going over the principles of ‘atmospheric distance’, (also known as atmospheric perspective or aerial perspective) which is basically, the effect you get when far away objects, trees, or hills,  take on the colours of haze, become less saturated and have less detail and contrast the further away they are. Next time you are viewing a gorgeous landscape…check it out…bluey-purple haze in layman’s terms!

This painting was a challenge in many ways…for a start…boats and many of them!  I took some out, I put some back in…I slightly altered boats with Captain Dudie’s seafaring knowledge as my guide.  I painted and repainted the reflections until I felt they were right…hopefully they are now!!!  I painted upside down (not me silly, the canvas!)

'Stormy Reflection's - Freshwater Bay'Checking the reflections...yep...they look like boats!
‘Stormy Reflection’s – Freshwater Bay’
Checking the reflections…yep…they look like boats!

and checked and double checked.  I’m pleased with the result…lets hope my instructor is!  I’m almost too scared to show him, in case he makes me change something…again.  Having a mentor,instructor or tutor,  no matter what level of skill you are at, certainly does push you to do better and to see differently.  Never, ever think you have moved beyond learning more!!   I have decades more learning to do.

Anyway, it’s been a busy week in the media for me also…three, yes, three media hits in one week –  thanks to the owner of the restaurant ‘Suburban table’ where my still life paintings are currently exhibiting.  Articles about the restaurant (and therefore my art) in two local papers and an article in my old school magazine. Always good to get positive media exposure, that’s for sure!

I also officially joined ‘The West Australian Society of Arts” and went to my first society meeting.  My instructor, D’hange Yammanee was doing a painting demonstration, which gave me the incentive to finally go after a year of procrastination!!

Well, onwards and upwards people…its back to a life portrait for me this week…guess I’m not ready to get locked into one genre yet!!

Raw Umber Underpainting - untitled
Raw Umber Underpainting – untitled

X Mia

7 thoughts on “It’s My Studio…And I’ll Cry If I Want To

  1. Lovely to read of your on-going passion Mia – you re lucky to recognize that you really do have a passion for your craft – and isn’t it a wonderful feeling to see your name in print which is an acknowledgement that others too are recognizing your talent

    Fond Regards

    Joyce Westrip

    ph: 61 8 93120531


    1. Thank you Joyce. I’m enjoying the journey, which at this point is going well! X

  2. Mia, I’m so glad things are looking up for you! And getting into the Zone is always a little hard but feels so good when you finally get into it. More often than not, you don’t even realize it until you come back to earth and think, wow where did the time go?? I always enjoy reading about your painting journey and congratulations on the recognition! You more than deserve it. 🙂

    1. Lillian , thank you! You always make time to comment (as I don’t on your blog… Sorry!) the zone is great, it can disappear so quickly, so it’s well enjoyed when it happens!

  3. Dear Mia, Another great piece of prose, you really are an artist in many ways,!!!!!!I love your talents. Jan read me your letter while I was driving the busy I10 road(6 lanes of madness!) on our way to Houston TX. Beaut weather but very cold. Off to see the Johnson Space Centre tomorrow. Tell Mum we are going to visit Anton Allan ex Kenya hunter, son of Bunny Allan after to the girls and have a very happy Easter. Love DadXXXX

    Sent from my

    1. All your travels sound amazing Dad! I’ve loved following on FB. Take care on those crazy roads please! X

  4. Hello Mia! Your paintings are beautiful. Great to see your following your passion, too. Louise x

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