A watercolor painting of a black woman in a chemise, standing on a red carpet and in front of a patterned green wallper. There are water color palette next to the painting
Figure Drawing,  Life Musings,  Sketchbooks,  Traditional Painting

Finished Painting: Chemise Study

I was thinking I’d title this painting “A Soft Chemise” or something, but it was meant to be a study of cloth folds, so maybe just keeping “study” in the title works. I don’t want to have to title every sketch and drawing in my sketchbook. That would be rough, giving things titles is just ugh. Yesterday’s experiments were useful, though I ended up using a lot less of the iridescent paint – just on the gold slippers.

A watercolor painting of a black woman in a chemise, standing on a red carpet and in front of a patterned green wallper

It was a fun study – and the kind of painting I couldn’t do in my previous sketchbook, with it’s thin paper and smaller format. I want to do more mixed media – watercolor and Copics, for example. Though…Copics probably aren’t suited to this paper; the thicker watercolor paper would just drain the marker. Maybe I can do something on a separate sheet of Bristol as a stand alone piece?

Every time I make art, it seems to spark even more I want to learn and practice. I find the same effect happening in my day job and web development – I feel a need to know how things work under the hood or how the pieces are put together. I’ve been learning Salesforce’s CLI for packaging code and general application lifecycle management, but then that draws me into wanting to learn about the oclif CLI engine it’s built upon, which is built on Node.js. Down rabbit holes of curiosity.

The sensation of pieces snapping into place, of seeing how things fit, how they evolve over time: it’s so satisfying, like nerves dancing in my brain. Art history, the history of web development, seeing the way humans evolve systems and ideas, it has the same quality of following trails, of being a little bit of a detective.

But it can also be a little…shall we say…stress inducing. There is a seemingly infinite web of possibilities, of creative energy humans pour out into the world. Seeing other artist’s work, seeing all the different web frameworks and methods of creating applications.

I’ve learned I need to put little self-enforced boundaries of what I’m exploring, so as not to feel overwhelmed. It’s one of those games I play with myself that is hard to describe in words. I would be loath to call them “productivity tips” or “life hacks”. They are a dance with being alive and creative. I’m enticing myself to feel centered and calm while feeling a whirlwind of the rich chaos of existence surrounding me.

I’m not there yet…but I feel like I’m starting to figure out how to balance curiosity, chaos, and calm. ^_^

For art, I let myself capture random ideas in a notebook I have set aside for art thoughts or in Evernote, but it doesn’t dictate a plan (as much as I used to try to do that in the past, to my detriment). Each day I let myself decide where I want to follow my curiosity. Often it’s been guided first by picking the medium (watercolor or digital or something else entirely), then picking a subject to get better at rendering. Candles, clouds, figure sketches, and the like. I’m still in this “I don’t like how I render things, I want to feel a mastery over the technical side of visual art” mode of how I approach my art practice. But lately I’ve been feeling a pull to that other side – the sublime and mysterious side of art, that is free of technical restraints. Instead, it is about the emotions, the meaning, the story. Perhaps some bigger intuitive art pieces or collages are in order…

Ah, quite a longer ramble tonight! But now it’s time to wrap it up – I intentionally am finishing before 9pm to give Ricky and I time to watch Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell *insert success kid meme here*.

(Sadly that will mean missing Critical Role live stream…I’ll have to catch it this weekend!)

‘Til next time <3

Listening to: Fallen Embers, Enya
Current mood: accomplished

I'm an illustrator and web developer honing my skills and learning all I can about drawing, painting, and storytelling through visual art.