A friend and I decided earlier this year that we’d take turns coming up with art prompts to help each other stay productive in the practice of creating. While I’ve decided to focus mainly on watercolor or colored pencils, I think Rachel‘s moved that into different mediums.
An art prompt is essentially a word or phrase that’s used to inspire someone to create an image(s) based on the prompt given. Rachel and I will sometimes use a website artprompts.org, take a phrase from a poem/quote, mull over ideas for weeks, or spontaneously be inspired in a moment with an idea. We’re only 11 pieces in and the progress has been a bit slower with the addition of personal projects over the months.
#1 Skeletal structure (R)#2 Treehouse (H)
#3 Sea critter (R)
#4 “A small pair of antlers grew out his head…” (H)
#5 Teapot (R)
#6 “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” -Confucius (H)
#7 Masquerade (R)
#8 Dreaming (H)
#9 Bus (R)
#10 “All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oysters autobiography.” -Federico Fellini (H)
#11 Summer Song (R)
This will obviously be continued once we’ve added more to the collection, but in the meantime if you’re interested in joining the art prompt, send me a message below and I’ll add you to an art prompt notification email. I’d love to feature your pieces as we go! Get crazy and create with me. (I promise not to spam you)
I’m always surprised when people walk into my home studio, which is literally just the extra bedroom in our apartment, and recognize Fred Rogers. Obviously they always refer to him as “Mister Rogers” rather than Fred, but regardless they know who he is.
I honestly think, besides it being an alright likeness of him, people recognize the friendly neighbor in an instant because of how much of an impact he had with his gentle voice and his consistently solid lessons. I of course watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid but I also recently read Tim Madigan‘s book, “I’m Proud of You, My Friendship with Fred Rogers” (10/10 would read again).
Tim Madigan’s book is probably the reason I decided to paint Fred Rogers. I’ve always had a fondness in my heart for my neighbor, but “I’m Proud of You” goes behind-the-scenes of Mister Rogers. I can still see the soft colors of the images on PBS and I’m pleased to know that he was as genuine as we all felt he was.
I wouldn’t say that this portrait was necessarily the turning point in my style, but I’d say it was probably a good confirmation that my style was changing. I’ve started painting in oils and each painting has a different sort of aesthetic depth than my art before this point. After this piece gave me the confidence that my reach was evolving and growing, I wasn’t stuck in a rut of the same style and stories, I concluded to expand it into a series of influential people.
I have a somewhat rough-draft list of people I might paint in the future, with only a couple as for sure candidates. I’m already excited to share their stories and my practice with you in the near future. But I’m always really glad to hear your suggestions, people who have affected you, and/or that you look up to. Also, if you’re interested in having a painting of an icon for yourself, contact me with your ideas and for more information! I’m currently preparing to paint the “man in black” himself for someone.
P.S. Please read “I’m Proud of You” by Tim Madigan.
Sometimes art is just art for it to be fun. I’m happy that as a self-taught artist that’s basically my life motto.
I’ve been thinking, talking about, and even applying to go back to school, but this time for art, in the past couple of weeks. I’m always really impressed by my friends who went to art school. They know so many names, galleries, techniques and what have you. Their art is definitely always more polished than mine and look fleshed out to their fullest extent. In this I’ve resigned myself to be a “different artist”, one that pretends she knows she can’t put acrylic paint over oil paint, or what surrealism even means to it’s fullest extent, let’s be real. I guess I’ve chosen the path of the so called “wanderer”, whether that’s applaudable to anyone or something to scoff at, it is just what it is.
What this different path means is that I’m putting acrylic over oil and watching it crack over a period of days and googling why it would do that (insert emoji of monkey with hands over his eyes here). It also means that I’m attending local seminars on Social Media Marketing and listening to everyone over 50 ask what a hashtag is, which is fine, and funny, too. Duh. My path means that I buy used books from McKay in Knoxville called “Art 101”, where I decide I’m going to shove my brain full of all basic art info within a month, so I can manage around my art school friends.
Regardless, it’s a weird path and it’s fun, but it’s a lot of work – as everything is. So sometimes I paint slices of pizza – this time in just acrylic – for a friend with a funny story about a missing slice of pie (the pizza kind of pie). Not that taught artists can’t, obviously.
Nearer to the beginning of my journey I believed everything had to mean something otherwise my self-taughtedness would be even more of a joke. And at some point down the road – maybe one flat tire too many – I decided that sometimes a piece can just be a good looking pizza that is a funny story, that says nothing intentionally about the state of our society, hearts, or something else way meaningful.