Weeeellll, if you're reading this and you are one of my beloved Yankee friends....don't panic. Well, you can panic a little...but I was inspired to write this post after having a chat with a friend from up north. I called her to say hey..."hey girl! How ah you?" is what I guess I said....I didn't think I said it that way, but after she finished her fit of laughing, that's how she said I said it.
Hmmm.....you know, I can't hear it! When I talk to my northern friends, I just sound normal, but I guess their speech does sound a little crisper, more stilted than mine. Anywhoo....I would just like to set the record straight and say that after almost 7, yes 7, years of living down here, I have become more "southern" than I ever thought I would.
I you had asked me 7 years ago when we were moving down here if I would ever unknowingly speak with a slight southern accent, tolerate country music, know what grits are, do what? at a pig pickin', get accustomed to spiders as big as my fist and love lizards (they are SO cute!)...I would have given you a good ole' northern dirty look.
Moving down, I guess I had some disdain for the southern way of living. I am ashamed to say that, actually. Truth is, I didn't know the people down here, I had never LIVED down here and all of my knowledge came from TV shows or movies....not the best sources.
I have to say that moving down here was tough....I felt like a foreigner in a strange land. When people spoke I had to listen really carefully and translate it in my head back into English....when I understood it! lol
But I have to say that I'm proud to be a Yank living in the South. I am sincerely fond of my funny, drawly friends. The accent only makes life funnier in most situations. In fact, you can get away with saying pretty much anything as long as you have a drawl!
As for country music...it's growing on me, barbecue? LOVE IT....grits....not so much. Winters are pure heaven here and summers are full of lazy days. Families are tight, children are plentiful, the days are longer, the sky is bluer and life, my friend, in the south, is just plain good. Love it.
I never thought I'd say that, but it's true! Love my friends, love my house, yard, the seasons, the cows, the tobacco fields, the community events, the beaches, the horses, EVERYTHING! Well, not everything...I still don't like hush puppies, namely b/c I can't figure out what they are....but ALMOST EVERYTHING! (except for the coyotes who slaughter small animals in the middle of the night in our backyard)
So, yes, I guess I'm becoming southern and if you have a chat with me and I say "y'all", you can laugh...I won't mind. The south has mellowed me, smoothed out some rough edges, stretched me and I'm never going back!
I've taken a few lessons from Pam Shank over at ArtSpace and let me just say what a huge difference it has made! (more to come about that lovely start)
Let me just say something here.....I must ashamedly admit that when I started watercolors, I might have entertained the idea that I was truly the cat's pajamas. Let me also say that I am truly, for "real life" (as Tirzah says) NOT the cat's pajamas and I don't know why I ever thought that I was in the first place....lol (yes, I am hanging my head in artistic shame)
Being at ArtSpace, attending First Friday, while it has been a wonderful time and I have LOVED every minute of it....it has truly humbled me with the knowledge that I am very much a baby in the field of art...a preemie, really!...I almost feel like I'm starting over again with all of the wonderful new techniques and lessons that I've had.
Okay, that being said, now that I am properly humbled by all of the awesome ArtSpace talent that I've witnessed, let's talk about what I've learned!
I have this annoying habit of desperately needing to FINISH a painting in one sitting. Note to self....a painting needs to sit overnight before it's finished...maybe even sit for a week or two weeks (that's stretching it big time for me) A GOOD painting needs to be put away and looked at again with fresh eyes later....b/c inevitably one will notice something that needs to be fixed, added on, darkened or lightened. Tis' true and I'm slowly learning to master this difficult discipline. :)
I know all of you artsy people are reading this and wishing that I will get to the point, so here's the main idea for this blog. Paint your art and set it aside. Come back to it in a few days with fresh eyes. It's amazing what will pop out at you.
Check it out. I've painted this child twice.
Here's the first try:
This was painted before I knew anything about skin washes.
Then, I recently decided to paint it again and see if I'd improved:
Eh, slight improvement, but not really anything to write home about. Pam's advice to me was to "warm up" the shadows by adding a brown wash...that shadows don't always have to be Payne's Gray (which was my habitual "shadow" color)
I let this sit for a bit and today I finally decided that there needed to be some major changes. The hair was too straggly, the colors needed a boost, the skin tone wasn't "rosy" enough....time for another watercolor makeover and thanks to my good and faithful friend, gouache, I was able to fix some issues:
Ahhh...okay, Happy Hat Girl now has pigtails, rosy cheeks and that lovely "cooler" green in the background, thanks to Pam's all wise advice. I'm thinking that she needs to be cropped and framed off center. I'm also thinking that the poor piece of paper that this was painted on is about worn out with overuse....lol
Here's my crop:
Eventually, I should probably send this painting to her mama. Oh and another thing, shadows on the face can simply be a "darker" skin tone....not blue. That's probably why my people always looked slightly nauseous when I shadowed their face.
SO much to learn, SO little time....Enjoy the journey, says I to myself.
I heart Pam! :)
I'm a wife and mother of four kids. I homeschool, paint, run, and garden! I am always interested in digging truths out of Scripture. Here, you'll find my thoughts on art, adoption, gardening, mothering, homeschooling, books and whatever else is on my mind. Enjoy!
Creativity doesn't exist in a vacuum - like skepticism, it's a means, not an end. It cries out for a theme. To treat creativity as an end in itself is to assume godlike character for humans as though they could create ex nihilo. -J. Cheane