One of my very favorite blogs is written by “Val the Victorian.” Almost daily she produces from her “lair” another post of humorous, imaginative and unique news of her doings providing brain food for students at the local high school, or the goings on in her neighborhood in “Backroads.” What’s more, every evening she replies to the comments she receives with more clever remarks. (Selfishly I hope she doesn’t get the flood of readers she deserves because then she’d be so successful she’d be too busy with book tours to return comments.)
Anyhoo, she recently answered a list of questions passed on to her by another writing friend who had also answered the questions and named some friends−you get the idea. Then she included my name to add to the ever widening circle of links—having nothing to do with chains or sausage.
The list has to do with the creative process, and although most of the bloggers in the group are writers the questions apply to art as well.
1-What am I working on?
I work in watercolors, producing enough paintings to keep my Etsy Shop stocked. At present I have a deer painting in the works. Because, as a successful artist told me, “the deer and the antelope pay.” All you have to do is check out galleries in places like Jackson Hole, WY, Scottsdale, AZ or Santa Fe, NM to see he’s right. Not that I expect a great cash return for my work but I always need revenue for art supplies.
2-How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’m fortunate I don’t need to produce to survive so I don’t often paint for the market. I do pictures of all kinds of things; except people, unless I’m not expected to generate a recognizable likeness. My shop paintings are on archival paper with high-end pigments (thus the need for at least a few sales). The customer gets them without mat or frame, letting me skip the part of painting I hate and the customer can take the work to their local frame shop and have it preserved for display any way they please.
3- Why do I write/paint what I do?
Most of my paintings are souvenirs of good times. When I have to study a place or thing well enough to make a finished painting or even a sketch, I learn to appreciate details I miss in casual observation. I take lots of reference photos and often pick and choose from them to create a composition.
4-What is my writing/painting process like?
I don’t do as much painting/sketching on location as I should. One reason is watercolor and wind and even bright sun are not very compatible. I’ve put up a few posts showing a work in progress and the final results. You can check three of them out here, here and here.
Val also made kind references to my poetry and wondered if I might be working on a book. The only book I’m working right now is an album of photos and letters I found among my parents' things after their death. It’s a slow process but I’ve at least got it sort of sorted.