Sunday, February 07, 2010

What I've Been Doing....

I took a couple of days away from my blog but not from art. As many of you know, I'm addicted to online art classes! I suffer from OACA....Online Art Class Addiction. This is an addiction that just started last year but it has progressed rapidly!

For a long time I have drawn women....first with no faces and mostly wearing long dresses, then I eventually added faces, and then I mainly drew bodies. But all the time they were just drawings with no color except for the occasional hint of color on the clothes. I never felt comfortable adding color to the faces but I longed to. I saw so many wonderful artists doing beautiful faces and I wanted to do that, too.

Long story short....I'm currently taking two classes about painting faces. One is the Goddess and Poet class with Suzi Blu and the other one is with Sharon Tomlinson. They are both wonderful teachers, give tons of great information, provide lots of great videos and offer help to all their students. But the simple truth is, some people can paint faces and others cannot! I fall into that last category. It isn't the fault of the teachers but the fault of the student.

Over the past couple of days I have immersed myself in these classes and what happened? I bombed! I flunked! I am not a face painter. Here are my latest art journal pages. The last one is what I'm talking about.

February 4:

I think this is the kind of art I'm going to stick to doing.

February 5:

This has a background of pieces cut from security envelopes and the flowers are from napkins. I wish the napkins had been white but they weren't.

February 6:

And this is the piece of crap that I produced after all the wonderful lessons! First off my transfer looks like you-know-what! And she looks flat, startled, and childish. She was fine until I started adding paint. I liked the face I drew but it looks nothing like what has appeared now.

I can draw faces and have no problem with is the woman I began drawing about a week ago....

She looked good until I began adding color and then it went to hell. I'm not sure why this is because I LOVE color. And I can add color to other things but when it comes to faces I just can't seem to get it. So I'm resigning myself to the fact that I'm just not a face painter and I'll quit spending money on face classes and get on with other kinds of art. I am not trying to get your sympathy or to get comments on this....I'm just tired of trying to do something that doesn't seem to come naturally to me no matter how much I want it to. My faces just don't have "it" and I'm through trying.


On a completely different subject, if you haven't seen the film "Food Inc." then run, don't walk, to go see it. I bought the DVD at Amazon. It is an eye-opening look at the food industry and how they are manipulating our food....and us. I was so furious after watching it.

This documentary is up for an Academy Award and rightly so. You will never look at the food on your plate the same way after you see this movie. And I'm not just talking about the animals!


  1. I a mright there with you on the faces..I do better if I don't stop to think...but Faces are not me ! and I have to say that I think all the faces out there look pretty much the matter who the artist(sorry) THe faces I have done lately were the ones pulled from the background. BTW...I STILL love your b&W ladies with a bit of color...THose were great and unique.

  2. I love the page with the napkins and I like the second face a whole lot. Practice, practice, practice! Have you read any of the Michael Pollan books -- sort of along the lines of the movie you suggested. No more prepared foods, buy from the farmers you know ... etc etc etc...

  3. PS: how many times can I say "faces" ...haha

  4. Well to the face paint looks good. But I am not there yet, Transfers any transfer I do turns out like shit, so we will have see about that tonight. I have drawn the face, got the paints, canvases, printed off the house and music. And tonight I am going to try and paint. I think yours look good and I am not just saying that. I cant paint faces worth a damn, so we shall see how it goes tonight. Are you watching the game, hubby is but I am finishing off the postcards and getting ready to mail them. I need your address again.

  5. You know what Suzi says--you have to struggle--she wants you to get fustrated--try a little bit more--you never know. Next, I want to tell you how much I love your journal pages, especially the first one. And then I'm going to put that documentary on my netflix!

  6. I think you have said it...not everyone can do faces, at least not the way they do it. You do really good following your own way.
    I like number two, you love color and it shows in all that you do...but on your own terms.
    Love ya lots, Mary
    Thank you for your comment on my pages, it was not easy...
    Hugs, Mary

  7. I like your girls b/w with a bit of color..They are beautiful.
    But do not give up, if you want to paint with color..
    You know what is right for you but I can not do faces either..I think it is I also am not a face person.
    Either way I love your faces.

  8. I think you're being a little hard on yourself but...I do agree that some artists are better with faces than others. Practice definitely helps and my advice is to flow with your own individuality. Your pages are lovely!

    I've taken note of the movie although I have read A LOT about the manipulation in the food industry already. The scary part is that people can be so easily manipulated.

  9. Janet,

    First your faces do not look like crap. Secondly I know about your frustration as I continue to struggle to paint faces myself. There are 2 things that helped me. One is when I painted a face every day last January. By the end of the month I was better than at the beginning of the month. The other thing was after taking Mystele's class where she said you need to paint every day. Now I am not at that stage yet but I do aspire to it. Also realize we are trying to learn to paint by just watching someone. I think it would be easier if we had the teacher next to us in person. Then the other thing is practice practice practice. I think if you painted a face a day for a year you would be fantastic at the end of this. I also think this is part of the artists journey. If we were perfect the first time out what fun would there be in that. We'd have no desire to get any better. I know every time I try a new face its a new journey. Sometimes I am happy with it and sometimes I am not but I still try again and again. I hope you will not give up, you are so talented.


  10. There really isn't anything wrong with sticking with black and white and just drawing. However, if this is your comfort zone than it is worth your while to challenge yourself and study color. Perhaps you just need to understand it.

    This is just a thought and as long as you continue doing art in any capacity that speaks volumes in itself. A break is good.

  11. She is really beautiful, Janet but you should do art that you enjoy above all! You know when it flows and feels right. I like the ones you did when you started with something and let it evolve! Those were always surprising and wonderful!

  12. Anonymous7:29 PM

    Hi Janet...I've been occupied with other things today but stopped by tonight. You can DO faces...maybe not like someone else does them, but your way...I've seen some that you have done. The last face is very good, I think. Your journal pages are great, as usual.

  13. I agree with you Janet that a lot of artists out there paint faces that all look the sames -it is hard to say who has painted them.
    I for one love your faces (and your face he he)I find them to be pleasing to the eye and I have no problem with your colours.
    At least you can do faces that look like faces--I can't and I wish that I could.

  14. your faces look ok to me - .. but I do agree, they are hard to do. I have only done a face once and it stressed me no end. I can do silly face things..
    your journal pages are delightful and if they give you pleasure and no stress, then go with that!

  15. Hi Janet....your journal pages are great. Love the flower one.

  16. I like all the pages here! I'm such a color junkie and the first two pages really hit that fix for me! Your face is really good! If you don't like the results of your painting try a different medium like watercolor pencils and see what you think.....possibly you want more play in your colors?

    I hope you don't give up and revisit your faces in the future! You may just surprise yourself.

  17. Oh Janet, you are definitely one of the most self-critical people I know! Your art changes and evolves and moves and you are the one making it happen. At one point you were not an "art-journal-maker" and look at what you're doing now! Paint the faces and allow them to be childish or flat or funny... who knows what will grow from that! At the same time continue with your drawings.. it doesn't have to be one or another. We like them all and I'm sure you enjoy the creative process even if it frustrates you from time to time. xo

  18. Hello my friend Janet, I don't know if you want me to comment here but I must. If you were in my class (real life class) and everybody was painting and I heard words similar to what I just read, well this is when I run to the closest door or window and shout as loud as I can, "GET OUT OF HERE...SHE DOESN'T NEED YOU IN HERE RIGHT NOW TELLING HERE CRAP LIKE THAT. YOU ARE NOT WELCOMED. NOBODY WANTS YOU HERE SO GET OUT NOW...SHE MIGHT LET YOU BACK IN WHEN SHE IS FINISHED PAINTING HER FACE BUT SHE CAN NOT FINISH WHILE YOU WHISPER THAT STUFF IN HER EAR. STAY AWAY UNTIL SHE IS FINISHED AND INVITES YOU BACK!!!!! GO!!!"

    You get the picture. It gets every ones attention. I really really do that, no lieing. And it makes a point. You know it is that little grimlin sitting on your shoulder telling you this stuff.

    I happen to know that you will be painting beautiful faces because you confess that you have a passion to do it. That is all it takes plus doing it all the time.

    First, let me say, you just didn't finish your painting. Probably because the stupid little critter that was hanging around in your studio.

    You said, "And she looks flat, startled, and childish." and that is all fixable if you will let me help you finish.

    First thing to do, when you feel like trying is go back to watch the videos again and again and again. When you are ready, I have your answers to "flat, startled and childish".

    Thank you for the teacher love. Keep you passion to paint faces.

  19. You know - Sharon means what she says! She took care of my gremlin when she was visiting. She really did scream those things - scared my husband, as well as the gremlin... but helped me immensely.

  20. Janet - that drawn face with colour is so delicate and pretty!It really is adorable. Maybe you should go with what works for you and not worry so much about using paint. You obviously have skill with pencils - why not use them!
    (Writing as someone who finds pencils easier than paint. LOL)

  21. Anonymous1:46 PM

    "Faces, Smaces", I say~!! If you aren't comfortable with an art venture, then I say put it aside for a while and then try again!! You talk about your art, and your ART is just SUPER!! I cannot wait to come to the blog and see the next page and colors....The napkin one is lovely, and I am sure that it was a delicate procedure to get it on the page...napkins are so light, oft times....
    And, as many said, practice....I do NOT accept that they look like crap!!...NOT!....Hang in, Janet. We love your art!

  22. I feel that I must speak rather strongly here, Janet, so please, get ready. You are too good a portrait artist to say you're not going to do faces! Plain and simple. The face you drew is absolutely lovely, so there's no reason you can't paint faces. You just have to keep at it, until it works. When I first started painting faces, mine looked flat and harsh. They aren't perfect now, but they are so much better than they were two years ago.

    Have you ever tried drawing the face and then collaging it onto a surface? That's what I do sometimes in my mixed media paintings, and I then often embellish the face with ink and paint. I recently found the work of a really incredible encaustic artist who uses this technique and then covers the entire painting with layers of beeswax, which she then scrapes away in layers. I will try to find the link and send it to you.

    My point is that you can develop your OWN process, Janet. You are an incredibly talented artist, girlfriend, and don't you dare let that gremlin tell you any different. You tell that insidious creature that resistance is PART of the artistic process, so bring it on. And then you just go and kick its butt!

  23. Hi Janet,
    You know you really are much more ambitious than I am. I signed up for Suzi's Petit Doll class and all I've done is download the first lesson! I bought a moleskin journal and it sits empty. I am busy with other things in my life though, so not like I'm lazy, but I just can't fit those in right now. I love Suzi, but I don't feel motivated one bit to DRAW! I've never liked drawing! Why did I think I even wanted to I don't know...I guess I love faces and thought I might be able to learn, but I feel the same way. Some of us are talented at one thing, others at I do wonder if I'm kidding myself. The idea of shading really makes me want to run and hide! LOL It's not even my fear of trying, it's my lack of wanting to isn't that telling me something?
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have no desire to practice, practice, practice...what fun is that? LOL


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