I have so many things I want to blog about that I can't figure out what to blog about!😏 If you are new to my blog...👉honestly everyone is since I just started it👈..... you should know that if emoticons are available on my keyboard I will use them to express my full range of emotions. So please, try not to be overly annoyed at this child like behavior.
First up is that I am having a major creative breakthrough in my art practice thanks to the uber talented and most excellent of teachers Annie Hammon . I signed up for her Worshop Creating Soulful Art With a Story just days before our own class, Paint & Pixels launched. I had time to watch a total of two videos; Annie's intro (which I found endearing) was equally amusing and informative but her one on composition just stopped me in my tracks. By the time I finished I had so many feelings at once I had to jump up out of my chair and run around the block before I could think straight.😱
In Annie's video about composition she describes her process for developing a painting with a soulful story which is very much like my own process. She uses an intuitive and open approach as she begins each new piece of art which is similar to how I do everything in my life including art. Annie knows there will be a story because she sees things in story form and from my viewpoint all of life is a story so I naturally paint in stories. Another similarity is that neither of us begins with a preconceived story in our minds. We have storytelling and soulfullness in common but we approach our artful discoveries in significantly different ways.
The concepts Annie is teaching are the very same concepts I use in my own art but with one crucial difference. Annie creates a framework for her piece before she begins. I haven't used a framework of any kind ever. My paintings follow a meandering and sometimes convoluted path of trial and error until a piece begins to speak to me. Only when the painting is complete will I discover the hidden story within. Magic is eventually created to be sure but the process is also very very time consuming and fraught with doubts, frustrations and many blind corners.
I truly feel I discovered compositional gold within Annie's video! I am aware I've had the same information in my head but it sometimes takes a new perspective to see what is right in front of us. When I heard her talk about her ideas my brain just went all calm and the crazy tangled threads in my head relaxed and melted into a beautifully familiar brilliant red thread that led me to a fresh way of seeing and doing things.
Annie uses a collaging technique rather like the storyboarding approach used by creative writers and film makers. She has a magnificent store of collage elements that are kept in notebooks. Hundreds of elements are neatly organized so that she can relax and focus on her compositional choices while listening to her intuitive heart. She select her main subject, a symbolic creature or element will be chosen, a background that feels right and the additional decorative elements such as patterns or forms become naturally incorporated as the story blooms into a painterly reality!
Above you can see how I did a bit of backwards engineering practicing Annie's approach with a painting I had already completed using my convoluted meandering approach. I pulled all the original elements onto my Procreate canvas and arranged them to see how the elements would have looked had I tried bringing them together ahead of time. I'm really excited to try this storyboarding technique in my next painting. I'm know my heart will continue to connect to my paintings revealing their stories bit by bit just as we have in the past.
I love that we are all a community of artists who love to share our secrets and gifts with one another! Each and every artist has their our unique artistic magic that no one else can replicate and when we can share our processes to help one another grow the whole world benefits from the glow of beauty and happiness in our hearts. Thank you Annie Hammon for sharing your soulful storytelling!
xo robin bird