The Important Thing About Art

Irene Rowley photo, painting

Irene, Oil Painting

When I began this blog, I mentioned using your “artistic mind” to turn scraps into fine art. I’d like to circle back to artistic mind now, and write about art as a personal journey. It begins with unlocking your creative mind. To be an artist, you’ll need to give time to the right side of the brain, which is known to be more artistic and intuitive than the left side.

Irene Rowley photo

My favorite paint brush… in use for 30 years and still working great!

So many people come to me and tell me they can never be an artist because they say “can’t draw” or “have no creativity.” If I ask what they mean by that, most indicate they gave up art in childhood. I get that they think there is is a right way and a wrong way to draw anything, pointing to their gold fish picture or stick figures as proof that’s all they can do.

I think they just feel intimidated with art. Their minds are locked down thinking they’re bad at it. They need encouragement and practice. I tell them with practice, they may have amazing talent!

If you feel intimidated as well, try playing with some art scraps that inspire you. Find a safe place to practice and an art teacher to guide and encourage you. Find an art group and find your inspiration.

Here are some quotes from a short video I just finished on this topic of art as a heartfelt journey, called “What’s Important About Art.” The key quotes are below:

On Art Today:
There’s a lot of people copying other artists. And a lot of people who don’t really follow their heart, and they go off. They go off to cold “other-ways”.

My Advice to Others:
The important thing about art is to follow your own heart, and to really bring out what the image is inside of you that has been dying to come out. You get really, really busy and you get really almost distracted by other people’s images or by other things in the process of getting there. But maybe after 20 years you start realizing what it is that you’re trying to say through your art….

It’s not just a sentimental dream. You know there’s something real inside you that only you feel, that’s your vision. Or that’s my vision that’s real strong and it comes out the more you let it come out. Its something you’re giving the world”

On My Paintings:
For me, I am trying to say something peaceful and giving and loving. My paintings of people have become more tender and soft because of that. Although I am trying to draw out some inner beauty in life and I also really, really enjoy beautiful colors.

I usually concentrate on sculpting faces, but I try to do the
whole picture art once, just like my art teachers taught me.

For more, see my video, “The Important Thing About Art“, now available on YouTube.

10 thoughts on “The Important Thing About Art

  1. Art is communication. It’s a way of communicating the things that can’t just be plainly said. And there’s so much of that.
    As for not feeling like your art is good enough, all the artists I know go through those feelings. I look at a piece and it’s so amazing, leaves me struck with wonder. But the person who made it, all they can see is the flaws, the places they didn’t get it right, all the things that got left out. And as an artist myself, I understand that. It can be hard to appreciate something for what it is when all you can see is how it’s not what you meant it to be.
    The important thing is not to let that inner critic spoil the enjoyment of the process for you. So for anyone who thinks they “can’t do art” I’d say stop worrying about making it perfect and just have fun. Like you did when you were a kid. All kids are artists because they just go for it. They don’t care how “pretty” it’ll look, they just have fun. So just have fun.

  2. Encouraged by your recent post that I can draw, I made a research about how can I improve my drawing skills and came across a wonderful book: Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain by Betty Edwards. Did you read this book? This a based on recent research about brain plasticity and the significance of right brain functioning.

  3. Irene,
    I love your blog and how you incorporated the Youtube video in your last weekly post. I do feel intimidated when talking about art and I must confess that I have always felt you have to have the “sense” for it. But after reading your post, I also think you are right…. I must try something and try and try until I get it right or until I master it. Truth be told, most times I have tried just once and then given up.

      • I may…. But I don’t know what I may find (materials) after a few years of not spending time in Colombia. However, I may be able to incorporated things from my beach trips, which are in the schedule when I go back in 2016. I guess time will tell… I may be able to come back with a more open mind and an artistic soul after my trip :)

    • I would add, don’t try and try until you get it right – because it is right, right now. The next few times you go to throw away scraps of anything, candy rapper, cellophane, any fun packaging or pieces of mail or cards – stop and take a second or third look and ask yourself how would that look in a collage? when you have a pile of “stuff” get your self a piece of cardboard, card stock, watercolor paper, canvases, in other words any thing will work. Actually a small piece, like the size of a card is easier to start out with. I actually buy boxes of blank cards at JoAnn’s Beverly’s or Michaels to make it as easy as possible. Then get yourself a few glue sticks and start arranging it on the paper or blank cards and just see what happens. After awhile your composition will get better and better. That is how I started because I can’t draw.

      This is a good time to think of making Christmas cards, talk about easy. Start with a box of plain cards, grab some old Christmas cards, either not ever sent or the ones you couldn’t bare to throw away (the best) grab some pretty Christmas wrap and maybe some red and green colored paper and tear it up paste it all together and before you know it you have some pretty great Christmas cards your family and friends will love. I believe the easiest way is to cut or tear a piece of colored paper or card stock a little smaller than the card and then go from there with the smaller stuff.

      Another good tip is when you go for a walk look down, you will be surprised what you will find along with some pretty pieces of nature to bring back for your collage.

      I have never wrote into any blog with my ideas before, and the ideas just didn’t stop. if anyone is interested, I know of some very fun, and easy Christmas cards that double as tree ornaments that keep on giving year after year. How fun is that!!

  4. I am so glad to see you inspired! I hoped people would feel inspired! What wonderful ideas you have and especially for the holidays. Thank you for sharing Janielle!

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