Stepping Stones – Week Fourteen: Miniature Oil Painting

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. – Nelson Mandela

Mini-Landscape
week fourteen – miniature oil painting

So what is this ‘artistic self’ I keep referring to and why is it so important? The new year has challenged my mind to find more meaning behind these weekly artistic pursuits. As I’ve written about before, one answer is the need to maintain my identity as ‘Catherine’ along side that of Mum, Wife, Daughter and so on. But I know it’s so much more than that.

I believe art is all around us and in everything we do. It may be beautiful, thought provoking, controversial or even ugly.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It can touch your soul or dance on your finger tips. It’s creativity at it’s best and worst. It’s poetry. And for ‘me’ it’s a passion; a desire to find meaning in this crazy world and sometimes even escape it.

The projects I’ve been working on so far may not seem like ‘great art’ but they are stepping stones to a bigger purpose. We live in a small flat (another stepping stone) with no dedicated creative space and with our baby (who is now on the move) creates an abundance of artistic challenges. Which is why, right now I’m careful with my choices. And isn’t it better to do something; anything than nothing at all.

mini-landscape-detail
week fourteen – miniature oil painting

Several years ago when I decided to study visual arts I felt like I’d finally found my voice. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Since then, I’ve started a design degree, got married, traveled and had a baby and as wonderful as all these experiences have been, my artistic voice has once again been silenced. Silenced by my own self doubts and fears. And that is what I am trying to rediscover. I’m trying to reignite my artistic voice, my ‘artistic self’. I want art to be a bigger part of my life. After all we are only here a short time so why not follow the path that brings us the most enjoyment.

This week I wanted to play with my old favourites, my oil paints. But this time with a difference. When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t want to worry about the odour of turpentine in the house for myself or baby. So I gave all my traditional oil paints away and invested in the modern, water mixable variety. This is the first time I’ve used them and I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy them as much, yet they feel just as luscious and creamy. I could have spent all my time just mixing paint.

finished-prep
finished artwork with palette

My original inspiration was an abstract work by Brigid Watsonpinned in my creative inspiration board. I was going to attempt my own abstract oil piece however it didn’t work out that way. I think I’ve been dreaming of escaping to the seaside and this has come out in my work. Maybe next time.

Until next week… happy painting!

What small steps have you had to take on your artistic journey?

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