Monday, December 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop Entry--My Creative Process

Outside a back yard at Jacksonville Beach, FL
I was invited to join an Around the World Blog Hop (google that and be amazed!) by fellow artist Mary Paquet, whose work and blog I always enjoy and admire. Please visit Mary Paquet's blog to see for yourselves and for her Blog Hop entry on December 1. In turn, I have invited Jo Castillo, a delightful, talented artist and prolific blogger to post on Monday, December 15. All the past blog hop entries I have visited are fascinating as a variety of artists each answer four questions about their work and creative process.

     The invitation is welcome both because 1) I am a relatively new artist and 2) my blog is a mix of posts about both acrylic landscape painting and silk scarf painting AND lots of other aspects of creative living, including travel, cooking, exploring coastal North Florida, and more. I am honored that more established artists with more art-focused blogs to include mine. Thank you, Mary Paquet. My thoughts on the questions appear below (and, to spare you a truly endless post this time, will continue in a second post in a few days). Here and there a link will take interested readers to related posts on this blog. 

1) What am I working on? After a break from art due to travel, time with family and, well, the rest of life, I have several projects going now:
Matanzas River Bend
  • finishing touches on a gift for a friend--a 12" x 6" piece picturing a Matanzas River scene, just off the Atlantic Ocean. My friend has always loved the Matanzas Inlet area, near St. Augustine, Florida.
  • deciding what's next on a half-finished silk scarf with a purple iris motif; it needs more tonal contrast and/or some other revision (not pictured--stay tuned).
  • designing and making a scarf for a friend who wants it as a Christmas gift for someone special to her. She has a color scheme idea, and is trusting me for the rest. How scary is that?
  • A favorite scarf, painted in March
  • Finally, something new for me, planning a couple of paintings based on photos and memories of a recent time in Tuscany. Normally, I interpret scenes here in coastal North Florida because I know this area in depth. Can I capture the essence of a place only visited? Perhaps not, but I am hoping to convey my own impressions and appreciation of its beauty.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Most bloggers, including me, regard this question as a stumper--hard to answer for oneself. Even some relative strangers have said that once they see a landscape I've painted, they recognize others as being my style, so the work does have distinctive elements. However, defining those elements is difficult. I'll mention a few common threads in most of the landscapes. Making scarves is simply too new for me to have developed a personal style; "experimenting" is the current mode in silk painting. (See posts on the week-long "art camp" silk painting class I enjoyed).  My landscape paintings usually include:
Another silk scarf favorite

  • A realistic style--although I "edit" actual scenes for good composition; they are far from photographic.
  • Many portray out-of-the way places that most people would pass without noticing. Prowling back roads, urban pocket parks, and nature preserves with my camera, I find quiet charm and beauty--painting ideas abound.
  • Water appears in a fair number of works. Here in Jacksonville, Florida, we enjoy the Atlantic Ocean (from a surprising variety of beaches), the mighty St. Johns River and a number of other rivers, quirky creeks (some of which would be called rivers in other regions--they are wide!), still ponds, and our bewitching, ever-changing salt marshes. I love both being near natural bodies of water and the challenge of painting water.
  • Marsh in Fort Caroline Preserve
  • Finally, the works reflect an effort to establish a clear focal point and visual path for the viewer.
Clear focal point, "Summer Reflections" 
3) Why do I create what I do?

4) How does my creating process work?

This post is long enough, so--hoping the blog hop police won't mind--I will post again in a few days with consideration of the last two questions.

   Don't forget to visit the delightful blog of fine artist Jo Castillo, who has agreed to be "tagged" as the next Monday blogger in this creative chain. Don't miss her post on December 15! 

Again, I am truly thankful to Mary Paquet for providing this opportunity. Given the many incredible blogs I have discovered following the chain from one creator to another, it took real self-discipline to stop browsing and post on time :).

Question of the Day: What are some delightful discoveries of people/ideas/visuals/blogs you have encountered recently as you browse the web?    


  1. Mary, this is a grat description of your art. You live a beautiful area, and your landscapes capture a perfect sense of place. I am especially intrigued by your painting on silk, an artforn that is a mystery to me. I checked out Jo's blog. She does wonderful pastels. I look forward to your continuation post!

  2. I've been enjoying your art and your blog for several years now, Mary. I just mostly enjoy your thoughts and seeing your work here. Love your question of the day too.

  3. Thank you for your visit and encouraging comments, Mary. I especially appreciate knowing that you feel the sense of place in the works--something I work to achieve. I'm glad you visited Jo; I have also enjoyed "meeting" some new bloggers through this exchange.

    Great to hear from you, Sherry. You are a genuine, very faithful blogging friend--to me and to many others. Thanks for your continued interest and kindness.

  4. Thanks, Mary for the link. I'm working on my post now.

  5. You are most welcome, Jo. I know others who find you through the chain will enjoy your blog. And am looking forward to your post for the blog hop!

  6. I am a friend of Jo's who she has tagged to do the the blog hop next. and will be posting on Dec. 22. I've enjoyed reading your posts about your work and process. Your paintings are lovely and admire your silk paintings too. I used to paint silk scarves so I know a little about that process. It is always fun to discover to new artists that I didn't know before so this is a good way to do that. I will be returning to view your work and will put you under the links on my blog so I can find you easily.

  7. Hi Joan; I very much appreciate your visit and look forward to seeing your work and your Dec. 22nd blog hop post. I'm glad you have had the pleasure of painting on silk--such a wonderful process of discovery and color. I look forward to getting to know you and your work better in the "blogosphere".