Lost time…

Claire de Lune for Painter's Progress 6-18-18
‘Claire de Lune’ Peony Watercolor pencil on paper

I just took a year off from painting, at a point in my life when I really don’t have that much time left!! I didn’t mean to stop the work, but a series of difficult geographical moves left me without a studio in an unexplored part of America.

It is always detrimental to an artist to find the physical environment in which she works compromised. This is especially true for someone like me who, as an ADD personality, has only the most tenuous hold on discipline and forward momentum! When I had to close up my studio in the Belgo Building in Montreal and then chose to move to my daughter’s apartment in Dallas, Texas, I had thought to continue my floral and portrait work in Texas. Unfortunately,  I found the loss of the Botanical Garden and my Montreal tango community very disorienting. It was as though, with the loss of my muse and my audience, I also lost my train of thought!

Without the distraction of a whole new planet to explore (and Dallas was like another planet!), I hope to get back on track with my painting during the next five months in Montreal. Happily I am back in time for peony season. This will be the third June that I will be sketching in the Botanical gardens. This time I will be using the watercolor sketches as the basis for paintings. The big challenge with this is how to maintain the spontaneity of the sketch in the oil painting. And my struggle continues to discover my unique ‘voice’ within a traditional subject matter.

The one useful thing that came out of the yearlong pause, was that, upon my return, when I unpacked my studio, I realized that many of the drawings and paintings I had done in the past four years were not worth keeping! So ruthlessly I threw tore them up or painted them over! (The noise you hear in the background is my friend André screaming “noooo!”). But here is the thing, after a year away from the work, it is very clear which pieces work; and which don’t, which have the germ of future directions, and which are simply going over the same tired ground. The laws of minimalism and sustainability apply here as well as everywhere else in my life!

I am looking forward to continuing this blog, The Painter’s Progress. I expect that doing my work in public, in front of you,  my readers, will keep me honest. As always, your feedback is my inspiration!

A Painter’s Progress

Welcome to a new blog, “A Painter’s Progress,” a new website, JHart-Artist, and a New Year!

I made a few New Year’s resolutions that I would like to share with you:

  1. I would like to invite you to be a witness to my daily practice of painting. This blog is a great way for you to get a peek into what is involved in creating art. You will see and understand how I make art: what the struggles are, and what the pleasures. I will happily answer any of your questions about the process. It is also a good way for me to stay honest about what I do!
  2. I have also changed my art practice to be more collaborative. Like artists in the past, I must be responsive to the needs of my society. So, to a certain degree, my skills are in the service of my fans’ and patrons’ interests and passions. I can paint anything in any style, but I am interested in learning what you want to see in a painting. Your comments are important to me!
  3. And finally, I am building and running this blog & website myself. I had a great webmaster, Natalia Usselman, for my last website, but I found that having someone else set it up and run it let me off the hook. For the New Year, I am pulling up my big-girl panties and building and running http://www.jhart-artist.com myself. It will be, like all my other art pieces, a work in progress!

Hoping to hear from you soon!

In the meantime, I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a healthy and peaceful 2017!