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Posts Tagged ‘artwork’

A little over ten years ago, in December 2007, I started this blog. My original intention is reflected in my tag line: This is a blog about art, the environment and the angst of life and creation. This has not changed since and I still hold the views I was presenting in 2007.

 

I am leaving on vacation for a few weeks and thought that instead of posting while away I will revisit some of my earlier posts.

 

I used to write a lot about the environment, climate change and air pollution. I also wrote a lot about painting, feelings and life.

Magnifique
©2009Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 10 X 8 in

 

So here is the first post I would like to share with you. It was first published on June 5th 2008.

 

Reflection on painting

June 5, 2008 by Enviroart

 

Today, I am reflecting on the art, on the work of painting, on the world of painting. It is often difficult to get going and start a new painting. The famous blank canvas… Some say that if you put a coat of background color or rather an undercoat, you erase the stigma of the blank canvas. But this is not true. If it can be useful to judge the tone or unify the painting, it remains a blank canvas. The blank canvas might be yellow or brown or blue or white, it still represents a challenge. Will that first touch of paint, that very first brushstroke be right? Will the color show how my mind’s eye expects or sees it or will it be totally wrong and send me in a tailspin of wondering, of corrections and self-doubt, of inquiring and research?

 

True, there is technique and we can learn to mix colors. It is an art in itself to be able to do this properly and rapidly, but the best way to learn and reduce this anxiety of the first stroke is really to practice, practice, practice. Some days are better than others but all days spent painting, each minute, are a step on the path the painter wants to follow, meaning forward, learning, progressing.

 

Just like writers are told to write everyday no matter what comes out to exercise the writing muscle, painters, sculptors, artists must practice their craft everyday even if we can give it only half an hour. When you love painting, this anxiety is mixed with expectations and questions. Expectations, because you want this new painting to be better than the last one, to be truer, to expose you a little bit more. Are we just asking for people to understand us a little better? Difficult to say…  Questions, because you just don’t know how your painting will be received.

 

Unless you are a really experienced artist, that knows what his public wants, it is hard to judge how the painting will be received. This depends on so many different ideas and criteria, that vary according to the individual staring at the painting. When you offer a painting to an audience, you are trying to touch the onlooker. To go deep into his or her soul and somehow touch a part of them, light a switch, create a “Ah !”  moment before the analysis takes over. Before they wonder will this fit in my living room, in my dining room? Is this the right color?

 

I think we are looking for understanding, for people to peek into our heart and soul, to share something joyful we feel in our core, or sad in some cases. The only way to do this is to paint first and foremost for ourselves. I think this is the main difference between doing artwork and doing “decorative art” or “crafts”. Unless you create, you don’t normally see the difference. Actually a friend of mine said one day that decorative artists are only “good technicians” and I felt a bit insulted by this statement. But now I see the difference. It is true that decorative art is all about technique except for those that actually create patterns and designs. There is a bit of sharing when you pick the pattern you want to reproduce or paint. But is nowhere close to the opening of the soul that happens when you create from your core.

 

I am speaking for me but there is no emotion when I simply paint someone else’s design. There is the satisfaction of completing a project but none of the excitement, no skipping of the heartbeat, none of the quiet joy of just working at transferring your soul to the canvas.  In conclusion I would like to say that the main thing is to make ourselves happy with what we are painting. I don’t mean to be 100% satisfied with the finished product but to paint for ourselves, about things we like and appreciate. It is not about painting what is trendy now if we hate it (unless we are painting strictly to make money). There is so much talk about finding your style and being unique, but each of us is unique and it is by painting what you believe, what you are, what you like that your uniqueness comes out. We have to live with ourselves, we are the only constant in our life and painting first and foremost for this individual that inhabits our body is a good way to start. So paint what YOU like and do at least a little bit everyday.

 

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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair
 

 

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For the fourth day of the 3/5 Art challenge, I am presenting part of the Costarican series which was the subject of several “Painting of the week” blogs that were picked up by a Costarican travel blog PuraVida eh?

Costarican Lace ©SUzanneBelair

Costarican Lace
©Suzanne Bélair
Oil on Canvas, 30 in X 30 in

 

I enjoyed discovering the history of Costa Rica while researching these paintings. To find out more about the history behind the paintings, go to:

https://enviroart.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/costarican-lace/

BattementdAiles

Fluttering wings
©2012Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas 24 X 30

 

https://enviroart.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/painting-of-the-week-fluttering-wings/

CRPortshellsBright

Costarican pots with shells
©2012 Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas 24 X 30 in

 

https://enviroart.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/painting-of-the-week-costarican-pots-with-shells/

http://www.suzannebelair.com

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For the third day of this Art challenge, I am presenting some of my portraits. I really enjoy painting people. The biggest challenge for me with these is to convey the personality but also how much detail to add, where to stop.

 

Little rebel ©2010 Suzanne Bélair Oil on canvas   24 X 20

Little rebel
©2010 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 24 X 20

Innocence ©2011 Suzanne Bélair Oil on canvas   24 X 18

Innocence
©2011 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 24 X 18

The Potter ©2014 Suzanne Belair Oil on canvas 24 X 25 in

The Potter
©2014 Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas 24 X 25 in

 

The first one is from my daughter Melissa when she was 4 years old. You could already tell she would not let anyone take advantage of her. The other girl is my late friend’s niece made up with Japanese-like make-up. The third painting depicts my friend’s husband Ray. This last one was the subject of a previous blog:https://enviroart.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/painting-of-the-week-the-potter/

 

These were all painted following the method of the old masters. For the first 2, the grisaille was completed using a mix of titanium white and Ivory black. For the last one, the grisaille was completed with a mixture of burnt umber, raw umber and titanium white.

 

http://www.suzannebelair.com

 

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For the second day of the challenge, I decided to show some landscapes from around the world. I like to get inspired by what we witness while travelling. These scenes are from  , San Sebastian Del Oeste Mexico, San Giminiano, Italy and Tiskita,Costa Rica. I find it very interesting to observe  the different architectures and learn why everything is built the way it is, with what materials.

La porte de la fabrique ©2013 Suzanne Bélair Oil on canvas  16 X 20

La porte de la fabrique
©2013 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 16 X 20

San Gimi

San Giminiano Revisited
©2013 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 30 X 24

ToitRouge

The red roof
©2012 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic on canvas paper

I have added colours to the rendition of San Giminiano just for the fun of it since these ancestral cities are mainly grey and beige in colours. Built on the hillsides, streets are narrow, steeply sloped and some contain a lot of stairs. The oil was applied over a textured base of flexible paste.

http://www.suzannebelair.com

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A lot of fun yesterday during a mixed media workshop where I learned to marry terraskin, tissue paper and acrylic paints. It is really good to get out of our comfort zone and experiment with something different once in a while. There is nothing like it to wake up creativity. I have been pondering for a while how to loosen up my art, especially my backgrounds. My head is now full of ideas and projects.

 

Here are a few examples of yesterday’s results that  I have  not named yet . I have not decided if I will continue working on them, put more emphasis on one part versus another, if I’ll add details or leave them as is. I do find them interesting though.

©2014 Suzanne Bélair Mixed media on terraskin 8 X 10 in

©2014 Suzanne Bélair
Mixed media on terraskin
8 X 10 in

©2014 Suzanne Bélair Mixed media on terraskin 25 X 17.5 in

©2014 Suzanne Bélair
Mixed media on terraskin
25 X 17.5 in

 

http://www.suzannebelair.com

 

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The wonderful Spring exhibit from the Lakeshore Association of Artists I will be participating in is fast arriving. This year, more than 45 artists will exhibit and a portion of revenues will be donated to NOVA West Island as it has been in the past.

 

Laa FritzFarm2014

The vernissage takes place this coming Friday from 7PM to 9:30PM and the exhibit continues during the week-end until Sunday April 13th at 5 PM.

 

At that time, there will be a draw for one of Ayako Shibata’s watercolour and a sculpture from Fred Parkinson.

 

Don’t miss this special event !

 

Suzanne

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ICA-publishedVII

My inclusion in the wonderful publication from   ICA publishing, “International Contemporary Artists Vol. VII”  was exciting. The hard cover book is of wonderful quality, distributed all over the world and available on amazon.com  and other on-line sources.

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