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Posts Tagged ‘Painting’

I recently attended an art workshop in Montreal. I don’t attend a lot of workshops anymore, preferring to explore solo in my studio and perfecting my own techniques but every now and then, I try one.

In the case of that particular workshop, we explored image transfers, collage, multiple mediums to give special effects and mix with acrylic paints, stencilling with spray paint and resin application. It was a good blend of mixed media techniques.

I had already tried some of the techniques before, some were new to me and the atmosphere and the group were a lot of fun, the instructor knowledgeable. I am not particularly happy with my piece, especially for the fact that it would be difficult to modify anything at this point after the application of resin which I wanted to try.

My Art workshop experiment

But that’s OK because the point of attending an art workshop is to learn something new, be it a new medium, subject matter or technique. You have to go into a workshop with an open mind and should not be expecting to come out with a finished piece ready to hang on your wall. That is not the point of a workshop.

Often, workshop attendees are afraid of making mistakes, are feeling watched by the others and want to perform. They want to come out with an artwork worth keeping (after all, they paid for it) but this is not what workshops are for! Workshops are meant to take you out of your comfort zone, to let you experiment with the curiosity of a child, without expectations. It is the perfect place to watch what happens with whatever new thing you are trying. It is also the perfect place to learn from the other attendees’ experimentations and to share your discoveries.

The goal is to listen to the instructor, take notes and experiment just for the joy of it. Relax and enjoy the moment without expectations and you’ll really benefit from the workshop. Always walk in with an open mind.

Later on, if you enjoy the results, you can implement what you have learned into your own work or continue pushing what you’ve learned to the next level.  A workshop is a starting point, not an end. It opens up a new door in your artistic mind.

 

 

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Golden Watch
©2017 Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

 

From the corner

Golden warmth is keeping watch

Over the forest and its inhabitants

Have no fear

There is protection

For all that live within

Its boundaries

As long as you submit

To nature’s laws.

 

©2017 Suzanne Belair

 

 

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Indomptable
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylique sur toile 30 X 30 po

Man wants to subdue the forest

To his power, to his needs

Man wants to tame the forest

But the forest is fighting

Each time it resists

After each attack, it regenerates

Indomitable, secret, new

Each time it reveals itself

Despite the assaults

Every time it relives

 

©2017 Suzanne Belair

 

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Forest travels by Suzanne Belair

Forest travels
©2017Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

Today I am sharing a new painting finished in January. Forests are one of my favourite subjects and I really enjoy painting this new series.

 

The traveller is moving towards the other side of the trees, towards the future. So it is in life, where we are forced to move constantly and become someone new everyday of our life.
Change is constant and our travels through life are life changing. Learning something every day, being kind to others, progressing, building, changing ourselves or something.

 

Painting and writing are metaphors for life. We strive to do our best, we have to confront our fear of committing to color and shapes just as in life, we often fear committing to something, we fear making decisions.

 

A good example is related in a book I have been reading authored by Joseph T. Hallinan, “Why we make mistakes”. The author relates a scientific study that concluded that when faced with the choice, students prefer not change an answer on a test (i.e. prefer doing nothing) rather than make a decision to change their answer even when they suspected the change might end up being the right answer. In follow-up interviews, it was revealed that it is the notion of regret that influenced the students most. They were afraid of regretting taking the wrong action and they regretted less not taking action and leaving the wrong answer.

 

So often, we get stuck in this way in our life, being afraid to make a decision we might regret, we prefer not to do anything which in itself is a decision but is not perceived as such by the brain.

 

In conclusion, be bold, dare to step over the threshold into the unknown, for this is what life is all about. Travel fearlessly through your life’s forests.

 

Ref: Hallinan, J.T. 2009. “Why we make mistakes”. Broadway books. New York.

 

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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The light will find you ©2017 Suzanne Belair Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

The light will find you
©2017 Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

Today I am sharing a new painting recently finished. It speaks of the light that is in everyone’s life and that will come out after any episode of sadness.

 

When you are feeling sad, discouraged, in a rut, it is better to stop and take a few moments to think about it and feel it fully, than to keep on going, making believe it is not happening. It is important not to run away from your feelings.

 

Here is something that I do and that makes me feel better every time.

 

When you get a chance during your day, stop what you are doing, sit down or lie down and feel these feelings fully. It might feel like heaviness in your chest but it could also be the panicky sensation we get when fear wants to insert itself into our life, when indeed it has. What can we do to help this?  It all starts with mindfulness and acknowledging what is happening inside you.

 

Breathing slowly and becoming aware of the physical feelings and calming these, is essential. Here’s how I do it. I sit down and close my eyes and I imagine a beautiful space surrounding me like a lush garden or a deep blue sky.  My own preference is I see myself sitting in a forest beside a tree near a small river, and I hear the water flow and it is very calm. Once the image is clear in your head, start breathing mindfully.

 

Breathe slowly through your nose. Breathe in your sadness, feel it in your body, around your heart, and then release it with the out breath, feel the sadness get out of your body with the breath and vanish in the forest (or whatever space you created). Continue this for a while until you truly feel the release (minimum 10 breaths).

 

Continue the slow mindful breathing: Others are also feeling sad, so think of them also, feel their sadness at losing a loved one or at their situation. Breathe in their sadness through your heart and breathe all this sadness out toward your beautiful image surrounding you, toward the vastness it, feel the sadness dissolve around you. Visualize your out breath carrying the sadness away from you.

 

While you are doing this exercise, be present to how you feel when you release the sadness in the nature surrounding you. Be present to your feeling of compassion for others and your feeling that you are not alone.

 

Be aware that all in temporary, life is impermanence and your sadness is also temporary. The light will find you.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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Tomorrow, third day of the Circuit des Arts Memphremagog !

 

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to meet us and discover the artworks of  area artists!

2016-Pub_Event_FB

What beautiful encounters during these last two days ! Thanks to those who travel to our studios, encourage us and give us a reason to continue!!

I feel very blessed !

Suzanne

http://Suzannebelair.com

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I have not been blogging much lately. Recently went through two surgeries and my husband just had knee replacement surgery. All this went on within 5 weeks and made for a busy and crazy time. Add to this the move of my studio during the same period and I’m lucky I didn’t completely go insane. I am happy to say that all went well I am now reaching my “cruising speed” as my old boss used to say.

 

When life happens and events prevent us from working like we would normally do, how do we keep up with our art and creativity? What I did was tried to remind myself that hopefulness is necessary and to take things one day at the time. I tried to take one action per day, be it small, towards my goal of being ready for three summer exhibits and symposiums.

 

Adding one step after another eventually adds up to something and gets you moving in the right direction. For me it was a way to feel like I was still working. When I couldn’t paint, my brain was in high gear noticing things around me for future reference or reading about techniques When I couldn’t think, I soaked my brain with relaxing music and tried visualising future paintings without worrying too much about deadlines coming up or commitments I would not be able to honour because of my temporary limited physical ability.

 

I especially tried to remain positive which is not necessarily easy for me and reminded myself that the situation was only transitory and I would get back to painting and enjoy creating eventually.

©2016 Suzanne Belair

©2016 Suzanne Belair

Just before all this came about, I had committed to painting a particularly difficult artwork for some clients, a painting where I was unfamiliar with the subject matter and in a style I don’t normally work in. But I really wanted to do it as a challenge even if I had some moments of regret during the process. I had to do a lot of research just to begin drawings, went on the premises and took more than 100 photos. It was a big project and I finally completed it last week.

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© 2016 Suzanne Belair

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©2016 Suzanne Belair

 

I ended up with 36 figures in a snowy landscape. I have not found a title yet but it will include Mont Sainte-Anne, Qc. where the action takes place.

 

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©2016 Suzanne Belair

I am including a few pictures of details here since the painting is not delivered yet and the owners should see it in person first.

I always varnish all my paintings so have to wait until it cures a bit more. I spray three coats of retouch varnish so that I can deliver earlier but also because I find finishing varnish ends up yellowing with time.

 

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