The Scientific Method for Artists

The Scientific Method for Artists - student project

Wow! This has totally taken a turn in a direction totally the opposite of what I expected! LOL.

I'm still a beginner when it comes to art - but I would say moving toward intermediate - somewhere between that divide, and have really been struggling with direction as I want to make improving my art a priority. 

I do have some real constraints with my health and my season of life. I can't do huge projects I need things that are fairly simple. However, I've realized that my biggest setback has been my own thinking. I have this picture in my mind of art I love and what I think "real" art is. I've kind of told myself that if I'm going to be a real artist, that's what I have to do, but I honestly don't enjoy "making" that type of art - at least not with the constraints I have now. I may never enjoy it, but at least not for another decade (I'm homeschooling my three kids ages 2-10). The other problem I have (this is across all areas of my life, not just art) that if something is "easy" anyone can do it and therefore isn't "real" art. The problem with that is the more I practice and study, the more things fall under that "easy not real art" category and fewer things fall under the "real art" category, so I'm basically setting a bar that is 100% impossible to reach!

As I came to terms with these realities, I started finding some real patterns. I'm not actually inspired by things in real life - buildings, landscapes, people, still life. Occasionally I like painting a bug (one of my favorite real-life subjects oddly enough) or some trees or flowers. I do want to work on these skills and get better at these subjects, but these aren't the things that inspire me to make art. I'm inspired by ideas and words and bringing a visual component to thoughts and concepts. Say wha'? For real. This is the kind of art that makes me excited.

I love handwriting and hand lettering and I was known in college for my doodles all over my notes. I get lost in it, and I find inspiration all around me. It knows no end. These little doodles and simple visualizations are what my husband has always loved and tried to get me to open myself up to doing, but of course in my mind I always thought "that's not REAL art". Now I'm realizing that it IS! It so IS and I can do it and get lost in it, and that's OK!

The other big thing I picked up on is that I really like doing mixed media work. I really enjoy making handmade cards, and it's the mixed media/collage/small canvas that I really love! I have always stayed away from mixed media because it seems messy (hello! I'm the queen of messy! I LOVE getting messy!) and again in my mind not "real art." But I love it! So, I really want to take time to explore and learn more about collage and mediums like gauche and background making and all those things!

So, I'm super excited. My first hypothesis in putting this all together was a flow chart infographic. I quickly learned there is WAY too much planning and structure in that and not free flowing at all - torture. So now, I'm playing with words and ideas and inspiration around me. I'm not really focusing on the end result (not going for perfection), I'm just paying attention to the process and so far . . . I LOVE IT! (After all, for me this is about the skills I need to focus on improving.) I'm getting lost in it. I can't wait to learn more and do more, AND it's something I can do with my kids.

If I can edit this after I post it I hope to share more about what I'm learning through this process and more of the work I do along the way.

Thank you for this class Kendyll!

First piece - this song was playing and this image came into mind. I stopped right there and made it on a piece of copy paper (that's what I had) then transferred it to watercolor paper and had a blast making it!

The Scientific Method for Artists - image 1 - student project