Expressing Yourself in Your Art

Hi again and celebrate spring with me!

I am happy to note that you have been progressing in understanding the nuances of more substantial art making.  You see, art is not just a pretty picture.  It needs to ‘say something’ to the viewer and communication is meant to draw them into your art by triggering their emotions. So maybe we should start here. What is emotion in art making? How do we use it?

What are you feeling at this moment? How can you express that feeling  to me on a canvas or paper? If you are feeling  confused, how would you show confusion in your art? Would you use the same directional lines or a bunch of different ones like thick, thin, jagged, pointy, wavy?  What colors would you choose to represent the feeling of confusion? A bunch of primary brights will do it. How would you represent ‘calm’?  Warm colors? Cool colors? Certainly not intense bright  colors. You would think of ‘gentle’ colors like aqua. pinks, peach, light blue.  Your brush strokes would be calmer, more horizontal, longer.  Was there a  color scheme that you liked in a magazine photo?  Even these photos are planned colors that are meant to attract your attention. Just do not do all ‘boring’, like the same old, same old. Using all cool colors needs a bit of warmth to add interest, like a peach or orange.  Start with just a smidgen of the main color’s complement (opposite on the color wheel). Using too much of a complement breaks the color balance.  Think ‘unequal’. If you use a lot of texture with your paint or as a collage, have a smooth spot to rest the eye for a moment.  I try to think  of ‘opposites’ to utilize in my work. This is an art principle called variety.  Art principles are how we use our art elements like line, shape, form, color, texture, value and space. The caution is to not use so much of one art element so  that it results in confusion or equalization.

I personally love to use texture and create it on the base canvas with tissue paper or modeling gel. However,  I incorporate a few smooth spots, not more than three, and never  in the same size. (Think mama, papa, baby when using size and group them spaced apart.) The eye will naturally follow. I do the same with color.

 I might use a bunch of cool colors and pop in a warm one in one or three places, but mini sized, so that they attract and not dominate the painting. This is called the principle of balance.  A dark or vivid color visually weighs more, so you need less.  Think of a small black box on one end of a seesaw with a white large box on the other end. The black box is more weighty than the larger bigger box, even if it takes up more space. Dark, vivid, weigh more.

So this month,  we have learned about expressing emotion by using art principles  of variety and balance. Too much variety creates confusion.  Equal amounts of the art elements creates boredom.

Everyone has a ‘balance meter’ inside them, so you will feel you want to equal things out,  like in one space with that one next to it.  Caution! That is when, as an artist, you need to fight that balance instinct and strive to be a little more creative. I carefully plan my composition so that the main interest is slightly off center or slightly lower or higher than middle. I think of opposites like tall/short, bright/dull, straight/wiggly, cool/ warm.  and just don’t use them in equal amounts. Do you get the idea? How about the following  along with the next one?

This is a great month for me as my spirit is  quickened as a believer in the Cross, that Jesus died on, for ME!   Wait!  Let me finish for it is for your benefit.

I have been renewed with the love Jesus has shown for me to choose to die for my sins!  Why me? I am not worthy. If I try to reach the north pole by throwing a rock at it,  I am likewise not able to be good enough to live in God’s presence when I die no matter how hard I try to be a good person.  I am no match for God’s holiness. I just cannot do it by being good!  No one is sinless except Jesus,  as He came from God and was born to die for us.  Then He rose from the dead on the third day and lives at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us. Want peace in your life, tired one?

I accepted Jesus’ death by faith in His forgiveness. (Actually His resurrection was witnessed by many at that time.)   I am at peace with God, with myself and with others because His love is in me. He is risen and lives.  You say prove it!

God is Spirit so He cannot be proved like a thesis or by touch, or sight.  He is Spirit so   unless you have an open heart to ask Him to show you Who he is and  are willing to see the truth, you will never know God. Your inner spirit is dead. You need to choose to respond to Him.

So this is my challenge to you this April. It is my ultimate gift to you. The opportunity to have Eternal Life.  God may have gifted me to create, as He is the ultimate creator.  Yet, I pass on a greater gift to you, out of His love for you. All life is a risk. This may be a greater risk for you, an unbeliever. Ask Jesus to show you Himself.  Next be willing to accept His truth. You will know truth and the truth will set you free, I promise. You can pray simply to ask Jesus to forgive your sins because you believe He died to make an atonement for you. Then you need to choose to receive His life and peace into your spirit  so that He can take the burden of your sins and make them white and pure as snow. Then He is free to bless your life in ways you never imagined. This is my Easter gift to you. To BELIEVE. To RECEIVE. To be BLESSED.