Hello lovely people, this is Sharon Montgomery writing. The great thing about being an artist is taking inspiration from all sorts of places: travel, nature, history and let's not forget the deep, dark rabbit hole that is Pinterest! Another fantastic way to stay inspired is to take an art workshop. I was lucky enough recently to take a 3 day abstract painting workshop with Montreal based artist Claire Desjardins. Here is Claire and some of her work:
I started my professional life as a visual artist and it remains a passion for me. I'm obsessed with colour combinations and the way colours and shapes have "conversations" on the canvas. I have no preconceived notions of what I'm going to make - unlike my life as a commercial artist (which I also love - it just requires a different approach). Surprises are inherent in the process of painting. It's like magic. Watching and participating in the abstract dance is both fascinating and incredibly frustrating. It's HARD, to make a truly successful abstract piece! It's easier to paint flowers. But in the challenge lies the appeal. Here are some of my pieces from the workshop:
HOT TIP: I find it enormously helpful to work on multiple pieces at once. That way, if I get stuck, I can move on to something else quickly. In my illustrative life, I often work small. How freeing - and intimidating! - to work large for a change. Here are some of my finished pieces from the workshop, they are either 3x3' square or 2.5x3' (91cm square or 72x91cm)
Painting informs my illustrative work in a number of ways. It reminds me to stay loose and maintain a spontaneous quality in my work. It inspires me to use new colour combinations and ways of making marks. It reminds me that "mistakes" are often the most interesting part of the piece and it allows me to relax and trust myself and my intuition more. Can you see the connection in the illustration below? Until next time, keep painting!