Saturday, January 10, 2009

Painting Through


This is a painting I did about two years ago using translucent color.  It was one of my many experiments in oil paint and I was pleased with the result.  Since then I've gone in many different directions but have always meant to explore this area more.  Well, this is the year I intend to do just that.  It just feels right.  

The only thing is ... I'm having a hard time getting inspired right now.  I know that after the holidays, the blahs can set in.  But this year life hit us a curveball.  Our dear friend, John Failla, died suddenly of a heart attack on January 3rd.  It was one of those, oh God, moments.  My husband worked closely with him for the last two years (even though they had been friends since their teen years) and his days were filled with funny stories and laughter.  I hate to be so depressing, but I really want to know what people do when life throws you a curveball.

Things like this happen to people everyday and I would love to know how it affects your art.  Do you paint through the pain?  

I've been doing some small studies using translucent color of some small landscapes and will be posting them soon.  In the meantime, I would love to know what other artists do when life throws you a curveball.


Joan Breckwoldt said...

Hi Janelle,
I am so sorry to hear about your friend passing. You have my deepest sympathies. When life throws me a big curveball like that, and I've had one, I took some time off from painting. And I prayed a lot.
I don't know if you're familiar with this particular artist, but I think you will find her paintings very inspirational right now. Her name is M. Katherine Hurley, I attended a workshop with her a few years ago. She uses the glazes.
I hope you'll find God's grace and peace among your sadness.

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

oh janelle, i am sorry to hear about your friend's passing. it is always hard to lose someone. i have always dealt with 'curveballs' by painting. not working on anything in specific. just put up a canvas and do whatever, throw paint around, collage in it, whatever i want, no one has to see it but me. then throw it away if i wish. and then i cry. i also end up creating really emotional pieces to represent what i am going through, like my 'grief' painting that i did after my grandmother passed away. you have to find what works for you. take time to mourn, but then get up, get up and paint, go somewhere different, or paint an old favorite, but get up and paint!

Linda Blondheim said...

Hi Janelle,
Sometimes it's harder to lose a dear friend than family. In this kind of situation, I think it's a good idea to change up the art routine. Changing subjects, mediums, douing more small studies, brushwork exercises, value studies,doodles and cartoons, can take the pressure off of doing serious work when you are low. You have my deepest sympathy.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Joan, I checked out M. Katherine Hurley's website and, indeed, her work is very inspirational. I've bookmarked it, so I can return again and again. Thank you so much.

Christine, What a great idea, doing a grief painting as a way of moving on. I think part of what I'm feeling is worrying about others ... his family. Thank you!

Linda, Thanks, small studies are a very good thing to do right now, nothing too ambitious. Thank you!

Karen said...

I'm thinking of you during this very difficult time. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think that your working on small sketches is right on. I think that's what I do, too. I tend to go a smaller, more intimate scale (maybe it feels safer somehow?), and not make myself feel like I have to "finish" anything, but that just the process of working can be cathartic.

If you feel like it, consider sharing your sketches with us. I think being connected when in trying times is so important.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Karen, Thank you so much. As it turns out, I'll be headed for Florida this week to accompany my husband on business and combine it with visiting family. The change of scenery will probably be a good thing. I'm enjoying your latest stills!

Celeste Bergin said...

Janelle, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. My sincere condolences to you and your husband. The painting you selected to "talk" this over with your artist friends is indeed a fitting one..a beautiful painting that reminds us that all of life..everything in it..the people, the trees, the birds...the and me..we are all connected. Death, of course, feels like the ultimate dis-connect. Though you have lost the physicality of your friend.. he continues to be with you in your beating heart and your memories of him. Ultimately, when you return to your painting routine I hope that you will paint something in honor of your friend and post it on your blog. It may be the painting that gets you back on track.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Celeste, Thanks for your words of support and encouragement. It means a lot to me.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

So sorry about your sudden loss. If anything, this reminds us that life is fleeting. Stuff like that can really set me back, though. Sometimes it does affect my desire to paint. I take to the couch with a blanket and a book. I wish you the best.

loriann said...

Hi Janelle,
I am so sorry to read about your loss. Having that void that sadness is so hard. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it. Just do what feels right. My thoughts and prayer are with you. peace.