Sunday, August 9, 2009

Which Begonia Really Speaks To Me?

"Begonia Blooms"
(Original painting done in watercolor)
16" x 20"

"Begonia Blooms 2"
Watercolor, digital art tools

I don't know if it is the heat that is making me question my creativity today or maybe it's that I am being fussier about putting images onto my new Etsy shop. If it's the latter, I have to be careful that I am not thinking too much about my audience, for to be external for "approval" is courting disaster. This could lead to my inner creative child going back into hiding somewhere deep inside of me, and taking fun and play with her.

I was staring at a begonia I had done in a watercolor class last year. It's one of my biggest creations, around 16" x 20". My teacher at the time really pushed me to try something bigger like this and I was scared to death at the time. But I worked through my fears and was quite happy with what emerged. It's a rather colorful, fantasy piece and I dropped some salt onto the background to add some unusual effects. But, somehow, it still seemed to lack life as I gazed at it today. Maybe it's just that as I grow as an artist, I find myself unsatisfied with my "older" creations. Or maybe, it's because this piece reminded of times when I needed a teacher to guide me and now I wanted to do it myself, without any input from someone else. Nevertheless, whatever the underlying reason, emotions were stirring up within me and I needed to pay attention to them. Awareness is a good tool in my creative journey these days.

The beauty of digital art tools is that they allow me to scan in an old image, and once on the computer, tweak it as I see fit. Yet, I can still keep the original, untouched, framed, in a place of honor hanging in the living room. So it's a win-win situation. I get to be creative with something I've done in the past, yet still hold onto "my baby" as it was originally birthed from me. (Hm, do I sound a bit clingy here or what?)

I showed my husband the newer, digitally tweaked image and he thought the background on the right side was rather lifeless, maybe muddy? I cringed at these words. Usually, he's quite positive about the images I share with him, but when he's blunt like this, yikes! He has a good creative eye, but sometimes we butt heads on our individual visions. I rather like the contrast between the brighter flower and the more neutral colors that surround it. It's actually the negative imprint of the original. The center of the flower originally had a little bit of white in it and I digitally painted some orangish red into it. Those complementary colors against the teal blue flower added a bit of punch, in my mind. So now, I'd like to reach out to all my wonderful friends who come here and visit and get your input. Begonia #1, Begonia #2, both of them or neither of them appeals to you? Hm, in our artist way group, we are discussing "the importance of creative support". How synchronistic and relevant to what I am going through in these last few days. Very important, is my answer!

And now for a nice cold drink of something to cool off my brain cells, creative cells, and cells in general!


Doris said...

I see mystery in #2. I really am drawn to #1 as favored though. Keep going! What is it that you need to say with the piece?

butterfly woman said...

Hi Doris,
Good question. I did this piece about a year ago and really didn't have anything I wanted to "say" about the piece except to paint on a bigger sheet of watercolor paper and push past my comfort zone.(I learned some new watercolor techniques as well). Perhaps it is really just a "study" for me. The instructor at the time looked through my little book of photos and kind of picked one photo she thought would be good to paint.This one. Do I feel a personal connection to the image, not really. Maybe if I felt more emotionally connected, I wouldn't ask for the input of others. Hm, thinking out loud here, getting some insight.....and feeling more and more detached about this creation. How strange.

Laura said...

Hi Bev,
I'm liking the top one first. I think the color of the begonia in blue is different and interesting in the second one though.

april said...

I really love the first one, Bev. i guess cause it's so painterly and romantic.