Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pear with Plums  Oil  8 x 8  SOLD
Wow! What a hiatus that was! This first post in a looonng time is a painting I did or the Art Gallery of Victoria's Christmas Small Works Show, a fund raiser of the Art Gallery. See the side panel for information on the show. 
As some of you may know, I've been taking time away from both painting as regularly as usual and from social media. I've  been helping and visiting my very elderly parents who live in a different city. That combined with an unprecedented number of requests for commissions, has kept me away from smaller daily paintings. My schedule is allowing me get back to painting my own inspirations and concepts. I've learned a lot from this year about both creating art and life:
  • there will always be things in life that  may take you away from painting for a while - but you will always get back to it. Take time to enjoy those precious moments.
  • I've discovered that for me, painting is tied more closely to my emotions than I thought. When crises happen my emotions are all used up and I have nothing left for painting. It's as if I don't know how to paint anymore. I have to take the time to be with family and then get back to painting.
  • Commissions are a wonderful compliment to your work, and also a guaranteed sale, but for me, I find that that they redirect my energies away from my creative fires and my need to realize my own ideas. At the same time I grew in my art while painting several commissions, by pushing through and finding really positive outcomes. I painted subjects I would not have chosen to paint, but in the end created paintings that were in fact me.
I also realized that I must create in order to feel balance in my life. How that creating looks may be different because of time and travel. It may be drawing instead of painting, or working out  compositional thumbnails or jotting down concepts for series with quick sketches and notes to support the idea. It's still a creative process that moves me ahead in my art for when I'm ready to paint again. 
How do you work difficult times that may take you away from your easel? I'd love to hear your tips if you have some. 




  1. Hi Claire
    My how you make these fruits "glow" with your use of a complementary palette-and you know so well how to paint!
    I have missed seeing your creations and I understand life's "calling" us away sometimes to attend to loved ones and other obligations. When I am in similar situations to yours I constantly create in my head and find that I am still "seeing" many things during a days living that will stick with me when I am back to creating. I also take comfort in knowing that there's always an end "out there" to current happenings and when that end comes it will be sweeter than ever and my creative juices will flow-maybe slowly and with apprehension at first. Best wishes to you from an "art friend".

    1. Hi Steven, thank you so much for thoughtful and supportive words. It's strange to be doing what you know is right but feel guilty about not blogging and connecting with my art friends. But from the wonderful responses I've received my art friends, they truly are friends, and accept my absence.I will take your advise and keep "seeing" for when I'm creating. Cheers! Claire

  2. this is beautifully painted, Claire! You can almost feel the plums...!!
    I feel that you will always have art in your life but as long as you have your parents, they come first..Your mind is always with them.. For you, sketching sounds wonderful for the time you're with helps for relaxation as well. You're a beautiful person, Claire, and I'm so happy to know you.!

    1. Hi Hilda, I thank you sincerely for your very kind words. It's so wonderful to know that my art friends online, truly are friends. Thank you.

  3. A great painting Claire, I wish you well!

  4. Hi Claire,

    It's good to see your beautiful work again.

    Life has a way of pulling you in very different directions. I lost my mother last spring after caring for her for ten years. I have to agree with you. Sometimes I have to let my art go as other things become the priority, but when the time is right, it's like a close friend waiting for my return.

    I also agree about the commissions. Not as enjoyable as your own compositions, but there is a sense of accomplishment when you complete a work that both you and your client approves.

    I'm off to raid the kitchen...for some reason I have an intense urge for a ripe, juicy plum!

    1. Hi Carol, thanks for your supportive thoughts and very kind words. I hope you enjoyed your plum!

  5. Love the dusty colour on those prunes! Bravo. From a very new Blogger, Julie

  6. This is a beautiful painting, Claire! You've filled it with so much light it seems to emanate from within. The plums are perfection. It's so good to see you posting again. You write so graciously about life pulling an artist away from work and passion. Making a living pulled me away for long periods over 25 years but often it seemed, I'd gotten better even with the absences. It seems that one's psyche is "seeing" and working at it even if one's hands are not. I agree with your comment on commissions—they have a way of forcing you to expand because they pull you out of your comfort zone. And that kind of effort seems to make us smarter, I think.