Friday, January 6, 2012


What is is about January that causes an artistic slump in me?  Happens most years - and I can't complain or blame the weather - it's 50F here today!!! it the after-effects of the holidays and the let-down that comes from all the busy-ness?  Is it that I didn't get enough art supplies or things to inspire me(no, I always get great art gifts and books and DVDs). 

I don't know what causes it but it's here again...days go by without drawing or painting or even looking at an art magazine or book.  I haven't even gone through my two new art DVDs.

I hate slumps!  I know it will pass - but each day makes me think it might last a week - or a month or...!!!

The watercolor society had their first meeting of 2012
and our guest artist/speaker was Barbara Smucker. 
Barbara is a local artist who has a studio in the Pendleton
in Cincinnati and in the Essex Studios in Cincinnati and teaches
in Wyoming, OH.  She talks about art as a spiritual practice, a gift,
a blossoming inside.  She talks about finding your particular voice
from what inspires and moves you.  She works in mixed media,
but does watercolor; however, not watercolor like you think. 
Her finished pieces look like rich glowing pastels because she
works the watercolor almost dry and smushes it into 300# watercolor
paper.  The outcome is gorgeous.  She loves places glowing hot oranges
against mild violet greys in her landscapes. 
And I think I'll try that...but not today.

I will become the Program Chair for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society beginning in March but won't have to start scheduling artists until July (the previous PC went ahead and scheduled after her tenure in case no one stepped up to take over the job).  So...

If you are an artist and/or an art teacher with a focus in watercolor or water media in the tri-state (OH, KY, IN) area and are interested in giving our group a short (1.5 hours) demo and talk some Wednesday (always the 1st Wednesday of the month), then let me know - it would be fun to have one of my blogger artist friends come by in person!  Email me for more information about dates, times, payment, etc., if you're interested.


Carol Blackburn said...

It will pass, Rhonda....mine is lifting daily as we speak. Got a new job close to home where I will be appreciated. That helps 100%.
I've been back out in the studio regularly and beginning to paint again. Be kind to yourself!

Irina said...

Same here, Rhonda, on the other side of the planet, not about art but about all other pleasures of life. Slump. Sounds so right. Thank you for new English word in my vocabulary.
It could be fun if I join in watercolor contest too)). In 2009 I was in Cuyahoga Hills,OH , Jane Rogers' workshop. Sweetest memories about the ladies of Cuyahoga Hills Art center..

Caroline said...

I hope the slump passes for you soon Rhonda. Try to set up your art table, example put out paints or drawing materials. Make a cuppa and tell yourself you are simply going to browse through your previous work or an art book for twenty minutes. You will find that soon enough you will get back into the swing of creating art again. good luck!

conservativelybohemian said...

Sometimes life just causes us to have slumps, I think, Rhonda. For me, just having to go to work knocks the stuffing out of me. Wish I was good enough to offer to do some demo of some sort or other for you, but alas, I rather struggle with my art. Hoping this weekend gives you renewed energy!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, everyone - it's good to know we're all supportive of one another with something that we've all experienced at one time or another. I'm sure I just need a kickstart somehow; or just need to get into the art room and do something until the muse shows up (fashionably late, of course!).
Irina, if you every come close to KY for a workshop, let me know and we'll meet up somewhere. I have taken Janet Rogers' workshop (2 times) and love her loose style and fun way of teaching.

I so admire everyone who has a full time job and still makes time to paint or draw - I am one of the lucky ones who can do this full time (although I don't make any money off of it). I have the time and I should quit my whinging and just do it! ha ha

Jane said...

Me too, Rhonda. I think it's because they holidays take my focus away from art and wreak havoc with schedules. It's hard to switch gears back to doing art.

Maggie Latham said...

Me, too feeling the post holiday slump!!!! Seems like it's a universal feeling. You'll be full of creative energy next week, Rhonda.

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

I found you! I've been grateful for your supportive comments on my blog, but didn't know where to find your work. So, I send new year greetings and wishes that you can climb out of your slump soon.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Jane, Maggie and Sherry - I made myself just show up in the art room today and play with mark-making (something Shirley Trevena talks about and demos in the new DVD I got for Christmas). Mine doesn't look as airy as her's - I still tend to cover every inch of the paper unless I make myself stop, but it's not too bad. Will share those exercises next.

Sherry, I'm enjoying your monotype prints! Usually, if you just click on the the person's name or ID in their comment, it takes you to their blog (at least, that's the way my computer works it out).