Diane Young

Artist ~ Printmaker ~ Painter ~Every Picture tells a story ~ Artwork ©Diane Young


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Strange Owls and Coincidences

Sold! From  Studio No 71 in Totnes, my Barn Owl with Stopwatch original painting with gold leaf.

Barn Owl with gold leaf by artist Diane Young at Studio No 71 Totnes

Barn Owl framed

This weekend after a trip to Dartmoor we dropped in to collect some work from Studio 21 which has a great position at the bottom of the High Street.  The shop is small but packed with interesting things to discover; pictures, sculptures, plates and bowls and glass and pottery and more!

Not only did we arrive on a day when a customer was about to purchase one of my original paintings, but Studio No 71 had also sold a framed Moongazing Hare print of mine during that day too.

How strange, not to have sold for quite some time, and then two in one day and when I was visiting!

It is so nice to meet the individual who likes my art enough to buy it and hang it on their wall.  An image that I have formed from my imagination strikes its own chord with another person, and off it goes on its own journey, in this instance wrapped and strapped onto a bicycle!

Grateful for time with friends and walks on Dartmoor just as the season is turning and when such coincidences are a delight.

 


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Sketchbooks Be Gone with You!

Yesterday I started an attempt at declutttering.  What should I keep and what should go?   I headed for my bookshelf and targeted some old sketchbooks having decided to photograph pages I liked and store them digitally instead.

Diane Youngs Art and sketch books in my attic studio.

In amongst artist and nature books are malingering sketch books from over many a year.

Some of the sketches have sentimental value, and are a visual diary hinting at events and places sporadically over the year. Some of the sketches were a means to an end.  They were good practice for observing and drawing.

Other sketches were experimental when I had been involved in course work and attempting to work outside my usual method of creativity.

So I took sketchbooks which were not essentially full of great stuff and photographed those images I felt connected to and transferred them to my computer.  The nice thing about looking back at sketch books from years gone by is that a lot of the images look better to me now than when I created them. The space and time that has passed makes them feel like they are not quite so firmly attached to me allowing me to be less critical.

The other nice thing about storing the sketches digitally is that they take on a more professional look on a screen than in the sketchbook.

I agree with the declutter theory that you feel lighter and freer without hanging onto lots of stuff.  This is a start but I still have a long way to go.

Sketch of a flamboyant flamingo by artist Diane Young Sketch from life by artist Diane Young of a young boy Mixed Media  2004 Coursework by Artist Diane YoungSketchbook characters  2004 by artist Diane Young  Sketchbook showing collage and drawing by artist Diane Young

A variety of pages from 2004 Sketchbook – from life, mixed media and character development.


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Mind shifts and New Paintings of dogs.

It is strange how your mind and thoughts can dance around a subject or a project and produce means or obstacles, pathways to enable action or absolute resistance.  One minute you have one mind set, then suddenly you can see things quite differently and are able then to make a change or take an action that you had not considered before.

ACEO painting of a wolf by artist illustrator Diane Young of Manic Illustrations

ACEO Painting of Wolf Portrait

This process is no doubt with us more often than we realise, but for me produces itself very readily in the light of day when considering the redesign of my website.  I have had a website for many years and it was pretty clunky for quite some time at the outset.  But the amount of times I thought I had reached an optimal design moment were many.  Time passed, my mind shifted, and suddenly it would be made quite clear to me that improvements would yet again have to be made.  In a way it is a little like producing a painting, you think no more can be done, you put the thing away. Then some other time you stumble across the same painting and you can see straight away how to make it so much better.

In all the years I have been painting I could never  for one moment have envisaged making miniature paintings sized at just 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches but found myself having an eureka moment (a sudden shift in thinking!) nearly a year ago after tightening up my painting style, and acquiring reading glasses.  Since then I have produced several ACEO paintings each week featuring funny character animals or more realistic style animals too.  They have been listed and  sold each week on ebay in a special category for ACEO art cards.

A year hence, and I have been wondering how to develop my art further, today a new possibility has surfaced in my mind relating to pets and in particular dogs.   Here is a taster of my current work in progress…..more to follow 🙂

Belgian shepherd dog portrait painting by Diane Young

I really do wonder why my brain cannot follow through in the first instance?  I am sure there is a good answer for this  which at this time is unbeknown to me.

It is of concern that whilst my mind can play tricks on me and  can often ensure that I avoid action or end up procrastinating for what amounts to be in reality no-good-reason at all, but I am grateful that at other times it can reveal fresh ideas, shifts and visions so that even I can surprise myself with brand new possibilities.


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Art, Painting and Unfinished Business

Painting, when to stop….

It happens so often, that artists actually stop working on a painting sometime after the vital moment when they should have stopped.   Spotting the optimum time to stop working on a piece is just so difficult as unless you could see into the future the you cannot anticipate whether your next few painting decisions will better or possibly worsen the painting’s outcome.  For this reason a good many paintings are over-worked and without a lot of experience this optimum moment can pass you by before you know it.

Painting of a wolf by Artist Diane YoungThis is a painting I have been working on today. It takes some concentration to be disciplined in the craft and it is best to work when feeling energised.  Once an artist tires and concentration waivers then sloppy decisions and actions are made leading to frustration and disappointment in the outcome.

I liken this process to swimming.  Whilst striving to get one’s swimming stroke right you need concentration, some discipline and energy.  Once the energy is depleted you fall back on old sloppy habits, inefficiency and then more tiredness is the outcome.   My painting and my swimming can go the same way.   This painting of a wolf is unfinished in my opinion.  It is just a matter of how far past the optimum point I persist…..


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Painting, not Cut-Outs for Me.

Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists.  I nearly said thriving artists.  They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity.   I digress…..

Matisse Lithograph Painting of flowers

Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people.  We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between.  Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties.  We are lucky enough that the  local Museum is  currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse.  Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.  

Art exhibition Matisse Cut outs

Matisse Lithograph

To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me.  But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too,  the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.

Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world.   You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.

My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!

Exhibition of Artist Matisse Cut Outs


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Creativity for New ACEO paintings in the New Year

My creativity shut up shop for the Christmas period.  I could sense my focus slipping as extra festive activities took hold.   Rather than wrestling Christmas photo of Toy Santabetween the two I gave myself a break.  I let myself off the hook.

Creativity is often seen as an easy kind of self indulgent luxury.  Those that feel they have not been bestowed any creative talent imagine the enjoyment and loveliness of making pictures.   Perhaps it does come easily to some, but I would imagine that like me plenty of artists procrastinate, heading off down the  path of least resistance, that is any other activity except creativity.

Even washing the car has an easily perceived outcome…you wash it, it looks clean.  With shopping, you shop and hey presto you have food you can cook with.  What about a bit of decorating? Assuming you buy the right paint, paint it on in a sensible fashion, the room looks completely renewed.  Having done all these things before there is no real danger of me straying into unknown territory and making a complete hash of this lot.

As for creating art, well only hundreds of decisions have to be made as you progress, tiny but important ones, the outcome of which make or break the painting.  One of the hardest decisions is eliminating your options, what should one do next?   And when things are not going right do you keep on with it or bin it?

Sketches for ACEO paintings by artist Diane Young

So enter creativity as a discipline.  I gave myself a Chrismas break,  now I have to reintroduce my creativity.  Like a daily supplement.  It needs to be rated as essential, like fruit, or vitamins to let it grow, grow, grow.

Today being the first day on my renewed creative path I have gathered some ideas and started on something new.   There are polar bears, hares, wolves and owls, cats and mice.  Harvey the Aardvark is still hibernating, but only for a short while, he will be back soon.

Wishing anyone taking the time to read this a very Happy New Year for 2014.  And for anyone wanting to be creative and not quite getting around to it,  do a little bit each day and make it essential,  just like your daily fruit and veg.


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Painting In Progress

Lazy Painter’s guide recording Work in Progress

It really depends what medium you work in but even drawings can take on quite a transformation from the outset of the original idea.  Artists may use different tools to progress from the first sketch to the finished drawing or painting.

Drawing tools such as tracing or layout paper, light boxes and/or photo shop manipulation enables the good bits of a drawing to be retained easily whilst the areas in need of change more easily manipulated. With these tools there is a trail of changes which could be recorded digitally or glued in a sketch book to inform the artist at a later date how the work evolved. This sort of recording comes easily.

Painting images showing work in progress

For painting work-in-progress the best tool for recording is a camera. How often I have been too lazy to put down my brush and halt for a few minutes to get the camera and quickly take a picture.

It is impossible to remember the phases of a painting’s evolution and in addition artists repeatedly overshoot the optimum moment for the painting to be finished.

Recording the painting at different stages enables an artist to sit back at a later time and review how each stage of the painting has progressed and make objective decisions for making further paintings.

Don’t overshoot the optimum moment to put the brush down, you know that old adage Less Is More.  It just takes a moment to take a snap, and on review will reap benefits for your next masterpiece!


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Diane Young – Painting Edges

Manic Illustrations – Lazy Painter’s guide.

Anything from not changing the brush to not changing the water,  not being lazy means making less mistakes and mess and is more time effective in the long run.  I could have done with a list being given to me many years and many mistakes ago.

The Lazy Painter from Manic Illustrations says:  don’t be lazy – turn the paper around for best results when painting up to an edge!

Pictures showing how to use a paintbrush up to the edge of a drawing.

When you are painting up to an edge place your paper so that your brush is inside the edge and your brush point is against the edge as in Bunny 1 and Bunny 3 .  So many times I have been too lazy to turn the paper round and would reach over the edge as in Bunny 2.   Bunny 3 is happy to be upside down as it is easy to paint accurately this way.  This is for a right handed person,  for a left hander just flip the images horizontally.


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Santa’s Songbird The Red Cardinal

Two ACEOs inspired by a Poem

Red Cardinal Bird painting inspired by a poem by Diane Young Red Cardinal singing a painting inspired by a poem by Diane Young

The Red Cardinal

I was approached by a poet writing a children’s book using a poem she created about a bright red bird.  She sent me some stanza’s of the said poem and wondered if I might be inspired to create ACEOs with her poem in mind.

The poem “Santa’s Songbird” is about a blessed Red Cardinal, a North American bird rather like the Green Finches of the UK but with feathers of a vibrant red colour.

And so here he is, in all his glory.


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A Fish Eat Fish World

Since Wrangling with Originality I have decided to revamp my website, no great shakes the content is still the same but it’s a bit more shop orientated.

Still got a bit to do, but sadly the historical “likes” have gone off my static pages.  I do think though that I should thank everyone who has commented on anything on my site, my wranglings or ramblings and my pics, and with a few tweaks to do I will put thismessage on my site somewhere prominent!

It is a fish eat fish world.

ACEO Originals on Ebay by Diane Young


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Wranglings with Originality

What is an “original” painting?

I challenged google with informing me as to what exactly did the word original mean. The information I found was more of a debate than a definitive answer.  My query centred around the idea that when an individual artist designs draws and paints a new piece of artwork can that artist produce the same painting again and it also be referred to as an original?  For instance in many parts of the world artists make a living painting landmarks like the Eiffle tower, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, are all their like paintings originals?  Or are they copies?  Would it make a difference if they did it from life on a different day, or from a differing photos with all sorts of weather changes?

Let’s back up for a moment,  what is the definition of the word “original” in this context?

Definitions

The online oxford dictionaries definition is as follows:

“-created personally by a particular artist, writer, musician, etc.; not a copy”

This would be true of many similar originals….

“-not dependent on other people’s ideas”…

The design is original so this is true too.

“the earliest form of something, from which copies may be made”

So in order to create copies, the copies come from a singular original.

Prints would be included here as copies or reproductions.  But surely a painting in another’s likeness is still an original, or is it a copy?

If all the colours and lines were copied absolutely exactly then this would be a copy and not an original.  But if the same drawing or design is made without attempt to replicate the first exactly then the drawing will be slightly different and in the organic process of painting there will always be a slight variation in colours (unless one is striving for exact likeness) and so the subsequent painting will be different.

Intention

So is it intention that makes up the essence of a second or third original of the same composition?   I mean if you intend to make a painting look EXACTLY like the first then there is something deceptive about the end result, as if it might be a trick to make you think one painting is the other and vice versa.  But if you paint a painting using the same design or composition  for a similar picture with the essence of the first, but which is actually different, surely it is still original.

For me each original should have its own right to independent original status and for reproductions to be made from it. Each time an artist creates a painting many many decisions are made. It is a complex process which under usual circumstances creates  a different result from the same (or as similar as possible) drawing.  Are you confused, even as write this it is confusing me also, but really i do know exactly what I mean even if really this is not original thinking 🙂

What do you think?


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World of Colour

Not so much blogging this week as I have neglected words for colour issues and other technicalities on my website.  I struggle with choosing colour  for my website background as I think the artwork images should do the work really,  just like an artists portfolio should actually  speak for itself.  I get the feeling that my preference for black is not terribly popular, although really it is difficult to tell.  Feeback from anyone prepared to look is welcome, the more the merrier.  Let’s hope I am going into a purple patch so to speak to reflect my chosen colour !

Commission Me This

as a site has taken form this week too.  The designs on this page are offered to be commissioned either as they are or with slight changes and at a variety of sizes. ACEO ebay this week The Getaway Todays ACEO continues with the mouse and cherry theme….The Getaway.