Gouache painting of a Sheepshead Sparrow by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day 21- Underneath it all

I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

21 days into the #30in30PaintingChallenge. I’m starting to feel the creativity exhaustion from producing paintings every day, therefore today’s painting is the piece I originally painted to promote this project. It’s also one of the few that’s not available for adoption.

I very seldom paint traditionally and part of this challenge was to learn how to do so. This piece was the first traditional piece I’ve done in a very long time that gave me a sense of accomplishment, it’s somewhat of a compass so therefore it’s going into my private collection. It relates to the Alice in Wonderland quote above, that spurred this whole idea on.

Here’s the thing and this always makes me a little nervous to admit – I don’t feel a deep connection of the majority of what I create, some artists are able to pour their hearts and soul into their work, it has so much of ‘them’ in it. I’m not like that, I often wish I was, but I’m not. That’s not to say I don’t like my work, I do.

Pouring my heart and soul into my work has always been something I struggled with, I never felt whatever was ‘me’ was in the work, the work was something of its own and most of the time it still is but with this little guy, there’s something there, I don’t know what it is but there’s something so he’ll live with me for at least a while.

Links:
30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
Instagram: Follow my Painting Process
Pinterest – 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Original Painting: The Skull Sparrow
Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

4 Comments

  • Alexandra Rena

    22.09.2015 at 11:23 Reply

    I can relate to feeling as if your “heart and soul” aren’t in every work you do. I think sometimes we get caught up trying to survive with commissions or painting what we know will sell, and sometimes the heart gets lost along the way. My personal way of appeasing my heart and soul with art, is ensuring that I have a piece that is more personal–something for me and for my shop–to work on alongside any commission or deadline-oriented work.

    I really love this series you are working on, and I think what I love most is that I feel you are doing this for *you*. Your traditional painting looks amazing, and I still know your style when I see it 😉

    • Kiri

      16.10.2015 at 16:57 Reply

      You’re really spot on, I think it’s a really good idea to make sure you have a personal piece to work on next to commissions. I’m also happy to hear you liked the 30 paintings in 30 days series, it was really good practice for getting a better hang of traditional work.

  • Lori Hamilton

    21.09.2015 at 16:24 Reply

    I’ve always drawn/painted what I thought was “beautiful” and sometimes been satisfied – and once or twice, thrilled – with the finished work. I’m not sure I could say my heart and soul is in it, though. I’m working on going beyond copying a picture or a scene just as it is and trying to create something new but it’s a struggle when you are self-taught and not sure how to do certain things. There’s no way NOT to keep trying, however, if you have that urge to make art!

    • Kiri

      16.10.2015 at 16:59 Reply

      Definitely Lori, I get caught in just painting what I find beautiful too rather than something with heart and soul. If you struggle with being self taught I’d really recommend looking into some online art schooling, a place like New Master’s Academy has some fantastic inexpensive classes on both drawing and painting.

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