Happy November One and All!
It's been a bit of a wild ride for me this past month. I've been from Louisville to Ontario and back within the month of October, and spent a lot of that time battling bronchitis: my least favorite type of "minor" infection.
Good News! I was finally able to finish my large landscape. I've found that most of my work, especially oil on canvas, tends to be very high chroma; it's not something I ever intend to do. In my mind I paint like I'm an old Dutch master, such as Vermeer or Van Eyck, using subtle changes in hue and use of light to create images that are controlled and relaxed.
However, despite trying to paint this way...my work never turns out looking even remotely like these guys' stuff. I remember my art history professor talking about historical painters and how you could identify most novice/self-taught painters by their outright overuse bright colors. He referenced Rousseau as an example.
I specifically remember this lesson because I could and can still see the bright color "problem," in my work. I fear I'm unable to see the subtleties I both want and need to see in my work while I'm painting. For example, this landscape I just finished is full of bright pinks and oranges and blues. It's like I couldn't decide which area to emphasize, so I just pushed everything to it's limit.
Sometimes I fear that I'm losing my gift. Maybe I'm not painting enough. Maybe I've just grown lazy. Or...maybe I simply need to embrace my own natural inclination to paint the way I paint, without worrying about what one art history professor believes.
One person who's palette I always enjoy is local artist, Nathan Foxton's work. I probably annoy this guy. Every time I see his work at the Harrison Center or around town, I get really excited about it. He's got a unique eye, and it seems like he does high-chroma really well.
It encourages me to see artists play with color so freely, but end up with such a concrete believable product.
There are other local artist's who's work I enjoy. In fact, I may just make another blog post specifically about different local artists who's work I admire and and why.
I honestly can't complain about my own landscape; there is so much I love about it. I love atmosphere it creates. I love that it has some movement to it; you really get the feeling that you're moving very quickly through the scene. Even as a person, standing in front of the canvas, knowing you can look at it for as long as you'd like, the painting still creates a sense of urgency. The perceived movement of the foreground gives you the sensation that you're are about to miss it. I enjoy how much the composition pulls the viewer into a sensation.
I only wish...I could make that what I'd intended originally (does that make sense?) I wonder if I tried to start painting like Kandinsky or one of the other Expressionists, that I'd actually end up with a neutral, chilled out palette of raw umbers and burnt siennas. The best laid plans of mice and men...
So, I'm going to do that thing I do when I feel like I'm going off the rails on palette experimentation. I'm going to do another limited palette painting, where I only use a few colors. AND I'm going to start it this week. AND I promise you, dear reader, I will post another blog by this time next Sunday. Those are big claims, coming from me, I know.
Angela M. DeCamp
I’ve been given a taste of change and now I’m ready and eager for more. I want to travel somewhere I've never been. I want to kiss a stranger. I want to shed my old skin for something with room for new memories.
Change is one of those things. You love it. You hate it. You need it. Change is puberty; It’s the vessel that carries you from one port to the next, with no promise of smooth sailing.
It snuck up on me and stung me. At first, my head was spinning. There didn’t seem to be any actual legitimate reason for its coming. Maybe destiny got sick of waiting around for me to finally make the changes I’ve been meaning to make, or maybe its just the way life evolves. Either way it happened.
I can’t believe how comfortable I’d grown with “status quo,” with “good enough for now.” I’d settled for less than what I’d wanted, less than I could be, and now I’m making adjustments to my life. Scary at first, true, but oh so necessary and getting easier every day.
I’m going to be moving out of my first apartment this month. I’ve had a lot of great memories here. I made posters for the Women’s March here. I welcomed my first cat (best friend in the entire world) to her first home with her forever roommate.
I made delicious meals.
I shared wine and conversation with friends.
I woke up in the morning, scrambled eggs, and sipped coffee before work.
Soon, I’ll be scrambling eggs, and sipping coffee in the kitchen of a bigger better home but I can’t help feeling a little bittersweet about saying goodbye to this part of my life. New home, and soon a new job. New, new, new. The view from my window is going to be changing a bit.
At it’s core, I’m redeveloping my life for the better. I’m saying good bye to toxic environments of the past, and saying hello to a new chapter.
So let it begin. You know I'll keep you posted.
1. Its been a year since I got back into Muay Thai, and I've finally made it to the more advanced class. I've been so grateful for the friendships I've made through this experience.
It seems like the longer I'm involved in learning Muay Thai, the better I can handle everything else in life. I used to rely on running, and enjoyed it (I still do from time to time). When I was a runner, I would spend a lot of time stuck in my head. Alternatively, Muay Thai requires 150% of my attention, to the point that I am able to block out every other part of my life.
It's an intense workout, but it's also an actual skill I'm learning. I'm so eager and excited to get better and better.
2. I finished the freaking painting! Still no title...but voila!
I'm going to take this moment to talk about this painting a bit. I want to tell you that it was a super fun process and I enjoyed every minute of it...but if that were true I'd have finished this painting after a month of starting.
I've always prided myself on being an artist that works quickly, and this painting kept dragging on. Looking at it now, even after being "finished," I can list out every single flaw. Things I know I really need to go and rework, but I don't have it in me to paint back into it. Maybe it's just an artist thing. I don't know.
Here's what I'm happy about. I'm pleased I was able to challenge myself with straight lines, aka buildings, inorganic structures, you know: the background. I did not initially enjoy it. I love painting portraits, but buildings intimidate the hell out of me. There is no forgiveness for crooked lines, and before I painted blue over the whole dang thing, it looked like a sad cartoon. I feel confident that I made the right choice with the color change.
I enjoyed painting Megan's tattoo. I enjoyed creating light from the cellphone screen by just making everything else darker. I like how it all fits together.
I believe I am a warrior, because I fought through this painting tooth and nail, and knew when to call it quits. I'm finished and satisfied.
3. I've continued to seek out shows, even though it can be exhausting.
The older I get, the busier I get. This hasn't stopped me from finding another place to show my work. I hung up some work at the Salesforce Tower in Indianapolis and it is scheduled to be on display through the end of August.
And, here's an abrupt ending to this blog post.
I'm actually too busy to come up with a witty segue to end this. Sorry you haven't heard from me recently. I'll try to be better about staying in touch ;) Just know I'm still here. I'm still working my patootie off. Being a full time employee, part time kickboxer, and free time artist is difficult to juggle, but I'm doing it the best I can.
When I was in my first grade art class, I remember making a scene of some kind of summer camp. We used different colored craft paper, safety scissors, and markers that stained my fingers blue.
In my picture, I drew people in bathing suits around a large lake. As I was gluing on more craft paper I distinctly remember thinking about the span of my life, as I understood it...as well as any seven year old could. Second grade seemed like miles away, middle school and high school, eons...and college... I'd be lucky if I made it that far. I became overwhelmed thinking about how long my education would take, and how many obstacles I'd have to face.
The warmth has finally returned. I'm ecstatic that I don't have to turn on my AC yet. Last year, the cost of keeping my apartment cool was ridiculous, and I'm hoping to avoid spending as much money as I did last year.
My art show at Fountain Square Brewery was fantastic. It's been great to show my work and have camaraderie with so many other talented local artists. I often forget how important socializing with my art peers can be. Makes me miss the art department at Harding University so. freaking. much. Photos courtesy of the talent Courtney Brooks.
Oh hello there,
You've found me slowly sipping an incredible cup of hot tea; it's a chai apple cinnamon concoction with a heaping spoon of organic unfiltered honey and it's reminding me of my goal to find a quiet moment of pure bliss every single day.
Many Glad Tidings!
As you know, last week, I chose to try out vegetarianism. Sounds like a religion doesn't it? Well, I can tell you from first hand experience, practicing it didn't turn my water into wine, and the only pilgrimage I went on was the treacherous trek through my 594 square foot apartment to my fridge.
Here's what surprised me, I didn't feel deprived. I didn't feel vaguely hungry, at least not any more than I usually do around 3pm. In fact, I felt pretty dang satisfied. I found some decent recipes online, gave them a go, and it sort of worked.
Bonjour my friends! (and possibly that one jerk from high school who is only reading this because he's insecure about his sad, lonely, life and knows that he's at least a little cooler than me so he might as well read this to feel better about himself before going on a run, and logging onto the dating app that his girlfriend doesn't know he still has - you know who you are), Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!
Things are Cha-Cha-Cha-Changin' around here. I've been pretty busy working in my studio, working in the gym, and working at...well...work.
I purchased a 2017 planner this year, and have been getting my money's worth out of it. If I write something down in my planner, it happens. I don't know why it works, or how it works but...it works. It's MAGIC. It's like that old Christmas movie where the nerdy perfume lady writes all of her Christmas wishes on a list and puts it in Santa's North Pole mailbox. Then one-by-one, they all come true. She gets fuzzy slippers and a promotion.
Along that line of thinking...I'm going to write "8:30pm - Casually bump in to Ryan Gosling" for Friday Night's slot in the agenda this week. Cha-Ching!
Ah yes, 2017 in its infancy has so far been...fine, I guess. I'm only five days in and it seems like a normal sort of January. Cold, dry, relatively barren, wintery, slowly dying inside as I scrape my car in the morning, etc. Despite the cold (that I despise almost as much as cockroaches) I feel like I've been able to maintain a positive attitude about the future.
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. When she's not painting or writing, you might catch her running around town with pink hair wearing an American flag fanny pack.