Welcome to Week 17 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist wows us with her wonderful watercolors weekly. Please welcome Minnemie Murphy!
1) Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) I started painting 3 1/2 years ago, when my friend Uschi invited me to join her in a watercolor class. She suggested that it would be a great sanity-break for me. (My house vibrates with the footsteps and voices of 5 lovely, lively little boys.) I have to be honest, however, that I was not really all that interested in watercolor as a medium, and had little hope for gaining much from the class artistically. (While I have always had a burning desire to create, and an irresistible attraction to colors, brushes and pencils, I had not been able to be creative in a satisfying manner. After a couple of disappointing drawing classes, I figured that I just didn't have what it takes to do the artist-thing.) But I really wanted to get out of the house, so I joined Uschi for this watercolor class. After all the supplies were purchased, I thought it to be a rather expensive investment to collect dust after the 10-week class… for that is what I was sure would happen. But I am happy to report that I was wrong! Our instructor, Tom Herzog, turned out to be fabulously talented and creative, but also exceptionally patient and encouraging. Through his guidance I discovered that I do actually have a Right-Brain, and that my (very helpful in many other areas of life) Left-Brain needs to be silenced while I create. Oh JOY! I found a part of me that I've always been looking for!
I do not know how much (or even if) my work has evolved since I started... I still stick pretty much to technique and realism. I know though how I would like for my work to evolve: I would like to be able to paint more loosely - more right brain-led than left brain-limited.
2) What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I mostly paint with watercolor, since it is the medium that unlocked my creative journey. I also like it because it responds well to simple household items and techniques such as throwing salt, applying gauze, dripping rubbing alcohol, blowing with a straw... and frisket. Not a household item, but I can't live without frisket. And since time and space is often limited in a house with a tribe of little hurricanes running around (yes, I do tell them not to run in the house but...), I vote watercolor for its simplicity in setting-up and cleaning-up.
I have played with acrylics a few times and find it to be much more forgiving than watercolor, but ironically also more frustrating, for I really do not know what I am doing! (Yes, Mrs. Left Brain Perfection interfering again. She needs the rules in order to function comfortably! But I do think there is something valuable in knowing the basics…) Lately I started sketching in a journal regularly, for it is an easy way to ensure daily creativity on those crazy laundry-monster and brotherly-love/war days. I have also heard it said that a painting is only as good as the sketch, so I figure this is an important habit to nurture and skill to improve.
3) What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? I love painting African animals. I grew up in South Africa, but I did not realize how deeply the soil, and the feet (or hooves) that tread it, was part of my heart until I left my home country. Maybe it is not coincidence then that my first "successful" painting was a giraffe. From there on I found myself painting the African creatures very often. Elephants have been my favorite since childhood, and they also turn out to be great fun to paint!
4) What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? My greatest joy and accomplishments are counted in little voices saying: "I love your painting, Mamma!" I found that my pursuit of creativity has done more than just gain sanity for me - it has influenced our home as a whole for the better. My very supportive and wonderful-in-every-way husband says that I am a better mom and wife since I started painting. Those are of course very encouraging words to hear. (But let's not stop to ponder then what the wife and mother "before painting" was like ;-o)
The painting that the The Tribe likes best is one that just kind of happened one afternoon - without much planning or aspiration for a successful outcome. (Mrs. Perfection was out on an errand I believe... :-) ) It is titled "Not Safe... but Good" - a description of C.S. Lewis' Aslan - an important and beloved character in our home.
And then of course there is the inspiring art and kind voices from PPF-friends who cheer me on as I walk this creative journey. I learned about PPF from our friend dthaase, but was long too intimidated to participate. But oh my, what a world of encouragement opened up once I did! Thank you Kristin and Eva for having me... I am grateful for the PPF community. You help me pull out the paint (and thus sanity) on those chaotic days. :-)
5) What's next in your painting future? Being very much in the thick of potty training and boys-to-men making, I see painting as a continuous source of welcome "sanity insurance" for me, and a measure of grace in our home over all. I really cannot think or aspire much past that presently – except maybe for loosening up and taming Mrs. Perfection. :-)
Thank you so much, Minnemie! To learn even more about Minnemie and her beautiful "sanity insurance", please visit her at:
http://cripplepencil.blogspot.com/ (art and words)
http://minnemie.blogspot.com/ (the reason I art)
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!
**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**
What a great party last week! So many wonderful paintings.... Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.
Have a funtabulous and creative week, everyone!