Callagrace's Blog

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Category: Boston

New Year, New Goals

Well, as you can see its been ages since I posted. It’s almost embarrassing but I figure I just need to bite the bullet and start again. Unlike in the past I do not necessarily have some grand plan although maybe I should. Parameters have always helped me succeed with goals.  Anyway, a couple of months back I started painting again, well its a little more involved than that, I guess it actually starts with the creation of my studio space.

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Tayto’s Christmas Outfit 2018 – ©CallaGraceFogarty

A year and a half ago my husband and I decided we were going to move houses after months of planning to expand on our previous house. We just were not looking for that kind of investment or project. Luckily we found a house we loved. Nestled in the woods but close to just about everything it seemed kind perfect. The decor wasn’t exactly to our taste per say but it had loads of potential and we have been working one room at a time to put our mark on it. One of those rooms was my studio.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

The studio is located off of the main living area but feels slightly separated.  I have always wanted to be near the heart of the house so I can still be slightly involved. As my husband can attest to I am famous for being completely uninterested in whatever TV show to movie he decided to put on only to 30 minutes later be completely engrossed from my studio, shouting at the top of my lungs “what just happened?” “Did he just die?” “OMG!” I’m sure he appreciates this.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

The studio was at one time used as a dining room. I remember when we viewed the house someone said that the room looked haunted. It had faded lavender wallpaper with a print I cannot recall covering each wall. A golden but faded chandelier in the center, dull drapes that were fitting with the other decor and a lovely built-in cabinet in the corner. Needless to say we had the lights switched to track lighting before we even moved in. The wallpaper came down in a motivated fit one day and the closet was torn out by yours truly along with the neighboring wall. I had a plan I just needed it start.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

My husband was kind enough to help me with my vision! I drew up some plans for the storage area and he, being the handyman he is, created beautiful shelving matching my sketches. We relocated the built-in to the common area. I finished removing the wallpaper (not my favorite job) and eventually painted everything. Slowly the space has come into itself and is currently about 70% of the way there but working perfectly for the time being.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

Since then I have been trying to find the infamous “groove” but it has been hard to locate. I’m not sure what happened or even when exactly things started to click in my head, but I do remember Lee mentioning setting a time every week where I dedicated myself to my art and at some point I kind of did that. Instead of dreaming about creating something each day, I actual did it (kind of).

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©CallaGraceFogarty

I started just hanging out in the studio after work or in the mornings on the weekends. I never really had a plan, I would just rearrange materials and supplies on the shelves, look at old work and attempt the occasional drawing or two. Eventually this process had me reviewing every piece of work I had ever created that was still in my possession. In a way I cleaned house. I threw out a number of pieces which were no longer to my standard or just not good in my opinion. I created folders of work, organizing by to develop, to sell, to photograph, etc.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

After that I did a few things which I believe have been critical in keeping my head in the correct mind space. I decided to actually set up my Etsy page and post a few works. I took trips to local Art shows and museums with friends, and I invested some time on my Facebook page. At that point I decided that I should I post more often. This I suppose has been my only real parameter I have set. I try to post once a week and with that I am forced to keep myself actively working.

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©CallaGraceFogarty

This process has brought me much-needed encouragement. Allowing a lot people to see what I truly love to do, as it had been suppressed for far too long. It has also allowed me to become motivated again, to try new things and start experimenting in a way I feel I lacked in prior years. I think with a new outlook and approach I have started pulling from new inspiration rather than turning to the past as I have in so many cases before. I still have the goals, to find the gems amonst the mess, the clutter, etc., but in a way I just pull my inspiration from different sources now. Sources that I am connected to which makes the process very natural.

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Boo Boo Baby ©CallaGraceFogarty

Throughout this post I included some of my newest works. These have all been created within the last 3 months and represent my journey into finding myself again.

 

Thanks for reading, see you next time.

Calla

 

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Inspiration comes from the strangest places…

It’s interesting to me how the mind works and how it reacts to stressful situations. Stress can incapacitate a person. They can become depressed, angry or experience phantom pain as a result of too much stress. Knowing that my bodies initial response is to become withdrawn and depressed, I decided I needed to start engaging in something that would focus my mind elsewhere. It has been a while since I have forced myself to paint everyday, but it felt like now was a good time to start up again.

I want to start by saying that I would never ask for a different life. I love the life I was given but it can be stressful at times. Things that should be exciting and happy can be surrounded by stressful situations. For instance getting married, buying a home, having a baby, all of these are wonderful happy events and yet when you ask most people, they will tell you it was stressful. So you may be wondering what my recent stressor was and well it is buying a home. My husband and I are delighted, but it has been overwhelming at times. I assume this feeling will continue until I am holding keys in my hand.

I’m not sure what really started the new series of work, only that it came from this exercise of painting when stressed. The pieces have become much more involved and the integration of hands seems to have come very naturally. I initially thought it was due to so many bodies being involved in the stressful activity but now I’m not so sure. I am no longer chasing the meaning merely letting it play out. The images feel like a much more mature body of work for me and I am very excited to see the other works that develop out of this phase. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ve included a few images of recent works. You can see others on my daily site, 365Days1Year.com. Enjoy and see you next time.

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Spring may have arrived!

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Well the sun is out, the birds are awake and the flowers are starting to appear from the thawing ground. Today was such a wonderful day and it feels like it is the right time to take a moment to regroup on the comings and goings of my artwork.

The past few months have been really interesting. I have not been doing a constant flow of work partially due to trying to really dedicate myself to my physical health but luckily I had a few projects which really just helped me stay focused. It all began with a few animal images which literally came from me looking at images of strange creatures. At some point I decided to paint my friends chocolate lab, Buddy, which ended up being a really good move on my part. A fellow co-worker had started to inquire about dog portraits which I had not done by request before but had done because I am so crazy obsessed with my dogs. I was able to show some of the previous images I had created and he was sold.

I painted two pug portraits which was an interesting experience. I have not done a huge quantity of commision works to date and in the past when asked to do images it was always in my more free, abstract style rather than a very accurate depiction of a picture of a dog. Needless to say that while painting Mya the white pug, I painted it 3 times because my super OCD kicked right into gear. When it came to the black pug I was able to capture the personality of this guy within one go. I was happy to learn that everyone was pleased with the outcome and it had really given me a great place to start moving forward with commission work like those.

After those pieces I was approached by a friend to help design the image to be used on a friends baby shower. Thrilled at the idea of designing this image I stepped right up to the plate. Best thing about it was the amazing theme, woodland creature tea party! WHAT I love it! I started working on images and for whatever reason it inspired me to no end! There was a collection of images but just to name a few,there was The Rabbits Tea Party, The Whole Gang and The Curious Mouse . The Whole Gang ended up being the final image but all were successfully completed and will probably be the beginning of a series I am already mentally working on.

Other than that things have been going well, a few abstract images along the way but not nearly as many as I would like. I began knitting a couple months back and was able to complete both a neck warmer which looks wonderful and really earthy as well as a baby blanket for the friend who’s invitation I helped design. I hope the sunny weather and warmer tempatures also bring along an extra burst of creativity as it does every year, with which I hope to take advantage of and just create, create, create!

As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time!

Look who’s been painting again…

It has been way too long since I posted on this page, which is frustrating since I was doing so good for a while but that’s life right! Anyway, I have included images from a few of my most recent works which can be fully viewed on my daily blog 365Days1Year.com Please let me know your thoughts as I’d love some feedback. I really have had a recent spur of creativity again which I can’t really pinpoint to one individual reason yet, but something obviously has got me going again. Whatever is I hope it stays. The images below are really just pulling from past imagery but I would like to push it more and think that in order to do that I will need to start drawing/sketching from life. Not a bowl of fruit really but something real. We draw from what we know and I don’t want that library in my head to get stale! Anyway Enjoy and see you next time.

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